By BENEDICT TEMBO
Zambia Army Commander Sitali Alibuzwi, has called for solid partnerships among African countries and advanced ones for establishment of defence industries on the continent.
Lieutenant General Gen Alibuzwi has noted that defence industries in most African countries are in their infant stages, hence the need for partnerships with countries like India, whose contribution to regional security is immense.
Speaking on Monday when he was part of the 32 Defence Chiefs and Army Commanders that attended the Army Chiefs Conclave held in Pune, Southwest India, Gen Alibuzwi said the Zambian industry is wide open for investment and partnerships.
He was among 32 defence chiefs and army commanders who attended the event on the sidelines of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX).
Lt Gen ALIBUZWI implored the Indian defence industries take a keen interest in Zambia’s aerospace, military engineering, land development, solar technologies, and mechanised agriculture innovations.
He said Zambia was always ready for partnerships with India in areas such as the production and supply of mobility equipment, ammunition, cyber security software, surveillance capabilities, and public-private partnerships, among others.
“I would like to thank the Indian Armed Forces for their continued support to Zambia and the army chief for bringing troops from Africa to participate in AFINDEX.” We are looking forward to similar initiatives in the future. “We appreciate efforts by India to open avenues for closer collaboration in the development of mutually beneficial South-South ties,” Lt Gen Alibuzwi said.
And in his keynote address, India’s Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, implored his officers to take full advantage of the numerous opportunities India offers for D
Defence cooperation and collaboration at both bilateral and multilateral levels.
Gen Pande said India is itching to continue enhancing capacities for African militaries through courses, joint exercises, the exchange of information, the fight against terrorism and extremism, maritime security, and disaster management.
According to a statement by First Secretary -Press at the Zambian Mission in New Delhi, Bennie Mundando, Lt Gen Alibuzwi is scheduuled to witness the closing ceremony of AFINDEX today and later visit some key defence industries based in Pune before returning to Zambia on Friday.
And Zambia Army Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, Geoffrey Zyeele says the solid relations that exist between Zambia and Tanzania are vital for enhancement of military cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.
Major General Zyeele says the signing of the memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation last year which covers areas such as staff and student exchange programmes, education visits, and many others, is evidence of the strong bond that exists between the two countries.
Maj Gen Zyeele adds that the cooperation between Zambia and Tanzania is paramount for the economic and social development of the two countries. He said this when a delegation from Tanzania Defence Command and Staff College called on him at Zambia Army headquarters in Lusaka on Tuesday.
Students from the Tanzania Defence Command and Staff College are in Zambia for a study tour. Gen Zyeele is confident that their visit to several institutions that contribute to the national development, security, and defence of Zambia, will be beneficial to them.