Stéphane Dion, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs has stated that Africa must develop solutions to its own problems especially in the areas of ‘‘security, governance and the rule of law.’‘
According to a statement from the Government of Canada, Dion made the observation when he visited the African Union (AU) during a recent visit to Ethiopia. He stressed that ‘‘Canada strongly supports the AU’s work and vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.’‘
“Canada is exploring concrete opportunities to strengthen its engagement with the African Union to help prevent conflict, promote the rule of law and foster inclusive and accountable governance. We strongly support the African Union and its vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa,” he said.
Canada is exploring concrete opportunities to strengthen its engagement with the African Union to help prevent conflict, promote the rule of law and foster inclusive and accountable governance.
As part of his visit, the top diplomat announced a $5-million project to support the AU Commission in areas of mutual priority, including the empowerment of women and girls, good governance, renewable energy, intra-African trade, and addressing the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
He also disclosed projects worth $680,000 as part of efforts to strengthen sub-Saharan Africa’s capacity to address human rights compliance in criminal-justice measures against terrorism and violent extremism in selected African states.
The beneficiary nations are; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
‘‘Canada will also provide $250,000 to the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, which is affiliated with the AU, to address legal issues involved in handling and prosecuting terrorism-related cases in East Africa,’‘ the statement added.
This was Minister Dion’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa according to the government, it was ‘‘an opportunity to highlight the importance Canada assigns to the region, focusing on peace and stability, security and the rule of law.’‘
Before Ethiopia, he visited Nigeria and Kenya. At the AU Headquarters, he held takls with officials including Smail Chergui, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, on conflict prevention, peace-support operations, governance, human rights and the rule of law.