Canada and African Union Commission conclude first high-level dialogue

News release

October 28, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development; and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, yesterday concluded a successful first Canada–African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue, in Ottawa, Canada.

On October 26, 2022, on the margins of the high-level dialogue, the ministers also joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a meeting with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

The high-level dialogue, which took place October 27, consisted of thematic discussions during which Chairperson Faki, the three Canadian ministers, and African Union Commission and Canadian officials identified opportunities for increased collaboration on issues of peace and democracy, sustainable development, health and economic cooperation.

Throughout the sessions, the ministers reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to a strengthened Canada-African Union Commission partnership based on common priorities, recognizing the strategic vision provided by the African Union’s Agenda 2063. They announced their intention to hold regular high-level dialogues, as well as sectoral dialogues on trade and development, and welcomed the according of privileges and immunities to African Union Commission officials.

The ministers also announced over $223 million in project funding to support various priorities shared with African countries:

  • over $37 million will be allocated for peace and security initiatives, including to respond to conflict-related sexual violence, for counter terrorism initiatives and to strengthen stabilization efforts;
  • over $18 million to bolster economic development and to support small and medium-sized businesses;
  • over $168 million will be earmarked for sustainable development initiatives with a focus on ensuring all interventions work towards gender equality, including to support climate-change adaptation, access to education and jobs, and COVID-19 vaccine delivery.

The ministers thanked Chairperson Faki and the African Union Commission delegation for travelling to Canada and participating in this historic first dialogue. They noted that Canada and the African Union Commission look forward to deepening their partnership through political, security, commercial and development cooperation efforts on the African continent.

Quotes

“For over five decades, Canada has been committed to working with African countries on shared priorities. The Canada-African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue comes at a critical time, as democracies and peace processes are challenged. It has been an honour to host Chairperson Faki and his delegation in Ottawa for this historic event, the first of its kind for Canada, and we look forward to a new era of cooperation between Canada and the African Union Commission.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canada has long enjoyed a positive and mutually beneficial economic relationship with Africa. The Canada-African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue has been an opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen our economic resilience by deepening these ties. We are committed not only to supporting a number of projects across Africa, but to continue doing so sustainably and responsibly while ensuring our people continue to benefit from stable jobs and economic growth.”

Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

“The Canada-African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue was an unprecedented opportunity to see how we can strengthen our partnership and work toward a more prosperous and inclusive Africa that has greater food-system resilience and can better withstand climate change, conflict and other shocks.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Canada–African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue is the fulfillment of an agreement between Prime Minister Trudeau and Chairperson Faki when they met on the margins of the 33rd African Union Summit in Ethiopia in February 2020.

  • In June 2022, Canada announced the establishment of a dedicated mission and permanent observer to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which will enable Canada to bring a renewed focus to its relationship with the African Union and strengthen ongoing efforts on shared priorities. The expanded representation in Kigali and with the African Union is another mark of Canada’s steadfast commitment to its engagement in Africa.

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Contacts

Adrien Blanchard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adrien.Blanchard@international.gc.ca

Shanti Cosentino
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
Shanti.Cosentino@international.gc.ca

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development
Haley.Hodgson@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
media@international.gc.ca
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