At the beginning of this year, French defence industry specialists were smiling, at least the ones who had left the cold greyness of the Paris region for the warmer temperatures of the Ebrié Lagoon. The Shield Africa trade fair was holding its sixth edition in Abidjan. Launched in 2013, it has become one of Africa’s major events dedicated to defence and security.
Every year, world leaders in the sector and apprentice arms dealers congregate there, amidst soldiers in fatigues. Since 2017, the show has been owned by the Groupement des Industries Françaises de la Défense et de la Sécurité Terrestres et Aéroterrestres, which is responsible for promoting the French defence industry internationally. As a result, its boss, General Patrick Colas des Francs (since replaced by General Charles Baudoin), and the French, feel a bit more at home there. French flagships are the best represented.
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