U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) along with the Côte d’Ivoire Armed Forces held the opening ceremony for the African Land Forces Summit 2023 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire at the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan on Tuesday.
African Land Forces Summit runs May 8-12, 2023. On behalf of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, the summit brings together over 40 land force chiefs from across Africa, other partner nations, academic thought leaders, and government officials for candid dialogue to discuss and develop cooperative solutions to shared challenges.
“Every country represented by the chiefs here today on the continent are different, have their own objectives, their own priorities, their own identity,” said Gen. Darryl Williams, commander of U.S. Army Europe and Africa, during his opening comments. “But I know that, together, we can learn from each other’s experiences, and identify ways to succeed.”
Participants also observed a demonstration by the Ivorian Armed Forces at the International Academy for the Fight Against Terrorism (AILCT) on May 9. The AILCT provides world-class training to forces from across the region on combating violent extremism in a manner that respects human rights and builds the trust and confidence of populations threatened by terrorism.
In addition to plenary sessions and small-group discussions, various cultural events were planned for the visiting participants, including showcasing local Ivorian culture and hospitality.
This year’s ALFS also featured parallel sessions focused on fostering discussion and development amongst senior enlisted leaders from the U.S. and African nations.
“I know how much I have relied on good [noncommissioned officers] throughout my career,” said Williams. “Empowered enlisted leadership is critical to confronting the era’s defining global peace, security, and governance challenges.”
ALFS 23 builds upon the success of previous summits and continues to bolster U.S. and African security by fostering communication, cooperation, and planning amongst partner nations. The summit exemplifies the U.S. Army’s approach in Africa: partner-led, U.S.-enabled.
SETAF-AF 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.