News: African Union furthers its mission
By Staff Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez
DC National Guard
DOUALA, Cameroon—The African Union's quest to unify and promote cooperation in the African continent continues, June 26, during Africa Endeavor's military exercise held in Douala, Cameroon.
With more than 50 African states as members, the African Union seeks to integrate African states and achieve a peaceful Africa.
According to Lt. Col. Kelvin Silomba, the African Union delegation chief, the African Union is using the exercise as a platform to validate some of the procedures they have developed.
“The objective of Africa Endeavor from the African Union point of view is to assist the African Union achieve interoperability capability between the member states, the regional economic communities” and the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Silomba said.
“We have the communication and information systems architecture which we are trying to put into place that will connect all the regions, and from the regions down to the states in Africa,” he said.
Since 2006, the African Union and U.S. Africa Command have collaborated through Exercise Africa Endeavor—the continent’s largest joint communications exercise which focuses on the interoperability of equipment and information sharing between African nations.
Silomba has been involved with the exercise since 2009 and has seen improvements every year.
“At the strategic level for the African Union, we have seen an improvement where instead of participating by way of attending an exercise site we are now applying the concept of a remote exercise site,” Silomba said. “We have the African Union participating from Addis Ababa; staff who are responding to injects to the exercise.”
Exercise Africa Endeavor kicked off June 18 and wraps up this week.
“It is not easy to organize an exercise of this magnitude,” Silomba said. He added that as the African Union, the exercise is helpful and handy as a way to test procedures for an upcoming continental exercise scheduled for 2014.
“We want to see how we can use Africa Endeavor as a test for communication before applying to the exercise in 2014.”