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  • Chidozie Uzoezie

Day 2 of 3rd Africa Airforce Forum Highlights Strategic Insights and Collaborative Initiatives



The second day of the 3rd Africa Airforce Forum was marked by a series of strategic discussions, insightful presentations, and enhanced networking opportunities. Hosted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the forum continues to serve as a crucial platform for stakeholders in the African aerospace and defense sectors.


This year’s forum marks a pivotal moment in the realm of African aerospace, air power, and collective security and marks the momentous 60th anniversary of the Nigerian Air Force that will feature a ceremonial parade and aerial display on May 25, 2024, at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna.


The day began with opening remarks from the Forum Chairman, setting the stage for a session focused on "Aerospace Innovation and the Global Fight Against Terrorism, Violent Extremism, and Insurgencies." This session highlighted the critical role of strategic partnerships in enhancing regional security.


Industry leaders presented cutting-edge solutions and advancements that are shaping the future of aerospace and defense. David Fasching, Sales Manager Africa at Diamond Aircraft, discussed the company's special mission concept and integrated training solutions.


Marc Dusseau, Regional Sales Director EMEA at Jet Aviation, and Jaehong (Jake) Kim, Vice President at Korea Aerospace Industries, showcased the capabilities of their respective organizations in elevating operational effectiveness.


Sevket Unal, Vice President at Havelsan, emphasized the importance of holistic solutions in strengthening air forces. This was followed by a presentation from Jose Aberto Mba, Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, who shared insights on the role of strategic partnerships in regional security based on experiences from the Gulf of Guinea.


A key highlight of the day was the panel moderated by AVM. AO Adole that included distinguished air force leaders such as BG Hugues PICHEVIN from France, Major General Joaquim Filinto Silva Ferreira from Guinea-Bissau, Colonel Hermann William AVOCANH from Benin, and Colonel-major KOUAHO N’GUETTA Julien from Côte d’Ivoire. They shared their views on aerospace innovations and the global fight against terrorism, violent extremism, and insurgencies, emphasizing the necessity of strategic partnerships.


The forum facilitated extensive networking opportunities during the breaks, allowing delegates to visit the exhibition and engage with industry experts.


Further industry insights were provided by speakers such as Lu Jianjun from CETC International, Chukwuerika Achum, CEO of Vivajets, and Rotimi Makanjuola, COO of Caverton, who discussed ]support capabilities for the Nigerian Air Force. Abdelkader Belhi from PLM Resources GmbH and Asad Kamal from Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) also presented their perspectives on technological advancements and defense solutions.


The events reiterated the key messages from day one where the Honourable Minister of Defence, His Excellency Mohammed Badaru Abubakar CON mni, delivered an impactful speech at the inauguration, commending the Nigerian Air Force on its 60th anniversary and the successful hosting of the forum. He highlighted the importance of international cooperation and partnerships in enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of the Nigerian Air Force. The Minister also underscored the critical role of the Air Force in countering security threats and promoting regional stability.


Reflecting on the opening day, Air Marshal HB Abubakar, Chief of the Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force, stated, "The 3rd Africa Airforce Forum has underscored the vital importance of strategic partnerships and innovation in our collective efforts to address security challenges. Through collaboration and shared knowledge, we can enhance our capabilities and ensure a safer and more secure future for all."


The over 40 countries participating span the African continent as well as partners from around the world. Main sponsors for the event include Pakistan Aeronautical Complex KARMA, Aerospace Long-march International Trade Co., Ltd, CATIC, Taraba State Government, Government of Enugu State, Rivers State Government, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria, GIDS, CETC, Borno State, CPMIEC, Airbus, Embraer, Diamond Aircraft, Havelson, Jet Aviation, KAI, Go Beyond, Caverton, Leonardo, Dornier Aviation, Bauchi State, Nibor Enterprises and Viva Jets.


The forum aims to highlight the importance of collaborative efforts in leveraging airpower for stability and security across Africa. Attendees include professionals from Air Forces, Aviation Authorities, Law Enforcement, Ministries of Defense, and Interior industries.

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