Canada eyes resources in Nigeria and Ghana as aid shrinks

From Aid | The Guardian Fri Nov 16 2012, 09:46:10

Ottawa is boosting its trade strategy in Africa, tempted by investment opportunities in extractive resources and energy

With an initial focus on oil-producing Nigeria and mineral-rich Ghana, Ottawa is bolstering its trade strategy in Africa, but some within the international development and economic communities have expressed concerns about Canada's approach.

The Canadian government was criticised for cutting foreign aid a few years ago, and, in particular, when Africa felt the brunt. The Canadian International Development Agency ended bilateral programming in countries where aid efforts are hindered by high operating costs, including Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Niger. The agency also decided to reduce and concentrate its bilateral programming in five states, including Mozambique, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Yet last month, after years of viewing the continent as mainly a foreign aid recipient, the Conservative government announced a trade mission scheduled for January encompassing the extractive resource industries and the infrastructure sectors related to energy, power generation and mining.

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