All seems set for Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette’s visit Burkina Faso on 23 October in the effort to deepen Canada’s relationship with the landlocked West African country.
Burkina Faso is a priority market to Canada whose mining assets in the country was in excess of $2 billion in 2017. In the same year, bilateral merchandise trade with Burkina Faso reached $59 million. Canada and Burkina Faso partner in development assistance ($57.1 million in 2016-2017), with a particular focus on education and gender equality, two of the things Payette will focus on when she visits the West African country.
The Governor General will give an address at the National Assembly. She will also visit a school, where she will emphasize the importance of inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all, and highlight how Canada and Burkina Faso are working together to build strong education systems. the 54-year-old former astronaut will also meet with students of a scientific secondary school, as well as researchers, Canadian development workers, and Burkinabè artisans.
Payette will also visit Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria, where Canada recently contributed $2.9 million to assist more than 109,000 conflict-affected people in Borno state, the hotbed of Boko Haram insurgency in the country. Nigeria is Canada’s largest bilateral merchandise two-way trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, with two-way trade totaling $1.47 billion in 2017. Nigeria is also the largest African investor in Canada. While in the country, the Governor General will take part in several science, technology, and cultural events in Nigeria and also meet with young people to highlight the central role that science, technology, and innovation play in addressing the challenges the world faces.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producer, Payette will visit a Canadian-funded initiative, which helps cocoa farmers adapt to a changing climate and grow their incomes. She will also deliver remarks at a higher education institution specialized in engineering. Canadian exports to Côte d’Ivoire totaled $38.5 million, while imports from Côte d’Ivoire reached $319.9 million in 2017. The major imports from Côte d’Ivoire include cocoa and petroleum products.
Payette’s will be the first Governor General to visit Africa since David Johnston in 2013.