CARLISLE, Penn. – Two African army officers joined the ranks of the Army War College International Fellows Hall of Fame March 5, culminating the weeklong African Alumni Symposium.
Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. David C. Hill inducted Lt. Gen. Sitali Alibuzwi from Zambia and Maj. Gen. Joseph Seelo from Botwana as the 74th and 75th members of the AWC IFHOF. Alibuzwi and Seelo both graduated the Army War College in 2013.
The event capped off the African Alumni Symposium. The symposium is a U.S. Africa Command annual event bringing together African alumni from U.S. military education schools. Every three years, the Army takes its turn to host African graduates of the Army War College.
Senior officers from 19 African nations and the U.S. participated in discussions on this year’s theme of “Collaborative Security Building.” The discussions covered topics that included developing the next generation of African leadership, addressing violent extremism across the continent, building partner capacity to enhance security, and the protection of civilians in military operations.
Through this exchange of ideas and discussion, participants had an opportunity to learn from one another's different approaches to similar challenges, and consider those for improvement, said Maj. Gen. Todd R. Wasmund, commanding general of the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa.
"Strong partnerships and sustained engagements forged over time support well‐trained and disciplined land forces that contribute to a secure and stable environment where development can flourish," said Wasmund. "African nations, the United States and the world benefit from a secure, stable and prosperous African continent."
“I recommend this should be carried on,” said Ghana army Brig. Gen. Frederick Ntiri, deputy commandant of the Ghana Military Academy. Ntiri said he enjoyed most the breakout discussions where participants freely discussed security issues facing nations in Africa. “You get the opportunity to learn from people with divergent views. It’s a great opportunity to come here and interact.
Togo army Lt. Col. Samah Soussou, AWC class of 2020, said he appreciated the opportunity to to reunite with classmates and other graduates. He said he liked most the opportunity to have focused dialogue on security issues bearing on Africa.
“I am very happy to be back here,” he said. “It was helpful for us to come together to discuss security issues and threats in Africa.”
Soussou said future iterations of the symposium should consider how African militaries contribute to global security.
“Why not we have some discussion beyond Africa?” Soussou said.
Over several months, the staff members from the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa Vicenza, Italy, worked closely with the Army War College, various National Guard state partnership programs, and dozens of U.S. embassies across Africa to coordinate the event.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa provides U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe & Africa a dedicated headquarters to synchronize Army activities in Africa and scalable crisis response options in Africa and Europe.
SETAF-AF regularly collaborates with African land forces to build partner capacity for defense and security issues.
Full coverage of the African Alumni Symposium is available at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/AfricanAlumniSymposium.
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.