AN EMBASSY POLICY BRIEFING
Dawn of Not all foreign ﬁrms want
to help ﬁx Africa’s past.
Investment Deals Page 11
Tanzania and Madagascar could
be the ﬁrst African nations
to get FIPAs with Canada.
Time for a
Opposition critics want to
see more fair, holistic trade
policies for Africa.
Who’s doing the most
PHOTO: JONATHAN MILLARD
business with Canada.
Envoys Urge Businesses to Take a Chance. Page 15
10 EMBASSY Wednesday, March 19, 2008
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
Mining Interests Driving Investment Protection
Negotiations with Madagascar and Tanzania
■ Diplomats hope successful talks
will prompt investment in agricul-
ture and tourism, while opposition
critics hope human rights won’t be
forgotten in the deals.
By Michelle Collins
anadian mining interests abroad
are at the root of the government’s
recent push to sign investment pro-
tection agreements with developing
countries, a drive that now includes Tanzania
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn
revealed in a speech to the Prospectors and
Developers Association of Canada on March
3 that Canada would be initiating Foreign
Investment Promotion and Protection
Agreement (FIPA) talks with the two African
nations as well as Indonesia.
“The agreements we are negotiating
reflect our understanding of the importance
of foreign investment as a driver of the min-
EMBASSY PHOTO: SAM GARCIA AND JEFF DAVIS
ing industry and social and economic devel-
opment around the world,” Mr. Lunn said. Earlier this month, Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn (left) announced Canada will launch investment deal talks with Tanzania, Madagascar and
Indonesia. Tanzanian High Commissioner Peter Allan Kallaghe is pleased that his country could be the first African nation to get a FIPA with Canada.
Canada has launched a series of FIPA
negotiations, mainly in countries that host
major Canadian-owned mining operations, Deals Inspire Confidence: Envoy “Canadian companies have expanded ment is disregarding fundamental Canadian
since the Conservatives came to power While mining appears to be the main globally at a far greater pace than foreigners values with these agreements because
more than two years ago. While negotia- thrust behind the rash of FIPA talks, diplo- have invested in Canada,” Mr. Hejazi says. they’re “desperate to get a deal.”
tions with India and Jordan have conclud- mats from Madagascar and Tanzania were He says Canada’s role as a “host coun- “We look at Indonesia, there are clear and
ed, talks with Vietnam, Mongolia, China hopeful Canadian investment would reach try” for investments—for instance, for every continuous human rights violations,” Mr.
and Kuwait are ongoing. into other areas. dollar that Canada invested abroad in 1970, Julian says. “This is part of the government
Last year, International Trade Minister With several Canadian firms operating in there was $7 invested in Canada—changed agenda, seeming to want to give credibility
David Emerson signed Canada’s first FIPA Madagascar’s mines, Clara Randrianjara, coun- around the year 2000 when Canadian invest- to countries that have human rights viola-
in eight years with Peru, where Canadian sellor at the Embassy of Madagascar in Ottawa, ment abroad surpassed foreign investment tions. We’re seeing that with Colombia.”
direct investment reached $2.3 billion in says a trade agreement between the two coun- into Canada. Mr. Julian says trade agreements should
2005, including major mining projects. At the tries is for everyone’s benefit. Ms. Randrianjara “We were very restrictive in foreign invest- be based on a fair trade model that demands
time, Mr. Emerson said the investment deal says Madagascar’s growing agriculture and ment, we were not a big player,” Mr. Hejazi high ethical conduct on the part of com-
would create “a predictable environment for tourism industries may also become important says. “That’s changed, now we’re out there panies operating abroad, and says Canada
Canadian investors.” Canada currently has sectors for Canadian investors. in a big, big way.” could use such trade negotiations as lever-
23 FIPA agreements. Tanzanian High Commissioner Peter age to demand foreign governments address
Canada’s share of the world’s mineral pro- Allan Kallaghe says Tanzania is happy to be Desperate for a Deal: NDP human rights violations.
duction exceeds $40 billion per year. About among the first African countries Canada International Trade Minister David While Liberal Trade critic Navdeep
1,200 Canadian mining companies operate has initiated such talks with. Currently, Emerson says the negotiations with Bains also hopes to see labour and human
in 100 countries, including a large number of Canada is the largest foreign investor in Madagascar, Tanzania and Indonesia are rights issues addressed in the FIPAs, he
African nations. Tanzania, where Barrick Gold has invested just now getting under way, and he would says they are a good step to improving
Executive director of the Prospectors about $1.3 billion since 1999. not speculate on when they might be bilateral relations with these countries,
and Developers Association of Canada Tony “We see this as an instrument to inspire completed. and ultimately toward signing free trade
Andrews says the mining industry holds more confidence in the investment climate,” “Whenever you put money on the line, agreements.
FIPAs in high regard. Mr. Kallaghe says. “We’re very appreciative you need some security and rule of law and “It’s a continuation of the work the
“In general, we communicate to the govern- to the Canadian government agreeing to stability in terms of protecting your invest- Liberals have been doing,” Mr. Bains says,
ment that we very much support these FIPAs, enter negotiations with us. It is significant of ment,” Mr. Emerson told Embassy on March citing 19 FIPAs signed under the Liberal gov-
but we don’t single out particular countries,” the confidence in us, so we can entice more 13. “It involves a variety of issues including ernment with countries in Latin America, the
Mr. Andrews says of the current talks. “A FIPA Canadian companies to invest.” agreements that may be in place with the Middle East and Asia.
is important because it mitigates some of the Walid Hejazi, professor of international government in Madagascar.” “Our only concern is that we can’t rely
risk associated with some of the investing in competitiveness at the Rotman School of However, NDP Trade critic Peter Julian solely on FIPA, we should look at how we can
countries that have weak governments, and Management at the University of Toronto, says he has very strong concerns about the sign air agreements, and science and tech-
possibly conflict as well. It offers some assur- says these FIPAs are a part of the govern- ongoing FIPA talks with these countries. nology investment agreements,” he says.
ances to your investments.” ment’s move into foreign economies. Mr. Julian says the Conservative govern- email@example.com
Top 10 African Source Nations Top 10 African Destinations
of Canadian Imports for Canadian Exports
1997 2007 1997 2007
Rank Nation Value Nation Value Rank Nation Value Nation Value
1 Algeria $610,658,428 Algeria $5,071,173,775 1 Algeria $622,437,612 South Africa $784,251,753
2 Nigeria $520,607,041 Angola $1,196,002,548 2 South Africa $370,672,478 Algeria $504,024,880
3 South Africa $497,489,748 South Africa $1,041,851,119 3 Libya $219,445,824 Egypt $347,073,654
4 Morocco $65,742,119 Nigeria $289,980,376 4 Morocco $200,432,953 Morocco $242,082,186
5 Cote d’Ivoire $62,006,720 Cote d’Ivoire $283,394,925 5 Egypt $185,682,570 Sudan $209,668,021
6 Togo $54,619,510 Morocco $218,022,132 6 Nigeria $104,241,568 Libya $195,497,706
7 Zambia $32,271,429 Egypt $161,287,831 7 Tunisia $85,364,322 Nigeria $184,304,300
8 Egypt $29,024,305 Equatorial Guinea $150,639,682 8 Ghana $73,745,103 Ghana $157,312,416
9 Guinea $26,485,416 Namibia $135,428,367 9 Kenya $37,843,260 Tunisia $110,121,448
10 Kenya $17,942,953 Guinea $125,603,242 10 Botswana $34,769,863 Angola $82,490,809
—data from Statistics Canada —data from Statistics Canada
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 EMBASSY 11
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
Not All Foreign Firms Keen to Fix Africa’s Past
Yet as a South African trade official ner. The Canadian junior miner, Annoraq Don’t expect disaffected Canadians to
remarked to me on my last visit to the coun- Resources, also has interests in two South resort to such international lawsuits, however.
LUKE ERIC try, more needs to be African platinum In the late 1990s, Canada and South Africa
PETERSON done to address the mines and has exe- negotiated—but never concluded—a FIPA
gaping inequalities cuted BEE deals that between them.
left behind by the saw various histor- Should the Canadian government push for
frica may not sit high on the
Canadian government’s prior- previous Apartheid
It remains to see whether ically-disadvantaged
groups brought into
such an investment protection agreement in
the future, it will have to come to some shared
ity list, but that doesn’t mean that
Canadian businesses are not oper- demand will build land reform can be the ownership fold. understanding with South Africa on issues like
ating there—and facing myriad challenges. for more radical While these compa- BEE and land reform. These are questions that
Foreign investors moving into Southern Zimbabwean-style achieved without a flight nies are adapting to have already derailed economic negotiations
Africa are coming face to face with govern- changes. of foreign investment. the new rules of the between the United States and South Africa.
ment efforts to remedy the inequities of Some foreign game, not all foreign Ultimately, South Africa is insisting that for-
colonial exploitation. investors, such as miners are happy. eign businesses in search of economic oppor-
Occasionally, such efforts can be ham-hand- the Canadian mining Last year, a group tunities also agree to bear some of the burden
ed and counter-productive, as evidenced by company Barrick, of Italian granite min- of remedying the country’s persistent social
the tragedy that has engulfed Zimbabwe since have sold certain properties in South Africa, ers sued South Africa alleging that the BEE inequities.
the violent seizure of white-owned farms. leading to speculation that there was no demands violate the terms of a foreign invest- Luke Eric Peterson is a columnist for
Agricultural production, a motor of the desire to contend with BEE “red-tape.” Yet ment protection agreement (FIPA) between Embassy. His 2006 paper for the South African
Zimbabwean economy, has gone into pre- Barrick retains an interest in an exploration the two countries. An international arbitra- Institute for International Affairs on these
cipitous decline. Other sectors of the econ- project in the northeast of South Africa, tion panel now must grapple with the thorny themes is available on-line at: http://library.
omy have deteriorated almost as sharply. and the company has entered into a joint- task of determining if BEE complies with fes.de/pdf-files/iez/global/04137.pdf
Nightmare levels of inflation and widespread venture with a local indigenous-run part- South Africa’s trade and economic treaties. firstname.lastname@example.org
shortages of basic foodstuffs have fuelled
a humanitarian crisis that is spilling across
Zimbabwe’s borders, as refugees flee the
country in search of life’s basic necessities.
Needless to say, foreign businesses are
also heading for the exits. According to
recent figures published by the Financial
Times, foreign direct investment in Zimbabwe
has plummeted from $300 million in 1998 to a
mere $30 million in 2006.
Zimbabwe’s collapse offers a sobering case-
Nurturing Successful Multi-Cultural Societies
study in how not to remedy past wrongs.
In other corners of sub-Saharan Africa,
governments have tried to walk a different
line: pushing for more equitable wealth distri-
bution and property ownership, but without
bringing about an economic catastrophe.
In Namibia, the government has come
under increasing pressure to redistribute
land in an effort to undo the decades-old
land-grab perpetrated by colonial powers
against that country’s indigenous peoples.
This month, however, Namibia’s high court
struck down a government bid to expropriate
four German-owned farms. The court recog-
nized that land reform is an urgent priority,
but noted that the government had not fol-
lowed the process set out under the country’s
legislation—including to investigate whether
the particular farms were suitable for land
reform, and to study the effect of any expro-
priation on the (black) employees currently
working those German-owned farms.
Having been rapped on the knuckles, it
remains to be seen how the Namibian gov-
ernment will respond—and whether land
reform can be achieved without initiating a
flight of foreign investment.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, an ambitious
program of Black Economic Empowerment
(BEE) has been introduced in order to reme-
dy that country’s own pattern of inequitable
wealth and resource ownership.
The BEE scheme calls for race-based affir- ETHNICITY AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE (EDG), Queen’s University team
mative action policies, as well as demands In foreground, Dr. Margaret Moore (Political Studies) and Dr. Will Kymlicka (Philosophy, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy)
for blacks and other historically disadvan- In background, Dr. John McGarry (Political Studies, Canada Research Chair in Nationalism and Democracy, Senior Expert in Power-Sharing
taged South Africans to have a bigger stake with the UN – Department of Political Affairs, Mediation Support Unit), Dr. Villia Jefremovas (Development Studies, Sociology, Canada
Research Chair in Development and Social Change) and Dr. Bruce Berman (Political Studies, EDG Director and Principal Investigator)
in company ownership and management.
Absent, Oded Haklai (Political Studies) and Zsuzsa Csergo (Political Studies)
The policies have been controversial— SSHRC-MCRI
with even sympathetic voices lamenting that
many of the earliest BEE deals seemed to
benefit a small cadre of wealthy and well-con- Queen’s researchers have organized the largest collaborative effort in
nected black businesspeople. However, the Canada examining issues of ethnicity and democratic governance.
South African government is now taking steps
to ensure that the benefits of BEE are more Queen’s has assembled a team including top scholars, government representatives, and heads of
“broad-based” and felt throughout society. influential non-government organizations from four continents to produce practical tools and strategies
Critics of the scheme continue to insist that that citizens and governments can use to work through ethno-cultural conflicts and tensions.
BEE gives too much discretion to over-worked
government bureaucrats who must decide
whether companies are meeting a raft of BEE
targets. Peter Leon, a South African lawyer who
represents various mining companies, has cited
figures from Canada’s right-wing Fraser Institute
that suggest that South Africa’s mining sector To learn more about Queen’s University researchers visit:
has become less attractive to foreign investors http://www.queensu.ca/research/
as a result of various BEE requirements.
12 EMBASSY Wednesday, March 19, 2008
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
Another Missed Opportunity in Africa
■ With the Americas and emerging into the country three or four times a year,
markets like India and China identi- you tell me how it will make a difference,”
he says. “I’m skeptical, and I think the com-
fied as government priorities, Africa panies and the organizations we represent
is getting the short end of the stick. are also skeptical about the efficiency of
By Lee Berthiaume “We are very nervous about that. On the one
hand we are not increasing the resources in the
n April 2007, voters in Madagascar went field, and on the other we are not increasing but
to the polls in a nationwide referen- diminishing the resources here in Ottawa.”
dum to approve several constitutional And that sends a signal to potential inves-
amendments proposed by President tors, Mr. Bradet adds.
Marc Ravalomanana. “I think Canadians are interested in
The results revealed that 75 per cent had Africa, but if they look at the government
supported the changes, one of which would and it does not appear to be one of the
make English the African island nation’s third priorities, I guess people say to themselves:
official language after French and Malagasy. ‘My government doesn’t consider it to be
To Carole Theauvette, a senior adviser important, so why should I?’”
at the Association of Canadian Community
Colleges, the change presented a major oppor- PHOTO: KATHY KNOWLES Government Presence Helpful
tunity for the Canadian education industry as Meanwhile, two countries that the govern-
the Malagasy government would be looking for a comprehensive continental policy. what we’re doing.” ment has identified as priorities for Canadian
partners to help develop school curriculum. Yet Lucien Bradet, president of the Canadian Mr. Bradet says all the signs are that Africa engagement, India and China, have been
“They’re looking at Canada,” Ms. Council on Africa business development orga- is moving ahead full steam on the economic extremely active in Africa, with hundreds of
Theauvette says. “Yet because we don’t have nization, sees the opposite happening. front: international debt owed by the conti- new investments worth billions being made.
an embassy [in Madagascar], we don’t have “If you look at the Africa file here [at DFAIT] nent is decreasing; GDP growth is above the “It may not be a priority for us, but it’s
an aid program, because we are not present, in Ottawa, with the resources they have, they global average; and as of 2006, there is more a priority for China and India,” says Robert
there are two meetings per year in April and are doing a good job,” he says. “But the private investment being injected than aid. Blackburn, senior vice-president of SNC-
September, and Canada has an empty chair.” resources are diminishing year after year.” Granted there are still major risks, as Lavalin International.
As a result, Norway, the United Kingdom When the government announced last was highlighted by the recent instability and Last year, about 13 per cent of the
and the United States are competing to year it was adopting a policy of re-engagement violence in Kenya, but Mr. Bradet says com- Montreal-based engineering firm’s $5.2-bil-
work with the Malagasy government, and with Latin America, it promised that Africa panies that are members of CCAfrica report lion in revenues came from its operations in
Canada is missing out. would not suffer as a result. However, the larger than average rewards. Africa, Mr. Blackburn says.
Unfortunately, it appears this scenario is reassurances were with regard to Canadian It’s important in this context to distinguish “You say Africa is not a priority, but the
common when it comes to Canadian engage- aid, and rarely, if ever, discussed trade. between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. continent has been our major market outside
ment with Africa, a continent that, aside from While Canada has strong economic and Canada for 30 years,” he says.
the occasional aid announcement, has large- Africa Moving Ahead political relations with the countries of the “They aren’t growing at the rate of India
ly disappeared from government policy. International Trade Minister David Maghreb, with missions and good represen- or China, but they are growing at an average
According to a tally conducted by Emerson disputed suggestions last week tation in all five nations, sub-Saharan Africa of six per cent. There are lots and lots of
Embassy in December, the government had that the government is not interested in pro- appears to have been relegated to being an opportunities there.”
42 Canadian trade commissioners in sub- moting trade and investment with Africa, but aid recipient and little else in policy. And like in India and China and many
Saharan Africa last year, almost one-third the admitted it isn’t the top priority. True, the government recently announced other developing countries, in order to take
number posted throughout Latin America. “Well, I think we do have some trade inter- it would be launching foreign investment pro- advantage of those opportunities, Canadian
Meanwhile, the government has commit- ests in Africa,” he said last Thursday. motion and protection agreement talks with companies need the government to have a
ted to reaching the $2.1-billion mark in aid “We certainly have developmental and Madagascar and Tanzania. But Madagascar, presence, whether it is missions and diplo-
to Africa by the end of 2008, but a growing aid interests so I don’t think it’s correct to where Mr. Bradet says Canada is the largest matic staff, or senior ministerial visits.
chorus of voices is insisting that economic say we’re not interested. I think it’s cor- foreign investor, has no Canadian mission or “It’s just true that having a Canadian pres-
development is the way to eradicate poverty. rect to say that we do not have unlimited representation but is served from the high ence there, having a maple leaf stamp on you,
To some, increasing aid levels without resources, that we are rationalizing but still commissions in South Africa and Tanzania. just helps,” Mr. Blackburn said, “because
facilitating more trade and investment overall expanding our trade presence around “To manage the trade relations of governments there play a much bigger role
between Canada and Africa represents a the world, but you’ve got to pick and choose Madagascar or Angola with a trade commis- than in a highly developed country.”
disconnect that needs to be addressed with where you put your resources and that’s sioner that is 1,000 miles away and will go email@example.com
Africa Needs Action for Proper Economic Growth
vate investment; and political integrity. the transportation needs of nearly 100 mil- development. There must be a stand-alone
The argument between promoters of lion people. Why has the railway between CIDA statute that defines goals. One of the
social development and promoters of eco- land-locked Bamako and the port of Dakar instructions in any new CIDA act must be to
PETER STOLLERY nomic development has gone on for 50 years. been allowed to fall into disrepair? instruct the minister to involve himself or her-
It seems to me that the social developers It seems to me that this is work for the self in the trade negotiations so vital to their
won, and I think that is one of the reasons World Bank, instead of giving economic developing world constituency. Investment in
ast year the Senate’s report on Africa
talked about the desperate African men for development’s failure in Africa. As Oxford advice to countries that the bank’s share- Africa is held back by developed world protec-
and women crossing the Sahara and University professor Paul Collier, author of holders would not themselves follow. The tionism, particularly in agriculture.
attempting to get to the Canary Islands The Bottom Billion, Senate committee Africa has twice as much public capital
on fishing boats, trying to get to Europe and find writes: “The primary listened to many as private capital. One problem in attract-
work. In 2005, 6,000 people drowned and 31,000 obstacle to reforming examples during ing investment is the until-now failure of the
African men and women reached the islands. aid is public opinion. our hearings, and it Doha round of WTO talks. Sub-Saharan Africa
One would think that the prospect of hun-
dreds of millions of unemployed, desperate
The constituency for
aid is suspicious of
One problem in wasn’t until we met
Alan Hirsch, senior
needs access to markets and productive pri-
vate investment, without which there will
people would cause governments to think, economic growth and attracting investment director of economic be no increase in the standard of living. The
even if their only interest is world security. An the constituency for policy in the Office excesses of oil exploration have mostly only
impoverished Afghanistan of 31 million people growth is suspicious is the failure of of the President of contributed to corruption: lack of integrity.
attracted Canada’s attention and led to the of aid.” South Africa, that Examples are legion from Nigeria to Angola.
deployment of more than 2,200 soldiers even I think develop- the Doha round we started to under- The Conservative government has
ment money should stand that problem. placed its foreign policy priorities clearly
as the country became the largest recipient
of our foreign aid. In the Democratic Republic be spent on infra-
of WTO talks. The World Bank on Afghanistan, the Americas and emerging
of Congo, with 62 million people and the most structure: roads and sends out economic markets. Africa is nowhere to be found, which
bloodshed since the Second World War, there upgrading railways. advisors and they is surprising given the extreme poverty and
are eight Canadian soldiers—none of them If the road between overpower the local security crises such as the Congo and Darfur.
combatants—and the country is low on the list southern and northern Ethiopia were prop- countries’ ability to argue so that loans are There will be no progress in Africa until
of recipients of Canadian development aid. erly maintained, there would be no repeated made conditional to economic schemes that Africa is taken seriously.
The developed world has to take Africa famines in Tigray. Why has the road system no developed country would accept. This is Peter Stollery is a Liberal senator and
seriously. between the eastern Congo and the port of not the way ahead. is deputy chair of the Senate Committee on
Three things are missing in sub-Saharan Mombasa been allowed to become almost CIDA’s contribution to African development Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
Africa: proper economic development; pri- impassable in places? That system services has been caught between social and economic firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 EMBASSY 13
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
‘Diplomacy is Built on Reciprocity’: Nigerian Envoy
Continued from Page 1
Peter Kieran, president of CPCS
Transcom, a Canadian consulting company
that assists private investors and infra-
structure developers in Africa and Asia,
says his business often needs to bring
its African employees and partners back
to Canada for planning and training ses-
sions. All too often, however, his plans are
scuttled when large numbers of his African
staff are denied visitor visas.
“We tried to get some of our Nigerian staff
over to come to our annual planning session
and they’ve been refused visas,” he says. “It’s
not good for business.”
Mr. Kieran says getting visas for his
African partners is a constant headache,
even though they are clearly legitimate busi-
ness travellers. He says many of his partners
and clients are highly qualified and pose
little risk of extending their stays or trying to
remain in Canada illegally.
He says the difficulty of obtaining visas
stops many African-Canadian business part-
nerships from ever happening.
“Canadian exporters who are looking to
increase their contacts have potential cus-
tomers visit their country, visit their plants,
see their products,” he says. “You get to
know people on a face-to-face basis. It’s an
important part of doing business.”
PHOTO FROM NIGERIAN HIGH COMMISSION AND EMBASSY PHOTO: SAM GARCIA
Wait Times Too Long Acting Nigerian high commissioner Ifeoma Jacinte Akabogu-Chinwuba (left) says she has met with DFAIT officials many times to file complaints about the
Mr. Kieran is not alone in his frustration. difficulties Nigerians face getting visas to Canada. Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Tangi says his countrymen have not been facing such difficulties.
In November 2005, the Canadian Council
on Africa issued a report entitled Facilitating
Business Travel to Canada: Making Canada Ms. Akabogu-Chinwuba says she has met anything to facilitate the travel of African Easier for North Africans
Competitive in Africa, which voiced frustra- with officials from the Department of Foreign businesspeople. No response was given. While sub-Saharan diplomats complain
tion over the visa issue. Affairs on several occasions to file com- Liberal International Trade critic Navdeep about the difficulty of getting visas for busi-
Though the report is now over two years plaints about the difficulty Nigerians face Bains says facilitating the visa process for ness travellers, diplomats from Africa’s north-
old, CCAfrica president Lucien Bradet says getting visas to Canada. legitimate businesspeople is a key part of ern Maghreb region tell a different story.
the situation has not improved since the “Certainly, we have visa issues, but we are building stronger trade relations with differ- Moroccan Ambassador Mohamed Tangi
document was released. dialoguing with the Canadian government to ent parts of the world. says his countrymen have not been facing
The report says the short-term move- solve them,” she says. Mr. Bains says he thinks a lack of such difficulties.
ment of visitors from Africa to Canada Nigeria is not alone facing difficulties get- resources is the root of the difficulties “I’ve been ambassador here for the past
plays a vital role in supporting commer- ting visas to Canada. many businesspeople face. He says consul- five years,” he says. “I haven’t received a
cial ventures. Such visits, it adds, are Bornway Chiripanhura, a counsellor at the ar officials often don’t have the resources single complaint from any Moroccan busi-
needed to train African employees, hold Embassy of Zimbabwe, says it is never easy for and tools to properly examine and filter nessman who wanted to come to Canada
strategy and planning meetings, and pro- his countrymen to obtain visas to Canada. applications, resulting in the denial of and was refused a visa.
mote familiarity with products or services “It is very, very difficult,” he says, “It’s like many legitimate applications. “Things seem to be working very well,” he
that Canadian companies are trying to sell you are applying to go to heaven.” “We need more resources, more people says, adding that seven fully packed flights fly
in Africa. Mr. Chiripanhura says that many to vet [applications] properly, to be able to between Montreal and Casablanca each week.
Despite these needs, the report says, Zimbabwean businesspeople have com- examine and make sure requirements are Counsellor Nejmeddine Lakhal of the
African business visitors are often greeted plained about the difficulties they face. met,” he says. Tunisian Embassy tells a similar story.
with suspicion and are “regularly frus- “A number of people fail to attend meet- Mr. Bains adds that if the applicant is “For [Tunisian] businessmen coming to
trated by slow service, complex proce- ings because of the time it takes to get the denied, officials should make sure “the Canada, they don’t have problems getting
dures and (seemingly) arbitrary decisions visas,” he says. “They have bad experiences proper back and forth dialogue takes visas,” he says.
regarding short-term visas.” and some give up.” place with the applicant to make sure they Business travellers from South Africa,
Besides “excessive and arbitrary refusal According to one government source, get a fair chance.” one of the continent’s richest countries, also
rates,” the report complains that visa pro- who spoke on condition of anonymity, the NDP Immigration critic Olivia Chow appear to have an easy time getting visas.
cessing often takes around six weeks. In government is well aware of businesspeo- says the government should implement Johan Nel, a first secretary at the South
contrast, it says, visa wait times for the U.S., ple’s complaints. an appeal process for those denied visas. African High Commission, says it is gener-
Australia and European countries generally “This is an ongoing saga,” he says. “This She says the United Kingdom and Australia ally difficult for nationals of developing
happen in under a week. is one single issue that I think a lot of people already have such tribunals, which allow countries to get visas to developed ones,
The report recommends the streamlin- are quite aware of on the Canadian trade an appeal to be pursued within 28 days. but not business travellers.
ing of the visa application process, includ- side, in Canadian government. “Right now, because there is no proper He adds that the waiting period for visa
ing implementing a maximum one-week “Overall it remains a challenge because appeal process, many of the decisions are, in processing is also quite short, with visas ready
timeframe and a fast-track system for some businessmen are just unable to travel my mind, arbitrary, not transparent and some for pick up after only three or four days.
business travellers. to Canada,” he adds. “Whenever we have refusals cannot be defended,” she says. email@example.com
trade missions, these matters are mentioned
Some Nations Pushing Back in Africa by the business communities in
Mr. Kieran says the difficult situation is those countries.”
only getting worse, as frustrated nations are
now pushing back. More Consular Resources Needed
Who’s Flying the Open Skies
“A lot of the African countries are now
making it much harder for Canadians to get
Karen Shadd, a spokeswoman for
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, says
Bilateral Agreements and Direct Flights
visas,” he says. “They say, ‘Well, you make it the criteria for visiting businesspeople are Between Canadian and African Destinations
very hard for our people, so we’ll make it hard the same as for other visitors, and that they
for yours.’ They’ve been very open about it receive no special treatment. Canadian Foreign
and that hurts us even more directly.” She says visa applicants must con- Country Date of Pact City Destination Carrier
He says he recently encountered such vince consular agents—sometimes locally Algeria July 5, 2006 Algiers Montreal Air Algérie
resistance when trying to obtain visas for engaged staff—that they are in good health, Egypt April 3, 1987 Cairo Montreal Egypt Air
Canadian staff assigned to Nigeria. have valid documents, have a job and ties Cote d’Ivoire Sept. 3, 1987 N/A N/A N/A
Acting Nigerian high commissioner Ifeoma that would take them back to their country Morocco Feb. 14, 1975 Casablanca Montreal Royal Air Maroc
Jacinte Akabogu-Chinwuba confirmed that of origin, have enough money for their trip
her country is pushing back against Canada and will go home after the trip. N/A = Currently no service between Canada and Cote d’Ivoire
on the visa front. After all, she says, “diplo- Embassy asked Immigration Minister Diane —data from the Canadian Transportation Agency
macy is built on reciprocity.” Finley’s office if the government was doing
14 EMBASSY Wednesday, March 19, 2008
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
A Policy of Fair Trade for Canada and Africa
the benefit of Africans, but to Canadian A fair trade policy encourages the of a fair trade model, moving away from the
exporters). kind of development that empowers local so called “free trade” model, which has
Conversely, about 90 per cent of populations and helps raise the whole failed to generate sustainable prosperity
PETER JULIAN Canada’s African imports come from community out of poverty. Fair trade for the majority of the people affected by it
just five countries: Algeria, South Africa, means supporting social justice and busi- at home and abroad.
Angola, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. ness through local co-operatives and 5. A non-selective and unconditional
frica is a richly diverse conti-
nent, but sadly, one that is suf- South Africa primarily supplies Canada other fair trade companies that respect cancellation of Africa countries’ foreign
fering from an unfair and unequal with metals and other minerals, while labour standards, human rights, envi- debts accelerating and broadening the
trading relationship with the rest more than 98 per ronmental rights, Jubilee 2000 and Make Poverty History
of the world. cent of the prod- pay workers a fair initiatives, so that these countries may
Africa’s share of world trade accounts ucts supplied by wage, and invest in be in a position to start rebuilding their
for just one per cent of the world market. the other four coun- sustainable social economies.
Even if that number were to be doubled, tries are purely oil infrastructure. It is By further targeting Canada’s devel-
it would translate into an increase of $70 imports. This is an an innovative way opment aid, including CIDA, to support
billion per year in commerce, a number unfair relationship: African countries to throw Canada’s these same fair trade communities, a two-
Canada is selling economic weight pronged approach would help focus on
five times larger than the current amount
of foreign aid given to the continent. wheat and reap-
have the right to behind the NGOs, achieving durable solutions to immediate
Canada’s trading relationship with ing the rewards of
set their own trade organizations and
crises. Canada must redesign CIDA’s aid
and development method so that it no
African nations is typical of this weak ini-
tiative on the part of developed nations. Worse, oil and and investment working on a made- longer reflects the World Bank and WTO’s
Trade with the continent accounts for resource revenues in-Africa solution failed policies.
only three per cent of Canada’s foreign have not translat- policies. to the continent’s I believe we need to keep a significant
trade, and the vast majority of recent ed into real devel- challenges. part of the International Trade portion of
growth in trade with Africa has come opment in most There are many the federal budget focused on doing what
solely from an increase of oil imports African nations. specific fair trade trade officers do: help promote Canadian
from Algeria. African coun- measures that can products and providing advice to Canadian
This type of trading relationship does tries have the right be pursued and exporters on how to trade fairly, while
not benefit the citizens of the African to determine their own trade and invest- built into Canada-Africa trade relations, respecting the highest labour standards
continent. Africans have been forced to ment policies, putting their people’s including: and environmental regulations with African
confront a huge humanitarian crisis in interests first, in ways that reflect the 1. Setting goals for market share for countries.
the AIDS epidemic, a lack of industrial communities’ values that Africans on African fair trade products, especially on Canada needs to take the lead in push-
infrastructure, the effects of brutal struc- the continent are already working to agricultural products, not in competition ing for a fairer, democratic and account-
tural adjustment programs from the IMF, revitalize. with Canadian products. able international trading system at the
a crippling foreign debt load, the incon- The coffee industry is an excellent 2. Encouraging supply management, Doha round. It needs to recognize that
clusive Doha round, the effects of climate example. While a handful of multinational which would protect rural farmers the developed nation’s charity corporate
change and the legacy of vicious colonial corporations dominate the coffee trade, against subsidized agricultural products model has not benefited the vast major-
exploitation. imposing an incredibly low selling price sold through the multinational system ity of Africa’s population because its
Canada has a chance to take the on rural coffee growers that keeps them and facilitate the conditions for fair design denies the means to become self
lead and build a strong fair trade relation- locked in the cycle of poverty, there are trade. sufficient.
ship with the African continent. Currently, many fair trade co-operatives that oper- 3. Increasing Canada’s trade promotion The opportunities are endless and the
35.5 per cent of Canada’s exports to ate outside the corporate system. These on the continent by establishing more for- need is gravely urgent.
the continent go to one country: South farmers sell their own high quality cof- eign offices and by leading more fair trade Peter Julian is the member of Parliament
Africa. Most of Canada’s exports to fee at prices permitting a fair living wage missions. for Burnaby-New Westminster and the NDP’s
Africa are wheat, followed by machinery and by helping invest in building vital 4. Build into trade deals with African international trade critic.
(and this trade is not fundamentally to infrastructure. countries conditions for the mutual respect firstname.lastname@example.org
Trade and Aid Mix a Recipe for Africa’s Success
sustaining economies that meet the needs covered by the Least Developed Countries their citizens in a responsible manner. It
of their people while creating new markets Market Access Initiative to help more low- is therefore critical for Canada to build
for our own exports. income nations benefit from greater access relationships with African governments.
NAVDEEP BAINS The first step to development must to our market. High-level government visits should be
therefore be a fair and equitable trade Even by removing unfair subsidies, increased with the trade and development
verything about Africa is huge. The policy. The WTO’s Doha round of talks much needs to be done to develop a strong ministers working hand-in-hand to build
world’s second largest continent hopes to achieve these goals by opening African commercial sector. In Budget links that can be used to enhance politi-
covers a fifth of the earth’s land- up trade in sectors that are important to 2005, the Liberal government started cal, economic and social improvement.
mass and is home to more than 900 Africa, especially the agricultural sector. If this process by stating, “Canada will do The government should also help trade by
million people. Widely believed to be the Africa’s countries are to develop into self- more to enable developing countries, promoting bilateral opportunities to both
oldest inhabited land on earth, Africa is a sufficient entities, they must first be able particularly African countries, to build Canadian and African businesses.
landscape of startling diversity. to compete. Their their private sec- It’s been eight years since the G8 Meeting
Africa also holds great wealth and ability to compete tors, make markets in Kananaskis, Alberta, where Canada made
nations filled with enormous promise. is impaired by the work for the poor, Africa a priority for the world. At that con-
That promise has been dimmed over the agricultural export and to compete ference, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien was
years by the ravages of poverty, disease subsidies that both globally.” able to secure agreement on a new action
and war. Canada has worked diligently the United States If Canada is to plan for Africa. Yet there is still so much to
along with many other nations to address and the European Trade, when meet this commit- be done.
these issues, but the results have been
use to artificially
employed fairly, ment, more resourc-
es will need to be
Trade combined with meaningful devel-
opment assistance can achieve what aid
Traditionally, Canada’s relationship lower the cost of will create strong deployed on the alone has failed to do: give Africa a fair
with most African countries has focused their goods abroad. ground in Africa. chance. Real reforms in the global market
on aid. However, in the 39 years that CIDA Canada can help this self-sustaining The number of as well as the political systems within
has been sending aid to Africa, there has process by retaking trade offices and Africa could indeed bring about economic
been no significant increase in the stan- a leadership role in economies. embassies should sustainability and all the social benefits
dard of living amongst the poor. What’s the talks. be increased, and that come with it.
worse is that there has been no reduction Tariffs on goods DFAIT must work The government of Canada has a key
in their dependence on foreign aid. We from Africa should closely with CIDA role to play here. By promoting trade, good
need to do better. also be reduced as and other relevant governance and accountability, Canada
The reasons for the failure of aid are part of the Doha departments to along with other developed nations can
many, but a consistent explanation has talks. Canada has already taken an active ensure a co-ordinated and effective use of make a difference to the lives of millions
been the lack of a holistic approach taken role on this front by reducing tariffs on resources. of Africans.
by Canada and many other developed Least Developed Countries. But we can do The Canadian government must There are no political points to be
nations in the region. more. also tackle systemic governance prob- scored here. An Africa that can sustain
Aid is designed mainly to address imme- Canada should take this initiative to lems by engaging in meaningful dialogue itself is in all of our best interests.
diate concerns and help alleviate the effects the WTO and encourage emerging global with its African counterparts: rewarding Navdeep Bains is the Liberal critic for
of poverty. On the other hand, trade, when powers to follow our lead. In addition, we nations who crack down on corruption, international trade.
employed fairly, will create strong self- should expand the number of countries are accountable, and above all care for email@example.com
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 EMBASSY 15
TRADE WITH AFRICA POLICY BRIEFING
Do Your Research and Take a Chance, say Envoys
We asked all of the African heads of mis- HALA SAMIR EL-BISHLAWI 2. The oil business is Ghana’s new sector, economic reasons, left its business in Sudan.
sion in Ottawa the following questions: “What Deputy Ambassador of Egypt with two major discoveries made recently off the Now, the company that took over from it is
is the most common mistake Canadian com- 1.Companies do not study Egypt’s busi- coast. It would be of great advantage to Canadian enjoying the skyrocketing oil prices. This is
panies make when attempting to do business ness culture well enough. There is a lack businesses to move in either to provide services an example of a mistake made by a Canadian
in your country?” and “Which up-and-coming in analyzing the business opportunities, or become involved in the exploration given company, but the Sudanese people in the
sector would Canadian businesses be foolish whether in trade or investment, insufficient Canadian expertise in the oil sector. area of the oil field still appreciate the social
not to invest in right now in your country?” The marketing and promotion by Canadian firms services left by Talisman.
following are the responses we received. among the Egyptian business community, a SIMON HORACE 2. The sector that Canadian business
delay in grabbing available opportunities in Ambassador of should invest in right now is mining in gener-
SMAIL BENAMARA Egypt, especially in the field of investment, a Madagascar al, and gold in particular, since Sudan’s min-
Ambassador of Algeria lack of visits from the Canadian businessmen 1. Canadian companies eral deposits are very attractive and would
1. The five-year plan to Egypt and the region. have been doing business make a happy marriage with the Canadian
for economic develop- 2. Some up-and-coming sectors for invest- in Madagascar for just a mining experience.
ment (2005-2009), for ment in Egypt include communication and few years. Therefore, the
which Algeria has allo- information technology; construction and real embassy cannot make any PETER KALLAGHE
cated funding of $160 estate; petrol, gas and petrochemical products; comment on the Canadian Tanzanian High
billion (US), provides environment projects; and tourism projects. experience in our Commissioner
huge business opportu- country. 1. Prospective inves-
nities for Canadian com- AHFEROM BERHANE 2. Most Canadian companies are investing in tors tend to over rely
panies. This significant GHEBREMEDIN the mining sectors; however, there are multiple on services and advice
economic potential supported by a positive Ambassador of Eritrea opportunities in Madagascar such as: organic of private consultants
investment climate is sometimes unknown 1. No comment. agriculture, eco-tourism, bio-energy and informa- instead of dealing direct-
for some Canadian companies. Thus, we 2. The mining sec- tion and communication technology. Madagascar ly with the Tanzania
notice a lack of perseverance and presence tor has taken off in the has diverse and abundant resources, labour Investment Centre, the
from these companies. past five years due to competitiveness and high quality of products. government institution
2. The sectors of mining, tourism, con- the discovery of several created to facilitate foreign business people.
struction, banking and insurance, and high-grade volcano- IFEOMA AKABOGU-CHINWUBA Happily, most Canadian firms in Tanzania are
many other economic fields in Algeria genic massive sulphide Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria highly specialized in their respective fields
that might be business opportunities, deposits and of green- 1. The first common mistake Canadian of operation and have wide experience in
are a guaranteed interest for Canadian stone shear hosted gold. The country’s Red companies make is not to invest more in this regard. Another mistake is the failure
companies. The construction of 1,251,209 Sea coastline is rich in lobster, shrimp, and Nigeria in view of the massive opportunities of companies to do sufficient research to
housing units, part of the five-year plan, crab, which offer the potential for a valu- in profitable sectors like telecommunications, understand local procedures, practices and
is a guaranteed opportunity for some able export-oriented fishing industry, and agriculture, mining, oil and gas, energy, tour- business environment.
Canadian companies in the construction also provides many investment opportunities ism, housing, etc. The second mistake is 2. I would not like to attach the term “fool-
field. Also, the banking and insurance for tourism, especially in the construction bypassing the High Commission and going ish” to any Canadian company that decides
sectors, and that of tourism, which have of hotels and resorts. The rehabilitation and into direct deals, usually via the Internet, with not to invest in a particular sector in Tanzania,
large-scale reform programs, can be a expansion of electricity production is a prior- Nigerian partners. It is always advisable to however lucrative the sector may be. Having
good interest to Canadian companies. ity sector. Investments in the exploitation and bring the mission into the picture for the pur- said that, I wish to note that Tanzania offers
distribution of energy sources such as wind pose of documentation and records. Another some of the best conditions for investors in
MIGUEL MARIA energy on the Red Sea coast, and geothermal mistake is the delay in resuscitating a viable Africa, and there is huge potential in our sec-
N’ZAU PUNA potential for power generation in areas asso- and vibrant bilateral Chamber of Commerce, tors of mining and tourism.
Ambassador of Angola ciated with volcanic activity are encouraged. Industry, Mining and Agriculture to harness
1. One of the most the huge potential in the two economies. MOULDI SAKRI
common mistakes GETACHEW HAMUSSA 2. The up-and-coming sectors Canadian Ambassador of
Canadian companies Ambassador of firms should not ignore are: energy, mining, Tunisia
make is being too Ethiopia infrastructure development and tourism, as well 1. Canadian compa-
conservative to make 1. We have not as the lucrative telecommunications sector. nies would benefit great-
investments in Third encountered Canadian ly from having timely
World countries. In companies that have ABRAHAM NKOMO and current knowledge
reality, there is no such made mistakes in their South African High about the economic
thing as a safe investment. Investments attempts to do busi- Commissioner conditions, the busi-
should be considered in terms of their risk/ ness in Ethiopia. 1. Generally, when ness opportunities and
reward ratio. Canadian companies need to 2. Floriculture is looking to invest in the quality of the human
be a little bit more aggressive when it comes an emerging sector in South Africa, Canadian resources available in Tunisia.
to exploring new frontiers. Ethiopia. Large areas of the country satisfy small and medium enter- 2. The up-and-coming sectors for invest-
2. Angola’s climate is diverse and pro- altitude and temperature requirements for the prises assume all risks ment include: IT, pharmaceuticals and
vides for the growth of both tropical and production of world-class flowers. The produc- associated with devel- biotechnology, energy, forestry, hydraulic
semi-tropical crops. This puts the country tion of leather goods, garments and footwear oping countries apply, resources, environmental technology, bio
at an advantage, allowing for easier agricul- is another up-and-coming export sector. The like risk stereotypes and foods, and services (hotel industry, real
tural diversification. The Angolan govern- country has the largest livestock population other uncertainties. These negative assump- estate, and telecommunications).
ment is running a seed upgrading and plant in Africa. Ethiopia has focused its strategy tions and perceptions do not square up with
improvement program in order to boost the on converting all available hides and skins to the reality in South Africa where we have a FLORENCE CHIDEYA
yield of food crops. Canada has extensive finished leather products: shoe uppers, shoes, very advanced infrastructure, fiscal and mon- Ambassador of
experience in agriculture. It would be wise jackets, bags, etc. Investment opportunities in etary economic stability, empowerment initia- Zimbabwe
for Canadian businesses to invest in this horticulture, forestry, agro-processing, textile tive programs and successful Canadian invest- 1. Canadian compa-
agricultural sector. and garments, building construction materials, ment projects in mining, manufacturing and nies are aware of the
mining, Grade I construction are also available related industries. Canadian companies some- opportunities there for
HONORE-THEODORE with incentive packages. times fail to explore both Canadian and South them to do business in
AHIMAKIN African government incentives for setting-up Zimbabwe. Several of
Ambassador of Benin MARGARET and investing in South Africa. these companies have
1. The most serious AMOAKOHENE 2. Asides from the traditional growth been in touch with the
error Canadian firms Ghana High focus sectors like mining and its related embassy in Ottawa or
wanting to do business Commissioner sectors, the new and existing growth niche have been to Zimbabwe to discuss various
in my country must 1. A common mis- focus sectors are jewellery; information and options with authorities there and to seek
avoid is going into busi- take is Canadian com- communication technology including busi- clarification on the rules and regulations
ness without know- panies’ reliance on indi- ness processes outsourcing; and tourism governing investing in the country.
ing the formalities for viduals and associates and hospitality services. 2. Agriculture, manufacturing, mining and
establishing an enter- to lead them directly tourism are the four priority sectors where
prise. They must also avoid contact with into the business envi- FAIZA TAHA foreign companies are welcome to invest.
unauthorized intermediaries. In our country, ronment without con- Ambassador of Sudan Interestingly, Canada carried out extensive
there is a network of foreign forgers, most tacting the Ghanaian High Commission in 1. In the Sudan we geological surveys in Zimbabwe in the late
of whom pretend to help you find contracts Ottawa. While not discrediting such persons have few Canadian 1980s, and is aware of the wide variety of
more easily and effectively in contact with or doubting their competences, in Ghana the companies working minerals (including gold, coal, diamonds,
the right structures. Another mistake is to facilitation of foreign businesses and invest- as sub-contractors or chromite, nickel, etc.) ready to be exploited
rely on fictitious ads on the Internet. ments is co-ordinated principally through with joint ventures. in Zimbabwe. In all these sectors, Zimbabwe
2. In Benin, the up-and-coming sectors the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. It The most unforget- welcomes and encourages joint ventures and
are, in particular, information technology is with this institution that the mission links table experience is of strategic partnerships.
and communications, insurance, food, and foreign individuals and companies that want Talisman Oil Company
house construction. to do business in Ghana. which, for political not —compiled by Christina Leadlay