Minister Hussen highlights Canada’s strong engagement in Africa during visit to Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Yesterday, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, concluded his trip to Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. During his trip, he reaffirmed Canada’s engagement in Africa, particularly in support of empowering women and girls, increasing green economic growth and ensuring a more prosperous world for all.  

In Benin, Minister Hussen, with Kouaro Yves Chabi, Minister of Secondary and Technical Education and Vocational Training, visited a vocational centre supported by My Training, My Job, My Future, a project implemented by Éducation Internationale [international education], a Canadian partner. At the centre, he met project beneficiaries and learned about the challenges of vocational training and socio-professional integration.  

Minister Hussen also visited the Canada-funded Centre for the Integrated Care of Victims of Gender-Based Violence, which is supported by UNICEF as part of its project Accelerating the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence Against Girls and Adolescent in Benin, and discussed the challenges of eliminating gender-based violence, a shared priority for Benin and Canada.

He concluded his visit to Benin by meeting Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance, Senior Minister also responsible for Cooperation, and Olushegun Adjadi Bakari, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on bilateral and multilateral trade and development issues. He also met with representatives of the UN, World Bank and African Development Bank to exchange views on key development issues and with representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) to discuss advancing human dignity, equality, and inclusion. Finally, Minister Hussen had meetings with Médessè Véronique Tognifode Mewanou, Minister of Social Affairs and Microfinance, and Benjamin Hounkpatin, Minister of Health, to discuss Benin’s key challenges and needs in these sectors.

In the DRC, Minister Hussen began in the capital Kinshasa, visiting the project Talents Pluriels [plural talents], a project implemented by Cuso International that demonstrates how Canada’s investments are supporting the DRC’s most vulnerable youths in improving their livelihoods through employment and entrepreneurship. He also met with women electoral candidates supported by Women’s Voice and Leadership, a project implemented by The Carter Center.  

He visited the Community Learning Centers for Women and Girls project, in the Kongo Central province, where he met young women and girls receiving literacy and vocational training. Susila Dharma Canada and Susila Dharma Congo are implementing this project.  

Minister Hussen also met with Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, to discuss the security and humanitarian situation in the country. Finally, during meetings with Félix Tshisekedi, President of the DRC, and Christophe Lutundula Apala, the DRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Hussen discussed opportunities for collaboration between Canada and the DRC.   

He concluded his trip in Kigali, Rwanda, where he attended the 30th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi. He grieved for all the lives lost, reflected on the bravery of all those who risked their lives to save others during this dark time and found inspiration in the resilient spirit of those who have survived and persevered.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Canada.

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