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Minister Oboth Warns EAC Member States on Defence Competition :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Minister Oboth Warns EAC Member States on Defence Competition

Oboth said every country should focus on securing the market for its defence and security products because the 450 million population in the region is more than enough to consume such merchandise.
DPU. Visiting Delegation from EAC Countries enjoying a drive in Kayoola bus Manufactured in Uganda
The Minister of Defence, Jacob Markson Oboth, has warned East Africa Community member states against prioritizing competition on defence matters and neglecting to secure and develop the region. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the EAC meeting of Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial facilities in Kampala Oboth said every country should focus on securing the market for its defence and security products because the 450 million population in the region is more than enough to consume such merchandise.

"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.

Oboth said defence industries play a crucial role in sectors of defence, security, and economic development. According to Oboth, EAC is doing enormous work in producing defence and security products.

“The main constraint is the inability to produce our raw materials regardless of the abundance of the various essential minerals in the region. Africa and East Africa in particular are endowed with all the required minerals for the production of all defence and civilian products. We must harness these great resources for the production of quality and cost-effective defence products for the defence of our countries, region and the continent," Oboth said. 

Kenya’s Director General of the Defence National Security Industries Maj Gen Bernard Waliaula, said the meetings have been fruitful because member states gave presentations on the progress of establishing defence industries in their respective countries and their plans.

"The spirit of the meeting is to look forward with renewed hope and understanding that we want to achieve self-reliance, cut costs in production and look at each other for solutions. With the inclusion of Somalia, the population of the East African Community is over 450 million. This is a good market for each of the Partner States," Maj Gen Waliaula said.

Former deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Sabiiti Muzeeyi, who is also General Manager - Luweero Industries Limited, expressed gratitude for the delegates who turned up in a significant number. "As the hosts of the meeting, we are extremely grateful for turning up in bug 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.

Maj Gen Sabiiti commended the political efforts that have created a framework 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 said.

According to Col Deo Akiiki the Deputy UPDF Spokesperson, the meeting adopted and signed the report of the meeting of the Chief Executive Officers of Military Industrial Facilities Availed for Shared Utilization.

Participants of the three-day meeting included 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. 

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