Hon. Amina Gerba: Honourable senators, my question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Senator Gold, the Minister of Foreign Affairs unveiled Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which has a budget of $2.3 billion over five years, last Sunday in Vancouver. I welcome this strategy, which will help diversify opportunities for Canadian businesses.
However, I would like to point out that Africa is also a large market, uniting around a free trade area worth over $3 trillion in GDP and with 1.4 billion consumers. That number will rise to 2.5 billion consumers by 2050.
Senator Gold, when will the Canadian government present its long-awaited and much-anticipated strategy for Africa?
Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. As the government continues to develop Canada’s strategy for Africa, it also continues to work with key partners to advance our shared priorities, including peace, security and prosperity.
That is why the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs visited South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria this year to strengthen those ties. That is also why the government announced the opening of a new Office of the High Commission in Kigali and the establishment of a dedicated mission and permanent observer to the African Union. I’m told that the government will soon have more to say about the next steps in the Africa strategy.
Senator Gerba: I’m delighted to hear that, Senator Gold. However, as you know, a strategy can only progress if the two parties meet. Many other very powerful countries are already jockeying for Africa’s attention. The entire continent is developing. In December, the United States will host the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. When will Canada follow suit? Is it part of the strategy that the Government of Canada is going to put forward?
Senator Gold: Thank you for the question. As I said, the government is currently developing the strategy and will announce details soon.