In what is probably its first international outing following a R64 million revamp, Armscor will be using this week’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London to show its new face to the international defence community.
In addition to showcasing what chief executive Kevin Wakeford calls its “unwavering support” to the South African defence industry, government’s defence and security acquisition agency will use its “international expertise to leverage an environment conducive to small business development”. Wakeford will be one of the main speakers at one of a number of conferences running concurrently with DSEI.
Wakeford is due to present a paper titled “Repositioning South Africa’s defence sector for growth – Armscor: an acquisition agency in a developmental environment”. The presentation will happen tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 September).
Part of Armscor’s commitment to small business development in line with its enterprise development programme will be on show at DSEI in the form of TUB, an acronym for Thata u Beke Manufacturing. This all-woman owned and operated company specialises in electronic componentry and its name loosely translates to “pick and place”.
In support of this and Armscor’s particular focus on African expertise, Wakeford said he is both confident and proud of “the crucial role Armscor is playing to provide cost effective turnkey defence solutions to the world”.
“We are and will steadfastly place Africa’s quality expertise on the global map to secure and strengthen relation as well as boost South Africa’s growth performance.”
He maintains the onus is on Armscor to “provide a level playing field and create inclusivity” while encouraging companies, especially those in the small and medium-sized category and owned by previously disadvantaged people, to “seize economic opportunities available and become formidable global players in future”.
Armscor is one of 22 companies exhibiting on the South African pavilion at DSEI. The pavilion was facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry with assistance from AMD (SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association).
The other significant South African presence at DSEI is state-owned defence and technology conglomerate, Denel. Among others it has the rapid-fire CamGun, PAW-20 personal assault weapon, DMG-5 and SS-77 machine guns, NTW 20mm rifle, PTV transport and Casspir mine-protect vehicles on display.