Canada has committed to help Africa tackle poverty by ensuring the continent’s poorest and most vulnerable countries receive grants and low-interest loans.
Canadian Minister of International Development Christian Paradis said the country will continue to provide funding to the African Development Fund to drive sustainable poverty reduction across the continent.
“Canada is committed to supporting development in sub-Saharan Africa, and will continue to play a leadership role in maternal, newborn and child health and in supporting sustainable economic growth,” said Paradis during the first Canada-Africa Business Summit hosted by the Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica).
Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan are development countries of focus under Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Agenda.
There are 12 sub-Saharan African countries listed as priority markets under the country’s Global Markets Action Plan.
According to Paradis, Africa’s development is not only an important economic growth story but is also a development story because it’s about jobs, education, access to training and health care services, sustainable growth and wealth distribution.
He noted that as investors, Canadian businesses are models of best practice because they use innovative approaches, financial instruments and technologies to build local capacity and create benefits for communities. Thus their presence is positive for the countries in which they operate and for those who live there.
“African states have made their development needs and priorities clear. Canada, and Canadian businesses, have the capital, technology and entrepreneurial expertise to help them implement their vision,” observed Paradis.
He added that in order to tackle persistent barriers to eliminating global poverty, Canada needs to diversify its development programming. “We need innovative funding mechanisms that support private-sector-led growth that lead to sustainable solutions and that create jobs and wealth on both sides of the world.”
During the summit, Paradis also met with Tolesa Shagui, Minister of Mines of Ethiopia, where they discussed increased cooperation and results.
They announced an initiative to strengthen education for mining in Ethiopia by providing technical vocational training for the community-based workforce and by preparing graduates for employment in the extractive sector. This initiative will increase access to cutting-edge fields such as geology and mining engineering.
CCAfrica is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote trade and economic development between Canada and Africa.
Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs