Canada promotes women’s economic empowerment and play-based learning to build confident youth in Ghana

News Release

July 8, 2017 - Tamale, Ghana - Global Affairs Canada

As part of Canada’s re-engagement with Africa, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, will tomorrow conclude a four-day visit to Ghana along with Right To Play athlete ambassadors Kaylyn Kyle, Olympic bronze medalist for the Canadian women’s soccer team, and Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medalist and six-time Canadian national champion figure skater. These Canadian athletes are in their own right powerful role models for girls and ambassadors for the transformative power of play and sports.

Ghana and Canada have a long and productive history of cooperation and partnership for development. This partnership has helped Ghana achieve remarkable progress over the last decades in its fight against poverty and the establishment of good governance. Canada will continue its close collaboration with Ghana as its new government seeks to further reduce poverty and promote economic growth, with a particular focus on the agricultural sector and women. In Ghana 80% of farmers live under the poverty line and women and girls continue to face significant social and economic barriers. 

During their stay, the Minister and the Canadian Olympic medalists visited a number of initiatives supported by Canada to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the most vulnerable and the success of Canada’s approach to development assistance. Together, they witnessed how Canada’s assistance is helping to protect women and youth and increase access to health services and quality education. They also had the opportunity to engage with youth and witness the unique contributions of play-based learning and other innovative teaching approaches in Ghana that are supported by Canada and implemented by Right To Play. By training local teachers on how to integrate sport and play within their curriculum, this results in improved participation and interaction of all students, including girls.

To promote growth that works for everyone, the Minister announced $145 million in funding for two initiatives that will:

  • modernize Ghana’s agriculture and provide 13 million people working in the sector, of whom 5 million are women, with the knowledge, training and skills they need to generate more profit for their families and create jobs within their communities; and
  • provide support, including training and loans, to over 18,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, half of which are women owned, to expand their businesses.


“Canada looks forward to working with Ghana’s newly elected President Akufo-Addo and his government to champion the advancement of gender equality and inclusive economic growth. We look forward to promoting Canada’s renewed engagement with Africa, the continent of the future. Right To Play Canada and its athlete ambassadors are helping to raise awareness about the importance of addressing poverty reduction globally. Right To Play’s transformative approach focuses on sports and play to help build confident and empowered youth, especially girls.”

- The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 

Quick Facts

  • The year 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Canada-Ghana bilateral relationship.

  • In 2015 to 2016, Canada invested almost $136 million in international development assistance for Ghana and is one of the country’s top five bilateral donors.

  • Right To Play is an international NGO that uses the transformative power of play to improve education outcomes for children. 

Associated Links


Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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