Israel Allies Caucus chairmen meet PM Netanyahu at IAF Chairmen's conference
Israel Allies Caucus chairmen meet PM Netanyahu at IAF Chairmen's conferenceAvi Hayun

Following the recent appointment of Bishop Scott Mwanza as the Africa Director of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), the network of parliamentary Israel Allies Caucuses is expanding in Africa.

New caucuses have been formed in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as Congo Brazzaville, each chaired by a leading parliamentarian who is passionate about strengthening legislative support for Israel on the basis of Judeo-Christian values.

Member of Parliament Rev. Dr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai chairs the Nigerian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus. He is an experienced legislator who won the National Merit Award of Impact from President Muhammadu Buhari and Best Representative of the Year in 2018-2019. Upon receiving official approval for the Israel Allies Caucus from the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Ossai expressed his “commitment to champion legislation and resolutions that will promote religious liberty and will prevent antisemitism or any sentiments against Israel as a nation.”

He thanked the Speaker for pledging support for the caucus's needs. Due to the global lockdown, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nigerian Parliament is presently in recess as part of governmental efforts to contain and prevent the spread of the virus. In the meantime, the caucus members are designing strategies for membership recruitment, programs and political engagement in addition to developing grassroots partnerships with pro-Israel Christian movements.

MP Jeremy Lissouba, Chairman of the Congo Brazzaville Caucus, represents the third-largest urban district in the country. Last year he was voted one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans in the category of Law and Governance by the Africa Youth Awards. Upon accepting the position as Chairman, Lissouba highlighted the shared character traits embodied by many Israeli and African citizens.

“Few in history have shown, in the face of oppression and existential peril, such resilience and fortitude as have the people of Africa and Israel. Instead of conceding to rancour, we are rather blessed with a unique responsibility to champion peace, tolerance, mutual respect and forgiveness amongst all peoples. In the hope to see these ideals fulfilled in our respective lands, we proudly stand with our allies and friends in Israel,” Lissouba said.

MP Henriette Wamu Ataminia, Chair of the DRC Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus, has been an active and well-connected legislator for 3 consecutive terms over the past 5 years. She expressed her commitment to help strengthen the global voice for Israel.

“We will work to seek out opportunities to propose resolutions and legislation in support for Israel and will stand firmly against any antisemitic and anti-Zionist activities,” Ataminia said.

IAF Africa Director Bishop Scott Mwanza is in the planning stages of coordinating official launch events for each of the new caucuses in their respective countries in order to bring local attention to them and encourage their work. Additionally, a convention for representatives from all the 11 Israel Allies Caucuses in Africa is scheduled for the fall so that the caucuses can work together in order to increase the impact of their diplomatic efforts in support for Israel.

Issues to be focused on include Israel receiving observer status at the African Union, developing support for Israel at the United Nations, and promoting the move of African embassies to Jerusalem.

“There is tremendous support for Israel in Christian countries across Africa. Through the work of our network of Israel Allies Caucuses in African parliaments we are about to see the full effect of faith- based diplomacy,” said Israel Allies Foundation President Josh Reinstein.