GABORONE, Botswana - The Botswana Defence Force will partner with U.S. Army Africa in June 2019 to co-host the seventh African Land Forces Summit in Gaborone, Botswana.
ALFS is an annual forum attended by land force chiefs from across Africa, where service leaders discuss common challenges and share best practices. Participants from 40 African nations, as well as from partner countries in Europe and North and South America, attended last year's event in Abuja, Nigeria.
Lead planners representing USARAF directorates recently achieved their first milestone in planning this year's event, travelling to Botswana Oct. 22-26 to meet their BDF counterparts, the U.S. Embassy team and local vendors to refine their plans.
"The initial planning event is incredibly important for contracting teams," said Staff Sgt. Krishna K. Menon, a contracting officer with 414th Contracting Support Brigade. "It allows us to conduct our market research and identify potential requirements at an early stage. In turn, that helps us guide our customers to use the ideal course of action to acquire all requirements."
Menon met with vendors across Gaborone to begin contract discussions for the numerous services required to run the largest military summit on the African continent.
Similarly, each directorate from the U.S. and BDF ALFS planning teams worked together to begin defining roles and responsibilities to ensure each gate is achieved along the way.
Although the opening ceremony is more than seven months away, leaders from the Botswana Defence Force are excited to bring ALFS to Gaborone and the opportunity to strengthen partnerships across the continent.
"Strengthening partnerships is one of the Army's top priorities," said Maj. Teremuura Shamel, the ALFS lead planner for USARAF. "That's exactly what this summit does. It provides an opportunity to grow and strengthen partnerships, while also giving African leaders time and space to develop African solutions to African problems."
The USARAF ALFS planning team will make two more trips to Botswana before the scheduled summit in June.