Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula officially opened the first African Unity Pavilion at the 2016 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition.
Following the formal opening of AAD on Wednesday morning at Air Force Base Waterkloof, Mapisa-Nqakula, in the company of the Armscor Chairman, retired Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu, Kevin Wakeford (Armscor Chief Executive Officer), foreign dignitaries and exhibitors, cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the African Unity Pavilion situated in Hall 1.
This is the first time that defence companies from various African countries have exhibited under the African Unity banner.
“Africa must take ownership of the initiative,” Mudimu told defenceWeb, “they must begin to show what it is that they can do within the continent.”
Talking about the five none-South African countries exhibiting under the African Unity banner, Mudimu continued that “these low-hanging fruits” can be leveraged and built upon, with the hope that the number of countries exhibiting at the pavilion at AAD in 2018 will increase.
The five exhibitors comprise Uganda-based supply company Impala Services and Logistics, armoured vehicle manufacturer Proforce Defence of Nigeria, Safat Aviation Group of Sudan who manufacture and service civil and military aircraft, project implementer Twiga Namibia and arms manufacturing and procurement company Zimbabwe Defence Industries
Besides allowing for African solutions for African problems, the initiative will also allow international partners to link in when doing business in other African countries.