The NEWS Monrovia
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is heading to Africa for the first time as prime minister, where he will meet with the leader of Liberia and attend the Francophonie summit in Madagascar.

Trudeau, who is visited Argentina, more than 20 years since the last Canadian leader made a trip to the South American country, will continue his globetrotting with this visit to the African continent on November 24 to 27.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau would stress the importance of gender equality, diversity and inclusion and environmental protection at the summit of French-speaking nations.

In Liberia, a country settled by freed African-American slaves, Trudeau will meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected head of state in Africa.

Canada has committed millions of dollars in aid to the country, through the Global Fund, to help with access to HIV and tuberculosis drugs, as well as bed nets to provide protection from malaria.

The previous Harper government also committed $130 million to the country, and to the neighboring countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone, to help combat the Ebola epidemic of 2013-14, when the disease killed some 11,000 people.

« This visit to Liberia and Madagascar demonstrates Canada’s renewed commitment to Africa. We want to strengthen relations with our African partners and advance issues such as the rights of women and girls, gender equality, health, and peace and security, » Trudeau said in a statement released by his office.

In Madagascar, the island country off the continent’s east coast, Trudeau will attend the annual summit of French-speaking countries, where he will push for further action on climate change.