LT GEN V.R. MASONDO, MMM
FOREWORD TO SA ARMY SEMINAR 21 BY THE CHIEF OF THE SA ARMY
Welcome to the third SA Army Seminar 21. A special word of welcome is extended to
all the guest speakers and military representatives who travelled from afar to take part
in this seminar. The aim of this seminar is to expand our insight into current and future
African security challenges through a number of presentations by prominent academics,
military speakers, as well as government officials from South Africa. The focus of these
presentations will be on the key issues of reconstruction and development during peace
operations in Africa. This will enable us to decisively prepare ourselves for the
challenges to be faced by the SA Army during multi-dimensional peace missions on the
continent. The theme of this seminar is therefore: “Reconstruction and Development in
Africa: Prospects and Implications”.
In the wake of protracted conflict in several African states during and subsequent to the
Cold War era, a number of diverse mechanisms have been established by various
international and continental institutions to carry out conflict prevention, intervention,
peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction activities on the continent. Similarly, the
AU has also, since its inception in 2002 created several mechanisms to address the
root causes of African intra-state wars, protracted conflict, regional overspill, poverty
and disease in its attempts to develop workable solutions to the establishment of
effective and sustainable security architectures. Although continental early-warning
systems and other security mechanisms exist to prevent political tensions from erupting,
armed conflicts continue to mar the African security landscape despite the
establishment of various mechanisms. It is intended that we use the insights provided
during this seminar to prepare ourselves appropriately to conduct successful peace
missions in order to affect sustainable reconstruction and development initiatives on the
continent. The insights and lessons learned will be used as valuable inputs for the
drafting, compilation and updating of the SA Army’s long-term strategy.
African armed forces face many challenges with peace support operations on the
continent. Despite these challenges, the SA Army has been, and is still expected to be
militarily geared to fulfil its obligations towards peace operations on the continent.
During this, the third SA Army Seminar 21, we intend to explore possible solutions to
these challenges by applying a holistic and in-depth understanding of the challenges to
be met and the opportunities that are afforded to us by reconstruction and development
on the continent.
The SA Army thanks our strategic partner, the Institute for Security Studies for its
support in presenting this seminar and acting as a soundboard to what is envisioned by
the SA Army. Members of other departments, representatives of the SANDF and the
members of the other services and divisions are thanked for their presence and support
prior to and during the seminar. The SA Army remains committed to the notion that a
joint, interdepartmental and multinational (JIM) integrated approach to post-conflict
reconstruction and development efforts will largely determine overall success. We
therefore see your continued support to the development of the Future SA Army
Strategy as vital to achieving this goal.
We wish you an enjoyable and meaningful seminar, and for those who are visitors to
our country – may you enjoy everything that our beautiful county has to offer.
(V. R. MASONDO)
CHIEF OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY: LIEUTENANT GENERAL