African countries are interested in buying Ukrainian weapons and creating Ukrainian defense manufacturing plants on their soil, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Sept. 30 at Ukraine's first international defense industry forum.
Kuleba said that as a geographic region, Africa was one of the top customers of Ukraine's defense contractors and its countries would like Ukrainian products to return to their markets.
Plagued by weapon and ammo shortages, Ukraine is not able to export anything defense-related at this time but is looking to return to being one of the world's leading armorers.
The production of Ukrainian weapons on African soil is seen as an alternative to currently-impossible exports, Kuleba said, calling it a "new trend."
Ukraine has stayed within the top 20 defense exporting countries for the majority of its independence, occasionally climbing to 11th place. The country is especially renowned for its advanced aircraft engines.
The forum united 252 defense contractors from over 30 countries, as the Ukrainian government tries to build closer relationships and joint production capacities with the world's leading arms manufacturers, to include localized production of foreign arms inside Ukraine.