This year, one of the biggest technical hurdles facing the Africa Endeavor 2011 (AE11) exercise participants has been to establish connectivity from the main exercise site in Banjul, The Gambia, with participants at two remote sites, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, and the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
While the African Union has successfully made contact with both participants in Nigeria and The Gambia, communication links between each of the participant sites are still being conducted.
Chairman for the Host Nation AE Committee, Gambian Navy Commodore Madani Senghore, expressed the significance of AE11 for The Gambia.
"I am confident that, with the equipment that we have in The Gambia, we will be able to establish radio calls to Nigeria and Ghana based on the previous AE test exercises and the present one that is happening," said Senghore. "We are able to make records of frequencies and other necessary input that we will be able to use to communicate to our sub-regional partners."
Zambian Army Colonel Wilson Chikwalamba Tembo, AU African Standby Force communications officer, shared his opinion of the challenges involved in training across so many different cultures and languages.
"We've got Francophone countries; we have Anglophile countries, others that are Portuguese speaking and so on," he said. "And each of these groups has their own way of conducting business, especially in terms of procedures in communicating. So what AE is doing is to try and bring all these together to find a common ground and come up with common standards that we should be able to use irrespective of where we're coming from, to be able to communicate effectively."
All of this hard work is clearly paying off during AE11, as people from all over Africa are engaging in dialogue and furthering human as well as technological communication.