The door is open for official South African defence industry participation in Angola’s first defence exhibition in November.
The SA Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD) said it, with the assistance of the South Africa Department of Defence (DoD), had been liaising with Angolan authorities to secure an invitation.
“As of Monday this week the invitation was secured through official Defence channels,” AMD’s Michelle Nxumalo said.
The next step in ensuring the local defence industry, currently almost totally reliant on exports, will see AMD interact with Minister Rob Davies’ Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to secure export funding for AMD and other local defence industry companies to participate.
“This is expected to be finalised by month-end,” she said.
FIDES (the International Fair of the Defence and Security Industry) will be staged at the International Luanda Fair (IFL) venue from November 10 to 13.
Launching the exhibition last month, Angolan Defence Minister Candido Pereira dos Santos van Dunem said it would identify opportunities to establish public/private partnerships as well as stimulate investment in the defence and security industry.
The partnership aspect will be welcomed by major South African defence industry players, such as the State-owned Denel conglomerate and Ivor Ichikowitz’ Paramount Group.
Both he and Denel chief executive Riaz Salojee have repeatedly emphasised the importance of partnerships if the South African defence industry is to remain competitive on both the continental and international stages.
At this stage indications are about 70 companies from Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain and Israel will exhibit. Organisers are hoping to attract up to 100 exhibitors from 27 countries.