Hon Oboth Urges Military Industry Collaboration for Regional Security

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The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Jacob Marksons Oboth has urged the delegates to foster interdependence rather than rivalry by utilizing the comparative advantages of their individual nations.

He made these remarks on April 4, 2024, while presiding over the closure of the 3-day East Africa Community (EAC) meeting of the Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial facilities availed for shared utilization at Skyz Hotel in Kampala.

He said that the nations can be independent but on matters of security they should be interdependent.

“We can all be independent. But on matters of security and defence products, we can afford to be interdependent. Let us harness the comparative advantages so that we feed one another rather than competing amongst ourselves,” Oboth said.

He underlined the critical role that the defense industry plays on a worldwide scale in several areas, including economic development, security, and defense, and he made the point that East Africa shouldn’t fall behind in this important area.

“Defence in this region is doing enormous work in producing defence and security products, the main constraint being the inability to produce our raw materials regardless of the abundance of the various essential minerals in the region,” Oboth said.

Minister Oboth noted that although the region has abundant resources, it still faces the challenge of acquiring raw materials for military production and promised to follow up on the issue in the relevant fora.

“Africa and East Africa is endowed with all the required minerals to produce all defence and civilian products. We must harness these great resources to produce quality and cost-effective defence products for the defence of our countries, region, and the continent,” Oboth noted.

The General Manager of Luwero Industries Limited, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeyi, expressed gratitude to the several delegates that attended.

“As the hosts of the meeting, we are extremely grateful for turning up in big numbers to come and attend this serious discussion, which is on the most important aspect of our life, which is defence,” Maj Gen Sabiiti said.

Additionally, he commended the political initiatives that have established a foundation for the community’s growth.

“We now have the East African Community expanding from one ocean to another, a bigger population where to select skills and a lot of facilities in this community that we can share and have a better-skilled ratio in several sectors; it is an opportunity that we must exploit,” Maj Gen Sabiiti added.

The meeting closed with the adoption and signing of the report of the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial Facilities Availed for Shared Utilization.

The meeting attracted Defence Liaison Officers and Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial Facilities from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda.

The meeting of East African Community Chief Executive Officers of Military Industry Facilities is held annually in different East African Community countries.

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