OTTAWA, Canada, September 19, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, delivered closing remarks at the first Canada-Africa Business Summit, hosted by the Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica).
“Africa’s development is not only an important economic growth story, it is also a development story.” said Minister Paradis. “It’s about jobs, education, access to training and health care services. It’s about sustainable growth and wealth distribution. As investors, Canadian businesses are models of best practice. They use innovative approaches, financial instruments and technologies to build local capacity and create benefits for communities. Their presence is positive for the countries in which they operate, and perhaps even more importantly, for those who live there.”
Current rates of economic growth across Africa have the potential to bring sustainable poverty reduction across the continent. In his remarks, Minister Paradis announced that Canada is providing funding to the 13th replenishment of the African Development Fund to help Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable countries receive grants and low-interest loans. 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.
“African states have made their development needs and priorities clear,” added the Minister. “Canada, and Canadian businesses, have the capital, technology, and entrepreneurial expertise to help them implement their vision. If we are to break down those last, 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.”
While in Toronto the Minister also met with Mr. Tolesa Shagui, Minister of the Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia, where they discussed increased cooperation and results. Together the Ministers announced an initiative to strengthen education for mining in Ethiopia, by providing technical vocational training for the community-based workforce and by preparing graduates—both men and women—for employment in the extractive sector. This initiative will increase access to cutting-edge fields such as geology and mining engineering.
• The Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote trade and economic development between Canada and Africa.
• 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 our Global Markets Action Plan.
• Exports of oil and minerals from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America in 2012 were worth more than US$1.35 trillion—more than 15 times the amount of official development assistance provided to these same regions in that year.