Abigail Klein Leichman
September 27, 2023

Africa faces challenges including income inequality, food insecurity and inadequate infrastructure. In addition, the continent is experiencing climate-change effects such as higher temperatures, droughts, shifting rainfall patterns and weather instability, making the reduction of carbon emissions an urgent goal. 

“Africa stands to benefit significantly from Israel’s expertise in scientific and technological innovations,” says Dana Manor, deputy director at SID Israel (Society for International Development), an umbrella organization encompassing about 170 Israeli entities working in international development and humanitarian aid.

“By sharing knowledge and solutions, we can equip African countries with the tools they need to tackle environmental, water, health and agricultural challenges head-on.” 

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
A mobile eye clinic. Photo courtesy of Eye from Zion

Manor points out that Israeli NGOs have emerged as significant players in addressing nearly all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, aligning their efforts with the global agenda to achieve a more sustainable and equitable future. 

SID-Israel provided examples below, categorized by SDG.

No Poverty; Zero Hunger

Agricultural initiatives implemented by CultivAid – Knowledge Based Development, Fair Planet, Africa 2030, JDC and Engineers Without Borders – Israel empower local farmers and provide food security and economic opportunities. 

Activities such as EwB-IL’s latest project in Kenya to produce superfood supplements spirulina and duckweed; Africa 2030’s local spirulina farm and nutrition center for malnourished children in Democratic Republic of the Congo; and CultivAid opening the first Israel-Kenya Don Bosco Agricultural Innovation and Technology Center in partnership with American NGO Water 4 Mercy, contribute to breaking the cycle of malnutrition and poverty among smallholder farmers. 

Good Health and Wellbeing 

Save a Child’s Heart, Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic, Operation Ethiopia, Bilu Uganda, Eye from Zion, NALA Foundation and Bringing Lives into the World are examples of Israeli NGOs promoting health in Africa. 

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
IsraAID and Save a Child’s Heart teamed up to screen dozens of children for heart disease in South Sudan, July 2023. Photo courtesy of IsraAID 

They provide lifesaving surgeries, medical assistance, disease prevention and psychiatric care to vulnerable communities, improving maternal and neonatal healthcare and enhancing access to quality healthcare services.  

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
NALA Foundation sponsors a community project for schistosomiasis elimination in Ethiopia. Photo by Marcus Perkins/Merck 

Quality Education

In the realm of education and community development, organizations like HelpUp, Project TEN and Shanita work alongside local communities to establish educational opportunities and social resilience projects, fostering sustainable future leadership and enhancing educational access and infrastructure for underprivileged children. 

Gender Equality

Many Israeli NGOs in Africa, such as AJEEC NISPED, HalevAfrica, Africa 2030 and Project TEN, engage in projects that empower women through vocational training, economic opportunities and education. 

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
Africa 2030 helped bring fresh water to a community in Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo courtesy of SID Israel

Clean Water and Sanitation

NGOs including Innovation: Africa bring Israeli solar, water, and agricultural technologies to rural African villages, providing access to clean water and light for millions. 


Engineers Without Borders – Israel collaborates with local partners in Kenya and Tanzania to improve water security by establishing water-harvesting systems to address clean drinking water challenges. 

Affordable and Clean Energy

Innovation: Africa and Eilat-Eilot are among Israeli organizations providing renewable energy solutions to rural African communities. By bringing Israeli solar technologies and off-grid innovations, they increase access to affordable and clean energy. 

Decent Work and Economic Growth

CultivAid – Knowledge Based Development, Brit Olam, KKL-JNF and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies are among organizations empowering African farmers and communities, fostering economic growth and sustainable livelihoods. 

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) sent Israeli experts to Chad in August to exchange agricultural knowledge and knowhow on date cultivation. Photo courtesy of KKL-JNF

Reduced Inequality

Israeli NGOs such as CoCuDi and Tevel b’Tzedek work toward reducing inequality by promoting tolerance, respect for cultural diversity, and community development. Their initiatives aim to bridge gaps between communities and promote social cohesion. 

Responsible Consumption and Production

Fair Planet and Volcani International Partnerships are examples of Israeli groups focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems, supporting responsible production practices and promoting environmentally friendly approaches. 

Climate Action

Tevel b’Tzedek contributes to climate action by implementing sustainable technologies and agricultural practices that reduce the carbon footprint and enhance climate resilience. 

Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

IsraAID, SmartAID and Israeli Flying Aid play significant roles in conflict-affected areas, responding to emergencies and providing support for vulnerable communities. They work towards building strong institutions and promoting peacebuilding efforts.

Partnerships for the Goals 

“All the NGOs mentioned contribute to SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, as they collaborate with local governments, organizations and communities in Africa, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and knowledge transfer,” says Manor.

“Through these partnerships, they work towards achieving the SDGs and building a more sustainable and resilient Africa.” 

Israeli NGOs by country of operation

Burundi: SmartAID 

Cameroon: AJEEC NISPED, Innovation: Africa 

Chad: Israeli Flying AID

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Africa 2030, Innovation: Africa 

Ethiopia: CultivAid – Knowledge Based Development, Fair Planet, HelpUp, IsraAID, NALA Foundation, Operation Ethiopia, Project TEN, SmartAID, JDC

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
Beetroot harvesting in Haramaya, Ethiopia, with Fair Planet. Photo by Hadas Katz

Ghana: Gye Nyame Mobile Clinic, SmartAID, JDC

Ivory Coast: Save a Child’s Heart

Kenya: Brit Olam, KKL-JNF, The Arava Institute (collaboration), CultivAid, Engineers Without Borders – Israel, Eilat-Eilot, IsraAID, SmartAID  

Malawi: Innovation: Africa, IsraAID, SmartAID, JDC    

Mozambique: IsraAID  

Rwanda: Fair Planet

Senegal: Innovation: Africa  

South Sudan: IsraAID, Israeli Flying Aid, Save a Child’s Heart, SmartAID  

Tanzania: CultivAid – Knowledge Based Development, Fair Planet, HalevAfrica, HelpUp, Save a Child’s Heart  

Uganda: Bilu Uganda, CoCuDi, HelpUp, Innovation: Africa, IsraAID, Shanita  

Zambia: Tevel b’Tzedek

Zanzibar: Save a Child’s Heart

Zimbabwe: SmartAID  

Various African countries on demand: Eye from Zion, Volcani International Partnerships

The Israeli groups improving and saving lives in Africa
Eye Zion founder Nati Marcus examining children in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Eye From Zion

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