Rwanda among largest delegation of African parliamentary speakers to visit Israel

Seven parliamentary speakers from African countries, the largest-ever delegation of such officials to Israel, are set to visit the Knesset next Tuesday.

The legislature has never hosted more than two parliamentary leaders at once, but next week’s visit will include Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s counterparts from Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, Seychelles and South Sudan as Jerusalem Post reported.

Speaker of the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies Rt. Hon. Donatille Mukabalisa, who heads the only legislature in the world that has more female than male members, will give a speech on female empowerment and gender equality, in a parley with Knesset Subcommittee to Combat Prostitution and Human Trafficking chairwoman Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid).

In addition, the delegation will hold discussions with MKs from all of the House’s factions on topics including shared security challenges between Africa and Israel, led by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet chief. Knesset Director-General Albert Sachaorvitch will talk about making the Knesset accessible for the disabled, and the Knesset’s sustainability projects.

On Wednesday, the delegation will visit cybersecurity and agricultural technology companies and tour Jerusalem, including Yad Vashem, the City of David, the Western Wall and its tunnels, the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

In the last three years, Edelstein has worked to expand the Knesset’s international relations and has signed cooperation agreements with 20 parliaments, including five African countries: Rwanda, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoir, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The visit comes after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Kenya this week, his third to Africa in the past year and a half. During the visit, Netanyahu announced that Israel would open an embassy in Rwanda.