UN-HABITAT and Israel’s National Agency for International Development Cooperation – MASHAV have renewed their cooperation agreement.
At a ceremony at the weekend held at the Nairobi residence of Israeli ambassador to Kenya Mr. Jacob Keidar, UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka and the Isareli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Avigdor Lieberman appended their signatures to the document.
The new Memorandum of Understanding is a follow up to a similar one Mrs. Tibaijuka signed when she visited Israel in 2005, when both parties agreed to collaborate on training urban professionals, development of training methods and tools, and sharing good practice.
In her speech, Mrs. Tibaijuka disclosed that since the 2005 MoU, “we have come a long way in the implementation of the MoU. We began collaborating through the involvement of an Israeli expert in our training activities. The first such activity where a MASHAV expert participated in our training took place in May 2006 in Nyeri, Kenya. This was a training course on "Local Economic Development" for practitioners from Eastern Africa,”.
The Executive Director said the agreement had developed into a higher form of collaboration where the Weitz Centre of Development Studies, based in Rhovot, Israel, and UN-HABITAT staff began exchanging information on their training activities. The centre started tapping into UN-HABITAT’s network and database for selecting course participants. This first happened in October 2006, when Weitz Centre for Development Studies conducted a course on “Municipal Planning and Service Delivery Systems” for participants from the East and South African region.
Mr. Lieberman expressed his government’s satisfaction with the cooperation they were receiving from UN-HABITAT including training activities for various groups of professionals. Currently, such training on “Gender in Local Government” is currently under way in Israel with some 24 participants from 18 countries.