Following the jointly hosted Forum on the African Continent Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on August 25, held with representatives of the governments of Ghana and Senegal, the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and McGill University have announced a new partnership.
The announcement sees McGill University collaborating with The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business (CACB) in training, research, advisory and consultancy activities, mentorship, networking and information sharing. All toward contributing to sustainable development efforts across multiple countries in Africa and globally.
‘The role of policy research and scholarship on Canada-Africa affairs is vital to delivering our information-sharing mandate, through world-class events and programs,’ says Garreth Bloor, President of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business. ‘From early-stage entrepreneurs to established corporations, our members are set to benefit to immensely from a new initiative to which we are proud partners with McGill University.’
Professor Fabrice Labeau, McGill’s Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning notes, ‘The long-term engagement of McGill with Africa is exemplified by our African Studies program. Established in 1969, it is the first of its kind in Canada. Additionally, with 200 years of McGill history, our very extensive network of alumni continues to make an impact in Africa and globally. An example of McGill’s current Africa partnerships is the Mastercard Foundation (MCF) Scholars Program that has invested in over 100 African Scholars since 2013, and since 2020 includes a Transitions Project (https://bit.ly/3zxr1R3), with a focus on facilitating Scholars’ transitions to entrepreneurship or employment for impact in Africa.’
‘As part of the Transitions Project, there is an opportunity for businesses, governments and NGOs, including Canada-Africa Chamber members, to work with McGill on internships for MCF Scholars and recent graduates seeking experiences back home, or in African countries other than their own country of origin, contributing to greater mobility in line with AfCFTA. Also, through a pilot McGill MCF Transitions Fund (MCF-TF), partners can provide matching contributions for co-creating or scaling entrepreneurship and employment-creation projects with funded Scholars and recent graduates,’ highlights Dr. Nii Addy, McGill’s Associate Director, Africa Outreach.
Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, Chair of The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business and its Special Envoy to the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana, says ‘Canada is Africa’s trusted third party and an honest broker’.
‘The role of academia and think tanks is thus vital in not only working with the private sector directly, but extends to creating an enabling environment for trade and investment in partnership with Canadian and African leaders. The foresight and vision of McGill and Dr. Nii Addy in particular is applauded – as we ensure an exciting era in Canada-Africa trade and investment is upon us’.
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