DVIDS – News – Nigerian Air Base 201 bazaar boosts Agadez’s economy and relations


Nigerien Air Base 201, NIGER–

A local artisanal bazaar, organized on June 20, 2021 by the Nigerien air base 201 in Agadez, generated around $ 14,000 (4.2 million Central African francs) while strengthening relations between the military and the community. This event was made possible with the help of Airmen from the 409th Air Expeditionary Group and Soldiers assigned to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron Civil Affairs Team. There were 43 vendors from different ethnic groups in the area to sell their products.

With a population of around 25 million, Niger is statistically considered by the United Nations to be an impoverished country. Similar to all sites hosting a US military installation, the town of Agadez has received some financial sustainability from its proximity to AB 201.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been fewer opportunities to interact with locals, but Lt. Col. Jeffrey A. Gipson, commander of 724 Squadron at the Expeditionary Air Base, hopes to see more of it. events like the bazaar take place in order to strengthen the bond established.

“We are very fortunate to have excellent partners in the Agadez region and the city of Agadez,” said Gipson. “We really look forward to continuing with the United States Africa Command and the United States Department of Defense to strengthen partnership capabilities in the Agadez region and in West Africa in general. . “

In addition to supporting the security of West Africa with the Nigerien Armed Forces, the base contributes to the economy of the Agadez region by organizing events and activities with the local population.

“The bazaars are a great way for us to bring the local community to the base so they can interact with our airmen and soldiers,” Gipson said.

The bazaar had a wide range of items available for purchase, including traditional Nigerian clothing and products made by local artisans. Among the most popular options on offer were jewelry, figurines, clothing, and camel rides.

“Since the decline in tourism in Agadez, the ability of local artisans to practice their craft has declined dramatically,” said US Army Staff Sergeant Jarrod Mattison, head of the civil affairs team. “These bazaars provide the opportunity to earn a much-needed income to support their families and allow their skills to be appreciated by others within the community.

According to Gipson, hosting events between AB 201 and the host nation enhances partnerships and helps validate the United States as a partner of choice. There are discussions for potential future activities to be carried out both on the base and in the town of Agadez.

“The more good relations we have with this city and this region of Agadez, whether through the economy or through commitments, or through the great charitable work that many of our private organizations do, the more likely they will be. ‘occupy it. us and help with our force protection position, ”Gipson said.

Airmen and soldiers helped the community rebuild a primary school in Tadress village, donate school and medical supplies to a school in Teghazer village, and assess broken construction machinery in Agadez town. These projects were led by the Civil Affairs team with the help of airmen assigned to different units, including civil engineering and vehicle maintenance.

Date taken: 20.06.2021
Date posted: 07/17.2021 07:17
Story ID: 401126
Location: AGADEZ, NE

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