An international defence exhibition and conference (IDEC) to enhance the capability of participants to address Africa’s security challenges is underway in Accra.
The two-day event, which is also aimed at improving combined combat operations and regional development initiatives on the continent, is on the theme: “Strengthening international collaboration to combat terrorism and transnational organised crimes.”
It is being participated by Defence Chiefs of Staff and senior officers and executives of security agencies and global partners, as well as advanced solution providers in the field of military technology and manufacturing.
The delegates are from Brazil, Italy, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Senegal.
The rest are Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Uganda, among other countries.
Military gear, including weapons and vehicles, as well as defence technological tools, such as drones and communication equipment, are also on display at the event.
The Dubai-based Great Minds Events and Exhibitions organised the event, in partnership with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GoGMI).
The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, called for effective collaboration among armed forces on the continent and their counterparts around the globe to deal with terrorism and transnational crimes.
He also said establishing strong cooperation and agreement among states worldwide would facilitate mutual legal assistance and extradition to help in the prosecution of cases transcending national borders.
According to him, transnational organised crimes presented great challenge to the rule of law, economic and social development and the protection of human rights and security, as countries usually had to readjust on trade, economic growth and development after terrorist incursions.
The minister said political turbulence and corruption continued to hinder Africa’s economic development and technological innovation.
“It is, therefore, important that we build on the endeavours of Africa’s armed forces to enhance combined capabilities to counter the insecurities that plague the continent.
“Insecurity directly affects the public financing capabilities of states and can obstruct economic development through tax evasion.
“Our gathering here today is because our countries’ armed forces and security architecture have a huge stake in dealing with matters governing regional instabilities and security,” Mr Nitiwul said.
The minister also said the measures and strategies put in place to revive economies across the African region would largely depend on how countries cooperated and collaborated to eradicate the menace of transnational crimes and terrorism, adding: “International trade cannot flourish without a secure sub-regional peace and security.”
“My expectation is that concrete networks will be established at the sub-regional, continental and global levels to integrate our strategies and efforts at holistically dealing with these threats,” he added.
Mr Nitiwul expressed the hope that the delegates would come up with meaningful and workable solutions to issues of transnational organised crime, terrorism and related threats to global peace and security.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral Seth Amoama, said combating transnational crimes required a multi-dimensional strategy that safeguarded the citizenry and broke the financial strength of criminals and terrorist networks.
Such collaboration, he added, disrupted illicit traffic networks, defeated transnational crime organisations, fought corruption, strengthened the rule of law, bolstered judicial systems and improved transparency.
“The major outcomes that we expect from this conference and exhibition, in line with the theme, are a common understanding of the problem and developing a regional and international framework to deal, in particular, with the challenges of terrorism and transnational organised crimes, “ Vice-Admiral Amoama said.
For his part, the Managing Partner at Great Minds Event, Noel Greenway, said peace and security had become a necessary tool for every nation, and that it could only be achieved through collaborations.
IDEC, he said, provided an ideal platform for global defence suppliers to showcase their latest products and services and also meet defence buyers to negotiate fresh supplies.