NEW CANADIAN INITIATIVES FOR AFRICA
In the area of fostering economic growth:
Quota and Duty-Free
Effective January 1, 2003, the Government of Canada will extend duty-free and quota-free access to all imports except dairy products, poultry and eggs from 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs), of which 34 are in Africa. This means that all eligible imports from these countries will be assessed at a tariff rate of zero, and all quotas on eligible products will be eliminated. Today’s announcement follows consultations with interested parties in Canada between March and May of this year.
This initiative responds to African countries’ wish, as expressed in the NEPAD, to expand markets for their products by gaining improved access to foreign markets. With 13 per cent of the world’s population, African countries currently account for only two per cent of international trade. Through the Africa Action Plan, G8 countries have agreed to work toward duty-free and quota-free access for LDCs. Experience has shown that trade can be a powerful engine of growth and poverty reduction in developing countries as it generates foreign exchange, attracts foreign investment, creates jobs and improves competitiveness.
About half of Canada’s imports from LDCs are currently subject to duties or tariffs, which average 19 per cent. Total imports from LDCs represent only 0.1 per cent of all Canadian imports and are valued at about $300 million a year. Major imports include apparel, food and crude oil.
LDCs are designated according to specific United Nations criteria and represent about 10 per cent of the world population or 614 million people in the world’s poorest countries.
The Government will announce further details on this initiative in the near future. Measures will be put in place to ensure adequate monitoring and enforcement of the new market access for LDCs, and enhance the international competitiveness of the Canadian apparel and textile industries.
African Investment Fund
Canada will contribute $100 million over three years to create an African investment fund to provide risk capital for private investments in Africa that generate growth. The fund will operate in a commercially viable and self-sustainable manner and is expected to be financing projects in Africa within the next year.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will initially lead the process to establish the fund, ensuring adequate accountability and management of Canada’s investment. There will be an open and transparent process and clear criteria to select a qualified fund manager to direct the fund’s activities and to leverage additional resources from the private sector and international financial institutions.
The fund will be designed to support key development requirements, including critical infrastructure, such as transportation, water supply and energy. It will have the flexibility required to support increased partnerships between African and Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises.
In the Africa Action Plan, G8 countries specifically commit to facilitate the financing of private investment through the increased use of development finance institutions. This responds to African countries’ wish to attract investment, both from within Africa and from abroad, including through public-private partnerships.
Enhancing Africa’s Trade Capacity Potential
Canada will invest $20 million over three years in three initiatives to help African countries identify export opportunities, produce new products in demand by export markets, and build capacity, including by training personnel in African trade organizations. Eliminating tariffs and quotas alone will not guarantee that African products will penetrate international markets. African goods will have to be available in sufficient quality and volumes and be directed to the right markets.
Specifically, Canada will invest:
Canada will invest $10 million over three years to support the creation of a private sector-driven G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force entrepreneurial network to encourage governments and organizations in developing countries to expand the use and benefits of information and communications technologies (ICT).
Through a combination of financial and in-kind contributions, the Network would provide seed funding for small and medium-sized enterprises and aim to serve as a link between suppliers of products and services, organizations that provide support to the private sector and entrepreneurs. It would also work to leverage private sector investment in ICT in Africa and provide advice to goverments on effective policies on ICT, small business and trade.
African leaders have expressed through NEPAD the desire to better harness the opportunities of information and communications technologies for development. In the Africa Action Plan, the G8 pledges to encourage and support the development of public-private partnerships in order to fast-track the development of ICT infrastructure in Africa, and to support entrepreneurship and human resource development of Africans within the ICT sector.
In the Area of strengthening Institutions and Governance:
Strengthening the African Public Sector
Canada will contribute $28 million over three years to help improve public sector competencies in African countries committed to improved governance. Support will be provided in targetted areas: economic policy analysis and management; financial management and accountability; national statistics; public administration management; and, participation of the private sector and civil society in governance.
This initiative will build upon existing cooperation between Canada and the Africa Capacity Building Foundation. The Foundation is an independent pan-African institution based in Harare, Zimbabwe, which is supported through contributions of African governments and a range of bilateral and multilateral partners.
The Canadian Centre for Management Development will contribute its experience and skills and coordinate expertise from a range of sectors and disciplines within Canadian government departments.
The NEPAD draws attention to the importance of achieving improved governance in Africa, especially the need to strengthen the public sector, to combat corruption, to increase participatory decision-making, and to improve the quality of financial management. The G8 Africa Action Plan supports these priorities and places special emphasis on building capacity to improve administrative and civil services.
Strengthening Parliaments in Africa
Canada will contribute $9 million over three years to support African and Canadian partners’ work with African governments committed to good governance.
Actions will focus on:
African partners will include the African Parliamentary Union and other parliamentary fora, national legislatures, as well as a number of research and public policy organizations. Canada, through a number of organizations, particularly the Parliamentary Centre, has expertise in the area of parliamentary oversight and a long history of working with African parliaments. The Parliamentary Centre will be the principal Canadian partner in this new initiative and African and Canadian parliamentarians will have an active role.
The NEPAD and the G8 Africa Action Plan recognize the important role of parliaments and legislatures in overseeing public policy and financial allocations, safeguarding the rights of the population and encouraging a more participatory approach to governance.
Strengthening Local Governance in Africa
Canada will allocate $6 million over three years to help build long-term, self-sustaining partnerships within Africa and between African and Canadian municipalities. Local governments play a key role in delivering important community services including health, education, water supply and infrastructure. The rapid urbanization of Africa as well as continuing rural needs pose special challenges for municipal authorities throughout Africa.
Specifically, this initiative will support:
African partners will include local governance networks such as the African Union of Local Authorities, currently based in Ghana, institutional partners such as Africa’s Municipal Development Programs based in Benin and Zimbabwe, as well as selected urban and rural municipalities throughout Africa.
The Canadian partner will be the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). The FCM and many municipalities across Canada have significant experience working with African institutions and communities in 17 African countries over 15 years. Participating Canadian municipalities would provide in-kind contributions that will increase the overall Canadian commitment by 30 per cent.
Assisting with NEPAD Outreach in Africa
Canada will commit $3 million over three years to support outreach initiatives in Africa that increase awareness of the principles and objectives of the NEPAD, promote public dialogue on the partnership and reform agenda outlined in the NEPAD and generally promote engagement of African people with governments. Canada will also work closely with the NEPAD Secretariat in Pretoria, South Africa, to help it further promote civil society engagement.
African leaders are determined to ensure that the NEPAD is a participatory process in Africa, fully inclusive of civil society and the private sector. The G8 also recognizes the importance of supporting African efforts to involve civil society in all aspects of the NEPAD process. Canada has supported engagement and dialogue among Africans on reform and development in Africa and will continue to do so.
Creating an e-Policy Resource Centre for Africa and a Centre for Connectivity in Africa
Canada will contribute $25 million over three years to create an e-policy resource centre for Africa and a centre for connectivity in Africa.
An e-policy resource centre for Africa will enable African institutions to strengthen democratic governance and improve the investment climate by providing assistance to African countries to develop their national e-strategies. These e-strategies are the laws, policies and regulatory frameworks used by governments to promote the development of telecommunications policy and regulation, the internet, electronic commerce and government services online.
Initial funding will be provided to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to establish links among African institutions and serve as a focal point to channel demand from these institutions and individuals, such as policy experts, program managers and legislative drafters seeking expertise in a given subject area. The UN ECA will draw from established Canadian e-policy expertise in government departments, private sector and not-for-profit organizations.
The Centre for Connectivity in Africa will build on Canada’s experience in connectivity projects in Africa and adapt Canadian expertise and models, such as SchoolNet, to the needs of African countries, particularly in education, health and community development. The Centre will be supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and will work with the "Open Knowledge Network", a civil society initiative of the G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force to support the creation of local content and applications in Africa.
African leaders have expressed the need to better harness the opportunities offered by information and communications technologies for development. G8 countries have pledged through the Africa Action Plan to help Africa create digital opportunities by supporting their efforts to increase access to and make the best use of information and communications technologies in support of governance.
Assisting the African Union with Conflict Prevention
Canada is committing $4 million over three years to help strengthen further the new African Union’s (formerly the Organization for African Unity) conflict resolution mechanisms. Technical expertise and equipment will be provided to enable the African Union to address conflicts through better early warning systems, mediation efforts and political coordination. Canada will work with the African Union and in cooperation with other donors to reinforce this conflict resolution initiative.
Africa is a continent that continues to suffer from numerous conflicts which destroy communities, force millions — mostly women — to flee their homes and which kill thousands of innocent victims every year. In 2000 alone, more than 12 million Africans were caught up in a conflict and over the past decade Africa accounted for 77 per cent of the deaths reported from conflicts worldwide.
African leaders commit themselves through the NEPAD to assume joint responsibility for strengthening conflict prevention, management and resolution. They recognize that a peaceful and secure environment is a pre-condition for progress on the continent and for improving the lives and livelihoods of millions. This will be achieved through strengthened ties with existing regional and sub-regional institutions as well as a strong commitment from African leaders to reinforce the capacity of the African Union to address conflict prevention and resolution. G8 members, as well as other international partners, strongly support the priority attached to resolving and preventing conflicts in Africa. The G8 Africa Action Plan commits members to strengthen the capacity of African institutions to engage more effectively in the prevention and resolution of conflict.
Expanding the Canada - ECOWAS Partnership for Community Security
In cooperation with other donors, Canada is committing $15 million over three years to expand its existing partnership with the 15 member Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, in two areas:
Sub-regional organizations in Africa play a vital role in managing stability in Africa. Conflicts know no borders and collaborative approaches to conflict resolution – involving local states, civil society organizations and specialized institutions – are demonstrating the importance of finding regional solutions to regional problems. In response to the NEPAD focus on peace and security, the G8 Africa Action Plan highlights the need to strengthen pan-African and sub-regional organizations in order to prevent and resolve conflicts and undertake peace support operations.
ECOWAS plays an increasingly important role in promoting peace and security throughout West Africa. Canada has helped ECOWAS and its members put in place a moratorium on the import, export and production of light weapons, and create a Child Protection Unit to deal with issues related to war-affected children.
In the area of Investing in the People and Future of Africa: Promoting Education for All
Canada will double its investment in basic education in Africa to $100 million per year by 2005. These investments of new and existing resources will target a small number of African countries that are demonstrably committed to the NEPAD principles and have effective national poverty reduction strategies and education sector programs.
Education is one of the most potent weapons against poverty and conflict. Many children in Africa, most of them girls, are not in school today. African leaders have reaffirmed in NEPAD the need for strong investments in education to provide Africans with greater opportunities for personal and collective advancement.
This initiative responds directly to the Education for All Framework for Action agreed to at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 and to the G8 Education Task Force recommendations to G8 leaders of June 26, 2002, on advancing progress in key areas, such as universal primary education and gender equality in education. G8 leaders have given priority in the G8 Africa Action Plan to providing additional resources to accelerate attaining these key goals on education.
This initiative will be financed through new and existing resources that are additional to the Canada Fund for Africa.
Offering Canadian Support to Innovative HIV Vaccine Research for Africa
Canada will contribute $50 million over three years to support the work of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the newly formed African AIDS Vaccine Partnership (AAVP) towards the research and development of an HIV vaccine. These two initiatives are supported by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and other partners.
As a result of the IAVI leadership, efforts are now underway to develop the world’s first three vaccine products specially designed for use in Africa. Part of the AAVP strategy is the active participation of African scientists and institutions. One of the major obstacles for HIV vaccine research on the continent is the inadequacy of research infrastructure. Funding for IAVI and AAVP will help strengthen regional capacity, research facilities and local expertise in Africa.
Seventy percent of the 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS are in Africa and it is the leading cause of death on the continent. Only a small percentage of global AIDS research money goes to the continent for HIV/AIDS vaccine research. A vaccine is one of the best hopes for ending the health and development tragedy AIDS has become for many African countries. African vaccine research currently receives only US$ 41 million, or 1.6 per cent, of the US$ 2.5 billion spent annually on HIV/AIDS research.
Canada sees the strengthening of African health systems as the cornerstone for any HIV/AIDS support in Africa. As part of its renewed commitment to social development priorities worldwide, Canada is quadrupling HIV/AIDS programming in Africa through a range of actions such as providing community reproductive health services, and helping to slow the spread of HIV infection through training, education and peer counseling. Canada was an early supporter of the Global Health Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria initiated at the G8 meeting in Genoa in 2001 and contributed $160 million.
The NEPAD implementation plan refers specifically to funding for new drugs and vaccines and the lack of effort on HIV/AIDS vaccines remains a hole in prevention.
Eradicating Polio in Africa
Canada will contribute $50 million over three years to the World Health Organization, which coordinates the global polio eradication campaign and to UNICEF, which procures the vaccine. The campaign has become the largest public health initiative in history and aims to certify the world polio-free in 2005. Canada was the first bilateral donor to join this global campaign.
The number of polio cases has fallen by 99.8 per cent since 1988. However, Africa and South East Asia are the only areas in which the polio virus is still transmitted. In Africa, people in Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan continue to be infected. Meeting the funding gap of US$275 million for the period 2002 – 2005 is still required to see polio eradicated in this timeframe.
With eradication, millions of people will be spared crushing disabilities. Polio eradication would save the estimated US$1.5 billion currently spent on routine polio immunization and attendant health care costs associated with the disease. Each year's delay would add more than US$100 million to the cost of the program.
The NEPAD health implementation plan specifically identifies the need to complete global efforts to eradicate polio.
Supporting Agricultural Research in Africa
Canada will double its support by investing an additional $40 million over three years for Africa-related programming through the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Canada’s support will enable this network of 16 research centres around the world to concentrate on the special needs of smallholder farmers and women producers.
Canadian support will be directed to programs in the following areas:
Agriculture is the very heart of African life and a central aspect of NEPAD. Because the majority of Africa’s people – including the most impoverished and hungry – live and work in rural areas, African development will not take place without a productive and sustainable agriculture sector. The stakes are high: Africa has the highest percentage of people without secure access to food in the world – some 34 percent – and is the only region where this situation is worsening.
NEPAD has identified three priorities for agricultural support: agricultural productivity; the institutional and regulatory framework; and environmental sustainability. It has identified the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research as a major player in providing enhanced support.
For over three decades, this network has made leading contributions to sustainable food security and poverty reduction in developing countries through research, partnerships, capacity building and policy support. The centres base much of their research on participatory methods, involving stakeholders – especially women – in the process of research, identification and testing.
Improving Water Management in Africa
Canada is allocating $50 million over three years to support the efforts of African governments committed to improving water management and access to water and sanitation. Canada will work with the Global Water Partnership, African institutions and international partners, draw upon a wealth of Canadian experience in these fields, and build upon a broad base of existing partnerships in the water sector in Africa.
Activities will focus on:
Participatory development of improved legislation, policies, and regulations;
Improving water management and access to water and sanitation has been identified by African leaders in the NEPAD as fundamental to improving health, increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing national and regional co-operation and development, and sustaining natural ecosystems. It is of particular importance to women and girls, who not only spend much time carrying water from distant sources, but are also often at the forefront of agricultural activities and caring for the health of their families.
The G8 Africa Action Plan has committed to support African efforts to improve water resource development and management. While additional investments in water infrastructure are essential, they must be carried out in a context that promotes efficiency, equity and sustainability. Consequently, there is growing international agreement that improving water governance is critical to ensuring the sustainability of water resource management and to meeting the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water. (The term water governance refers to the full range of political, social, economic and administrative systems that are employed to regulate the development and management of water resources and provision of water services at the local, national and international levels.)
Developing a Project Preparation Facility for Africans
Canada will contribute $10 million over three years to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help mobilize additional technical and financial support to strengthen the capacity of leading African institutions and governments to develop high quality, viable proposals that can attract development financing from the public and private sectors. The AfDB is an implementing institution for the NEPAD and leading source of African development finance. Canada will also coordinate this work with other donors.
The Project Preparation Facility will aim to strengthen project analysis, feasibility and design services, encourage new approaches to project development, such as public-private partnerships, and support those African institutions and governments striving to develop quality-at-entry approaches to program implementation.
Work will focus on key infrastructure and business development areas that are declared priorities of the NEPAD and the G8 Africa Action Plan, such as water and energy. Canadian technical capacity in these areas is second to none. Numerous technical partnerships developed between Africa and Canada over the years provide a solid basis for work to address this longstanding constraint on the continent's growth and development.