Colleges and Institutes Canada

Strengthening social and economic development abroad

Stronger economies and improved social conditions can lead to reduced inequality, poverty alleviation and enhanced access to education and healthcare. These are among the many reasons we remain committed to strengthening social and economic development abroad, and in 2022-23 launched new initiatives with these goals in mind.

In partnership with Universities Canada, we launched the Canadian International Development Scholarships 2030 (BCDI 2030) program. This eight-year $80-million program strengthens social and economic development — particularly for women — in 26 eligible francophone countries, Commonwealth countries, and Small Island Developing States. More than 7,000 people will benefit directly, 51% of whom are women. (SDG 4, SDG 5, SDG 8, SDG 10, SDG 13)

We also launched the Kenya Blue Economy Skills Training Program (KBEST). This seven-year program supports the Government of Kenya in building skills in the Kenyan workforce to establish the country as a competitive presence in the global blue economy. Over 5,000 young Kenyans are expected to benefit directly. (SDG 4, SDG 5 & SDG 13).

And we’re thinking differently about investment. During the last year, we launched FiveThirteen, our new blended finance facility combining a USD $60-million stacked capital investment fund with a USD $20-million grant-funded technical assistance facility investing in and supporting women-led and owned small and growing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. (SDG 5 & SDG 13)

This year, the Kenya Education for Employment Program supported Kisumu National Polytechnic in an exciting Applied Research project to tackle invasive water hyacinth growth in Lake Victoria.  The lead researcher worked with students to develop a prototype of a water hyacinth harvester, succeeded in identifying a local bio-gas producing company that was interested in using the harvested water hyacinth, and raise awareness in the community about alternative uses of hyacinth such as for fertilizer and the production of artworks.