African Union Receives Financial Support from Canada

Canada extends its financial support for the AU-Canada development partnership.

Canada extends its financial support for the AU-Canada development partnership. It has doubled its grants, and provided an additional $20 million to empower the African Union to pursue its goals and drive progress across the continent. It will, in addition, strengthen the existing partnership between Canada and the AU in paving the way for a more prosperous and secure future for Africa.

During the High-level Development Policy Dialogue between Canada and the African Union, H.E. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, AUC Deputy Chairperson, said, “The partnership between the African Union and Canada signifies a remarkable step forward in the collective efforts to achieve Agenda 2063, and the additional support from Canada will undoubtedly accelerate progress towards realizing this dream.”

The Deputy Chairperson was accompanied by the AU Commissioners who shared briefings on their respective departments, highlighting areas of collaboration. The delegation included Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE); Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Tourism, Trade, Industry, and Mining (ETTIM); Professor Mohammed Belhocine, Commissioner for Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation; and Amb. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development.

“Canada is deeply committed to supporting Africa’s development journey. By doubling our grant to the African Union, we are not only reinforcing our partnership but also investing in the future of the continent,” said Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of International Development. “The additional $20 million, allocated over five years, empowers the African Union to pursue its goals and drive progress across the continent.”

This increase includes $7.5 million unearmarked through the Joint Financing Arrangement (JFA), $2.5 million for Peace and Security Programs (PAPs) also through the JFA, and $10 million dedicated to Education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) delivered through AUC’s Education, Science, and Technology Department (ESTI), Together, we will work towards a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable future for all Africans,” announced the Canadian Minister.

This policy dialogue followed the state visit of AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to Ottawa, where he held discussions with Prime Minister Trudeau on October 26, 2022. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed building on the collaborative partnership between Canada and the African Union, and advancing shared priorities, which include protecting democracy, advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, and addressing challenges of shared concern such as food security and climate change. 

“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,” underscored 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,” underlined Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada added that “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.”

During the previous meeting, and 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 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 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 last Canada hosted the first Canada-African Union Commission High-Level Dialogue was held on October 27, 2022. The dialogue gave Canadian and African Union representatives the opportunity to discuss efforts in the areas of peace and democracy, sustainable development and economic cooperation. It was in fulfilment of an agreement between Prime Minister  Justin Trudeau and AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat when they met on the margins of the 33rd African Union Summit in Ethiopia in February 2020.

As a socially oriented non-financial development institution, broadening mutual cooperation has been its main task since its creation. African Union is the continental organization which is tackling Africa’s development and global challenges in the framework of its Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Kester Kenn Klomegah
Kester Kenn Klomegah
MD Africa Editor Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and writer on African affairs in the EurAsian region and former Soviet republics. He wrote previously for African Press Agency, African Executive and Inter Press Service. Earlier, he had worked for The Moscow Times, a reputable English newspaper. Klomegah taught part-time at the Moscow Institute of Modern Journalism. He studied international journalism and mass communication, and later spent a year at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. He co-authored a book “AIDS/HIV and Men: Taking Risk or Taking Responsibility” published by the London-based Panos Institute. In 2004 and again in 2009, he won the Golden Word Prize for a series of analytical articles on Russia's economic cooperation with African countries.