Israel Allies Foundation names first African regional director
The Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) has appointed its first African regional director to mobilize support for Israel through faith-based diplomacy and expand pro-Israel parliamentary activity throughout the continent.The appointee, Bishop Scott Mwanza, has served as the external director of the Zambian Parliamentary Israel Allies Caucus since its inception in 2018. He has been active in uniting and coordinating the other African Israel Allies Caucuses in South Africa, Malawi, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
He is currently setting up caucuses in Nigeria and Congo Brazzaville, and is in the initial stages of discussion with a dozen other African countries – including Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Mozambique.“First and foremost, I want to thank God for this appointment and I wish to use this appointment to effectively coordinate the current African Caucuses to achieve the desired mandate to fight antisemitism and BDS and to support the existence of the State of Israel, including at UN votes,” Mwanza said. “I also plan to reach out to more African nations to establish new Israel Allies Parliamentary Caucuses.”In February, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a trip to Uganda that he is looking into opening an embassy in Jerusalem. The IAF played a key role in the president’s decision.“On a spiritual level, Uganda regards Israel as the mother of Christianity,” Pastor Drake Kanaabo, who ministers at the Redeemed of the Lord Evangelistic Church Makerere in Kampala, Uganda, told The Jerusalem Post. “Ugandan Christians are no longer standing on one leg for Israel, but two – in prayer and action. Israel is the only first-world country that is near Uganda and Africa.”For years, Evangelical Christians from the United States have been traveling to Uganda, spreading the messages of the Bible and Christianity, and influencing policy in the African country.
Museveni is an Evangelical Christian. A 2009 report by NPR reported on ties between Museveni and the American fundamentalist Christian organization The Fellowship, which founded the National Prayer Breakfast in the US.Kanaabo said it is important that Uganda open its embassy in Jerusalem “because of our past good relationship with the State of Israel.”IAF also worked closely with leaders in Guatemala to reopen its embassy in Jerusalem in May 2018.The IAF coordinates a network of 40 Israel Allies caucuses worldwide, including the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, and caucuses in Europe, Latin America, Australia and Africa. Regional directors and coordinators currently exist for Israel, Europe and Latin America. Africa has been without a regional leader until now.“Bishop Mwanza is a well-respected and tireless advocate for the Jewish state,” said IAF president Josh Reinstein. “We are honored to have him join the IAF team in order to oversee and expand the efforts of faith-based diplomacy in Africa.”
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