Israel Marks 60th Anniversary of MASHAV: How Israeli Tech Is Helping Underdeveloped Nations

WASHINGTON – If you’ve used WAZE navigating system during your daily commute, you’ve experienced a snippet of Israeli technology.

From drip irrigation to the USB drive, Israeli technology is used around the world.

The efforts to share those technological advances as well as humanitarian work with the world are due in part to MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.

MASHAV began in 1958 under Golda Meir and Prime Minister Ben Gurion. Under their “training of trainers” method, MASHAV teaches other nations by sharing their “tested methodologies.”

When MASHAV began, the state of Israel was only 8 years old.

During a speech at the Atlantic Council, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer admitted its objective was due in part to the need for building alliances.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities, and I believe that we are only seeing the beginning of what Israel is going to accomplish through MASHAV in helping countries around the world,” Dermer said.

But he also says its accomplishments in assisting underdeveloped nations is undeniable.

“It’s an ability that Israel has to help these countries improve their lives, protect their vital infrastructure and improve quality of life of their people,” Dermer said. “You can have that in many places in Africa – you have it in Rwanda, we have it in Ghana in terms of childhood education, you have it in sustainable development in Kenya.”

Its latest venture works to teach Ethiopians how to develop and distribute avocados.

Now Ethiopia is becoming a major exporter of avocados to European nations.

Ambassador Gil Haskel says Israel is perfectly poised to share its knowledge with struggling nations due in part to its own beginnings and its brutal landscape.

“We are surrounded by hostile neighbors; we have no natural resources – the only thing we have plenty of is the human mind and human will,” Haskel said.

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