Online community launched to build ties between Africa and Israel

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An online community – Israel Africa Hub – has been launched with the goal of building a joint ecosystem between Israel and the African continent.

Israel Africa Hub has been launched by Fundz, an Israeli startup that focuses on microfunding and guiding startups in emerging markets in Africa and Asia team.

The online community will be paid to ensure users are serious, with members having access to a broad platform built to encourage learning, guidance and face-to-face partnerships.

“This is something that is necessary and long overdue,” said David Mark, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Fundz and co-founder of Israel Africa Hub.

“Israel has always had a connection to Africa. After all in the 1950s and 1960s we helped with transferring much of our water conservation technology to African countries. In many ways we are doing that still today. There is a unique drive in Africa that Israelis recognise and it reminds them of themselves.”

Along with the networking community, Israel Africa Hub will also host live meetups focused on specific industries and growing trends.

“I really feel and have already seen that dialogue and joint interests can and will bring Israelis and Africans together. We want to build this ecosystem and help each other change the world. We have shared values and a desire to use technology to overcome challenges,” Mark said.

Co-founder Sean Obedih agreed Africa and Israel have a long history, with technology providing a new opportunity to enhance and grow that relationship.

“Technology has played a significant part in helping Israel build a modern society and a high technology culture that keeps churning out world class technology companies. African companies have also started producing fantastic companies by solving local challenges and some have scaled globally or internationally,” he said.

“We believe that by leveraging technology and supporting the fast growing technology ecosystems across the continent we can create a very significant impact by allowing entrepreneurs and investors to interact, exchange ideas, co-invest and collaborate on new ideas or scale existing enterprises.”

Disrupt Africa reported in June on the approaching launch of Fundz, which blends a social media platform for a broad community and recurring micro­payments to selected startups. The platform is not equity-based but rather running on a sponsorship model.

Mark said at the time the startup had soft launched the community aspect and would be going live with the funding part in the next 60 days, with Fundz hoping startups from Africa and Asia will make up the majority of users.

“I spent a summer in Ghana 15 years ago. I noticed an area that if given the right tools could leap into the 21st century. Being in Israel has taught me to not only focus on ourselves, but to take our drive, know how, and vision to other areas of the world. For me this was naturally the emerging markets, most specifically Africa,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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