The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, has concluded a visit to Rwanda and Kenya focused on the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, gender equality, food security and Canadian development and humanitarian programming in East Africa.
While in Rwanda, Minister Sajjan paid his respects to the victims of the genocide committed against the Tutsi in Rwanda at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.
He met with Rwandan president Paul Kagame to discuss the ongoing work and cooperation of Canada and Rwanda in preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed forces and armed groups. Minister Sajjan and President Kagame also talked about regional peace and security issues, as well as peacekeeping.
The Minister participated in a round table focused on child soldiers and the Vancouver Principles at the Dallaire Institute’s African Centre of Excellence on Children, Peace and Security. There, he announced that Canada is in the process of planning support for a new project proposed by the Dallaire Institute to promote and operationalize the Vancouver Principles in sub-Saharan Africa.
He visited the office of EarthEnable, an innovative project funded by Canada through Grand Challenges Canada, which provides clean, durable and affordable earthen floors to reduce diarrheal disease and parasitic infections in Rwanda.
He also attended two events hosted by Giants of Africa: the Moving Sports Forward Forum and the official unveiling of a new basketball court in Kigali, Rwanda.
While in Kenya, the Minister visited staff members at the High Commission of Canada in Kenya to thank them for the hard work they do in representing Canada and serving Canadians. He spoke about his priorities, particularly in relation to food security and the importance of Canada’s relationship with African countries, and he answered questions from staff members.