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Edward Akuffo Edward Ansah Akuffo is an Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, BC. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Alberta, MA International Relations from Brock University, and BA Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. His research is focused on Canada’s security and development policy in Africa, interregional security cooperation, human security and humanitarian law in Africa, and BRIC-Canada relations. His work has been in Global Change, Peace & Security, and African Security Review. He is also the author of the recent book, Canadian Foreign Policy in Africa: Regional Approaches to Peace, Security, and Development (Ashgate). Edward was a fellow of the Canadian Consortium on Human Security (CCHS).

Africa’s New Reality

Edward Akuffo | November 19, 2013
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David Hornsby’s recent article, “Turning Perceptions into Reality: Canada in Africa”, reinvigorates an old debate and reinforces contemporary thought that Canada needs a comprehensive strategy towards the African continent in response to the changing fortunes of many African states.  This argument is espoused by some of the contributors to CIGI’s 2013 Canada Among Nations project, “Canada-Africa Relations-Looking Back, Looking Ahead”, and I also take it up in my book, Canadian Foreign Policy in Africa. Yet, David’s call for a nation-wide debate on Canada Africa-relations is quite novel. His tactful use of evidence in support of his arguments, and his emphasis on three issue areas – economic, developmental, and personal – has already gained traction with some observers, judging by the response on social media. More …

Business as Usual?

Edward Akuffo | November 16, 2012
Business As Usual?

Sierra Leone and Ghana will hold national elections on Nov. 17 and Dec. 7, respectively, to elect new presidents and parliaments for the next four (Sierra Leone) and five (Ghana) years. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as both countries have recently discovered oil and joined the ranks of oil exporters. In other words, these countries have become strategically important in West Africa.

The leading political parties in Ghana’s election race are the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by President John Mahama, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Nana Akufo-Addo, who served as an attorney general, and minister of foreign affairs under the Kufour administration.

In Sierra Leone, the front-runners are the All People’s Congress (APC), led by the current president, Ernest Bai Koroma, and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), led by candidate Julius Maada Bio. More …

A New Love for Africa?

Edward Akuffo | October 15, 2012
Showing the love?

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Senegal on his way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he attended La Francophonie Summit. For observers of Canada-Africa relations, this may have raised hopes of a revival of Canada’s engagement in Africa, which has undergone a period of stagnation under the Conservative government. Harper followed Canadian foreign-policy tradition as he used his visit to speak against human-rights abuses, especially sexual violence in the DRC. Moreover, he announced a new aid package for Senegal as a “reward” for undergoing successful presidential elections. The prime minister fell short, however, of making a promise on Canada’s readiness to commit more resources to Africa’s peace and security efforts.

Development assistance and peacekeeping are the central pillars of Canada’s internationalism. These have contributed to the construction of a moral identity for Canada in Africa that stands in contrast to the colonial baggage of countries such as Britain and France, and the belligerent posture of the United States and the Soviet Union (Russia) during and after the Cold War. Drawing on its moral identity, Canada, for the most part, has pursued human-rights-oriented foreign-policy goals such as poverty alleviation and human security in African states. These goals are not without challenges. However, Canada’s moral identity was sustained by the Liberal government under prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. More …