Business

January 15, 2014

Forecast International views emerging African arms market favorable for both international, African defense companies

Over the next decade, the gross domestic product among African countries is expected to rise by an average of 6 percent a year, according to Forecast International.

This concrete and sustainable growth will allow for ample economic opportunities on the continent. For defense companies, this means that Africa is starting to evolve into an attractive customer in the international arms market.

Traditionally, Africa’s overall arms market has been driven primarily by a small handful of key players with more established economic environments. However, smaller market countries are increasingly taking positive steps toward democracy, human rights and overall stability, allowing governments to focus more on creating strong economies. Given this bright outlook, Forecast International is projecting that defense spending among African nations will surpass $46 billion by 2018.

“As optimism about the continent’s prospects increase, global defense firms have started to eye the African market more closely,” says Nicole Auger, author of FI’s “The Military Market for Africa” report. “It has ignited an intense competition between non-African defense companies while opening up an array of possible joint ventures and technology transfer agreements with African defense firms,” she said.

Another important factor is that nation-on-nation war among African countries has been on the decline. Although conflicts still flare up from time to time, tensions rarely escalate to extreme levels. If the trend continues, decade-long sanctions and arms embargos would be lifted, further expanding opportunities for global defense firms.

As external tensions weaken, weapons that aid in internal security are being more sought out. “Key arms purchases will likely be state-of-the-art surveillance equipment such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and electronics,” predicts Auger. This equipment will be essential, especially at a time when the threat of Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise in Africa. Porous borders, illegal arms trafficking, and challenging socioeconomic situations have thus far made it difficult for nations to control this escalating problem.

North African nations have already experienced firsthand how the lack of proper military surveillance equipment can handicap militaries. Mali, for example, fell victim to a rebel uprising in late 2011 when its military was easily defeated by Islamic organizations suspected to have ties with al-Qaeda. The groups effortlessly gained control of virtually all of northern Mali, leaving the nation to ask for international assistance to counter the problem. Meanwhile, Libya, with its dilapidated military state following the 2011 uprising, has found it nearly impossible to control the rebel-run southern portion of the nation. Furthermore, the chaos has allowed for increased weapon smuggling, which threatens regional security.

Although the Islamist terrorist situation in northern Africa has been the focus of the past two years, the problems present in Africa are not limited to any single region. In East Africa, the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab has been showing signs of evolving into a transnational terror group. Meanwhile, in the continent’s mid-region, the South Sudanese government was able to counter a coup from local rebel groups but has been unable to stop the group from seizing control of key towns in the oil-producing region. Farther west, Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group that has been to blame for nearly every act of violence recently occurring in Nigeria.

Globally, there is concern that terrorism in Africa could spread, affecting the stability of non-African countries.  A number of Western nations are therefore eager to help equip African militaries, which remain open to practically all weapons suppliers.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>