Until the mid-1970s, Israel had a strong agricultural orientation. In order to adapt to changing geopolitical, market and climatic conditions, a combination of sophisticated applied science, and rugged determination enabled Israel to make the transition to an industrial, hi-tech economy.
Like most of Israeli innovation, technology was born out of necessity. Agriculture was not abandoned, but was transformed along with the rest of the country. Israel has come a long way since then.
The fact that representatives from over 40 countries convened in Israel for four days last week to discover technologies in agriculture - involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, drones, etc., - testifies to Israel as being one of the leading countries in the world in the branch of agriculture.
One of the most outstanding examples is an NGO, founded by Sivan Ya’ari, with a mission to bring Israeli solar and water technologies to rural African villages. Since it’s beginning in 2008, “Innovation: Africa” has installed solar energy, water and agricultural technology in more than 250 rural villages across 10 African countries!
In addition, the NGO is working with UNICEF to provide clean water and bring light to 35 more medical centres to internally displaced peoples’ camps and refugee camps across the Cameroon.
While the rest of the world takes for granted the accessing of water by turning on the tap, and flicking a switch to lighten the darkness, these African villagers and camps had neither. Without the basic necessities in life, they had little hope of a better life to break the cycle of poverty.
The latest produce “Innovation: Africa” has developed is a small device which includes all the components (produced in Israel) that are needed to provide solar power to an entire school or a medical centre. This long-lasting and durable solar system will provide energy to any facility for more than 10 years with no maintenance required.
The innovation does not end with the installation of these life-changing systems. The NGO has also developed a remote monitoring technology which enables them to efficiently monitor all the solar systems and pumps throughout the villages. If anything breaks, they get an alert and the local team fixes it.
Technology has its place, of course, but Israel’s objective has always been the human element - to help make the world a better place. The “Innovation: Africa” website says this better:
”The Israeli heart and mind just transformed the lives of 1 million Africans forever.”