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Minister Bibeau wraps up first official mission to Africa

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, concluded a productive four-day official mission to West Africa that took her to three member countries of the International Organisation of La Francophonie: Senegal on August 30 and 31, Mali on September 1 and Burkina Faso today. This was the Minister’s first official visit to Africa, and she had the opportunity to express Canada’s desire for political engagement in Africa with its West African partners.

Yesterday in Mali, the Minister met with Prime Minister Modibo Keïta and with Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration, with whom she discussed development issues in the context of the country’s current crisis. She also took the opportunity to reaffirm Canada’s support for this fragile state, as well as for the Malian people, including women and girls. Minister Bibeau also discussed issues related to the crisis with women’s organizations working in the country. She also met with many representatives from Malian and Canadian non-governmental organizations involved in implementing Canada’s assistance program in Mali.

Also while in Mali, the Minister announced $10 million in funding to support the VITAL project. Implemented by the World Food Programme, this project will help build community resilience to food insecurity in Mali.

In Burkina Faso, the Minister met President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré to discuss issues related to empowerment of women and girls, as well as the successful relationship of Canada and Burkina Faso.

The Minister, who wishes to put women and girls at the heart of Canada’s international assistance programs, was eager to learn about their current situation in Burkina Faso. To this end, she met with Alizatou Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, and Laure Zongo Hien, Minister of Women, National Solidarity and the Family. She also visited the team of a project implemented by the Léger Foundation to build agricultural capacity in the town of Ziniaré.


“The Government of Canada is listening to its African partners. We will get involved in Africa, particularly in West Africa, to assist the region and help it take up the challenges of human development, security and governance. Sustained dialogue with governments in the region and with dynamic groups in civil society, particularly women and girls, is essential to further our common approach toward an inclusive prosperity.”

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

Distributed by APO on behalf of Department of Foreign Affairs Canada.