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Canada’s Non-Imperial Internationalism in Africa: Understanding Canada’s Security Policy in the AU and ECOWAS Open Access


Other title
Humanitarian Intervention
Development Assistance
African Security
Africa Peace and Security Architecture
African Development
ECOWAS Peace and Security Mechanism
Non-Imperial Internationalism
Canadian foreign policy
Human Security
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Akuffo , Edward Ansah
Supervisor and department
Keating, Tom (Department of Political Science)
Smith, Malinda (Department of Political Science)
Examining committee member and department
Thompson, Guy (Department of History and Classics)
Knight, W. Andy (Department of Political Science)
Harder, Lois (Department of Political Science)
Black, David R. (Departmenof Political Science/Centre for Foreign Policy, Dalhousie University)
Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This study is concerned with Canada’s policy towards peace, security and development in Africa. It examines Canada’s response to these issues in relation to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Union Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Security Mechanism. With the intensification of violent conflicts in parts of Africa and their impact on individuals, communities, and socioeconomic development, African leaders transformed the OAU into the AU and established APSA to promote regional and human security in Africa. At the sub-regional level, West African leaders established the ECOWAS Security Mechanism to address the (human) security deficit in the West Africa region. These institutional transformations coincided with the launching of the NEPAD, which became one of the central instruments of engagement between Africa and the international community to address the peace, security and development challenges on the African continent. Canada’s response to the NEPAD under the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien came in the form of a $500 million Canada fund for Africa (CFA) that among other things supported the capacity building of APSA and the ECOWAS Security Mechanism. The promotion of human security played a key role in Canada’s approach to the AU and ECOWAS peace and security capacity building. I use a non-imperial internationalist approach that draws on the theoretical insights of a constructivist approach to international relations to provide an understanding of the Canadian government’s policy. I argue that the Canadian government’s policy towards the AU and ECOWAS can be understood in terms of the moral identity that Canada has built or acquired over the years in Africa. While this moral identity provides the means through which Canadian interests are pursued in Africa, it appears that the interest in maintaining this image has overshadowed the need for the Canadian government to craft an overarching policy and put resources behind the rhetoric of promoting peace and security, particularly human security in Africa.
License granted by Edward Akuffo ( on 2010-04-09T22:14:35Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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