On Saturday, Justin Trudeau promised Ethiopia an investment agreement as well as $10 million to Africa in order to assist in gender equality and the empowerment of African women, Global News reports. He made the announcements as he continues to attempt to obtain a seat for Canada on the United Nations Security Council.
Trudeau spent three days in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa and met with many notable people from the African Union. This was the 33rd union meeting in the capital.
Trudeau also spent a fair amount of time with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia—Abiy Ahmed. After meetings between the two, they eventually went on a private tour where they walked through the Prime Minister’s residence. Abiy made no indication as to where his security council vote was leaning.
He mentioned to Trudeau that the country is thankful for the support that Canada has provided in the past.
“We Ethiopians have a deep sense of friendship to Canada,” said Abiy
Abiy received the Nobel Peace Prize last fall and is considered one of Africa’s most influential leaders.
Trudeau noted that the two countries were planning to work together more closely in the future and will soon begin to negotiate a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement.
The current trade relationship between Canada and Ethiopia has been fairly small with only $170 million traded between the countries in 2018. Over the course of the last 20 years, Ethiopia’s economy has been well on the rise and the city of Addis Ababa is growing at a fast pace.
Trudeau was involved in several other meetings mostly involving talk of economic growth opportunities but also of gender equality and climate change.
After revealing the commitment of $10 million towards the African Nations, Trudeau received support from President Zewde who is thought to be among the most powerful women in Africa. Zewde told Trudeau that she valued his “strong female policy.”
Canada is currently competing with Norway and Ireland for the two available seats.
Many of the continent’s scholars are skeptical of Trudeau and believe that he has not attempted to forge a relationship with Africa in the past and is only doing so now to receive their votes. Africa has 54 of the 193 total votes to determine the non-permanent seats of the Security Council.
The trip was the first that Trudeau has made to Ethiopia.