Mr Dominic Nitiwul[/caption] Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister for Defence, has called for the combination of new ideas with proven technologies to offer a comprehensive range of integrated solutions in security matters in Africa. He said this is needed for the modern armoured vehicles to enhance operational readiness through their improved responsiveness, ergonomic design, ease of use and maintenance. Speaking at the closing session of the 2017 Armoured Vehicles and Future Fires Africa Conference and Defence Exhibition held in Accra, Mr Nitiwul said the conference was to help improve strategies to address the inherent problems commanders face on the fields. The conference, hosted by the Ghana Armed Forces, in collaboration with the International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC), aimed to digest fires available to the military and examine the way forward for optimum application in contemporary warfare. Mr Nitiwul said what prevails currently is the changing dynamics in the use of armoured vehicles and indirect fires to combat the transnational and asymmetrical warfare, which confront global security. He said the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has offered the military varied systems and modes of communication. He said the conference assisted in realising the significance of integrating modern fires and communication systems as well as their incorporation in the procurement plans of the participating countries. The Sector Minister said there is the need to embrace the integration of systems and platforms to guarantee high operational mobility, mutual support and concentration of fires. Mr Nitiwul said that from the presentation delivered by most of the African countries at the conference, it is clear that the strategic direction for the Armed Forces is aimed at ensuring survivability and ground superiority through protected mobility and enhanced firepower. He said the conference sought to ensure that there was a regional collaboration in procurement of new platforms and the incorporation of modern and new trends in the maintenance and upgrade of existing armoured vehicles. Mr Nitiwul said: “This common user system will, undoubtedly, provide the platform for harmonisation and regional interoperability.” The sector Minister said the current threats of Improvised Explosive Devices and suicide bombers would make the use of armoured vehicles continue to remain more relevant in handling such security cases. Mr Nitiwul said to uphold the high standard of ensuring survivability of troops through protected mobility and enhanced firepower, there is the need to ensure continuous collaboration among the armies in the procurement of new platforms, maintenance and upgrade of existing vehicles, logistics support and technological solutions. He said modern warfare has brought to the notice, the need to incorporate Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) into the design of modern armoured vehicle platforms. The Minister said: “As we embark on plans to make regional structures such as the African Standby or Economic Community of West African States Standby Forces operationally efficient, any attempt to ignore platforms will undermine the integration of this ideal concept. “We should remember that we are confronted with a contemporary enemy who uses ICT. “It is only when we embark on a concerted endeavour to achieve the optimum in systems integration that we shall … ensure success,” he said. Mr Faraz Shanoo, a representative of the IQPC, expressed gratitude to participating countries, and partners for their enormous contributions to the success of the programme. The participating countries included Ghana, the host nation, Nigeria, Italy, Benin, Botswana, Senegal, Zambia, South Africa, amongst others.