NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
ZAMBIAâ€™S defence chiefs who attended the just ended 12thÂ Turkish International Defence Industry Fair in Turkeyâ€™s commercial capital, Istanbul, have described the event as a big inspiration that can help Defence Forces embrace industrialisation and contribute to national development.
The defence chiefs are confident that once a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence with Turkey is signed, Zambia will benefit greatly in military technology, capacity-building, and establishment of defence industries, which will stimulate multiple benefits such as job creation, and overall contribution to national development.
This is contained in a statement issued yesterday by the deputy head of mission to Turkey, Bwalya Nondo.
â€œThe objective of the 12th Turkish International Defence Industry Fair, which was organised by the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation, was to showcase Turkeyâ€™s military technology and equipment, and how the Defence Force in that country is contributing to the economy, through various forms of industrial entrepreneurship,â€ Mr Nondo said.
Defence chiefs who attended the meeting were Zambia Army Commander Paul Mihova, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Commander Eric Chimese and Zambia National Service Commandant General Nathan Mulenga.
Mr Nondo said the three defence chiefs, who were accompanied to the fair by Zambiaâ€™s ambassador to Turkey Miriam Mulenga, and defence advisor at the mission Simeon Manyando, noted that the event provided an ideal platform for Zambia to derive best practices from Turkey and seek collaboration that will build capacity to establish defence industries.
He said the defence fair attracted 780 participants from 54 countries.
Opening the four-day fair, Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan described the event as a tool for friendship and cooperation with participating countries and organisations.
President Erdogan noted that Turkey had come a long way in developing its defence industry and was hopeful that the country wouldÂ by 2023 run the defence industry without dependency on foreign sources.
He added that Turkey is not interested in selling products but in establishing long-term win-win partnerships and joint projects.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka