The Chief of South African Navy, Vice Admiral Samuel Hlongwane has called on African Maritime Nations to revive the Sea-Power for African Symposium which was initiated by the Chiefs of Navies of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa at the International Sea Power Symposium held in 2003 at Rhodes Island, USA. He made the call recently when he paid an official visit to National Defence College Abuja. Admiral Hlongwane was in Nigeria on a working visit to further strengthen the cordial relationship between the 2 Navies.
According to him, the Symposium is a forum where African Maritime Nations gather to collaborate and cooperate to address the maritime challenges facing the continent. The maiden edition was hosted by South Africa in 2005 and was followed by Nigeria hosting the second symposium in 2006. South Africa for the second time hosted the third and last edition so far in 2009. He solicited the cooperation of Nigeria towards ensuring the revival of the symposium which he said will once again provide opportunities to re assess the challenges African countries face in the maritime domain. Furthermore, he lauded the discipline inculcated in Nigeria Naval Officers, describing it as very impressive. He stressed that his visit will no doubt further improve the already existing bi-lateral relationship between both countries, especially in the area of military cooperation.
A brief insight about the National Defence College since its inception in 1992 showed that a total number of 2, 124 participants have so far been trained by the College with the Army having 900 Officers, Navy 438, while the Nigerian Air force has had 376. Others are the Nigerian Police Force with 72, and 161 Participants from Ministries Departments and Agencies, whereas, a total number of 177 International Participants have so far been trained at the College.
While responding, the Commandant National Defence College Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo stated that the visit of the Chief of South African Navy, Vice Admiral Hlongwane is another important milestone in the history of the National Defence College and the 2 Countries at large. He noted that the present Course 26 has a total number of 136 Participants with 16 African and Non-African Participants, which he said is a very credible foreign policy commitment of the Nigerian government. He concluded by thanking the Chief of South African Navy on behalf of the College community for his visit to the College.