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Canada Implements the G8 Africa Action Plan :
Delivering on Commitments, One Year Later
May 2003

Building a new partnership with Africa

The G8 leaders adopted the Africa Action Plan at the Kananaskis G8 Summit on June 27, 2002, as a centrepiece of the summit. The action plan supports the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), a bold African initiative to achieve sustainable growth and development in Africa through an integrated program that addresses governance; peace and security; education and health; agriculture and water; and trade, investment, and other aspects of economic growth. The G8 Africa Action Plan complements NEPAD by defining a new partnership between G8 and African countries. It also sets out specific commitments in support of NEPAD. This report outlines Canada's response to these commitments in the first year of this new partnership.

Canada's actions in support of NEPAD have been governed by respect for Africa's ownership and leadership of the NEPAD initiative. Canada has sought to respond directly to priorities identified by African partners, including the four areas identified as priorities for development partners: communicable diseases, information and communications technologies, debt reduction, and market access. A strong emphasis has been placed on capacity building in Africa, on enhancing the effectiveness of existing sub-regional and pan-African institutions, and on making progress toward Millennium Development Goal commitments, all of which are integral to NEPAD.

Canada's support for NEPAD recognizes the personal involvement of African heads of state and government in the process and their pledge to promote peace and stability, democracy, sound economic management, and people-centred development. The G8 Summit at Kananaskis was the first to involve the participation, within the working portion of the summit, of non-G8 leaders, namely the presidents of Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa, who are four of the architects of NEPAD.

Through its actions, Canada has also recognized that it is important for the people of Africa to claim NEPAD as their own. In the months leading up to the Kananaskis Summit, Canada facilitated discussion of NEPAD by civil society in Africa, recognizing that the initiative must be embraced by the people if its objectives are to be achieved. Canada has dedicated $2.5 million for further public outreach. This support is being provided directly to civil society groups, to fully respect African ownership of the NEPAD initiative.

Unlocking resources for Africa's development

NEPAD seeks to improve the aid, trade and debt relationships between Africa and the rest of the world and to increase private capital flows to the continent. Canada has taken steps to provide and help generate additional public and private sector resources in each of these areas.

Official development assistance

Canada has committed $6 billion in official development assistance (ODA) for Africa in new and existing resources over the five-year period beginning with the Kananaskis Summit in 2002

Canada established the $500-million Canada Fund for Africa to support the objectives of NEPAD and the G8 Africa Action Plan. This is in addition to Canada's existing ODA for Africa, which amounts to about $700 million a year. The Canada Fund for Africa became operational following the Kananaskis Summit, under the guidance of the Minister for International Co-operation. In its initial year of operation, ending March 31, 2003, the fund disbursed $70 million.

  • Canada will provide $6 billion in ODA to Africa over five years starting in 2002.
  • Canada will double its international assistance by 2010. Half or more of this increase will go to Africa.
  • The first $1.4 billion increase was included in the February 2003 federal budget.
  • A $500 million Canada Fund for Africa was created in support of NEPAD and the G8 Africa Action Plan.

At Kananaskis, the Prime Minister also committed to increasing international assistance by eight per cent a year and to directing half or more of these additional resources to Africa. Accordingly, the federal budget of February 2003 increased Canada's international assistance envelope through 2004–5 to double the assistance budget by 2010. This translates into an increase of $1.4 billion in the 2002–3 fiscal year and the two subsequent years, of which half or more will be directed to Africa.


Canada committed to eliminating tariffs and quotas on almost all imports from the 48 countries that the United Nations has termed "least developed countries" (LDCs), 34 of which are in Africa. This market access initiative took effect on Jan. 1, 2003. The only goods to be exempted are dairy products, poultry, and eggs. Improved access to Canadian markets will help African producers to generate employment and diversify their economies. Canada is providing additional trade-related capacity building to enable African partners to benefit from this increased market access.

In November 2002, the Minister for International Trade headed the first ever ministerial-led Canadian trade mission to Africa, visiting Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. More than 100 Canadian companies participated, making this mission one of the largest ever led by a Canadian trade minister.

  • On Jan. 1, 2003, Canada eliminated tariffs and quotas on almost all imports from LDCs, 34 of which are in Africa.
  • The Canada Investment Fund for Africa is being established with $100 million in public funds to be matched by the private sector.
  • In March 2003, Canada contributed an additional $75 million to the HIPC Trust Fund at the World Bank.
  • Canada has cancelled all official development assistance debts of sub-Saharan African countries.


Canada is establishing the Canada Investment Fund for Africa to leverage private sector investment in support of Africa's development. The government is contributing $100 million to the investment fund to leverage an equivalent amount, or more, from the private sector. The investment fund is structured to ensure respect for NEPAD principles, including good governance; transparency; and adherence to human rights, democracy, and corporate social responsibility. A fund manager is being selected. Candidates were required to demonstrate a clear understanding and prior application of policies relating to business ethics, environmental and social responsibility standards, and conflict of interest. The fund manager and an appropriate governance structure and performance-monitoring arrangement are due to be in place by the fall of 2003.

With $10 million in Canadian support, the African Development Bank is setting up a project preparation facility to encourage investment in infrastructure and to develop viable project proposals, including public-private partnerships. It will thus help to mobilize financing for infrastructure in key areas such as water, energy, transportation, and information and communications technologies, including existing untapped resources for infrastructure financing at international financial institutions and from the private sector.

Debt relief

In March 2003, Canada contributed an additional $75 million to the World Bank-administered Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Trust Fund. Canada maintains a debt service moratorium for seven HIPC countries in Africa and has agreed to forgive all debt once HIPC commitments are met, as it has done recently for Tanzania and Benin. Under the terms of the Canada Debt Initiative, Canada has committed to forgiving over $1.1 billion in debts owed to Canada by 17 HIPC countries, 14 of which are in Africa.

Canada has also cancelled all official development assistance debts owed to it by sub-Saharan African countries.

Delivering on Canada's other commitments to Africa

In addition to providing and helping to generate additional public and private resources for development, Canada is implementing the specific commitments of the G8 Africa Action Plan.

At the Kananaskis Summit in June 2002, the Prime Minister announced a series of national initiatives in support of NEPAD and the G8 Africa Action Plan, most of which would be funded by the $500-million Canada Fund for Africa. These initiatives address each of the principal elements of NEPAD, including those that affect individual people in Africa most directly. The allocation is 31 per cent for sustainable growth, trade, and investment; 24 per cent for health and HIV/AIDS; 21 per cent for agriculture and water; 11 per cent for institutions and governance; eight per cent for knowledge: digital opportunities; and five per cent for peace and security. One year later, virtually all of these initiatives are in place, with the remaining few at an advanced stage of preparation.

The following sections give an overview of the status of the specific national commitments Canada made at the Kananaskis Summit in June 2002 and provide examples of other actions taken to respond to the G8 Africa Action Plan as a whole.

Sustainable growth, trade, and investment

Canada has committed more than $20 million in trade-related technical assistance to help Africa compete globally.NEPAD seeks to create the conditions necessary to place African countries, individually and collectively, on a path to sustainable growth and development and to enable Africa to participate more actively in the world economy.

  • Canada has committed more than $20 million in trade-related technical assistance to help Africa compete globally.

Canada has committed an additional $20 million in trade-related capacity building to assist African partners in taking advantage of increased market access and in representing their interests more effectively in the ongoing Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. This commitment supplements existing Canadian trade-related capacity building for Africa, and includes:

  • $7 million for the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Program of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to support African countries in better participating in the multilateral trading system and in taking advantage of trade opportunities;
  • $8 million for the International Trade Centre, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and for Trade Facilitation Office Canada to provide practical assistance in enhancing the capacity of the African private sector to do business internationally and to promote their exports; and,
  • $5 million to develop the Africa Trade Policy Centre based at the Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in order to increase the number of qualified experts able to represent African interests in negotiating multilateral agreements, integrating trade into economic policy, and promoting trade.
  • Canada has also provided $1 million in equipment, training and technical support toward establishing a market for financial securities within the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa, based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Health and HIV/AIDS

NEPAD identifies the widespread incidence of communicable diseases in Africa — in particular, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — as a major impediment to the continent's development. Canada has supported African efforts to ensure the health and well-being of the people of Africa

  • $50 million has been committed for research for an HIV/AIDS vaccine and additional support for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs.
  • $50 million has been committed to help eradicate polio by 2005.
  • Canada has committed $50 million to HIV/AIDS vaccine research in conjunction with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the African AIDS Vaccine Partnership. This is in addition to existing Canadian support for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The international vaccine initiative has advanced in developing and testing potential AIDS vaccines designed for Africa and has increased awareness, understanding and national involvement. Its work has received a boost with the Canadian contribution.
  • A further $50 million has been committed to the global campaign to eradicate polio by 2005, in collaboration with UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Polio still afflicts seven countries, of which four are in Africa. Its eradication would improve the quality of life for millions in Africa and free up resources within the health and social sectors in affected African countries. Canada was the first of the G8 countries to pledge new funds in support of the G8's promise to provide the financial resources necessary. Canada's contribution enables UNICEF and WHO to carry out critical work, such as vaccination.
  • Canada has committed $1.5 million to child development in Africa through programs for children and youth, with support from Right to Play, a Toronto-based non-governmental organization. Communities in refugee camps in the Horn of Africa are the first beneficiaries of these programs, which contribute to the physical and psychological development of children.
  • Canada is also contributing over $70 million for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention programs in sub-Saharan Africa over five years — by strengthening local community groups, providing professional training, and working with women and children to improve knowledge of prevention and palliative strategies.

Agriculture and water

NEPAD emphasizes that improved agricultural performance is a prerequisite for economic development on the continent. Canada is supporting African efforts to achieve food security, to increase agricultural productivity and to improve sustainable access to safe and adequate drinking water and sanitation, especially for the poor.

  • Canada has committed $40 million for research on agricultural productivity.
  • Canada has committed $50 million to improve water management and access to fresh water and sanitation.
  • Canada has provided more than $100 million in humanitarian aid to relieve famine.
  • Canada has committed $40 million for research on agricultural productivity in Africa, in conjunction with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. As a result, all of the consultative group's 16 agricultural research centres are increasing their Africa-specific research, focusing on the needs of small-scale farmers and women producers. In Africa, the consultative group has research centres headquartered in Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire; Nairobi, Kenya; and Ibadan, Nigeria.
  • Canada has committed $50 million to improve water management and access to fresh water and sanitation in Africa, working with various African partners and in conjunction with the Global Water Partnership, an international, non-governmental alliance that promotes integrated water-resources management.
  • In May 2003, CIDA adopted a new policy statement, Promoting Sustainable Development Through Agriculture, which responds directly to three elements of the G8 Africa Action Plan: making support for agriculture a higher international priority; reducing poverty through sustainable productivity and enhanced competitiveness; and working to improve food security. As a result, Canada will increase its investment in the agricultural sector from a current level of about $95 million annually to $300 million in fiscal year 2005–6, to reach an annual investment of $500 million by fiscal year 2007–8. Africa will benefit from a significant portion of these resources.
  • Since the Kananaskis Summit in June 2002, Canada has responded to food shortages in Africa with more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for the areas most severely affected, such as Southern and Eastern Africa. This includes over $10 million for Angola and over $40 million for Ethiopia.
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has signed memorandums of understanding and research agreements with scientific institutions in Egypt and Ghana to facilitate collaborative research and training to address Africa's agricultural development research priorities. The Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing is working with the Committee for Earth Observation Satellites to promote and provide training on the use of earth observation to support sustainable development in Africa, including in the areas of agriculture and water.

Institutions and governance

NEPAD emphasizes that democracy, good governance and human rights are also among the conditions for sustainable development in Africa. In establishing an African peer-review mechanism, African leaders have underscored the importance of transparent economic, corporate, and political governance.

  • $28 million has been committed to improve public sector governance and transparency.
  • Canada has committed $28 million toward public sector capacity building in African countries through an innovative arrangement with the African Capacity-Building Foundation, a pan-African institution based in Harare, Zimbabwe. The funding is being used to strengthen the foundation's capacity and to help individual African countries to address such crucial issues as financial accountability, economic policy, and public participation in governance. Canadian public sector expertise is also made available through the Canadian Centre for Management Development.
  • Canada has committed $9 million to strengthening the role of African parliaments and parliamentarians, including improving parliamentary oversight — an explicit objective of NEPAD — and reinforcing the role of women in government. Initial activities focus on ways that parliaments can fight corruption. This project, which involves the participation of African parliamentarians, is being carried out with support from the Ottawa-based Parliamentary Centre.
  • Canada has committed $6 million toward improving local governance by working with African partners, including the African Union of Local Authorities, to develop new approaches to providing basic community needs. These basic needs include access to water, sanitation and health services — areas in which municipalities are now playing an important role. Initial work, undertaken with the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, has focused on identifying and disseminating best practices.
  • Gender equality is a priority for Canadian development assistance in Africa and is integrated into every CIDA program. More than $20 million have been committed to civil society groups in several African countries. Canada supports civil society activities that promote the rights and the political and economic empowerment of women, supports campaigns to prevent violence against women, and examines the situation of women in conditions of armed conflict.

Knowledge: Education and digital opportunities

Through NEPAD, African leaders pledge to promote people-centred development. Canada is supporting African efforts to improve the quality of life of the people of Africa in a number of ways, including by supporting African efforts to expand access to education and to information and communications technologies.

  • Canada has committed to doubling its investment in basic education in Africa to $100 million a year by 2005. In line with this, Mozambique and Tanzania have already benefited from a specific allocation of $50 million in additional support made available to each of them over five years.
  • Significant resources have been committed to support African efforts to make use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to accelerate economic and social growth, to enhance access to education, and to improve the provision of services to poor communities across the continent. Canada has committed $35 million to three initiatives:
    • the e-Policy Resource Network for Africa, which will help countries develop strategies, policies and regulations relating to the ICT sector, and which will link African partners through a centre located at the Economic Commission for Africa, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
    • the Connectivity Africa initiative, which supports research and development and innovative uses of ICTs, particularly in education, health, and economic and community development, and which involves a number of African partners along with the International Development Research Centre and the Open Knowledge Network; and
    • the Enablis entrepreneurial network, a not-for-profit initiative led by the private sector, whose mandate is to support small and medium-sized African enterprises in their application of ICTs.
  • Canada has committed to doubling its investment in basic education in Africa to $100 million a year by 2005.
  • More than $35 million has been committed to help Africa bridge the digital divide.
  • Canada has committed an additional $12 million to help the African Virtual University, based in Nairobi, Kenya, to expand its network of community learning centres and its distance-learning programs in disciplines relevant to NEPAD.
  • Canada has also provided $5 million for ICT-based commercial training initiatives in connection with Franconet, a network of French-speaking national Internet communities, and with technological institutions that focus on increasing Internet capacity, training, and access in 20 francophone countries in Africa.

Peace and security

NEPAD emphasizes that peace, security, and human rights are among the conditions necessary for sustainable development in Africa. Through NEPAD, African leaders undertook joint responsibility for specific obligations. Canada has also sought to reinforce African efforts in each of these areas.

  • Canada has committed $15 million to promote peace and security and build safer communities in West Africa. This initiative, undertaken in conjunction with the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, seeks to build capacity in three crucial areas: peace support operations, including peacekeeping; controlling the flow of small arms and light weapons; and policing. Canadian funding of the newly established Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, is supporting curriculum and faculty development.
  • Canada has committed $4 million to maintain peace and security through the newly formed African Union. This, too, reflects a priority objective of NEPAD. When arrangements are complete, the African Union will be better able to fulfil its conflict prevention and conflict resolution mandate — by strengthening its early-warning systems, mediation capacity, and ability to deploy observer missions and protect civilians in situations of armed conflict.
  • Canada has also intensified its support for African efforts to achieve and consolidate peace. For example, special envoys named by the Minister of Foreign Affairs have been active in the search for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, and the Foreign Minister of Sudan made an official visit to Canada in May 2003 in connection with the peace process. Since 2002, Canada has also provided more than $6.7 million for reconciliation processes, tribunals, and court systems in Sierra Leone and Rwanda, and more than $17 million for peace building through the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; community-based initiatives involving women and children; and related child-protection work in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Canada also continues to support efforts to enhance African capacity for the physical and legal protection of civilians in armed conflict, including developing, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a pilot project in Guinea to improve security in refugee camps.
  • Canada has continued to provide leadership in addressing the issue of anti-personnel mines in Africa, the most mine-affected continent. In 2002, Canada contributed over $3.3 million toward mine clearance, mine-risk education, and stockpile destruction initiatives in Angola, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Sudan, Tunisia, and Uganda. The February 2003 budget allocated $72 million over the next five years to replenish the land mine fund for Africa and elsewhere. Canada also provided leadership within the group of G8 mine action ambassadors, which agreed to increase support for mine action in Africa. Canada is also encouraging other donors, including international financial institutions and multilateral development institutions, to increase funding for mine action in Africa and to incorporate mine action in their program strategies for African countries where landmines present an obstacle to development.
  • Canada is fully implementing the Best Practices Guidelines on Small Arms Transfers, adopted in December 2002 by the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international government forum through which issues relating to conventional weapons are addressed. Canada will continue to press for implementing and strengthening relevant multilateral mechanisms. And it has supported African civil society participation in establishing national focal points to implement the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa.
  • As part of the global effort to reduce trade in conflict diamonds, Canada implemented legislation in January 2003 to meet its Kimberley Process obligations to certify rough diamonds imported to or exported from Canadian territory.
  • $15 million has been committed to make communities in West Africa safer.
  • $4 million has been committed to support the African Union's conflict prevention and resolution work.

Aid effectiveness

In September 2002 Canada issued a new policy statement on strengthening aid effectiveness. The policy rests on key principles, such as local ownership, policy coherence, and results-based approaches. It also takes into account the key factors in the effective use of aid investments, such as governance, building capacity, and engaging civil society.

  • Consistent with CIDA's policy on strengthening aid effectiveness, the Canadian government has identified nine countries-of-focus that will be eligible for additional development assistance as a result of increases in Canada's international assistance. Six of these are in Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania. These were selected from among lower-income countries with which Canada had an existing development-assistance relationship.
  • In the G8 Africa Action Plan, G8 partners undertook to establish enhanced partnerships, which will go beyond development assistance, with African countries whose performance reflects the NEPAD principles, including political and financial commitments to good governance and the rule of law. Canada has undertaken to be informed by the results of this NEPAD African peer-review process and intends to defer decisions about enhanced partnerships until that review process has produced results.
  • In 2002, Canada became the first development partner to include African participation in the peer-review assessment of its official development assistance, which is undertaken by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the principal forum of donor countries. African involvement in this review was in response to Africa's suggestion that the new partnership be based on shared responsibility, and mutual respect and accountability.
  • To strengthen effectiveness, Canadian development assistance is being aligned with national poverty reduction strategies. Canada is making full use of new approaches to development assistance, such as direct budgetary support, sector-based assistance programs, simplified reporting systems, and strengthened country-led co-ordination. This effort will be supported by strategically strengthening the field presence and realigning headquarters and field resources to support program delivery.

The Evian G8 Summit

At the G8 Summit in Evian, France, in 2003, Africa will again be a central focus. Leaders will review progress on their Africa Action Plan and discuss how to sustain dialogue on NEPAD with African partners and major donors.

G8 leaders will also discuss issues relating to G8 Africa Action Plan commitments: improving access to essential medicines, promoting research on neglected diseases, and replenishing the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; reducing agricultural subsidies and improving capacity to prevent or mitigate famine in Africa; measures to improve transparency in economic transactions involving natural resources; and steps to control the flow of small arms and light weapons. These issues relate to commitments in the G8 Africa Action Plan.

G8 leaders will also consider a joint G8–Africa plan to support Africa's capacity to undertake peace support operations, which is a commitment of the G8 Africa Action Plan. Canada has played a leading role in drafting this plan.

The G8–NEPAD partnership is for the long term. So too, is Canada's support for NEPAD. Since the Kananaskis Summit, Canada has made significant progress in implementing the commitments it made to the G8 Africa Action Plan. Canada remains committed to this new partnership in support of NEPAD and will continue to give government-wide priority to implementing the action plan.