La politique étrangère canadienne en Afrique noire et la problématique de l’aide internationale humanitaire (1984-2015)

  • Author / Creator
    Siriwayo, Diane
  • What is the significance of International humanitarian aid for Africa in Canada’s foreign policy (CFP)? Is there a major demarcation between Steven Harper’s strategies and those of his predecessors? Canadian foreign policy has always been influenced by several internal and external factors namely, the “political” interests of the Prime Ministers of Canada, regardless of the existence of foreign policy institutions within the state (Morin, & Roussel, 2015) The Canadian presence in Africa is more noticeable and recognized through its generosity and work with United Nations the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations. In spite of its obvious presence in Africa, Canada has never had a foreign policy for Africa in the context of external cooperation. Canada-Africa relations are defined as development assistance and humanitarian aid. This policy based on development assistance has been revised by the Harper Government through the merger of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. This new direction of Canadian foreign policy has stirred up quite a bit of controversy concerning the disconnection between Canada and Africa with regards to the commercialization of humanitarian aid. What became apparent in all this though is that the Harper government is no less interested in Africa than its predecessors were. The disengagement of Canada with Africa became apparent during Steven Harpers time in 2006 even though that is not when it occurred. This rift and lack of interest in African began in 1980 when Canada considerably reduced its assistance to Africa compare to other donors. Canadian aid to Africa was only rebooted under Jean Chretien’s support for the New Partnership for the Development of Africa (NEPAD?) between the years 2002-2003. Furthermore, Canadian humanitarian aid has always been stimulated not only by humanitarian and altruistic motives but also by geostrategic, commercial and economic interests. Whether it was CIDA's programs in Africa, Jean Chrétien's support for NEPAD, or Canada's position against the Apartheid in South Africa, none of these was actually solely based on altruistic and humanitarian grounds. Either way, whether it supports the donor’s economic agenda or not, developmental aid on its own is not an effective tool to reduce poverty. The Canadian-African relationship will only become a reality when the notion of providing aid will be replaced by genuine commitment and positive cooperation that includes the economic growth and integral development and interest of all parties. Steven Harper's foundation in Canadian foreign policy forms a basis for future endeavors that can lead to an inclusive Canadian foreign policy for Africa. The creation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Trade and International Development (MAECDI) provides an environment in which a foreign policy of cooperation and partnership with African can occur more effectively.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
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