A South African delegation led by Secretary for Defence Sam Gulube has participated in the inaugural Nigeria-South Africa Defence Industry Seminar (NIGSA) in Abuja, Nigeria. Seventeen South African companies took part in the seminar between 18 and 19 July at the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria, according to the Aerospace Maritime Defence Industries Association (AMD) of South Africa, which said the event showed defence cooperation is taken seriously by both nations.
“This seminar – the first of its kind for these two powerful African nations – focussed on establishing strategic partnerships with defence companies in Nigeria. South Africa looks at Nigeria as a key partner in Africa and we hope this event will increase future collaborations,” said Simphiwe Hamilton, executive director of AMD.
Besides AMD and Armscor, South African companies attending the seminar included DCD Protected Mobility, Denel Group, Turbomeca Africa, SAAB Grintek Defence, Paramount Group, Reutech Communications, CSIR, Floida Engineering Services, Integrated Convoy Protection – (REVA), Megaray Limited, Rippel Effect Systems, Twiga Services and Logistics, Thorax and Weatherhaven Africa.
“NIGSA is coming at a time when Africa was faced with serious challenges such terrorism, drug smuggling and human trafficking,” said Ambassador Danjuma Nanpon Sheni, Permanent Secretary, Nigerian Ministry of Defence. “The vital and historic seminar will examine our respective strengths, and articulate potentials between the two countries to enhance the performance and fruitful reserves to boost relations between our nations. This will ensure modernisation of defence industries in our countries and across Africa.”
In his address, South Africa’s Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, echoed his Nigerian counterpart’s sentiments. “The defence community was of critical importance to counter global threats and to ensure peace and security for socio-economic development to flourish,” he said. “Defence plays a key role in advanced research and technologies, which broaden economic development away from a reliance on raw materials. We need to build exchange programmes and share information, as well as training and research and development,” Dr Gulube said.
The seminar stems from the first official visit of Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, in March this year to South Africa and President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Nigeria shortly thereafter, at the invitation of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
At the time it was agreed that Nigeria would host the defence industry seminar, tagged Nigeria-South Africa (NIGSA) Inaugural Defence Industry Seminar, to be followed by a defence committee meeting. The meeting would focus on military technical corporation; defence exchange programmes and joint military exercises, training and research and development