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Zambia Air Force to Host 2025 African Air Chiefs Symposium

The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) has been selected to chair and host the 2025 African Air Chiefs Symposium (AACS), an esteemed event organized by the Association of African Air Forces (AAAF). This decision was reached at the conclusion of the 2024 AACS held in Tunis, Tunisia, from February 26 to March 1, 2024, marking the Thirteenth iteration and the Ninth anniversary of the Association.

Representing the Zambia Air Force Commander, Lt Gen Oscar Msitu Nyoni, was the Deputy Air Force Commander and Chief of Air Staff, Maj Gen Arthur Kalaluka, along with a delegation comprising Col Wingstone Nyika, Maj Marksum Njilika, Maj Patricia Kamwanga, and Air Force Warrant Officer, WOI Festus Mwelwa. Their active participation in the symposium’s discussions and engagements was pivotal.

The hosting responsibilities for the upcoming symposium will include leading Working Groups on various topics such as Liaison Officers (LO), Women Peace & Security (WPS), and Senior Enlisted Leaders (SEL). This honor underscores Zambia and ZAF’s dedication to promoting collaboration in global Air Warfare, peace, and security matters.

The 2024 AACS saw participation from about 270 individuals representing 37 African nations, including 27 out of 30 Association members. The theme, “Pan-African Education and Training Opportunities,” guided discussions on crucial subjects, including operationalizing AAAF, leadership roles, membership contributions, and the unveiling of the new AAAF logo.

High-ranking speakers at the event emphasized the importance of participation, innovation, and cooperation among African Air Forces, alongside respecting differences and prioritizing education for all personnel. Discussions also focused on enhancing mobility, strategic partnerships, peacekeeping efforts, and recognizing the value of enlisted personnel, as well as providing resources to female recruits.

Notable speakers included Imed Memmich, Tunisia’s Minister of Defence; Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hajem, Chief of Staff of the Tunisian Air Force; Gen. James Hecker, Commander of United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa; and Gen. Birame Diop of Senegal, Military Advisor in the United Nations Department of Peace Operations.

During the symposium, Maj Gen Kalaluka engaged in strategic dialogues with counterparts from various countries, including Tunisia, Egypt, Botswana, Malawi, and the United States. The event also featured a unique tour of Tunisia’s civil-rated education and training facilities, fostering opportunities for cooperation in training and certification.

As preparations commence for AACS 2025 in Zambia, the AAAF is encouraged to continue networking and pursuing collective action to advance air capabilities and security across the African continent. The symposium serves as a platform for member states to exchange experiences, explore cooperation avenues, and lay the groundwork for future collaboration in air operations.

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