Israel had an observer status the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor to the African Union After a two-decade absence, Israel is returning to the African Union as a member with an observer status, Jerusalem announced on Thursday. Israel’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Alaly Adamso submitted Israel’s charter to the continental body, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. Israel had an observer status the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor to the African Union, which was dissolved in 2002. The Jewish state has diplomatic relations with 46 of the 55 member states. “This is a day of celebration for Israeli-Africa relations,” Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said. “The diplomatic achievement is the result of great efforts by the Foreign Ministry, the African Division and Israeli embassies on the continent," Lapid added. "This is a corrective step to the anomaly that was in place for almost two decades and it represents an important part of bolstering and fortifying the fabric of Israel’s foreign relations.” The upgrade of ties between Israel and the continental body would allow all parties to collaborate in the war against terrorism raging throughout the continent, as well as against the coronavirus pandemic.