New Israeli Ambassador writes to Ghanaians, tells story about Ethiopia

Ami Mehl - Israeli Ambassador to Ghana
Ami Mehl – Israeli Ambassador to Ghana

On Tuesday August 11 2015, I presented my credentials to H.E. John Dramani Mahama, the president of the Republic of Ghana.

It is an honor for me to represent Israel here in Ghana, and it is a great pleasure to be here in Ghana, to meet with the lovely people, the rich culture, the tasty fruits and to explore your beautiful country. I am very excited.

I choose to come to Africa, more specifically to Ghana, with my wife Yael. We have special ties to Africa. I grew up with the story of my father, who, as an eleven year old boy in the southern part of Poland, wanted to liberate Ethiopia from the Italian occupation. He was caught at the railway station trying to sneak to the train and was sent back home. He did not make it, but I grew up with the idea of freedom.

My wife grew up with a father who was an agronomist, because he wanted to feed the world so there will no longer be hunger. He was sent by MASHAV (Israel’s Agency for International Development Coorporation) to Tanzania for two years when she was very young, and once again by the FAO to Zambia, for another two years, at the end of the seventies.

Africa is in our blood and therefore we are here.

Israel is not a very rich country. Up until recently, we had almost no natural resources. We had to solve our problems in various fields; in agriculture, in water management and treatment, in medicine, in alternative energy, in security and so on. We are ready to share our knowledge and our technologies. We have a saying in Hebrew that ‘we are not rich enough to buy cheap’. Our technologies may not be the cheapest ones, but they are excellent and reliable. Our companies have been working here in Ghana since the independence and they are still here, taking an important part in the development of Ghana.

When they embark on projects here, they also supply work to the local citizens, thereby, increasing the employment in Ghana.

The relations between Ghana and Israel have improved very much in the last four years, since Israel re-opened its embassy in Accra, due to the wonderful work of my predecessor,

Ambassador Sharon Bar-li. It does not satisfy me however.

I have to keep those relations at least as good as they are, and try to improve them to the best possible level. I will do my best to achieve that goal- to develop the relations in the fields of economy, culture, academia and politics.

I am very excited to be here. I came with my wife who has a PhD in the field of folklore and wants to explore your rich culture, which is unknown to us. I can reassure that at the end of my mission here, I will know Ghana very well from the grassroots to the top. I can guarantee you that I am not only a diplomat to Ghana, but first and foremost a friend.

Thank you.

Mr. Ami Mehl – Israeli Ambassador to Ghana

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