The 2016 Africa Logistics forum which comprises African member States is exploring possible ways of avoiding conflict in the continent. This is by enhancing capacity among members States towards improving national, regional, and multinational logistical preparedness for peace support, humanitarian and disaster management response operations in Africa.
This was disclosed during the forum hosted by the African Union in collaboration with partnership with the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and the Washington D.C-based Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS) at the Koffi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), Accra, Ghana 12th â€“ 14th April, 2016.
COMESA was among regional economic communities in the seminar that brought together an estimated 100 senior military and security officials drawn from African Union member states. Other participants included select non-African countries with historical and/or emerging logistical security cooperation relationships on the continent; representatives from multinational and regional organizations (UN, NATO, UMA, CENSAD, ECOWAS, EAC, ECCAS, and EU countriesâ€™ defence ministries) and United States Government officials working at the United States African Command (AFRICOM).
The meeting examined existing African Union protocols, doctrines, and procedures for multinational logistics support within the context of current and emerging security threats on the continent, to develop feasible recommendations that address identified challenges and shortfalls.
The overall objective of the seminar was to share best practices in order to strengthen and build cooperative relationships focused on laying a sound logistical foundation necessary for preparedness and effective responses to human security challenges on the African continent.
The forum observed that African countries and regional organizations need to have effective logistics arrangements to support prevention of the outbreak of violence, provision of humanitarian assistance and carrying out peace support operations. â€œImmature and untested logistics systems continued to cause delays and inefficiencies in both response and execution,â€ the forum noted.
â€œAlthough there has been recent progress in logistics capacity development, the need still persists for continued improvement in strengthening institutions and refining procedures, policies, and practices at the national, regional, and multinational levels.
The seminar noted that some RECS had made great strides in fostering regional integration efforts and in particularly the free movement of people, and exchange of goods and services that was accompanied by infrastructural development (roads/highways, ports, airports, and rail).
It is was also agreed that the African Union, RECs, and other entities involved in peace support operations and humanitarian assistance should have experienced personnel in their structures with the right equipment and training. This will enable them to overcome existing logistical obstacles they face in garrison, operational or tactical environments.