Despite the Nairobi helicopter crash that killed Kenya’s security minister, his deputy, two bodyguards and two pilots, the international security conference he planned for Nairobi in September will go ahead.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, a mathematics professor and former vice-president of Kenya, was pursuing offensives against the Somali militant group al-Shabab and had planned to stand for the Kenyan presidency.
His assistant Joshua Orwa Ojode also died in the crash. Dr Ojoide was working on an initiative to involve African business in tackling new security problems. Both men were prominent supporters of the first African Forum on Business and Security (AFBS) due to open at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi from September 13th – 14th, 2012.
Dr Harold Elletson, chairman of the New Security Foundation jointly staging the conference with the Kenyan government, extended condolences to the families of the six men who died in the still unexplained crash. “Dr Ojode understood the importance of security to Africa’s growing economies. He was committed to working with business to develop new solutions.
“He gave the AFBS his full backing and wanted to ensure that the forum in September would be a meeting of the best minds in business, politics, security and academia from all over Africa and beyond. His enthusiasm, skill and dedication will be sorely missed by those of us who had been privileged to know him. We must redouble our efforts to turn his vision into reality and ensure the forum is a success.”
The Office of the President of Kenya announced that “The conference will provide an ideal platform for national and international business leaders, security professionals and providers, NGOs and academics to focus on common problems and exchange ideas with the aim of identifying existing and new opportunities and work together to develop new solutions.”
The forum will focus on improving security to boost investor confidence, protecting key industries and trade routes, how stakeholders can plan for a prosperous future where businesses are profitable, governments are stable and citizens are safe.
Dubbed “Usalama ni Harambee”, Swahili for “Security Through Partnership”, the forum will be a platform bringing together the best international minds from the business, political, international aid and security sectors. The AFBS will be a place for debate, discussion and the sharing of ideas on long-term security solutions.