Director General of Defence National Security Industries (DNSI) Major General Benard Waliaula presided over the East Africa Community (EAC) meeting of the Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial facilities availed for shared utilization at Kenya Shipyard Limited (KSL), in Kisumu.
The three-day meeting deliberated on several items pertinent to strengthening and widening the regional integration in the industrial and defence sector and reviewed the implementation of previous directives of the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence.
In his remarks, Maj. Gen. Waliaula underscored the importance of the meeting as key to fostering bilateral and mutual cooperation emphasizing that shared utilization of military industrial facilities helps build close ties among the partner states. During the expo, he noted its timeliness as it shall help fast-track the Defence Cooperation among the partner states that aims at exploring and expanding Cooperation in industrial development and Defence relation matters.
“This is a very important platform as the region to share and showcase what we can contribute towards self-reliance and consequently national and regional economic growth”, he said.
The Director General further commended the KDF leadership for its unwavering support in strengthening the industrial facilities that have immensely contributed towards self-reliance and continued support to the troops in the region.
Chairing the meeting, Brigadier General Sibomana Ignace, of Burundi’s National Defence Forces (BNDF) emphasized the importance that the EAC Partner States attach to the Forum.
He said that Industrial investment is an important pillar of integration and its development will help to deepen integration as the region moves towards the next milestone of shared utilization of resources.
“We are here to review where we are and re-strategize how to meet our objectives, in order to move together for the benefit of the region,” he noted.
Speaking during the forum, Colonel William Rusodoka who represented the EAC Secretary General emphasized the need for partner states to prioritize and allocate more resources to the Defence industries to enable them to build more capacity. He challenged the Partner States to embrace innovative approaches to implementing industrial policies if the anticipated economic growth in the EAC region is to be achieved.
The spectacular expo at the Kisumu shipyard limited (KSL) showcased KDF defense-related products and services by Defence National Security Industries in various fields; Shipbuilding by Kenya Shipyards Limited, food processing by Defence Food Production and Processing Factory (DFPPF), meat processing by Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) and production of ammunition and related auxiliary products by Kenya Ordinance Factories Corporation (KOFC).
While addressing the media, the Kenya Shipyard Managing Director Brigadier Paul Otieno reiterated the importance of the event saying that it will go along way in contributing towards sustainable development and ensuring a secure and safe environment for industrial growth for the EAC region.
The meeting was convened in accordance with Article 2 of the East African Community Protocol on cooperation in Defence Affairs and pursuant to the Defence Sector calendar of activities. It brought together delegates from EAC partner states that include; Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United Republic of Tanzania.