ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2012) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, travelled to Africa from May 7 to May 10, 2012, where she attended the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining and Minerals, [http://www.globaldialogue.info/intro_e.htm] the Grow Africa Investment Forum, [http://www.au.int/en/content/grow-africa-investment-forum] and the World Economic Forum on Africa. [http://www.weforum.org/events] The events were attended by heads of African states, key ministers, international experts, and leaders in the African business community.
"Africa has the potential to lead the world in sustainable economic growth, which will result in sustainable poverty reduction across the continent," said Minister Oda. "With Canada's participation in these key meetings, I was able to demonstrate Canada's continued leadership in food security and agriculture, in addition to our focus on Africa's economic growth. Canada was recognized in every venue as taking significant steps in effectively transforming its development work to realize real change for those living in poverty."
"It was said that international development in Africa has moved from an age of handouts to an age of hand ups and is now into the age of handshakes. Working with key African partners and institutions demonstrates Canada's genuine efforts to focus on economic growth as the most effective way to better the lives of Africa's poor."
Minister Oda met senior officials, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi; H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; H.E. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. The Minister also met with Mr. Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and reiterated Canada's continued support to meeting humanitarian needs in Africa.
Throughout the forums and in her discussions, Minister Oda received the appreciation of African and international development leaders for Canada's early leadership on meeting Africa's humanitarian needs and the focused strong approach Canada has taken to work within country plans for growth and prosperity. Minister Oda received commendation for her dedication in support of women entrepreneurs as an important element in advancing sustainable economic growth in Africa.
"The plight of the people in these regions continues to be precarious, and Canada remains committed to help meet their immediate humanitarian needs and support efforts to build their resilience," said Minister Oda. "This is why Canada moved early to support those facing imminent famine last year in East Africa as well as supporting the international aid efforts after famine caused migration and death. Unfortunately, the humanitarian needs in East Africa continue, and Canada is providing on-going support to help those in need."
Canadian support announced today amounts to $114.2 million, bringing the total response to humanitarian appeals for Africa to $225.2 million in 2012. Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is supporting organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, [http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/eng/NAD-321135143-NXV] the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme, [http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/eng/NAD-1131453-QDQ] and UNICEF, [http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/ACDI-CIDA.nsf/eng/NAD-11215236-RHP] as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross [http://www.icrc.org/eng/index.jsp] and Canadian non-governmental organizations.
This support is helping to improve access to food and to provide lifesaving nutritional support through a number of activities, including the distribution of emergency food rations, support for community-based treatment of acute malnutrition and livelihoods, and improving access to safe water. CIDA's support is also helping to respond to the needs of refugees in Africa, including in both East and West Africa.
For more information on Canada's work in Africa, please visit the CIDA website. [http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/acdi-cida/acdi-cida.nsf/eng/home]