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South African Aerospace Partners DICON

Posted: Mar 22, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Juliet Oyoyo, Kaduna


As Nigeria and South Africa continue to cement their relationship in different areas, the Executive Director, South African Aerospace Maritime and Defence Industries Association, Mr. Simphiwe Hamilton, has said that his country’s defence industries was ready to collaborate with Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to transfer requisite technology needed to move DICON to the next level.

He stated this during an interactive session with the Director General, DICON, Maj. Gen Bamidele Ogunkale, who hosted the South African team at DICON factories in Kaduna.

According to him, the much orchestrated African Standby Force, a continental military organization, would remain a pipe dream if various sub-regions within the continent would not come together to complement each other’s weakness or strength.

“Nigeria for example has the economy and South Africa has the technology, we will be willing to complement Nigeria’s effort in the area of technology to avoid being permanently subservient to the Western European countries who always pay lip services to technology transfer”.

“There is urgent need for political will from political leaders within the continent”.

On how the South African Defence Industries got the needed skilled manpower to drive her industries, the Executive Director said they sourced for them in High Schools and Universities, adding that as soon as they discovered those talented in science and technology, they gave them the necessary exposure in their defence industries until they were properly groomed.

Mr. Hamilton averred that DICON had good foundation and the structure to become great within the West African sub-region, stressing that, each of the sub-regions within Africa should have at least, one defence industry.

He further stated that he was highly impressed when he saw the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) DICON was trying to launch into the air.

According to him, besides South Africa and Nigeria, he could not remember any other country within the continent that has UAV in the air.

Earlier, the DG, General Ogunkale, disclosed that the South African Defence Industries teams were part of President Jacob Zuma’s entourage to Nigeria, and that he discussed with them on phone and later persuaded them to come to Kaduna for a solid arrangement on possible areas of collaboration.