Regional CEOs meeting calls for increased collaboration in defence industries

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Regional CEOs meeting calls for increased collaboration in defence industries
Minister Oboth (left) at the meeting

Minister Jacob Oboth, leading the closure of the three-day East Africa Community (EAC) meeting of Military Industrial CEOs, called for enhanced regional collaboration.

"We can all be independent. But on matters of security and defence products, we can afford to be interdependent," Oboth said.

He stressed the need for leveraging comparative advantages and fostering interdependence rather than competition.

"Let us harness the comparative advantages so that we feed one another rather than competing amongst ourselves," he urged.

Highlighting the significance of defence industries in global security and economic development, Minister Oboth urged East Africa not to lag behind.

"Defence in this region is doing enormous work... the main constraint being the inability to produce our raw materials," he noted.

Acknowledging the region's abundant resources, Minister Oboth pledged to address challenges in acquiring raw materials for military production.

"Africa and East Africa in particular is endowed with all the required minerals... We must harness these great resources for the production of quality and cost-effective defence products," he emphasised.

The meeting, chaired by Major General Bernard Waliaula, director general of Defence National Security Industries in Kenya, saw fruitful discussions on achieving self-reliance and cost-cutting in production.

"With the inclusion of Somalia, the population of the East African Community is over 450 million. This is a good market for each of the Partner States," Gen Waliaula noted.

Expressing gratitude, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi of Luwero Industries Limited, the host of the meeting, lauded the attendees for their participation.

"As the hosts of the meeting, we are extremely grateful for turning up in big numbers to come and attend this serious discussion," he expressed.

Gen Sabiiti commended the political efforts facilitating the community's growth and emphasized the opportunity for skill sharing and development within the EAC. "It is an opportunity that we must exploit," he concluded.

The meeting, which attracted Defence Liaison Officers and CEOs of Military Industrial Facilities from across the region, is an annual event aimed at fostering collaboration and development in the defence sector within the East African Community.

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