Minister Paradis Travels to South Africa and Tanzania

He will continue Canadian leadership in responsible resource development as well as women's and children's health

January, 31, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, will travel to Africa on February 2–5 to attend the indaba conference in South Africa and further Canada's agendas on maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), and on innovation in Tanzania.

While in South Africa, the Minister will participate in a number of events on extractives at which he will talk about the importance of responsible resource development that benefits communities and the essential role of the private sector in poverty reduction and development. He will also meet with the governments of South Africa and of other African countries, and with representatives from the Canadian and African business communities.

"I look forward to exploring ways of increasing economic cooperation with our partners in Africa," said Minister Paradis. "The private sector has a key role to play in reducing poverty and creating sustainable economic growth across the African continent. Canada will continue to promote increased transparency and strengthened governance in the oil, gas, and mining sectors to ensure African populations derive the maximum benefit from their natural resources."

The Minister will then visit Tanzania, where he will meet with members of the government to discuss progress on our shared priorities of health, education, and sustainable economic growth. Minister Paradis will also meet with Canadian and international partners as well as members of local organizations working in Tanzania. While in Dar es Salaam, the Minister will deliver opening remarks at a round table event on innovations in MNCH, and at a G-8 event on the Canada-Tanzania partnership on transparency and extractives, originally announced by the Prime Minister at last June's G8 Summit in Lough Erne. Minister Paradis will also pay a visit to health and education sites, part of the national system in Tanzania and supported by Canada to get a first-hand view of the results and challenges.

"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper, Canada is recognized as a global leader in maternal, newborn, and child health, a crucial part of efforts to reduce poverty and advance development," said Minister Paradis. "Canada's support saves lives and improves the health of African mothers and children by increasing their access to essential health services and finding innovative solutions to make their health systems more effective."

This will be the second visit of Minister Paradis to the African continent since being appointed in July.

Quick Facts

  • Recognizing that the extractive sector can be an important driver of sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, Canada has supported the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the creation of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development, and has announced $15.3 million in funding to the African Mineral Development Centre.
  • Canada's early support was instrumental in Tanzania, achieving compliant status under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in December 2012.
  • Canada has made a number of significant commitments in sub-Saharan Africa, such as the 2010 G-8 Summit in Muskoka commitment of $1.1 billion in new funding in addition to $1.75 billion in ongoing spending on MNCH, for a total of $2.85 billion over five years (to 2015).
  • In September 25, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, co-hosted a UN event entitled Women's and Children's Health: The Unfinished Agenda of the Millennium Development Goals. The event, organized in support of the Every Woman Every Child Initiative, examined ways to accelerate progress on improving maternal, newborn and child health and reducing the number of preventable deaths.
  • Canada's development program in Tanzania has achieved significant results in many areas, such as education, where the Government of Tanzania received the Millennium Development Goal Award for having increased primary school enrolment rates from 59 percent in 2000 to 95.4 percent in 2010.
  • Tanzania is a key partner for Canada on MNCH and one of the 10 countries which Canada has targeted for MNCH interventions under the 2010 Muskoka Initiative.

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Margaux Stastny
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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