Canada lines up at least $200m aid for Africa, Ghana benefits from food security, microfinance initiatives

The Canadian government has lined up 25 new initiatives to further its support to Africa.

Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, who announced this late November 2011 in a speech delivered to African Heads of Missions meeting in Ottawa, noted that the new initiatives total more than $200 million.

These projects will be channelled through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), according to officials.

“Within these 25 initiatives, Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is supporting 23 projects encompassing all of CIDA’s thematic priority areas – Children and Youth, Food Security and Sustainable Economic Growth, said CIDA in a statement on its website.

The statement adds “Seven of these are multi-country projects supporting efforts to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, further improving child health, or increasing the capacity of African Regional Technical Centres. The others are targeted to support work in a range of individual African countries by working with Canadian, international and African-based organizations.”

CIDA indicated that Ghana and Mozambique will benefit from its microfinance capacity and sustainable services initiative. The Canadian government has allocated $1.3 million for the programme which will build microfinance capacity for the rural areas in both countries.

On the second initiative, Ghana would benefit from is a $3.9 million Partnership for Enhancing Food and Economic Security for the Rural Poor initiative. Countries like Mozambique, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Cambodia are also beneficiaries.

This programme, CIDA says will provide improved food and economic security for 27,270 rural women, men and children in the four African countries and Cambodia – an Asian country.

Canada is also providing $10 million to support the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centres Phase III.

Towards an HIV-free generation, the country is also committing $20 million over the next 5 years. “This project will aim to improve the access, quality and uptake of Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission services by enhancing service delivery in health facilities and strengthening national programmes and health systems in sub-Saharan Africa,” CIDA said.

“Canada is proud to invest in Africa’s future. These projects announced reinforce our government’s commitment to focused, accountable aid for Africa that delivers results and hope for Africa’s poor and vulnerable,” said Minister Oda.

He adds “Canada is focused on helping Africa fulfil its future potential with assistance that will strengthen country efforts towards a better life for all.”

“The announcements made total more than $200 million, reflecting Canada’s ongoing commitment to continue to respond to humanitarian needs, increase food security, improve health care, increase education and promote economic growth,” CIDA said.

Mali, Sudan, Kenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Malawi, Cameroon and South Africa are other African nations to benefit from the package.

By Ekow Quandzie

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