The Armed Forces of Ghana will host more than 600 international and regional defence delegates at the first International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEC) that will take place in the country’s capital city, Accra, from October 11-12, 2022, with the aim to strengthen international and regional cooperation to combat terrorism and organised crimes.
The two-day international exhibition and conference that will be held at the Burma Hall within the Ghana Armed Forces Headquarters in Accra, will bring international defence equipment manufacturers, technology providers, procurement officials as well as other industry stakeholders who aim to contribute towards the US$20 billion annual defence market.
Welcoming the regional and international defence delegates, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Defence Staff of Ghana, said “I bring you warm greetings from Accra, Ghana. As you may be aware, global peace and security continue to deteriorate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the current Russia-Ukraine crisis”. These events, he said, have had a significant impact on livelihoods and human security, particularly on the African continent.
“The West African sub region in particular is currently experiencing a surge in activities by armed groups. I am happy to note that several steps have been taken to deal with these threats. However, a lot remains to be done, that is why I, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces wish to invite you to the maiden International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Accra from 11th to 12th October 2022 under the theme Strengthening International Collaboration to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crimes.
“I am by this invitation calling on all stakeholders in academia, media, industry, defence and other government security apparatus as well as the international community to converge in Accra to find practical solutions to the litany of security challenges facing the region and beyond. It is my hope that by the end of the 2nd Day event our collective aspirations would be achieved”.Vice Admiral Seth Amoama
Rising cost of terrorism in Africa
The Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces noted that at stake is the safety and security of 422 million people of West Africa with a combined GDP of US$659 billion. The rising cost of terrorism in Africa prompting the governments to not only upgrade the security capabilities of each country, but also to increase cross-border security cooperation, he noted.
Air Vice Marshal, Mike Kwame Appiah Agyekum, Deputy Chief of Staff (Admin) at the General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces and Head of the Organising Committee also indicated that IDEC will build upon the endeavours of Africa’s Armed Forces to enhance combined capabilities to counter the continent’s leading security challenges.
This unprecedented event will showcase the importance of integrating strategies and solutions across land, sea and air to solve challenges such as extremism, cross-border crime and maritime security in this region, he added.
“The overarching objective is to improve regional development and security by promoting defence partnership, both regionally and internationally. Through a series of unique platforms, the two-day event aims to assemble Africa’s Defence Chiefs of Staff and senior officers and executives from security agencies and global partners and advanced solution providers to improve combined combat operations and regional development initiatives”.Air Vice Marshal Mike Kwame Appiah Agyekum
A large number of defence procurement officials of the African countries will participate at the event to check out the latest defence equipment, technologies, systems and services – before making a purchase decision as the defence forces are looking at acquiring the latest defence equipment to strengthen their capabilities and reinforce regional security.
IDEC provides an ideal platform for the global defence suppliers to showcase their latest products and services and to meet the defence buyers to negotiate fresh supplies. The two-day event creates a unique platform to establish and strengthen cross-border cooperation among the regional armed forces – land, navy and air forces.
Military Expenditure In Sub-Saharan Africa
In 2021, military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa totaled $20.1 billion, 4.1 percent higher than in 2020, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a global peace watchdog. The increase in 2021 was the first in sub-Saharan Africa since 2014 and was primarily driven by Nigeria, the biggest spender in the sub-region.
“Between 2020 and 2021, Nigeria raised its military spending by 56 percent, to reach $4.5 billion. The increase came in response to Nigeria’s various security challenges, such as attacks by extremists and separatist insurgents,” SIPRI stated in a latest report published in April 2022.
In 2021, Kenya, Uganda and Angola were, respectively, the third, fourth and fifth largest military spenders in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report. Over the decade 2012–21, Kenya and Uganda have both faced insurgencies that have influenced their military spending.
“Between 2012 and 2021, military expenditure rose by 203 percent in Uganda but remained relatively stable in Kenya (down by 4.5 percent),” the report highlighted.
The event will be attended by more than 5 Chiefs of Defence Staff, 8 Ministers and Secretaries of Defence, 6 Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Forces, 40 VIP Speakers, 60 Sponsors and Exhibitors from 60 countries.
Some of the main themes of the IDEC conference, include terrorism and counter-terrorism, transnational organised crime, maritime security, cybercrime, advancements in surveillance and monitoring and border security.
The organisers of major events such as the Africa Maritime Security Forum, the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference, the Air Force Africa Forum and the International Conference of Crime Prevention- The Great Minds Event Management, have been officially appointed to support the organising committee along with the non-profit think-tank Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute.