The Warsan

Addis Abeba hosts Canadian Prime Minister on a rare visit to the region

Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister

Justin Trudeau is set to headline an important High-Level Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa this morning at Sheraton Addis.

Only the second sitting Canadian Prime Minister to visit the capital – the last being Jean Chretien in 2003 to advocate for the availability of affordable HIV medication – Trudeau is expected to champion his signature ideas of supporting girls and women worldwide, now also championed by Canada’s Foreign Affairs.

A prominent voice for gender equality throughout the world, he is known for his gender equality mantra, famously appointing government cabinet on gender parity standard, as well as appointing a woman head of state and as Supreme Court nominees – which all these were emulated by Ethiopia’s current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed (PhD) bringing the later to the attention of progressive world leaders and ultimately to the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

Organized by the African Union, the gathering is, among others initiatives, is to hear ways partnership can be built to help promote gender equality and women empowerment within the continent, where a majority of women still face discrimination both at home and abroad, preventing them from fulfilling their potential.

In 2010, the Union conveyed a high delegation of leaders to promote the African Women’s Decade and a quarter of the century from the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action that famously had, the then First Lady of the United States boldly declare, “Women Rights Are Human Rights”. For the next decade, the Union has chosen to make Women Economic Empowerment at one of its priority.

The African Union is also to look at building a financial mechanism to help fund some of its equality agenda, including reaffirm the – Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa – that is to provide support for practical solutions to advance the gender equality agenda in various Africa nations.

Among in attendance expected today are the leaders of various UN agencies and the African Union, women and youth leaders and funders and a large Canadian delegation of politicians and celebrities, including Masai Ujiri, who is the President of the Toronto Raptors, who famously endorsed the Prime Minister last year in the midst of a national election and a revelation that Trudeau wore offensive black faces as a teacher of a high school in British Columbia and saw his favoritism among electors go downhill.

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