Created in 2007 by Robert Fowler, the Africa Study Group (ASG) is a voluntary association of individuals who share a strong interest in Africa and want to stimulate knowledge and interest in Canada for the African continent. Constituted as a committee of the National Capital Branch of the Canadian International Council (CIC-NCB), the ASG provides a forum for an open and independent exchange on African issues. The ASG also offers a public stage where visiting African personalities, experts and policy makers can express their viewpoint and share their expertise. Our mission is to raise the awareness of Canadians and the Canadian government to the intrinsic importance of Africa, its potential as well as its needs; promote coherent well thought overarching policies to help frame Canada’s future involvement with Africa; maintain mutually beneficial relations; and facilitate exchange of knowledge and experience between African and Canadian political, business and opinion leaders.
The current 200 plus active members are broad-based drawn largely from Ottawa’s professional sectors – public service, business, academia, NGOs, African diaspora and the media, who participate in their personal capacity.
ASG meets monthly around specific topics and speakers. We participate in different policy forums and organized specific ones such as “Africa in 2015” and a CIC-NCB conference on February 6, 2014 on Africa: the Next Big Thing. Two policy papers were submitted recently to the government of Canada and political parties, one on CSR and the other one on promoting the idea of developing A New Vision for Canada-Africa Relations based on mutual respect and benefits. We also filed a memorandum to Global Affairs Canada for the aid policy review.