In a recent article by Defence Web, it is suggested that the
African armoured vehicle market growth is expected to be driven by insurgency and cross-border tensions. However, in most large markets such as South Africa, Algeria, and Morocco, there is a trend towards local production, offsets, and long-term support for defence equipment.
Defence Web interviewed Helmoed Heitman, a South Africa-based defence journalist, author and historian who highlighted the “dumping” of
Chinese equipment in Africa. Other countries are of course also providing military equipment at varying levels of restrictions and volume depending on political sensitivities. The following analysis about predicted priorities for the market is an excerpt from the Defence
Web article: Predicted priorities for Africa
According to defence experts, African states will continue to come to the realisation that they need increased strategic capability. At the same time, there is a heightened belief among African governments that they can take a more proactive and sustainable approach to their involvement in the defence market. Now that global industry is looking to Africa as a major source of income, regional states are rightly looking at leveraging their own benefits from the demand. More and more customers are insisting on local manufacturing, offsets and long-term support for defence equipment. Manufacturers are responding by becoming more involved with their customers. This also extends to joint ventures and partnerships, especially as many countries wish to build up their own defence industries. Denel has partnered with the UAE (Tawazun Dynamics) and Brazil (on the A-Darter), for instance while DCD Protected Mobility is building armoured vehicles in Nigeria. Hampton notes that conflict and violence in Africa are becoming increasingly difficult to define and categorise. “State-on-state conflicts are rare, civil wars that pit two or more organised armed factions against each other or against government security forces,” he says. “They are a Twentieth Century legacy.
Despite frequent references to insurgencies and insurgent forces, the blurring of lines between armed rebellion and criminal enterprise calls into question the relevancy and efficacy of traditional counter-insurgency (COIN) doctrine. In other words, effective COIN strategies in Africa must cross-cut the entire security sector, identifying, balancing and prioritising the roles of the police, judicial, military and intelligence services.”
Heitman reasserts the belief that protected patrol vehicles, armoured cars and possibly some air-transportable vehicles will continue to be in demand while African states will inevitably look at smarter ways of doing business.
“Denel and Paramount and other South African companies will seek to expand their market in Africa,” predicts Heitman. “Other African countries will begin to insist on offsets in technical and defence fields, and on growing levels of local assembly and even moving into manufacture. Meanwhile, African armies are building operational experience, and Africa’s people are increasingly impatient with incompetence, corruption and nepotism in government. Together those trends will see acquisitions being more professionally handled, with less room for poor quality equipment, for contracts that do not include support, and for irregular contracting.”