Minister Cannon to Attend African Union Summit in Addis Ababa

(No. 47 - January 28, 2010 - 3:35 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will attend the 14th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from January 29 to 31.

"I look forward to my first visit to the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa and to participating in my first African Union Summit," said Minister Cannon. "I hope that my presence at this important conference will send a clear signal to the organization and its members that Canada is committed to Africa, specifically in the areas of peace and security, conflict resolution, good governance and economic integration."

On the margins of the summit, the Minister will hold senior-level meetings with his African counterparts in order to discuss issues of common interest and concern in Africa and globally, including Canada's plans as 2010 president of the G8 and host of the Toronto G20 Summit in June. While in Ethiopia, Minister Cannon will also meet with Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfim.

The theme of this year's summit, Information and Communication Technologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development, echoes Canada's interest in strengthening trade and investment ties with the continent. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the International Development Research Centre are co-sponsoring a conference in Ottawa on February 4 and 5 entitled Africa's New Frontier: Innovation, Technology, Prosperity.

"The African Union continues to play a crucial leadership role across the African continent," said Minister Cannon. "I welcome this opportunity to engage with such a valuable international partner for Canada."

For more information, please visit African Union, Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Africa's New Frontier.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874