GABORONE, Botswana – A suite of speakers welcomed more than 40 African land force chiefs, or their representative, to the seventh African Land Forces Summit at the Gaborone International Convention Center in Gaborone, Botswana, June 24, 2019.
Shaw Kgathi, the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security for the Republic of Botswana, welcomed African Land Forces Summit 2019 attendees during the opening ceremony, June, 24, 2019.
Kgathi was followed on stage by Craig L. Cloud, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana; U.S. Army Director of Staff, Lt. Gen. Joseph Martin; and Command of Ground Forces for the Botswana Defence Force, Maj. Gen. Molefi M. Seikano.
“To my counterparts and delegates from different militaries in the African Region, your participation is invaluable and we thank you for honoring the invitations to this important summit,” said Seikano. “Today’s summit is themed, ‘Strengthening Partner Networks.’ This is well themed and embodies humanity’s desire for combined joint efforts in securing world peace through persistent engagement, collaboration, and cooperation, network and dialogue objectively on issues of security concerning our continent and the world at large.”
In sequence, each speaker welcomed and thanked the multinational crowd for their attendance and willingness to address African issues and challenges.
Over the next four days, participants will attend multiple presentations from political and military leaders and academic scholars under the summit’s theme of “strengthening partner networks.”
The plenary sessions feature three speakers with in-depth knowledge of their focus topic: regional organizations, multinational task forces and cooperation through peacekeeping.
Upon conclusion of each session, attendees will divide into regional discussion groups to engage in candid dialogue in a non-attributional environment, covering subjects relevant to their region.
“We operate in a complex, dynamic world,” said U.S. Army director of staff Lt. Gen. Joseph Martin. “The security challenges we face are diverse, and African nations contend with some of the most complex challenges in the world; Insurgencies, armed conflicts, illicit trafficking, piracy, organized crime, and violent extremist organizations. These threats have no boundaries, they cross borders, destabilize regions, and sometimes require significant cooperation when planning for a response.”
Martin continued, “Land forces have an important role in addressing these challenges but no one country can do it alone. We must work in partnership with civilian leadership to develop solutions that are not only military focused, but solutions that encompass diplomatic, economic, and developmental efforts.”
In addition to being the largest ALFS by measure of African land force chiefs in attendance, the summit also drew the largest gathering of command senior enlisted leaders.
The CSEL program, started in 2017, runs concurrently to the plenary sessions. The senior enlisted leaders will meet and discuss programs that reinforce morale and welfare of the force.
The summit will run until Thursday, when all attendees will return to their place of residence.
“To my counterparts and delegates from different militaries in the African Region, your participation is invaluable and we thank you for honoring the invitations to this important summit,” said Botswana Defence Force and Maj. Gen. Molefi M. Seikano. “Today’s summit is themed ‘Strengthening Partner Networks’. Well themed and embodies humanities desire and us all for combined joint efforts in securing world peace especially through persistent engagement, collaboration and cooperation, network and dialogue objectively on issues of security concerning our continent and the world at large.”