Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted his nation’s continued investment in African development during the XVI Summit of La Francophonie, held this past weekend in Madagascar.
President Hery Rajaonarimampianina of Madagascar first welcomed the delegations to Antananarivo, where he stressed the importance of cooperation among member states in meeting the challenges of climate change, fighting poverty and building a more just society.
More than half of the organization’s 54 full members are African nations with French-speaking citizens and a shared history of Francophone influence.
For his part, Trudeau also spoke during the opening ceremony of the summit. He acknowledged the cultural bonds Canada shares with African member states, while also appealing to their leaders to act on climate change and human rights issues, particularly those of women, the LGBTQ population and other marginalized communities. Trudeau included youth among them, and urged investment in their future.
To that end, Trudeau announced $112.8 million in funding for programs that include:
- $40 million in funding support for the African Risk Capacity, a pan-African initiative to reduce the risk of climate impacts and serve vulnerable populations hit hardest by climate change
- Almost $18 million to support microfinance programs in Benin, with an additional $9.2 million earmarked for women’s entrepreneurship in agribusiness
- A $3.4 million investment in skills training to boost employment and income in Senegal
- A total of $500,000 in funding for counterterrorism programs and prevention in Niger
- More than $6 million to connect Senegalese scientists, particularly women, with employment and business opportunities across the La Francophonie organization member nations
For more details on Canada’s international aid objectives announced during the summit, see this link.
Image: XVI Summit of La Francophonie