Africa-Canada Forum

ACF brings together more than 40 Canadian NGOs that have a specific interest in development issues and social justice in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Africa-Canada Forum

Past activities

Mali: State of Play to the Return of Peace

Ibrahim Ag Idbaltanat  is the president and founder of the Malian NGO TEMDET, the association for peace building, development, and the protection and promotion of human rights. TEMDET received the  Anti-Slavery Award 2012 from Anti-Slavery International.  Ibrahim will present his perspective of the situation in Mali with a focus on human rights, and will more specifically address the persecutions of Touareg and Arab communities and reprisals from the Malian army which Human Rights Watch is currently investigating. Ibrahim will address the return of peace, the setting up of the Reconciliation Commission, the elections planned for July and the UN peace mission and its possible impacts.

Wednesday, May 22, 2-4pm
At Oxfam Canada
39 MacArthur Street

You can participate in person or by webinar.

Please register by writing to Sylvie Perras at

Information for the webinar will be sent to registered participants .

Please note that Ibrahim will give his presentation in French.


Fighting Impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the context of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Annual Conference, l’Entraide Missionnaire, in collaboration with the Africa-Canada Forum, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the Institute of African Studies, is organizing the screening of a documentary entitled  ''L'affaire Chebeya, un crime d'État'' on Thursday, May 2 from 19-21 pm (Carleton University, Tory Building, room 208), and a roundtable on “Fighting Impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo” on Friday, May 3 from 14h-15h30 (Carleton University, Tory Building, room 240). Me Jean Joseph Mukendi, national president of the bar and President of the “Collectif pour la défense des parties civiles Chebeya et Bazana” is the guest speaker for both events

See also the poster for other events in Montreal and Quebec city.

Free admission                                                            
For information, please contact


The African Mining Vision: A Transformative Agenda for Development

The Africa-Canada Forum backgrounder on the African Mining Vision stands as an outcome of its annual colloquium on the Role of the Private Sector in Africa’s Development. It was also prepared in view of the 2013 South Africa Mining Indaba, the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers, and where Minister of International Trade and Minister, Ed Fast, was expected to participate. It provides a broad overview of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), adopted by African Heads of State in 2009, and the implementation of this Vision to date. It situates this Vision within the current approach of the Canadian government towards the extractive industries, in particular in the areas of international development, and trade and investment, in terms of both policy and practice. Finally, it problematizes that approach against the AMV, but also alternative, and increasingly mainstream, thinking around the issue of resources extraction, development and poverty eradication. 

lineAfrica’s Renaissance: A Critical Discussion

When: Wednesday October 31, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Where: Arts Lounge (2017 Dunton Tower), Carleton University

ACF, with the Halifax Initiative & the Institute of African Studies presents a panel discussion with Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei (Head of Programmes, Third World Network-Africa), James Henry (former chief economist of McKinsey and Co.), and Vitalice Meja (co-ordinator, Reality of Aid Africa)

Several African countries have experienced rapid economic growth over the past decade. But will growth lead to sustainable development? Can growth be tempered with equity? Is the private sector the key to growth and development? What is the role of aid and foreign investment? How can African countries mobilize their own resources to promote their own development?

Read the Discussion Flyer


Africa-Canada Forum - Colloquium 2012
Economic Growth, the Private Sector and Sustainable Development: Where is Africa Heading?

October 30 - 31, 2012

O’Connor Salon
Best Western Plus Victoria Park Suites Hotel

377 O’Connor
Ottawa, Ontario

Audio-visual resources from the Colloquium

Read the agenda

Read the speakers' bios

Consult the backgrounder

Register today!



Webinar :
Funding for Africa’s development: Challenges for civil society

Richard Ssewakirryanga, Executive director of the Uganda National NGO Forum and Fraser Reilly-King, senior analyst – Aid and International Co-operation at CCIC provided an overview of the international and Canadian aid context with traditional donors’ disengaging from Africa; the growing presence (and governmental push for it) of private sector in aid, and the Istanbul principles for development effectiveness for CSOs.

View the presentation by Richard Ssewakirryanga

View the presentation by Fraser Reilly-King


Africa Canada Forum Retrospective 2000-2012

The Africa-Canada Forum celebrated its 12th anniversary in January 2012. This document presents a retrospective of the evolution of the coalition, and presents our main achievements and the African colleagues who have been part of our debates.

Read the Africa Canada Forum Retrospective 2000-2012



Africa’s Odious Debt:
How foreign loans and capital flight bled a continent

Halifax Initiative and the Africa-Canada Forum are inviting you to a series of public events with Professor Léonce Ndikumana on February 27-29 in Ottawa and Montreal.  

In Africa's Odious Debts: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent, authors Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce reveal that, contrary to the popular perception of Africa being a drain on the financial resources of the West, the continent is actually a net creditor to the rest of the world. The extent of capital flight from sub-Saharan Africa is remarkable: more than $700 billion in the past four decades. But Africa’s foreign assets remain private and hidden, while its foreign debts are public, owed by the people of Africa through their governments.

To find out more, see the schedule of events, or contact Sylvie Perras


Climate Negotiations and Justice for Vulnerable Populations: Perspectives for COP 17 and Rio+20 - September 26, 2011

This September 2011 learning conference was held in collaboration with the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D), CCIC's Africa-Canada Forum, Asia-Pacific Working Group and Canadian Food Security Policy Group.

The conference sought to deepen civil society understanding of key policy debates in upcoming international negotiations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 17th Conference of the Parties (COP 17), to be held in Durban, South Africa, November 28-December 9, 2011, and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 4-6, 2012. The conference focused particularly on the implications for small farmers, indigenous peoples and other marginalized populations.

Click here to read the Conference Report (PDF 641KB)

Click here to view videos of conference presentations


Africa-Canada Forum 2011 Colloquium:
What Environment for Justice in Africa?
Civil Society Challenges for Climate Adaptation and Democracy

The 2011 ACF Colloquium (September 26, 2011) looked at how climate change debates are being shaped in the African context, how African civil society is mobilizing on those issues and how Canadian CSOs are supporting African efforts.  It also looked at the shrinking of democratic space for civil society in Africa in light of global discussions on aid effectiveness and development effectiveness.  The objective was to improve members’ understanding of the major issues and challenges facing civil society to build climate justice and democratic space in Africa, and reassess ACF's value-added as a tool to support African efforts and advance Africa's place in Canada's foreign policy in the current unfavorable political context for civil society.


Listen to audio presentations from the 2011 Colloquium

Africa-Canada Forum - Peace and Security in Africa

The Difficult Walk Towards Peace in The Democratic Republic of Congo: What Role for Canada?
The conflict that unfolded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1996 to 2003 has been the world’s deadliest since the Second World War.  Despite the end of the conflict, violence and insecurity still prevail in the eastern region of the DRC, primarily driven by the competition to control trading of valuable minerals.  The fight for these natural resources leads to some of the most serious human rights violations.  In that context, what role can Canada play?

Click here to read the Briefing Note

Canada’s Action Plan on the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (1325, 1820, 1888, 1889)

Canada's Action Plan, released in October 2010, provides a framework for a whole-of-government approach to address the situation of women and girls in conflict settings. While the plan sets out important areas for action and has generally been well received by Canadian civil society, some important considerations still remain to be addressed, such as issues related to implementation, monitoring, and reporting, an increased focus on participation and representation, a more robust contextualized approach and the need for on-going consultation with civil society in Canada and abroad.

Click here to read the Briefing Note.


Africa-Canada Forum - Colloquium 2010
Issues of Peace and Security in Africa:A Civil Society Agenda for Democratization

Over 35 participants met over two days to deepen their knowledge of the complex challenges facing the continent in its search for sustainable peace. With colleagues from Africa, the Diaspora and academia, we discussed ways forward for the Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) advocacy work and members’ partnership relations in support of peace and development in Africa, taking account of the context of growing challenges for Canadian civil society organizations to sustain their work with African counterparts.

The agenda was built to first allow for an overview of the African challenges in the long journey to sustainable peace. Then we looked at the complexity of peace building, focusing on the cases of the Great Lakes region and Sudan. We explored the dynamics of conflict, looking in particular at the link between extractive resources, human rights and local development, and the role of women and girls in building peace. Finally, we discussed ways to better engage with our African counterparts in mutual solidarity based on the outcomes of the Open Forum for CSOs Development effectiveness process.

Click here to read the Report (PDF)

Click here for the Colloquium Agenda (PDF)

Click here for the Biographical Notes (PDF)


Africa Matters: Time for A Renewed Commitment to Economic and Social Justice for Africa (April 2010)

The G8 and G20 Summits 2010 provide Canada with an important opportunity to lead the way with bold new initiatives that strengthen the capacities of Africans and their governments to weather the economic, financial, climate, food, and conflicts crisis and resume strategies to overcome poverty and growing inequalities on the continent. You can consult the complete Africa-Canada Forum Backgrounder (PDF 304 Kb), or specific section as follow:


The Betty Plewes Fund – Award 2010

The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe was selected, among 10 highly valuable nominations, as the winner of the $15,000 Betty Plewes Fund Award for its engagement on research and policy development on issues of priority to women. Formed in June 1999 The Women’s Coalition is a diverse group of 40 women's rights organizations working to address the aspirations and needs of women and to ensure the full participation of Zimbabwean women in the ongoing constitutional reform and to strengthen activists in raising their voices on critical issues affecting women. In particular, the Coalition is committed to decreasing abuse, particularly physical and sexual abuse through the empowerment of women and girls.  One of the legal gains that the Coalition has been instrumental in achieving for women include the groundbreaking Domestic Violence Act passed in 2007.  Christine Campbell, National Director, External Relations at Canadian Crossroads International received the award on behalf of their partner organization at the CCIC 2010 Annual General Meeting. For more information, click here.


Colloquium 2009:
Africa in Canadian Foreign Policy

The objective of the colloquium was to refine ACF strategy to put Africa back in Canada’s foreign policy agenda, in particular in relation to the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits opportunities, and in light of CIDA’s new priority areas, using its Platform for Action: Africa Matters. (PDF 368 Kb)

The Global Economic Crisis: Where does Africa Stand? 
Objective: In light of the international community’s responses to date to the global crisis, particularly the outcomes of the June UN meeting on the financial crisis, the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy and the US meeting of the G20,the objective of the panel was to analyze ideas and proposals by African governments and civil society to address the different and continuing impacts of the crisis in Africa. The panel also looked at how Canada can support African efforts to overcome the effects of the crisis on their development.

Africa’s Trade During the Crisis and the Conclusion of the Doha Round – Tina Nanyangwe, formerly Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (PDF 904 Kb)

Opportunities for Canada to Address the Crisis in Africa
Ann Weston, The North-South Institute

Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development: Shaping Canada’s Priority for Food Security

Objective: Situate ACF proposals for CIDA’s priority for food security as it may relate to Africa within an understanding of the impact of the food crisis on Africa, namely with regard to land grabs, GMOs and agrofuels, and sustainable rural development for small-scale producers, many of whom are women.

Food Crisis, Land Grabs, and Food Sovereignty – Devlin Kuyek, Researcher, GRAIN (PDF 866 Kb))

CIDA’s Food Security Strategy and Canada’s take on Global Food Issues – Stuart Clark, Policy Analyst, Food Grains Bank, Food Security Policy Group (PDF 561 Kb)

Canada’s Role in Supporting
Women’s Empowerment

Objective: Better understand women’s experiences in conflict, and their roles in peace negotiations and peace building. Reflect on how Canada might better promote the role of women and women's groups in peace processes based on the principle of an inclusive and locally owned peace. Understand why and how CIDA should strengthen its leadership in women’s rights and gender equality.

Women’s Struggle for Peace in Zimbabwe – Tiisetso Russell, PhD Candidate, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) University of Toronto (PDF 572 Kb)

Canada’s Role in Supporting African Women in Peace ProcessesSurendrini Wijeyaratne, Program Officer, Peace-Building and Humanitarian Response, CCIC (PDF 125 Kb)

Strengthening Canada’s International Leadership in The Promotion of Gender Equality – Rita Soares Pinto, Program Officer Gender Equality, Oxfam Québec (French only) (PDF 416 Kb). A civil society response to the evaluation can be found on CCIC's website.

Building a New Canada-Africa Relationship – Joan Baxter, Journalist, writer, and USC Canada Board Member. Author of Dust from Our Eyes: An Unblinkered Look at Africa (PDF 1.4 Mb)


Annual General Meeting 2009 

Meeting the Challenge of Democratic Development, Peace and Economic Justice in Africa
Understanding how Northern-designed solutions to the global financial crisis will or are affecting Africa, in particular in light of the traditional demands for debt cancellation and genuine African-led development, ACF members began elaborating a road map for collective action to put Africa back on Canada's foreign policy agenda. The ACF Platform for Action: Africa Matters was officially launched at the AGM.  (PDF 368 Kb) (March 2009)

Final Agenda (PDF 96 Kb) (April 2009)

Responses to the Financial Crisis (PPT 177 Kb)
Fraser Reilly-King, Coordinator, Halifax Initiative
For ongoing information on the financial crisis, go to the Halifax Initiative website

Africa in the Turmoil of the Global Financial Crisis (PDF 168 Kb)
Lawson Body-Kouglo, Coordinator, Social and Economic Policy Department, The International Trade Union Confederation – African Regional Organisation (ITUC-Africa) (presentation) (available only in French) (PPT 347 Kb) (April 2009)

Canada's Support to Peace Processes in Africa  
Surendrini Wijeyaratne, Program Officer, Peace and Conflicts, Canadian Council for International Co-operation, looks at the place of Africa in Canada's International Peace and Defence Policy. focusing on Canada's support to peace processes in Africa. Based on the cases of the DRC and Uganda, she argues that previous and successful support to specific and important peace initiatives in those countries, in particular in terms of women's participation in peace negotiations in the DRC, have not been capitalized upon. In fact, Canada's current dwindling prioritization on Africa may affect the sustainability and implementation of peace efforts in places like DRC and Uganda not to mention the number of smaller countries. (PDF 37 Kb) (April 2009)

Africa Matters: The Africa-Canada Forum Platform for Action 2009-2011
The platform describes what ACF recommends that Canada do to promote human rights and end poverty and injustice in Africa. Meant as a reference for individual members' and collective action for policy work, the platform is rooted in the close relationships ACF and its members have been building over years of collaborative work with African counterparts. It reflects our experience of the day-to-day reality of Africans and their struggle to transform this reality. (PDF 368 Kb) (March 2009)

Priority Countries for Canada's International Assistance: Africa Left on Sidelines 
"Africa is at the epicentre of global poverty. Several countries on the Continent are being dropped in favour of countries that are not doing as badly. This shift causes Canada's leadership in Africa to be seriously questioned." (Gerry Barr, President-CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation) (PDF 19 Kb) (March 2009)




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