Sunday 14 April 2024

IDEC to boost $20bn West Africa’s defence spending

Dubai, UAE, July 28, 2022

The first International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEC) that will take place in Ghana’s capital city Accra from October 11-12 aims to strengthen international and regional cooperation to combat terrorism and organised crimes.
Hosted by Ghana Armed Forces, the two-day international exhibition and conference that will be held at the Burma Hall within the Ghana Armed Forces Headquarters in Accra, will bring international defence equipment manufacturers, technology providers, procurement officials as well as other industry stakeholders who aim to contribute towards the $20 billion annual defence market, a statement said. 
Welcoming the regional and international defence delegates, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Defence Staff, Ghana, said: “I bring you warm greetings from Accra, Ghana. As you may be aware, global peace and security continue to deteriorate amid the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and the current Russia-Ukraine crisis. These events have had a significant impact on livelihoods and human security, particularly on the African continent. 
“The West African sub region in particular is currently experiencing a surge in activities by armed groups. I am happy to note that several steps have been taken to deal with these threats. However, a lot remains to be done, that is why I, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces wish to invite you to the maiden International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Accra from 11th to 12th  October 2022 under the theme Strengthening International Collaboration to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crimes. 
“I am by this invitation calling on all stakeholders in academia, media, industry, defence and other government security apparatus as well as the international community to converge in Accra to find practical solutions to the litany of security challenges facing the region and beyond. It is my hope that by the end of the 2nd Day event our collective aspirations would be achieved.”
At stake is the safety and security of 422 million people of West Africa with a combined GDP of $659 billion. The rising cost of terrorism in Africa prompting the governments to not only upgrade the security capabilities of each country, but also to increase cross-border security cooperation.
“The International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEC), hosted by the Ghana Armed Forces in Accra will build upon the endeavours of Africa’s Armed Forces to enhance combined capabilities to counter the continent’s leading security challenges. This unprecedented event will showcase the importance of integrating strategies and solutions across land, sea and air to solve challenges such as extremism, cross-border crime and maritime security in this region,” Air Vice Marshal Mike Kwame Appiah Agyekum, Deputy Chief of Staff (Admin), General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces and Head of the Organising Committee, said.
“The overarching objective is to improve regional development and security by promoting defence partnership, both regionally and internationally. Through a series of unique platforms, the two-day event aims to assemble Africa’s Defence Chiefs of Staff and senior officers and executives from security agencies and global partners and advanced solution providers to improve combined combat operations and regional development initiatives.”
A large number of defence procurement officials of the African countries will participate at the event to check out the latest defence equipment, technologies, systems and services – before making a purchase decision as the defence forces are looking at acquiring the latest defence equipment to strengthen their capabilities and reinforce regional security.
IDEC provides an ideal platform for the global defence suppliers to showcase their latest products and services and to meet the defence buyers to negotiate fresh supplies. The two-day event creates a unique platform to establish and strengthen cross-border cooperation among the regional armed forces – land, navy and air forces.
In 2021 military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa totaled $20.1 billion, 4.1 percent higher than in 2020, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a global peace watchdog. The increase in 2021 was the first in sub-Saharan Africa since 2014 and was primarily driven by Nigeria, the biggest spender in the subregion. 
“Between 2020 and 2021, Nigeria raised its military spending by 56 percent, to reach $4.5 billion. The increase came in response to Nigeria’s various security challenges, such as attacks by extremists and separatist insurgents,” SIPRI said in a latest report published in April 2022.
In 2021 Kenya, Uganda and Angola were, respectively, the third, fourth and fifth largest military spenders in sub-Saharan Africa, it said in a report. Over the decade 2012–21, Kenya and Uganda have both faced insurgencies that have influenced their military spending. 
“Between 2012 and 2021, military expenditure rose by 203 percent in Uganda but remained relatively stable in Kenya (down by 4.5 percent),” it said.
The event will be attended by more than 5 Chiefs of Defence Staff, 8 Ministers and Secretaries of Defence, 6 Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 40 VIP Speakers, 60 Sponsors and Exhibitors from 60 countries.
Some of the main themes of the IDEC conference, include terrorism and counter-terrorism, transnational organised crime, maritime security, cybercrime, advancements in surveillance and monitoring and border security.
The organisers of major events such as the Africa Maritime Security Forum, the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference, the Air Force Africa Forum and the International Conference of Crime Prevention- The Great Minds Event Management have been officially appointed to support the organising committee along with the non-profit think-tank Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute.--TradeArabia News Service


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