During the late 1950’s and early 1960s, when most sub-Saharan African states achieved independence, sub-Saharan Africa became one of Israel’s major foreign policy goals. The large number of new states aspiring for rapid development brought about Israeli presence and involvement. Until the early 1970s, Israel sent hundreds of technicians and agricultural experts to assist in the development of these newly independent states, seeking diplomatic relations in return. In 1973, however, during and after the Yom Kippur War, almost all sub- Saharan African countries severed their diplomatic relations with Israel. During the 1980s and especially in the early 1990s (after the Madrid Conference  and Oslo Accords ), sub-Saharan African states gradually resumed relations with Israel.
This thesis examines the political, economic and strategic factors that influenced these changes, as well as the relative strengths and weaknesses of the methods and strategies deployed by Israel and to what extent Israel drew the necessary conclusions. Special emphasis is given to Israel’s peripheral strategy, which was elaborated in the 1950s and still remains an important pillar of Israel’s foreign policy, although with significant changes.
Israel-Guinea relations were chosen as a study case since they are an exception to Israel-sub- Saharan relations. Guinea, one of the first African countries to have established diplomatic relations with Israel (as early as March 1959), was the only sub-Saharan African country to sever relations in 1967 (after the Six-DayWar) and the only sub-Saharan country that has never resumed diplomatic relations with Israel. The past two years have seen a series of dramatic changes in Guinea’s political landscape. After fifty years of independence, free elections in 2010 led to a successful transfer of power to a civilian-led administration. The Guinean leadership’s commitment towards economic development might lead to cooperation with Israel.
The resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel by sub-Saharan African states was part of a political strategy designed to expand and acquire resources at the international level in order to solve internal problems. Guinea’s new leadership’s seems to follow this strategy. Acquiring Israeli expertise and assistance will sustain Guinea’s policy of prioritizing development and technological progress.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Africa, Guinea, Israeli-sub-saharan, Saharan|
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