Africa Logistics Symposium 2018, formerly known as Africa Logistics Forum, kicked off on 11 April at that African Union (AU) compound, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Sponsored by the AU, in conjunction with U.S. Africa Command, the forum hosted more than 80 attendees, which included logistical professionals from across 21 African countries, four European countries, Japan, and Brazil.
“I am very pleased with our enduring Africa Logistics Symposium partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to the AU, Mary Beth Leonard. “We laud the African Union Peace and Security Department’s leadership in driving the symposium’s planning process in coordination with U.S. Africa Command.”
Keynote speaker, Ambassador Alexander Laskaris, AFRICOM deputy to the commander for civil-military engagement, said that Africa has a long and proud military tradition of great empires, great armies, and great logistics.
Laskaris mentioned the logistical successes of historical African military leaders during his speech.
“We know a lot about King Menelek II’s commanders and soldiers, but we should probably try to figure out how he fed, supplied and moved his forces,” Laskaris said. “For every great African leader whose name we speak with respect, there are anonymous logisticians who sustained their visions.”
The first Africa Logistics Forum convened in 2013. Last year’s focus was about increasing the capacity of the Africa Standby Force (ASF) by enhancing the working relationships between the Regional Logistics Depots, and the Continental Logistics Base, which was inaugurated this year on Jan. 5, in Douala, Cameroon. This year’s focus is on strategic airlift.
“This symposium is a major milestone as we are implementing the ASF Maputo Strategic Five Year Work Plan 2016-2020, to strengthen the operational readiness of the ASF,” said Dr. Admore Kambudzi, agriculture Director of Peace and Security, AU.