Canada announces additional support to strengthen education in developing countries

News Release

February 2, 2018 - Dakar, Senegal - Global Affairs Canada

Education is one of the pillars of Canada’s efforts to tackle poverty and inequality around the world. As part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Government of Canada is committed to investing in education-especially for girls.

When girls and boys, adolescents and adults complete a quality education, they have the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential, find decent work and contribute to society.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, participated in the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE’s) Financing Conference, on February 1 and 2, 2018, in Dakar, Senegal. Minister Bibeau reiterated Canada’s pledge of $180 million to the GPE for 2018 to 2020, a doubling of Canada’s current annual contribution, recently announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Minister Bibeau also announced an additional $59.5 million in funding over four years to improve the public education system in Burkina Faso. Canada’s continued bilateral support of Burkina Faso’s Ministry of National Education and Literacy is increasing access to quality education for young women and girls and empowering children and youth. Canada’s funding will help to build and equip some 20,000 new classrooms.

While in Senegal, Minister Bibeau also met with Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia and current chair of the board of directors of the GPE. The Minister also met with representatives of Senegal and other donor countries, multilateral organizations and civil society to discuss increasing access to quality education for the poorest and most vulnerable.


“Education is vital to the empowerment of women and girls and the eradication of poverty. It provides them with a real and fair chance at success while fulfilling their full potential. Canada’s investment in education projects with multilateral organizations, such as the GPE, and bilateral support is helping millions of youth pave the way for a better future for all.”

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

Quick Facts

  • The GPE is the main international multilateral mechanism dedicated to education. It is one of Canada’s key partners in advancing access to quality education, particularly for girls in developing and conflict-affected nations.

  • Since 2012, Canada has supported the Government of Burkina Faso’s current 10-year plan for the development of the basic education sector. The primary school enrolment rate rose from 46% in 2001 to 83% in 2014, and gender parity in primary school was also achieved in 2014.

  • Canada’s overall funding for education in developing countries (not including humanitarian assistance) was $334 million in the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year, 9% of Canada’s total international assistance.

  • Minister Bibeau’s participation at the GPE’s Financing Conference in Dakar was the Minister’s first stop in her visit to West Africa, part of Canada’s re-engagement with Africa and its commitment to work together with its partners to address issues facing the continent.

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