“ Terrorism، cybercrime, maritime piracy … Africa faces new security threats, in the security market; it remains, again, a passive consumer. One of the vocations of the International Security and Defence Exhibition, Shield Africa, whose 5th edition, organized by the Ivorian company COGES Africa and sponsored by the Ministry of the Interior and Security of Ivory Coast, will be held at The Abidjan Police Academy from January 22nd to 24th 2019, with 29 countries represented, including South Africa, Bulgaria, China, United States, Israel, Kazakhstan, Turkey … On the eve of the show, January 21st , an international conference will be held on the theme of border security. A priority question for Patrick Colas Des Francs, President of COGES Africa.
Interviewed by Dounia Ben Mohamed
Security has become a major issue in Africa … A prerequisite for any development according to you?
Immensely rich in natural resources, Africa must face the major threats that hinder the pursuit of its development. The safety of the African people and their activities is the prerequisite for any form of economic expansion.
The security of Africa is understood in a global way: security of the States vis-a-vis the internal and external threats, security of the physical persons and the goods, security of the terrestrial, maritime and air transports, security of the economic activities, security of the cities (Safe city), security of energy supply, security of communications and cybersecurity, health security, water safety in quantity and quality, etc.
ShieldAfrica is a platform for meetings between security managers in Africa and all those working for the development of the continent, public and private users and manufacturers around the world who offer reliable and proven solutions.
Manufacturers exhibiting at the show contribute to the protection of territories and populations and offer solutions on land, at sea and in the air to ensure better safety in Africa. To provide the necessary security for economic development; restore or maintain peace; prevent and fight against natural and industrial disasters; ensure the safety of cities; in addition to developing the services needed by institutions, populations and private operators….
Since 2013, with ShieldAfrica, the institutional and private decision-makers have had a fair allowing them to exchange on the reality and the outline of the threats weighing on the development of the continent and to apprehend the global offer in security and defence for creating the safer Africa of tomorrow.
The development of new technologies is also changing the sector. This is the new tendency?
Very advanced in the field of new communication technologies, the African continent is continually in search of pragmatic solutions answering needs of security of goods, people and transactions. At ShieldAfrica, representatives of the states, administrations, companies, large companies and SMEs can find the international offer of products and solutions adapted to their specific needs.
Whatever it may be, the field of security is also a market, where Africa remains a consumer rather than a producer?
The security market in Africa is indeed booming with, on the one hand, threats, terrorists, present in the Sahel, the Orient or even in some Central African countries but also with a local insecurity which in many ways and in many regions impede the trade and economy’s development.
Today, Africa remains rather a consumer of security than a producer. Most exhibiting companies come from abroad, Belorussia (4 companies), Bulgaria (7 companies), United States (3 companies), France (66 companies), Israel (11 companies) but the African security industry is being developed as this year there are 12 exhibitors from Ivory Coast and two from South Africa.
The security and defence industry is growing in some countries (South Africa, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria), particularly through partnerships with international manufacturers. It is now present on export markets as evidenced by the fact for example that some African companies exhibiting on Eurosatory.
What does the 2019 edition of ShieldAfrica in Abidjan reserve for us?
This 2019 edition will take place from the 22nd to 24 January at the Abidjan Police Academy. Placed under the patronage of the Minister of the Interior and Security, it will treat as the previous editions the multiple security needs of the continent and more particularly the control and the protection of the borders (on land, in the air and in the seas).
The major tendency of this 2019 edition is the internationalization of the show with more and more participating countries. The 140 exhibitors registered today come from 25 different countries, with all continents represented. In addition to the countries mentioned above, it is necessary to note the arrival of exhibitors coming also from Kazakhstan or from Turkey. It should be noted this year that companies from South Africa, Bulgaria and Belorussia will exhibit in the form of national pavilions.
Edition after edition, ShieldAfrica is proving to be more and more the benchmark exhibition of Africa’s security and defence.
For more information: www.shieldafrica.com