Earlier this month, the conference and exhibition gathered more than 700 security experts, including 350 military officers from the region, 26 expert speakers and more than 30 international exhibitors showcased the latest defence and security technology.
During his opening keynote address, Dr Mwinyi called on the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) states to join forces in fighting terrorism, which is on the increase in the region.
Tanzania key partner
The Tanzanian People’s Defence Force was a key partner in the event which also hosted militaries and government representatives as well as security experts from Burundi, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia to address key landward and maritime defence and security issues. More than 30 countries worldwide were represented.
“The governments in the region are eager to arm themselves, not just with knowledge but also with equipment to strengthen their defence infrastructure,” says Tracey-Lee Zurcher, event director of Land Forces East Africa (landforces-eastafrica.com). She adds: “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 defence and security capability as well as humanitarian support capacity.”
Other leading speakers and panellists at Land Forces East Africa included:
• General Davis Adolph Mwamunyange, Chief of Defence Forces, Tanzania People’s Defence Force
• General Salim Mustafa Kijuu, Commander of Land Forces, Tanzania People’s Defence Force, Tanzania
• Lieutenant General Paul Ignace Mella, Force Commander, UNAMID
• Didacus Bazirakye Kaguta, Senior Peace and Security Officer, East African Community
• Major General David Muhoozi, Commander of Land Forces, Uganda People’s Defence Force
• Major General Ngewa Mukala, Chief of Naval Forces, Kenya Defence Force
• Major General Joseph Ndayishimiye, Chief of Land Forces, Burundi
• Dawie Griesel, Acting General Manager: Acquisitions, Armscor, South Africa.
“We had more than double the expected attendance”, says the Land Forces East Africa director,“which is an indication of the need for such regional gatherings to discuss issues that affect every aspect of daily life of a nation, that of peace and security. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.”
Compliments from various delegates and visitors at the event:
• “It was an inspirational experience for me, arising from the presentations and state of the art military exhibitions.” Didacus Bazirakye Kaguta, Senior Peace and Security Officer, East African Community
• “It is a good forum to create regional military leaders synergy. It also enables the regional actors to come into a conclusion of “our position in tackling regional security challenges.” - Ngewa Mukala, Chief of the Kenyan Navy
• “Excellent! Most of the topics covered challenges which need to be solved by each department” Jane Lugano, Tanzania National Parks
• “A very well-organised and informative defence and security event” Major General Charles Muzanila, Director, Mzinga Corporation
• “An excellent opportunity to share views and opinions with people of other disciplines and to exchange information and experience.” - Lt Col Deon Liebenberg, South African Army
• “The passion and service showed towards both the delegates and exhibitors was great. Your constant communication kept everyone informed and it showed your expertise in hosting an international event at the highest standards. Speaking to the delegates, they had the highest praises for your organization. Looking forward to your next event.” - Deon Swanepoel, Halo Technology.