U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, joined with the Zambian army Monday in the Zambian town of Livingstone to cohost the African Land Forces Summit 2024, the Pentagon announced today.

The summit, which runs from April 22-26, “brings together over 40 land force military chiefs from across Africa [and] other European partner nations, along with academic thought leaders and government officials for candid dialogue to discuss and develop cooperative solutions,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a briefing.

Ryder added that the theme of this year’s summit is “Regional Solutions to Transnational Problems.” 

“Africa’s security challenges originate from different parallels such as ethnic, geographical and cultural sources,” Ambrose L. Lufuma, defense minister of the Republic of Zambia, is quoted in an Army news release about the summit. “Therefore, it requires African solutions, in partnership with our cooperating partners.”  

“Challenges such as human trafficking, mass migration, environmental degradation and climate change wreak havoc and cause untold human suffering. These issues transcend national borders, they subvert sovereignty, cross jurisdictions and strain national resources. No country can solve these challenges alone,” Maj. Gen. Todd R. Wasmund, commanding general, SETAF-AF, is quoted in the same release.

In addition to the multiple discussions, those attending the summit will also have opportunities to watch a military demonstration by the Zambian army’s special forces; to join local school children to participate in a tree planting ceremony; and to experience Zambian culture, in general, according to the release.

At the summit’s conclusion, said Ryder, the DOD will sign the two newest state partnership programs: one between North Carolina and Zambia, and the other between North Carolina and Malawi. 

Through the State Partnership Program, which originated in 1993, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of DOD security goals, while also leveraging “whole-of-society relationships and capabilities” to facilitate “broader interagency and corollary engagements” that span military, economic, government and social spheres, according to the National Guard’s official website.

This is the 12th iteration of the African Land Forces Summit since the event first took place on the continent of Africa in 2012. Prior to that, the inaugural ALFS took place in Washington, D.C., in 2010.

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