Denel, Africa’s leading provider of defence and security technology, will use next week’s Land Forces East Africa conference and exhibition in Dar-es-Salaam to showcase its products and services to African countries and clients.
Tanzanian Minister of Defence and National Service, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, will officially open the defence and security conference and exhibition on Monday with indications that at least 300 regional defence and military experts will be present to discusses security challenges facing the region.
“Governments in the region are eager to arm themselves, not just with knowledge but also with equipment to strengthen defence infrastructure. Recent political turbulence and rebel forces activity in and around East Africa means armed forces in the region have to rapidly increase landward defence and security capability as well as humanitarian support capacity,” Land Forces East Africa event director, Tracey-Lee Zurcher said.
Denel, the South African government owned defence industry conglomerate, will use the Tanzanian event to just how far it has progressed in five decades of research and development aimed specifically at the African defence environment.
“We will have a strong presence at Land Forces East Africa 2014 because this is the primary forum to meet with defence decision-makers on the continent, share information about our products and ascertain the trends that will determine future product development,” Riaz Saloojee, Denel Group chief executive, said.
As a defence company with its roots firmly in Africa, Denel strongly supports the African Union’s objective of promoting peace, security and stability on the continent.
“Denel understands Africa’s defence requirements and its ability to support and maintain systems and products in any country on the continent makes it the most cost-effective partner for national and multi-national defence forces,” Saloojee adds.
He quotes the UN Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) in eastern DRC as one example of Denel products and systems deployed in peacekeeping and enforcement deployments.
“South Africa soldiers, using equipment provided by Denel, often operate side by side with soldiers from Tanzania and Kenya.”
Denel Mechem is acknowledged as a global leader in demining and is one of a handful of companies accredited by the UN to perform this service.
“Denel Mechem has been a proud member of multi-national clearance teams in 11 African countries,” Saloojee said adding “the detection and removal of land mines and explosive remnants of war are essential in stabilising communities in post-conflict regions”.
Denel will use Land Forces East Africa to create partnerships with local defence communities to develop technology and products to meet their specific requirements.
“Research and development is the lifeblood of Denel’s activities and a growing portion of its budget is being allocated to the future application of products and services outside the conventional defence environment. Denel technology is already being used to combat piracy along the east coast of Africa, protect the region’s natural resources, combat rhino and elephant poaching and address the scourge of drug smuggling.
“These are some of the services Denel can offer countries in the region and we will use Land Forces East Africa to gain a greater understanding of the local defence and security environment,” Saloojee said.