November 7, 2016 – Abuja, Nigeria – Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today visited Abuja, Nigeria, to build on Canada’s relationship with Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest single economy.
Minister Dion promoted the importance of peace and stability in meetings with Nigeria’s Vice-President Oluyemi Osinbajo and Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and discussed the importance of human rights with members of civil society. Minister Dion co-chaired a meeting with Minister Onyeama of the Canada-Nigeria Bi-National Commission, where they discussed regional and global issues facing Africa, including security and counterterrorism, development and governance, immigration, and trade and investment.
Canada has been engaged in the response to ongoing humanitarian needs in northeast Nigeria and has provided $8 million to the Red Cross, other NGO partners and UN agencies to meet the urgent needs of those affected by the conflict since the beginning of the year. The funding is used to provide emergency food assistance, treatment for acute malnutrition, water and sanitation, shelter, emergency non-food items and protection—particularly for women and girls who have been exposed to sexual and gender-based violence. There are currently more than 7 million people requiring such assistance as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country’s northeast.
Minister Dion was also pleased to officially inaugurate a new chancery at the High Commission of Canada in Nigeria during his visit to Abuja.
This is Minister Dion’s first visit to sub-Saharan Africa. It is an opportunity to highlight Canada’s commitment to peace and stability, security and the rule of law. The dynamism at play today across the continent is calling out for Canadian engagement and support for African governments as they channel that dynamism for the benefit of their people.
The Minister is travelling next to Kenya, followed by Ethiopia.
“Canada is committed to promoting peace and stability, countering terrorism and organized crime, addressing the drivers of conflict and responding to the needs of those affected by conflict. The contributions for peace and stabilization efforts will assist in responding to these needs in Africa.”
– Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs
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