OTTAWA, Canada, July 27, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Senator Don Meredith, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced Canadian support for a new project to help increase job opportunities and promote entrepreneurship among young people in Nigeria.
Senator Meredith made the announcement in an address to the inaugural national convention of the Akwa Cross Association of Canada. Akwa Cross is non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of the cultures in the Nigerian states of Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
“The need for meaningful, sustainable employment, especially for youth, is a critical issue in Nigeria. Creating sustainable economic growth is the best way to break the cycle of poverty and create shared prosperity,” said Senator Meredith. “Canada is proud to help increase employment, support small entrepreneurs and secure livelihoods for young women and men in areas such as agriculture and forestry.”
Canada’s support will help stimulate private-sector-led growth in Nigeria’s Cross River State by creating the conditions to responsibly manage its forestry, agriculture and fisheries sectors. Efforts will focus on providing skills and entrepreneurship training for young people so they are better equipped to secure jobs and start and grow businesses in the country’s resource-based economy. Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s work with Nigerian organizations and government bodies to improve how the country manages its natural resources.
“Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, is recognized as a global champion for improving maternal, newborn and child health. The work we are doing with our partners is saving the lives of women and children in Nigeria, and across the developing world,” said Minister Paradis. “We need to provide people with not just the ability to survive, but the tools they need to thrive. The need for meaningful, sustainable employment, especially for youth, is a critical issue, and Canada is proud to help increase employment, support small entrepreneurs and secure livelihoods for youth.”
Nigeria is one of Canada’s 10 Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) countries of focus. Canada is also committed to promoting sustainable economic growth in the country. Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan identifies Nigeria as a priority marketand on May 6, 2014, Canada and Nigeria signed the Canada-Nigeria Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA).
• Current rates of economic growth across Africa have the potential to bring sustainable poverty reduction across the continent. Canada is committed to supporting development in Africa. It will continue to play a leadership role in maternal, newborn and child health and in supporting sustainable economic growth.
• Canada is looking to help Nigeria enhance its natural resource management, including the mining sector, in order to promote sustainable economic growth in the country, thereby generating economic benefits and long-term well-being for all Nigerians.
• Canada’s MNCH efforts in Nigeria are focussed on strengthening health care delivery at the community level, and on preventing and treating major illnesses that contribute to maternal and child mortality.
• Canada is at the forefront in helping Nigeria to eradicate polio.
Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs