Kigali 4 November 2016
On 2 November 2016, the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Patrick Nyamvumba officially opened the 10th African Conference of Commandants (ACoC). The 2 days conference was held under the theme “Educating Lessons Learnt from Contemporary African Conflicts and Crises”. Delegates attending the conference came from 19 African countries military staff colleges, and were joined by partners from the South Africa-based British Peace Support Team (BPST-SA).
In his opening remarks, Gen P Nyamvumba pointed out that the Kigali ACoC meeting, like the previous ones, aimed at enhancing military professionalism in Africa through education, training and development of officers in African colleges. The CDS also noted that the scope, impact and complexity of contemporary security challenges “require our concerted effort to finding workable solutions and undertaking meaningful steps in actualizing them, through preventive, proactive and reactive bold actions”.
Gen Nyamvumba further urged participants to the conference to focus on lessons learnt from the past and contemporary conflicts and crises in Africa in order to enhance the interoperability capacity of those who will be assigned peacekeeping missions in future, with broader understanding of the issues, processes, roles and proper management of challenges involved.
Maj Gen J B Kazura, the Chair of the 2016 ACoC, recalled that the organization’s main objective was primarily to promote cooperation in the field of higher defence education and training to effectively contribute to the security of the African continent. “The ACoC acknowledges that relentless, professional, harmonized and standardized education and training is one of the important issues that should be undertaken with the seriousness they deserve in the current security environment and its related risks”, he said.
The 10th ACoC meeting elected the new Chair for the Year 2017, in the person of Brig Gen S.D Nombewu, Commandant of South Africa Defence and Staff College.
The conference was officially closed by Maj Gen J B Kazura, the outgoing Chair, on 3 November 2016. In his closing remarks, he urged the participants to be sharing knowledge and training innovations that could enable African Militaries to effectively deal with contemporary security challenges. He wished all the delegates a safe journey back to their respectively countries and wished the incoming Chair of ACoC 2017 great success.
The participants were given a guided tour of Kigali City, and finally were entertained by the Rwandan cultural troupe Inganzo Ngali, who put up an exciting cultural show for the guests and participants to enjoy.
The cultural show concluded with sharing tokens of appreciation.
The conference was attended by Commandants of African Institutions of Higher Defence Education and delegates from 19 African countries, namely: Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Rwanda, Tchad, Uganda, Zambia and partners from UK.