Message from the Ambassador

“MBOTE!” Hello and welcome to the website of the Canadian Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo and to the Republic of Congo.

It is a great honour to represent Canada as ambassador to these two countries in the very heart of Africa.

Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo are two major countries in the francophone world and they are both founding members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Ever since diplomatic relations were established more than fifty years ago, we have maintained strong and frank relations based on cooperation, common values, mutual interests and a variety of direct relations between our citizens and our institutions. Today, Canada continues to work in partnership with the Congolese men and women on key issues such as reinforcing peace and security, climate change, development and human rights, as well as promoting commercial relations and investments.

Our employees at the embassy in Kinshasa implement a large scale of programs, including consular services and various activities covering political and economic relationships, development cooperation as well as trade and investment.

The bilateral relationship between Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo focusses mainly on long term support to efforts for establishing sustainable peace, particularly in the eastern part of the country. Canada continues to emphasize the importance of dealing with the root causes and the aggravating factors of the conflict in this region, such as ethnic tensions, disputes over resources and land, as well as the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources to finance the conflict. We are concerned about the persisting violation of human rights, especially gender-based and sexual violence.

Canadian development aid in the Democratic Republic of Congo aims at reinforcing the capabilities of public institutions in order to contribute in the establishment of a more democratic, more prosperous and more equitable state. We also provide substantial humanitarian aid for conflict-affected people. Canada works to reinforce the Congolese health system by responding to the priority needs of disadvantaged people such as mothers, new-born infants, children and youth. Canada also undertakes to reinforcing capacity-building locally, with a view to assisting thousands and thousands of girls and women who have survived gender-based and sexual violence. We support civic education to promote pluralism, respect of human rights and democracy.

In the area of trade and investment, Canadian companies are among the most important foreign investors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in the extractive industries. Commercial activities are relatively modest, but progress is being made in such areas as transportation, renewable energies, textile and education. Canada is committed to promoting corporate social responsibility and the fight against corruption.

If you are a resident or a Canadian citizen visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo or the Republic of Congo, or if you work or live in one of these countries, I recommend that you take the time to register through our Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) web page, or visit the Canadian embassy in Kinshasa to communicate or update your contact information so that we can quickly contact you in case of an emergency. It is also possible to download our Travel Smart application to easily access information and up-to-date advice on travelling.

I invite you to explore the web site to learn more about Canada and its bilateral links with these two countries located on both banks of the Congo River. Do not hesitate to contact us in writing at KNSHAG@international.gc.ca for your suggestions on how to improve our website.

I would also invite you to follow us on social media and remain connected and informed about our different activities and achievements.

Looking forward to meeting with you in the near future,

His Excellency Mr. Nicolas Simard
Ambassador of Canada to the Democratic Republic of Congo


Biography

Nicolas Simard (MA [Literary Studies], University of Quebec at Montréal, 2000) joined the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 2004 through the Policy Leaders Program. At Headquarters, he worked on the development of the Fragile States Strategy, as well as on conflict prevention, peace and security issues. From 2008 to 2011, he was responsible for strategic planning for CIDA’s bilateral and regional programs in West and Central Africa and contributed to the Food security strategy.

At Canadian Heritage, from 2006 to 2008, he was responsible for the development and implementation of the International Strategic Framework for the department and its portfolio organizations, active in the fields of arts, heritage, audiovisual and human rights. He served abroad as counsellor and deputy director for development at the Canadian high commission in Dhaka from 2011 to 2014. Within the framework of the Local Consultative Group between the Government of Bangladesh and development partners, he was particularly involved in the field of public financial management and development effectiveness.

Most recently, from 2014 to 2017, he served as director of planning and evaluation and chief of staff in the Office of the Administrator of La Francophonie in Paris. In this capacity, he led the consultations and development of La Francophonie Strategic Framework and related four-year programming plan, adopted at the Summit of La Francophonie in Dakar in 2014, and contributed to the institutional reform and modernization of the Organization.

Nicolas Simard becomes Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo. He is married to Anu Maarit and they have two children, Laurie and Thomas. Mr. Simard replaces Ginette Martin.