Tanzania’s Minister of Defense and National Service, the Honorable Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, will open the upcoming conference of Land Forces of East Africa in Dar Es Salaam where more than 300 regional defense and military experts will gather to discuss security challenges facing the region.
The Tanzanian People’s Defense Force is a key partner in the event that is taking place from 15-16 of July. Other countries in the East African community include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi.
“The governments in the region are eager to arm themselves, not just with knowledge but also with equipment to strengthen their defense infrastructure,” said Tracey-Lee Zurcher, event director of Land Forces East Africa. “With recent political turbulence and an increase in maritime piracy and rebel force activity surrounding East Africa, local armed forces are facing the need to rapidly increase landward defense and security capability as well as humanitarian support capacity.”
Zurcher said that on their flagship defense events, Land Forces Africa and Maritime Coastal security Africa, have established a very specific need for similar high level, strategic and technical gatherings on a regional level. She added on that Tanzania People’s Defense Force is specifically looking at procuring equipment but they are proud to host militaries and government representatives from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi who will address key landward and maritime defense and security issues.
Military experts from South Africa, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Zambia have also been invited.
According to the Land Forces East Africa event director the East African region is becoming a focus area for the defense industry as the region’s defense budgets have growing by an average of 13.6 percent per year, which is five times the industry average.
Sub-Saharan Africa budgets rose by 18 percent in 2013 and defense spending among African nations is expected to surpass $46 billion by 2018. All of which present enormous long-term opportunities to suppliers of the defense industry.
The conference and exhibition will gather some 300 senior military officials, government stakeholders, and industry experts in the defense and security space. On Tuesday, July 15, the conference will feature general sessions and discussions on security challenges, regional collaboration, capacity building as well as strategic planning.
The second day, Wednesday, July 16, will offer separate sessions focused on either landward defense or maritime security.
The exhibition will feature more than 30 leading defense suppliers, including Denel, Otokar, and Armscor, who is bringing ten South African defense and security companies to showcase their solutions to the East African market.