Nola Kianza (President & CEO, Canadian Council on Africa) and Marie-Josee Fortin (Director, International Partnership Programs, Colleges and Institutes Canada – Board of Directors and Member, Canadian Council on Africa) attended a pre-Summit information meeting on the upcoming Francophonie Summit in Madagascar organized by Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie).
At this meeting, Mr. Kianza commented on the importance of economic development and skilled labour training in order to contribute to the overall sustainable development of the African continent.
The 16th Francophonie Summit will be held in Antanarivo, Madagascar, on November 26 and 27, 2016. With a theme of “Shared growth and responsible development: conditions for stability around the world and within La Francophonie”, the Summit will be chaired by the President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina and is the first Francophonie Summit for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and for Michaëlle Jean as Secretary General.
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau indicated that this summit will provide Canada with the opportunity to promote priority themes, including empowerment, the health and rights of women and girls, combatting radicalization to violence and violent extremism, and climate change.
The Francophonie market represents over 31 countries. More than 100 million people live in Francophonie Africa. The market within these countries is quickly diversifying. Ernst & Young reports that “…countries and economies are diversifying with borders blurring between Francophone and Anglophone Africa”.
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located off of the coast of Southeast Africa with four major seaports. It is the fifth largest island in the world with six provinces and two official languages (French and Malagasy).
Over 71% of Madagascar’s land is arable and the agriculture sector employs over 80% of the population in Madagascar. Natural resources found in Madagascar include graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, rare earth elements, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones and mica. The country has a unique and diverse ecosystem, with a large portion of the wildlife found exclusively on the island.
Madagascar has a young population of 24,430,325, with over 60% of Madagascar’s population under the age of 25.