Exhibition grown in importance
MONCh: Why has ShieldAfrica grown in importance?
ShieldAfrica: Africa is currently facing important political, economic and demographic challenges that require strong growth. But there is not development without security. Security is the prerequisite to Africa progress. Without security, Africa can’t attract the required investments to its development and perpetuate its growth.
With all the security challenges that African continent is addressing today, the exhibition has grown in importance. It presents all the necessary solutions to reinforce the African states security:
- to ensure necessary security to economic development
- to restore or maintain peace
- to prevent and combat natural and industrial disasters
- to ensure the safety of cities
- to develop necessary services for public institutions and private bodies.
MONCh: Who are delivering the keynote topics for each ShieldAfrica conference day?
ShieldAfrica: The day before the exhibition, on the 21st of January 2019, an international plenary conference in the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan. It is organised under the patronage of the Minister of State, Minister of Defence of Cote d’Ivoire. This conference will gather numerous players involved in the African development, and more particularly in the Security and Defence of the continent. Many Ministers of Interior and Ministers of Defence as well as representatives of the exhibiting companies will attend the conference to exchange their ideas about Security topics.
Among the speakers are:
- Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Interior Minister (Mauritania)
- Cyril Musila, Director of Studies at CHESD (Center for Advanced Strategy and Defense Studies), DRC
- Thomas Cantens, Head of the Research Unit – World Customs Organization
- Maxime Ahoyo, Maritime Prefect Captain (Benin) …
MONCh: What are the main reasons for exhibitors and visitors to participate in ShieldAfrica?
ShieldAfrica: Exhibitors from all over the world come to ShieldAfrica to present their products and solutions to help to African development and prosperity.
For 2019, among the countries already registered for the exhibition are 25 countries: South Africa (new national pavilion), Bulgaria (new national pavilion), China, Ivory Coast, USA, Israel, Kazakhstan, Turkey …all the continents are already represented!
The proportion of French exhibitors decreased comparing to the last year (it was 65% of French and 35% of international in 2017). At this moment we have 55% of French exhibitors and 45% of international. The show is becoming increasingly international.
Regarding professional visitors: we are expecting more than 3,000 attendees in 2019. They will come to ShieldAfrica to meet international manufacturers and to discover their products.
In addition to being a business place, ShieldAfrica is also a meeting place where all the decision makers: Official Delegations, experts, exhibitors, visitors, think tanks and journalists can exchange their ideas, thoughts, opinions regarding security and defence issues and future challenges. In this way, visitors and exhibitors come to ShieldAfrica to assist to the Conference.
MONCh: Where on the continent does ShieldAfrica see as having major procurement programmes in 2019-2020?
ShieldAfrica: ShieldAfrica can observe the main trends in international security and defence domain. We see that arms imports by African states decreased since 2013. Today, African countries search more for security solutions.
Among the countries that procure most of defence and security products are Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Cameroon and Ethiopia that is confirmed as well by SIPRI International report 2018.
MONCh: How does ShieldAfrica see the more than 50 nations on the continent addressing common problems?
ShieldAfrica: 54 African countries are addressing common problems such as increase in population density, natural disasters, increase in socio-economic inequalities, increase in crime rates, political instability…
To resolve these problems and to address the challenges, there are international organisations of political and economic cooperation. We invited to the exhibition and to the conference the representatives of all the international organisations present in Abidjan and in Africa such as AU, UNOCI, World Bank, IMF, FAO, European Union, ICRC, etc.
So, ShieldAfrica is an unmissable opportunity to discuss common problems as well as to exchange the experience of addressing the current challenges.
MONCh: How is the OAU supportive of ShieldAfrica?
ShieldAfrica: The AU is not official partner of the exhibition. However, the representatives of the Peace and Security Department of the AU have been invited to the exhibition and to the conference.
MONCh: Thank you.