ABIDJAN, COTE D’IVOIRE -- U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) along with the Armed Forces of Côte d’Ivoire cohosted the African Land Forces Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, May 8-12, 2023. The summit brought together delegates and land force commanders from 46 total countries; 39 from Africa, five European nations, the US and Brazil. Together with academic thought leaders and government officials, they participated in candid dialogue on current issues facing land forces in Africa.
“Once again, ALFS has demonstrated the power of partnership—between the United States and Africa, with our Allies and partners across the globe, throughout the different regions of this diverse continent, and between military and civilian leaders in and out of government,” said Maj. Gen. Todd Wasmund, commanding general, SETAF-AF.
During the week, participants took part in five plenary sessions and small group discussions that covered topics ranging from peacekeeping operations in Africa and countering violent extremist organizations to drivers of instability and stability as well as the importance of command teams.
This year's ALFS also ran parallel discussion groups for senior enlisted leaders, as well as several cultural events that highlighted Ivorian hospitality and culture.
Participants were also taken on a tour of L'Académie Internationale De Lutte Contre (AILCT) [International Academy for the Fight Against Terrorism] that included several demonstrations of counterterrorism operations by Ivorian soldiers. 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. Lieutenant General Lassina Doumbia, Chief of Defense, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, noted his pride in hosting ALFS 23. “Let me tell you how proud Cote d’Ivoire is of hosting this event,” he said. “It renews the engagement of our countries always to put our solidarity and initiatives together. There is hope for furthering human security."
Wasmund also announced the location for next year's ALFS, which will take place in Zambia and be cohosted with the Zambian Army.
“There’s a lot the participants can look forward to in terms of presentations as well as hospitality that is unmatched that you will find in Zambia,” said Brig. Gen. Jethrow Chipili, Zambian Army.
Sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Staff and co-hosted by the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa and the Armed Forces of Côte d'Ivoire, ALFS 2023 built upon the success of previous summits and continues to bolster U.S. and African security by fostering communication, cooperation and planning among partner nations, exemplifying the U.S. Army’s approach in Africa: partner-led, U.S.-enabled.
Visit the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) for additional African Land Forces Summit content.