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Canada Among Nations 2013
Canada-Africa Relations: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Explore Canada Among Nations 2013 with chapter highlights, excerpts and author videos

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Edited by: Rohinton Medhora and Yiagadeesen Samy

The Canada Among Nations series is the premier source for contemporary insight into pressing Canadian foreign policy issues.

Presented in five parts, the 2013 edition of Canada Among Nations features 18 in-depth essays exploring Canada and Africa’s rich history, taking stock of what has been accomplished and offering recommendations for a more strategically beneficial Canada-Africa partnership.

Part One: Foreign Policy and Diplomacy

Select a Chapter

  • Chapter 1: Canadian Diplomacy in Africa
    David C. Elder
  • Chapter 2: Canada’s (Dis)Engagement with South Africa
    David J. Hornsby
  • Chapter 3: Canadian Foreign Policy and Africa’s Diaspora: Slippery Slope or Opportunity Unrealized?
    David Carment, Milana Nikolko and Dacia Douhaibi
  • Chapter 4: Canadian Nation Building in Africa: Building Whose Nation?
    Chris Brown

Canadian Diplomacy in Africa

“Canada’s diplomatic representation in Africa is characterized by a presence that is broad, but not deep. It has a limited number of diplomatic missions delivering a range of government programs in which development assistance predominates and often overshadows other programs and interests.”

Key Questions

When did Canada establish a diplomatic presence in Africa and how has this presence evolved?

What political motivations influenced the expansion of Canada’s diplomatic presence into French-speaking African nations?

What impact will the 2013 amalgamation of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) have on Canada’s diplomatic presence in Africa?

Canada’s Diplomacy in Africa

Author: David C. Elder

"Canada now has diplomatic missions in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with resident embassies in eight countries and high commissions in seven Commonwealth countries. Canada therefore relies on non-resident accreditation for its day-to-day relations with the 30 other countries in the region and has to depend on sporadic coverage through visits from the principal mission and contacts from a distance. While it has developed other forms of representation to deliver some government programs, including subordinate offices of its missions, program support units to assist with the development assistance programs, and honorary consulates to provide consular services, it has difficulty ensuring adequate presence and representation. The relatively small number of Canada’s diplomatic missions in Africa, with the consequent reliance on non-resident accreditation, and the limited financial and human resources devoted to its diplomatic representation hinder Canada’s effectiveness in the traditional promotion and cultivation of Canada’s political interests and its ability to pursue new priorities and interests in developing trade and investment, promoting security and stability and in advancing democratic governance. The emphasis on development assistance has meant that Canada is perceived as a donor country more than a political player or a commercial and financial partner. The amalgamation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), announced in the March 2013 Budget, will bring together under one institutional roof responsibility for most of the Canadian government policies and programs involving and affecting Africa. While it is not yet clear what internal structure the new department will have, the co-locating of units responsible for developing policy and delivering programs and services across Canada’s diplomatic, security and consular relations, its trade and investment promotion activities, and its development assistance programs has the potential for attaining greater knowledge and understanding of Sub-Saharan Africa and the countries in it, for achieving greater coherence in Canada’s policy approach and for providing for a coordinated and country focussed approach to issues of diplomacy, development, defence and security, and trade and investment, thereby giving better guidance and direction to the missions in the region.

This chapter analyzes the evolution of Canada’s representation in Africa and how Canada organizes and mobilizes its limited resources to reflect political and policy choices regarding the priorities and the means to advance its interests, to respond to the imperative of development assistance, and to deliver on broad governmental objectives; for the purpose of its analysis, this chapter considers “diplomacy” in terms of this official engagement and governmental mobilization."

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Canada’s (Dis)Engagement with South Africa

“The present Canada-South Africa relationship is best characterized as ambivalent and at arm’s length. If permitted to continue, such a situation has significant consequences for Canadian foreign policy interests in Africa.”

Key Questions

How has Canada’s official development assistance to South Africa changed since the post apartheid period?

What factors have contributed to the decline/stagnation in the trade relationship between Canada and South Africa?

What role should South Africa play in a broader Canadian engagement strategy in Africa?

Canadian Foreign Policy and Africa’s Diaspora: Slippery Slope or Opportunity Unrealized?

“Since its inception, Canada has always been shaped by diaspora communities, but today’s diaspora are truly transnational populations in a position to influence both home and host governments, shape their security and influence trade, development and investment policy preferences.”

Key Questions

What political impact can or should diaspora have in Canada and how is this influence intertwined with political motivations and agendas back home?

How are the Sudanese/South Sudanese and Somalian diasporas engaging with and bridging their home and host countries?

What role can diaspora play in funding development assistance for their home communities?

Canadian Foreign Policy and Africa’s Diaspora: Slippery Slope or Opportunity Unrealized?

Authors: David Carment, Milana Nikolko and Dacia Douhaibi

"The African-Canadian population is Canada’s fastest growing ethnic minority and is particularly well established in Canada’s largest cities. In 2001, the African-Canadian community was the third largest minority group in Canada, after the Chinese and South Asian populations (Embaie, 2013). The 2001 census recorded 662,200 African-Canadians, representing just over two percent of Canada’s total population and 17 percent of the visible minority population (Embaie, 2013). An increasingly ethnically diverse Canada makes diasporas a key battleground for political parties. While diaspora politics can be beneficial, it can also encourage new Canadians to bring their homeland disputes to Canada (Carment and Bercuson, 2007). In Canada, moreover, there appears to be no coherent principle underlying the motivations for politicians to support diaspora for political gain, nor ground rules for diaspora lobbying or for engaging diaspora in their host states. This may put Canada at a disadvantage when confronted with strong lobbying efforts from influential diaspora communities, and allows politicians leeway when courting these lobbies in exchange for foreign policy favours (Carment and Bercuson, 2007).

This chapter examines the complex relationship between Africa’s diaspora groups in Canada and their potential to influence foreign policy. The first and second parts of the chapter identify some of the pertinent linkages between diaspora and foreign policy at the home and host state level. The third section draws on Sudan and Somalia to show how diasporas interact with Canadian policy to shape foreign policy choices; the final section provides conclusions."

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Canadian Nation Building in Africa: Building Whose Nation?

“Put simply, Canada’s Africa policy is a matter of choice, not necessity. As others have observed, this has often meant that Canada’s Africa policy has a strong values orientation, as Canadian governments have used their Africa policy to project their values abroad.”

Key Questions

How are concepts of nation building and imagined communities intertwined with Canada’s relationship with Africa?

Is Canada’s Africa policy one of choice or necessity?

Human internationalism, a commitment to multilateralism, the national unity crisis, and multiculturalism – how are these factors diving Canada’s Africa policy?

Canadian Nation Building in Africa: Building Whose Nation?

Author: Chris Brown

"This chapter examines the Canadian contribution to nation building in Africa in the post-Independence period, focussing on Sub-Saharan Africa and official Canadian government actions. It is organized into four sections. The first section argues that Canada has relatively few linkages to Africa that would establish a basis for a clear Canadian national interest on the continent. It considers Africa within Canadian foreign policy and makes the case that Canadian decision makers have an unusually wide degree of autonomy with respect to their Africa policy. The second section examines the concept of nation building; it argues that over time this concept has undergone a significant shift in meaning. The third presents a brief overview of Canadian foreign policy towards Africa over the last 50 years, including a consideration of Canadian contributions to African nation building, as that term has been variously understood. It emphasizes the inconsistent and episodic nature of Canada’s engagement with the continent. At times, Canada has been an important player in African affairs, and Africa has loomed large in the Canadian consciousness; at other times, Canada has seemingly withdrawn from the continent and Africa has disappeared from Canadian foreign policy debates. This record shows the Canadian contribution to nation building in Africa to be mixed, at best. Finally, the concluding section argues that the only way to understand the vagaries of Canada’s Africa policy is to understand that it is fundamentally not about Africa, but instead about Canada; it is a policy designed to build the Canadian nation."

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Part Three: Security and Conflict Management

Select a Chapter

  • Chapter 5: Remedying State Fragility in Africa
    Robert I. Rotberg
  • Chapter 6: Business As Usual: Canada’s Role in Post-conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building in Africa
    Evan Hoffman
  • Chapter 7: Canada’s Engagement with African Regional Peace and Security Architecture: Constructivist Analysis and Implications for Policy
    Edward Ansah Akuffo

Remedying State Fragility in Africa

“Whereas many observers in times past despaired of Sub-Saharan Africa, and murmured that bad news seemed to overwhelm anything else coming out of Africa, now there are true success stories, demonstrable improvements in governance and democracy, and a brighter outlook all around.”

Key Questions

What factors are propelling the new development momentum being witnessed across Sub-Saharan Africa?

What natural, physical, and geographical challenges lay ahead for Africa?

What role can human agency and good governance play in sub-Saharan Africa’s continued positive change?

Chapter 1: Security & Conflict Management Excerpt

Author: Robert I. Rotberg

"Sub-Saharan Africa no longer is the fabled, deeply troubled, dark, subcontinent. Most of its constituent countries are growing economically, delivering significant social enhancements to their inhabitants and progressing politically. A number of the region’s nation-states are increasing their per capita GDPs more rapidly than their Asian counterparts. Poverty is diminishing. Trade between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world has tripled since 2000, and attracted more private foreign investment than official aid handouts since 2005. Its share of global foreign direct investment has quadrupled since 2000. Almost everywhere in the subcontinent there is the exciting bustle of improvement and of takeoff. Sub-Saharan Africa’s much lamented infrastructure deficits are being erased, thanks to China. Furthermore, Africans are much healthier than they were, with startling improvements in child mortality being recorded across half of the subcontinent; dictators are fewer, democrats more common; the intrastate wars of the subcontinent are claiming fewer lives; and almost everywhere in Sub-Saharan Africa there is hope for the future and an upwelling of pride. Sub-Saharan Africa is no longer the “basket case” of yore, about whose future the rest of the world once despaired. Africa is ready at last to play an increasingly important role in the affairs of the world. Major positive changes, in sum, have already transformed what once was a chilling outlook for most of the subcontinent into a future that is potentially much more warm and uplifting."

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Business as Usual: Canada’s Role in Post-conflict Reconstruction and
Peace Building in Africa

“Since there are few Canadian peace-building efforts in Africa to point to in recent years, we can instead look at missed opportunities. This allows us to re-think our peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction agenda in Africa, and learn from the successes, as well as the errors and omissions, in order to help chart a way forward.”

Key Questions

Is Canada a trusted mediator on the global stage and what connection does Canada’s image play in the fulfillment this role?

Where do opportunities exist for Canada to play a leading role in peace-building efforts in Africa?

Prevention, mediation, and post-conflict reconstruction – how should these strategies be combined as Canada engages in peacebuilding in Africa?

Business as Usual: Canada’s Role in Post-conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building in Africa

Author: Evan Hoffman

"Canada’s peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction role in Africa over the last decade could be described as piecemeal. It has generally lacked focus and is not guided by an overarching strategy or clearly defined goals. This leads to ad hoc, short-term and fragmented actions that can confuse Canada’s local and international partners. This chapter will look at Canada’s past peace-building efforts and its failure to act in some situations and then use this as the basis of charting a way forward."

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Canada’s Engagement with African Regional Peace and Security Architecture: Constructivist Analysis and Implications for Policy

“Although economic and security interests are prominent in Canada’s internationalism in Africa, Canada’s overall foreign policy orientation is embedded in the maintenance of moral identity — the pursuit of humane-oriented foreign policy objectives, including human rights, human security and poverty alleviation”

Key Questions

How does Canada’s image as a moral actor influence trade, development, and security initiatives with Africa?

How have the “just cause” principles of R2P impacted Canada’s partnership with the Africa Union?

In what way have Canadian security contributions in Africa changed alongside political leadership shifts in Canada?

Canada’s Engagement with African Regional Peace and Security Architecture: Constructivist Analysis and Implications for Policy

Author: Edward Ansah Akuffo

"This chapter provides an analysis of Canada’s support for the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) that was established by the African Union (AU) to promote peace and security in the African region. Its central argument is that Canada’s security role in Africa is informed by its moral identity on the African continent. It further argues that even though Canada’s moral image is an important international capital, it must back its morality with substantial and sustainable material and financial support for peace and security if it is to maintain its influence and competitiveness on the African continent in the twenty-first century. The chapter draws on constructivists-inspired theoretical framework, “non-imperial internationalism,” to provide an understanding of Canada’s security role in Africa. The central element of this framework is Canada’s moral identity, which connotes, “the normative image of Canada that motivates or shapes the behaviour, interests, and activities of Canada in the global arena generally and on the African continent specifically. Canada’s moral identity entails how Canada perceives itself as caring, a good international citizen, and as a humanitarian and moral actor. The other side of the coin is the construction of Africa as the ‘other’ which is conflict-ridden and poor and, hence, requiring the benevolent support of Canada especially through development assistance and peacekeeping” (Akuffo, 2012: 2). The result of the construction of Africa as poor and conflict-ridden is the lack of Canada’s Africa strategy that clearly articulates the pursuit of long-term mutual security and economic interests with African states and organizations.

Canada’s moral identity is rooted in its historical relationship with Africa as a non-colonizer, and sustained by the objectives of development assistance and peacekeeping — the two pillars of Canadian activism in Africa. To this end, although there can be episodic shifts, Canada’s moral identity is a structural phenomenon that does not necessarily change with a change of government or government policy towards Africa. Thus, the maintenance of moral identity appears to be a norm in Canada’s approach to Africa that is largely driven by the prime minister and Canada’s relations in multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations. The discussion in this chapter sheds light on why the African continent lies at the margins of Canadian foreign policy, and why there is a need for a stronger and long-term partnership between Canada and the AU to promote peace and security in Africa. It concludes with suggestions on how to strengthen Canada-AU cooperation generally and, more specifically, on security."

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Part Three: Trade, Investment and Governance

Select a Chapter

  • Chapter 8: Canadian Trade and Investment in Africa
    Paul Hitschfeld and Victoria Schorr
  • Chapter 9: Mining Codes in Africa: Emergence of a “Fourth” Generations
    Hany Besada and Philip Martin
  • Chapter 10: Blood Diamonds: Canada, Africa and Some Object Lessons in Global Governance
    Ian Smillie

Canadian Trade and Investment in Africa

“Canadians need to understand that in the future, and sooner than we think, we will need Africa more than Africa will need us.”

Key Questions

What role does the “Cheetah Generation” play in the continued growth of trade and economic development in Africa?

In what context should the current trade environment between Canada and Africa be viewed?

What role can the private sector play, both independently and in partnership with NGOs, in formalizing and organizing trade markets in Africa?

Mining Codes in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Canada’s Position

“Perhaps what is required is not a further proliferation of legal codes and regulations, but a re-imaging of those we already have and a refocussing of efforts on leveraging natural resources to create broad-based economic opportunities.”

Key Questions

How have Africa’s mining regimes evolved since the post-independence era?

What development impact has the economic growth of resource industries in various African nations had at the local level?

What role, positive and negative, do good-governance initiatives play in the resource-extraction industries in Africa?

Mining Codes in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Canada’s Position

Authors: Hany Besada and Philip Martin

"The mining and extractive sector constitutes a significant and increasingly important share of exports and tax revenues for much of Africa, and holds enormous potential to finance the rapid infrastructure development and private sector-led socio-development projects that are needed for sustainable road-based economic growth and poverty reduction. From 2000 to 2011, natural resource extraction constituted a major component of real GDP growth in over 15 resource-rich African states, including over half of all growth in Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (International Monetary Fund [IMF], 2012: 65). With high commodity prices and the rise of emerging economies, in particular the BRICS (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), driving more ambitious investment strategies among multinational mining companies, increased international attention — in Canada and elsewhere — is now being directed to harnessing Africa’s resources for socio-economic development.

In this chapter, we seek to illustrate the contemporary but still evolving policy environment in Africa’s mining sector. In particular, we highlight the liberalization of Africa’s regulatory regimes since the late 1980s, as well as the recent wave of voluntary “good governance” initiatives in the extractive industry. We also consider Canada’s role and perspective, both as a dominant investor in the African mining sector and as a country aspiring to be a global leader in responsible business practices and the promotion of sustainable development. While Canada is well-positioned to be an influential development partner and leading international investor in Africa’s extractive sector, it also finds itself exposed to the vulnerabilities associated with operating in regions of political instability and civil strife, endemic corruption and low governance capacity. This is in addition to the inability on the part of the Canadian government to hold Canadian mining companies accountable for their corporate behaviour outside the country, due to the lack of enforcement regimes.

Finally, we assess future trends and policy challenges for Canada and other international actors operating in Africa’s mining sector. Rising investment from emerging economies and continued pressure on host-country governments to intervene more forcefully in the extractives industry will be the key issues determining the role that the extractive sector plays in resource-rich African states in the immediate future. Navigating these challenges successfully will demand innovative, implementable and inclusive governance strategies, as well as best practices over the continent’s natural resources that promote transparency and shared benefits for host countries, foreign investors and local communities."

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Blood Diamonds: Canada, Africa and Some Object Lessons in Global Governance

“There are many villains in the story of conflict diamonds, but there are heroes as well, many of them African.”

Key Questions

What role has Canada played in the United Nations’ efforts surrounding conflict diamonds?

What is the Kimberly Process and what impact has it had on the global governance of diamond mining?

What development issues lay at the root, not just of conflict diamonds, but of the economic and social disarray in the alluvial diamond fields?

Part Four: Development and Health

Select a Chapter

  • Chapter 11: Canadian Aid to Africa
    Stephen Brown
  • Chapter 12: The Role and Influence of Non-traditional Aid Providers in Africa: Implications for Canada
    Bill Morton
  • Chapter 13: Canadian CSOs and Africa: the End of an Era?
    Betty Plewes and Brian Tomlinson
  • Chapter 14: Canada and the African Development Bank
    Bruce Montador
  • Chapter 15: The Muskoka Initiative and the Politics of Fence-mending with Africa
    David R. Black
  • Chapter 16: A Stronger Role for Canada in Health Research in Africa
    Dr. Victor Neufeld

Canadian Aid to Africa

“Rather than focusing on things that can 'fly the Canadian flag,' aid is generally more effective when it supports recipient government-led programs, which usually involve pooled funding, often with other donors. Such programs are definitely less 'photogenic,' but it does not follow that their impact is any lesser.”

Key Questions

How has Canadian aid, specifically official development assistance (ODA), to Africa evolved over the past few decades with shifts in Canadian political leadership?

Geostrategies, commercial interests, global prestige, altruism — what motivates Canadian aid and policy initiatives focused on ODA to Africa?

The Role and Influence of Nontraditional Aid Providers in Africa: Implications for Canada

“Non-traditional providers’ different delivery of aid, and the new types of aid-related relationships they are establishing with African countries, has the potential to redefine the nature of development cooperation in Africa.”

Key Questions

How does the provision of aid by NTPs differ from the approaches undertaken by traditional donors?

How are Brazil and China engaging in development in Africa and what interests shape the context of this aid?

Delivery, relationships, and motivations – how are new standards set by “horizontal” aid partnerships impacting Canada’s approach to development cooperation in Africa?

The Role and Influence of Nontraditional Aid Providers in Africa: Implications for Canada

Author: Bill Morton

"The last 10 years have seen unprecedented change in the number and type of actors providing development assistance. This includes a large group, often labelled as new or emerging donors — but referred to here as “non-traditional providers” of aid (NTPs).1 Middle income countries and emerging economies constitute a large part of this group, the most active of which include Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and Venezuela (Zimmerman, 2011). The stronger role of these players in the provision of aid, and within the development cooperation system as a whole, means that the traditional Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) donors no longer have free reign over decisions on aid norms and principles; instead, these must be arrived at with other governments that have become increasingly powerful and influential. This amounts to a major change in what is referred to as the “global aid architecture.”

Reflecting these broad changes, the nature of aid and development cooperation in Africa has also changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Brazil, India, China and South Africa are amongst the most important new players. Overall, they provide a relatively low proportion of total development assistance Africa; however, to dismiss them on this basis is a mistake. Their significance is not so much about the amount of aid they provide, but about how they provide it. In most respects, this is markedly different to the way ECD donors have traditionally provided aid.

NTPs’ different delivery of aid, and the new types of aid-related relationships they are establishing with African countries, has the potential to redefine the nature of development cooperation in Africa. At the same time, NTPs’ provision of development assistance cannot be separated from a range of other complex motives that are concerned with their pursuit of broader economic, strategic and foreign policy objectives, and with the overall intent of positioning themselves as important actors on the African continent. So far, however, traditional donors, including Canada, have been slow to recognize the implications of these moves. This paper considers these issues in two parts. The first part provides an overview of NTPs in Africa, including the nature of their engagement, with a focus on China and Brazil, while the second considers the implications of this engagement and how Canada should respond."

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Canadian CSOs and Africa: The End of an Era?

“In the current Canadian political climate, CSOs need to find new ways to work more closely together, involving African counterparts, in the education and organization of Canadians in their communities in understanding the implications of current Canadian policies.”

Key Questions

Historically, how have Canadian non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations engaged in Africa and under what motivations?

What tensions exist between international NGOs, CSOs and local organizations in operating in a common space?

How has the engagement between African and Canadian CSOs evolved and what impact has the government’s interests and motivations had on these relationships?

Canada and the African Development Bank

“The African Development Bank (AfDB) is important for African countries, politically as well as financially. It is an institution where Canada played a significant role historically, and which could provide an avenue for greater Canadian engagement with the continent as its development accelerates.”

Key Questions

What is the The African Development Bank (AfDB) and what role does it play in development programs across Africa?

How can the AfDB facilitate stronger Canadian political engagement across the continent?

Canada and the African Development Bank

Author: Bruce Montador

"The AfDB was founded by 35 African countries in 1964 — just after the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and before the Asian Development Bank (ADB). These regional development banks (RDBs) support the growth of their members and regions through borrowing based on their pooled credit and lending at market rates. An early realization, however, that very poor countries needed concessional finance, such as interest-free loans and later actual grants, led the AfDB and developed countries (with Canada in a lead role) to create the African Development Fund (AfDF) in 1972 to provide such assistance, primarily through donor contributions. After a modest start, a combination of poor management and imprudent lending to countries that could not manage the resulting debt put the AfDB in financial difficulty. In 1982, AfDF donors took 33 percent of the capital and joined the AfDB board of directors, where they had not previously been represented, with six of the 18 executive director (ED) positions. In 1995, as problems continued, the donors’ shareholding was increased to 40 percent. Canada took a is proportionately large share of the non-regional capital in 1982, and has maintained that position since, holding nearly four percent of the total capital, on par with France and tied for fourth among non-regional shareholders."

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The Muskoka Initiative and the Politics of Fence-mending with Africa

“If the Harper government thought MNCH was an issue beyond politics, this proved a significant miscalculation. Its championing of maternal health, while simultaneously prevaricating on funding for family planning and later confirming that government funds would not be used to support safe, legal abortions, plunged it directly into the fraught arena of reproductive rights and gender equality.”

Key Questions

What political interests and motivations impacted the MI’s focus on maternal newborn child health?

How can the Harper government’s focus on MNCH at the Huntsville G8 Summit be viewed in relation to their weaker stance on other gender-relevant areas within its aid policy?

How have the implementation process and wider changes to the aid program influenced the impact and sustainability of the MI?

A Stronger Role for Canada in Health Research in Africa

“In comparison to health research initiatives in Africa emanating from other high-income countries, most notably the United States and some European countries, Canada’s profile is relatively small. It can be argued that this is all the more reason for the Canadian health research community to think about how its contributions can be most effective, and perhaps even distinctive.”

Key Questions

Historically, how has Canada contributed to health research related to Africa?

How can Canada contribute more effectively to aligning heath research investments with national priorities and systems in partnership with African countries?

How can Canada’s expertise in knowledge transfer (KT) address issues related to the “Know-Do Gap”?

Part Five: Research Capacity

Select a Chapter

  • Chapter 17: Building Socio-economic Research Capacity in Francophone Africa
    John Cockbun and Diery Seck
  • Chapter 18: Academic Links Between Africa and Canada
    Jeffrey C. Fine and Peter Szyszlo

Building Socio-economic Research Capacity in Francophone Africa

“Canada’s development support over the past half century has, in many ways, played a path-breaking role in Africa in general, and francophone Africa in particular. Canada’s bilingualism and the strong engagement of Quebec’s academic and development communities give Canada a special role to play in francophone Africa. ”

Key Questions

What are the origins of and motivations linked to Canadian international development philosophy, particularly those related to francophone Africa?

What contributions has Canada made in terms of research support and economic development in francophone Africa?

Building Socio-economic Research Capacity in Francophone Africa

Authors: John Cockburn and Diéry Seck

"Since the mid-1970s, Canadian policy has provided support for improving research capacity in economic and social development in francophone Africa. This policy benefitted African tertiary education and research institutions, as well as individual researchers and scholars. This chapter provides a critical assessment of the policy. First, it examines the historical origins of Canada’s international development philosophy in general, and the motives for focus on research and education in particular, with respect to francophone Africa. Second, it gauges the consistency between the philosophy of Canada’s engagement in the world and the instruments of intervention in its development programs in francophone Africa. Finally, it provides an analysis of Canada’s achievements in this respect, areas of possible improvement and a number of inconsistencies over time or between various actors involved in program delivery."

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Academic Links Between Africa and Canada

“Future collaboration between African and Canadian researchers may be better assured by shifting support from external assistance, where support for research is typically a corollary of other development objectives toward mainstreaming it through those federal and provincial government programs that finance it directly.”

Key Questions

What challenges is Sub-Saharan Africa facing as undergraduate enrollment continues to increase?

How are Canadian universities engaging with Africa and how has this engagement shifted alongside global academic and development trends?

Based on intellectual symmetry and shared intellectual interests, should major federal funders of research in Canada be doing more to support academics in Africa, if so, what form could such a grant program take?

Academic Links Between Africa and Canada

Authors: Jeffrey C. Fine and Peter Szyszlo

"The nature and content of academic links between Canada and Africa are changing because of trends in higher education taking place globally, including both regions. The chapter begins by commenting briefly on three links: doctoral education; research; and institutional capacity building. However, our subsequent discussion focusses only on the first two because of their significance for the future development of strong academic links between Canada and Africa. Then we look at trends in higher education, first in Sub-Saharan Africa and secondly in Canada, to consider how they are affecting these academic links. Based on our observations, we propose, in the final section, a different strategic approach, which will be, in our view, required to sustain them over the coming decade."

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Reviews:

Former prime minister Paul Martin notes in his preface to the book that there is and will continue to be a huge role for other countries to take the lead in providing engineering and financial expertise to big projects that will become increasingly common as the region develops.

“The question is,” he writes, “will Canada be there?”

This interactive feature was created to support the June 2013 release of Canada-Africa Relations: Looking Back, Looking Ahead the 2013 edition in the Canada Among Nations book series. Full credits related to the book and individual chapter content are available within the book.


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Interactive Credits

Section: Overview
Background Image Credit: Close up of world map with detail of African continent.(Shutterstock)
Video Speakers: Rohinton Medhora, President, The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); Yiagadeesen Samy, Associate Professor and Associate Director, M.A. Program, NPSIA, Carleton University; David J. Hornsby, Senior Lecturer, International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Stephen Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa.

Section: Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
Background Image Credit: An aerial view of Cape Town, South Arfica. (UN Photo/Milton Grant)
Authors

  • Chapter 1: Canadian Diplomacy in Africa
    David C. Elder, Adjunct Professor and Fellow, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University
  • Chapter 2: Canada’s (Dis)Engagement with South Africa
    David J. Hornsby, Senior Lecturer, International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Chapter 3: Canadian Foreign Policy and Africa’s Diaspora: Slippery Slope or Opportunity Unrealized?
    David Carment, Professor of International Affairs, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Carleton University; Milana Nikolko, Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University; and Dacia Douhaibi, Ph.D. Candidate, York University
  • Chapter 4: Canadian Nation Building in Africa: Building Whose Nation?
    Chris Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science, Carleton University

Section: Security and Conflict Management
Background Image Credit: A women walks down the road carrying laundry. (Shutterstock)
Authors

  • Chapter 5: Remedying State Fragility in Africa
    Robert I. Rotberg, Fulbright Research Chair in Political Development, Balsillie School of International Affairs; Senior Fellow, CIGI
  • Chapter 6: Business As Usual: Canada’s Role in Post-conflict Reconstruction and Peace Building in Africa
    Evan Hoffman, Executive Director, Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation, Ottawa
  • Chapter 7: Canada’s Engagement with African Regional Peace and Security Architecture: Constructivist Analysis and Implications for Policy
    Edward Ansah Akuffo, Professor of International Relations, University of the Fraser Valley

Section: Trade, Investment and Governance
Background Image Credit: A young women in a hardhat holds a radio; mining equipment rests in the background. (Shutterstock)
Authors

  • Chapter 8: Canadian Trade and Investment in Africa
    Paul Hitschfeld, Professor of International Development, Carleton University and Victora Schorr, Independent Researcher; On Executive, Africa Study Group
  • Chapter 9: Mining Codes in Africa: Emergence of a “Fourth” Generations
    Hany Besada, Theme Leader and Senior Researcher, Governance of Natural Resources Program, North-South Institute and Philip Martin, Program Support Officer, Norwegian People’s Aid
  • Chapter 10: Blood Diamonds: Canada, Africa and Some Object Lessons in Global Governance
    Ian Smillie, Chair, Diamond Development Initiative; Co-chair, Advisory Panel of the Office of Canada’s Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor

Section: Development and Health
Background Image Credit: Vaccinations are administered at an African clinic. (iStockphoto)
Authors

  • Chapter 11: Canadian Aid to Africa
    Stephen Brown, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Ottawa
  • Chapter 12: The Role and Influence of Non-traditional Aid Providers in Africa: Implications for Canada
    Bill Morton, Independent Research Consultant
  • Chapter 13: Canadian CSOs and Africa: the End of an Era?
    Betty Plewes, Member of the McLeod Group and Brian Tomlinson, Executive Director, AidWatch Canada
  • Chapter 14: Canada and the African Development Bank
    Bruce Montador, Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa; Former Executive Director for Canada, African Development Bank
  • Chapter 15: The Muskoka Initiative and the Politics of Fence-mending with Africa
    David R. Black, Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Development Studies, Dalhousie University; Professor of Political Science, Dalhousie University; Director, Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University
  • Chapter 16: A Stronger Role for Canada in Health Research in Africa
    Dr. Victor Neufeld, Professor Emeritus of Health Sciences, McMaster University

Section: Research Capacity
Background Image Credit: An African student smiles in her classroom. (Shutterstock)
Authors

  • Chapter 17: Building Socio-economic Research Capacity in Francophone Africa
    John Cockburn, Executive Director, Partnership for Economic Policy; Professor, Laval University and Diéry Seck, Director, Center for Research on Political Economy
  • Chapter 18: Academic Links Between Africa and Canada
    Jeffrey C. Fine, Economist and Peter Szyszlo, International Partnership Adviser, University of Ottawa