Canada will be donating $50 million to the late President Mandela’s Global legacy fund for children’s education and poverty alleviation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement via twitter to the host of the Global Citizen Festival, comedian Trevor Noah.
“Hey @Trevornoah – thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you – but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it,” Trudeau’s tweet read.
The tweet drew harsh criticism for its content and delivery. Toronto-based lawyer and former Liberal staffer Warren Kinsella took to social media and tweeted that Education Cannot Wait is a worthy cause, but called Trudeau’s tweet an “appalling” way for the announcement to be made, “to an American-based TV host, no less.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer also accused Trudeau of impressing a TV personality at the expense of the Canadian taxpayers.
However, director of communications for International Development, Louis Belanger, defended the move by assuring the public that the $50 million is part of the $400 million already announced during the G7 Summit earlier in June to support girl’s education.
During the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, world leaders pledged a total of $3.8 billion to improve access to education for girls.
KENYAN CROWNED YOUTH GLOBAL CITIZEN LEADER
The Global Citizen held a festival on December 2nd in Johannesburg, South Africa, to continue to spread awareness on its mandate to eradicate poverty through various initiatives such as innovation, education and business. It seeks to build a movement of 100 million Global Citizens who will achieve the vision of ending extreme poverty by 2030, a vision fostered by Nelson Mandela.
This year’s awardee was Kenya’s Wawira Njiru, the Founder and Executive Director of Food for Education, an organization that works with vulnerable children in Kenyan public schools to improve their lives through providing subsidized, nutritious school lunches to over 2,000 schools.
Wawira was awarded the Global Citizen Youth Leadership Prize for her efforts towards ending child hunger. The award was presented to her by superstar Usher Raymond and Chuck Robbins, CEO of CISCO, an IT, Networking and Cyber Security Solution firm.
The prize entails $250,000 for Food for Education, an all-inclusive round-trip to Johannesburg to attend the Ceremony at the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival, as well as networking and development opportunities to support the organization’s work.
Food 4 Education was founded in 2012 and has provided over 350,000 free meals since its inception through the assistance of farmers and other donors.
Njiru has previously been recognized as a Transform Nutrition ‘Nutrition champion’ 2013 and a Hunger Free Ambassador. In 2016, she was also selected as one of 25 young Africans Leading in Public Life by the University of Cape Town, and in 2017 was one of 16 participants of the Global Social Benefit Institute Accelerator Program run by the Miller Centre at Santa Clara University. She is also a Stanford school scholar and the recipient of the University of South Australia’s alumni award 2017.
BRITAIN RETURNS ARTIFACTS TO BENIN…. TEMPORARILY
During the colonial era, both French and British troops looted African artifacts from the West African Kingdoms of Benin and Dahomey, which are part of present day Benin and Nigeria. Several of the artworks looted from the palace of the Oba of Benin were of immense cultural and spiritual significance.
Following the footsteps of France, the British are finally returning the artifacts. Well, not quite, they will be doing so on a temporary basis. The artifacts will be displayed in a royal museum currently under construction scheduled to open in 2021 in Benin City, the capital of Edo state. Details about which pieces and how many are yet to be determined.
While the return of the artifacts is celebrated, the conditions are raising eyebrows. The terms ‘loan,’ and ‘temporary basis,’ are not going down well with many.
“We are grateful these steps are being taken, but we hope they are only the first steps,” Crusoe Osagie, a spokesman for the Governor of Edo, was quoted as saying. “If you have stolen property, you have to give it back.”
Victor Ehikhamenor, an internationally acclaimed Edo-born artist, is also not happy with the fact that the artifacts are being loaned.
“The language that’s been used is patronizing. I don’t like the word ‘loan.’ It really offends my sensibilities as a Nigerian or as someone from Edo. The artworks belong to the kingdom and the Oba’s palace where they were taken,” he is quoted as saying.