Back to U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa
CARLISLE, Pennsylvania — Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa Affairs Chidi Blyden provided keynote remarks to delegates of the African Alumni Symposium on Feb. 27, 2023, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Blyden presented remarks through virtual technology to dozens of assembled delegates from 19 African nations attending the African Alumni Symposium. Appearing on screen to the 19 African army senior leaders and graduates of the Army War College, Blyden highlighted that the new U.S. strategy for Africa was informed by Africans. Blyden said the strategy was formed by listening to Africans talking about issues the faced.
"These areas include climate, health, cyber security, modernization and even space," Blyden said. "These are all issues that we all face together, and we want to continue to work together to try and push these issues into the forefront."
Blyden mentioned several times the African Leader's Summit held in Washington, D.C., in December, and emphasized the whole-of-government approach to supporting peace, security and stability in Africa.
"DoD cooperation with African partners is not only military-focused," Blyden said. "When we think about security, we want to make sure we are not only putting it in the context of defense and military solutions. That being said, we've taken a lot of focus on governance, institutional capacity building, and modernization and technology as ways to help promote security and stability across the continent."
"We also believe this is a critical part of us being able to achieve our national security initiatives," Blyden said.
Blyden consistently echoed the theme of the African Alumni Symposium, "Collaborative Security Building."
"Alliances and partnerships are our greatest global strategic advantage and they are our center of gravity for our 2022 National Defense Strategy," Blyden said. "I hope that we'll venture beyond simply just sharing the same playing field and actively move toward cooperating and coordinating for these things to become a reality."
Find more from the African Alumni Symposium at:
- Opening Remarks: Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Africa Affairs Chidi Blyden
- Panel on Non-traditional Security Challenges: Dr. Diana Putman, a senior international development executive, and Kenya Army Lt. Gen. Jonah Mwangi, Vice-Chancellor, National Defence University-Kenya
- Panel on Military Leader Development: Dr. Edward Kaplan, professor of National Security Studies at the Army War College, Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Gregory, Army War College Senior Enlisted Advisor, and Malawi Army Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali, commandant of the Malawi Defence Force National Defense College
- The African Alumni Symposium is an annual multinational engagement designed to bring African partner alumni of U.S. professional military education programs together to strengthen alumni relationships, facilitate discussion about African security issues and regional cooperation, and provide an opportunity for participants to network.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) is responsible for achieving U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Campaign Plan objectives while conducting all U.S. Army operations, exercises and security cooperation on the African continent.
Follow SETAF-AF on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube & DVIDS