Wilson Center Experts
Craig P Taylor is a PhD student and research assistant at the Universitaet der Bundeswehr Muenchen (University of the German Federal Armed Forces, Munich) researching Israeli aid to sub-Saharan Africa between 1955 and 1974. Educated at the University of London where he gained a BA in Modern and Contemporary History and Jacobs Universty Bremen where he completed a MA in Modern Global History and spent one year as a PhD student, Craig has also spent a considerable amount of time living and studying in the Middle East, including two months of intensive Hebrew language training at the University of Haifa. Craig's interests include Israeli development policies, Israeli foreign aid programs, the Middle East Peace Process and the role of NGOs and transnational epistemic communities in development policy, as well as North American history, contemporary British history and global history.
Foreign aid and Israel are almost exclusively discussed in terms of U.S support to the State of Israel. Little researched and under-discussed is the Israeli development aid program to sub-Saharan Africa between 1955 – 1974. Essential, and for many nations crucial, to the growth of these newly independent states, Israel's foreign aid policy had Zionist roots and stemmed from the beliefs of Golda Meir who believed it was Israel's duty to help these newly emerging nations rise out of poverty, and develop into economically successful independent states, just as Israel had. Israeli initiatives resulted in unprecedented co-operation between Israel and Africa, including the building of infrastructure, joint economic ventures, technical assistance, and the training of African students in agricultural techniques both in Africa and Israel. This project looks at the actual assistance projects and development programs of the Israeli government, Israeli businesses and Israeli citizens, including knowledge transfers and technical assistance and it further attempts to connect the activities of Israelis to international organisations and transnational epistemic communities.