African countries are interested in not just buying weapons from Kyiv but manufacturing them, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the first International Defence Industries Forum in Kyiv.
Officials from over 30 countries and 250 defense firms gathered for the forum, which was held as Ukraine seeks to attract weapons manufacturers to bolster its domestic arms industry.
“Africa was one of the largest markets for Ukrainian military products before the outbreak of full-scale war,” Kuleba said in a panel discussion held behind closed doors on Friday.
He said that while Ukraine was not currently able to sell any weapons to Africa, African countries were interested in producing Ukrainian weapons and ammunition on their own territory.
“This stems from the African partner’s understanding that Ukrainian weapons will be of extremely high quality, and they understand us as partners,” Kuleba said.
Kyiv has depended heavily on Western aid since Russia invaded last year, but is increasingly seeking to bolster its own arms industry amid fears support from its allies may waver.
It launched its push to regain occupied territory in June but has acknowledged slow progress as its troops encounter lines of heavily fortified Russian defenses.