In depth conversation: International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan on decolonizing aid and development

Canada’s minister of International Development sits down with Future of Good’s CEO and publisher, Vinod Rajasekaran

Why It Matters

The pandemic has devastated the global south, not just through the virus itself, but also its knock-on social and economic effects. Minister Sajjan’s mandate letter makes clear that Canada is to play a major role in their recovery — but colonial approaches to global development work could cause unintended harm.

Two years into a global pandemic that’s ravaged countries’ healthcare, social, and economic systems, Canada has made some major commitments to the world. 

In December, the Prime Minister delivered mandate letters to his cabinet — among them, a letter to Minister Harjit Sajjan, who comes to the international development portfolio after serving as Canada’s Minister of National Defence from 2015 to 2021. 

Minister Sajjan’s letter asks him to prioritize a feminist approach to international assistance, increase the country’s development assistance every year until 2030, and more. 

To mark International Development Week 2022, Future of Good’s CEO and publisher Vinod Rajasekaran sat down with Minister Sajjan to learn more about his vision for the ministry, what decolonizing aid and development means to him, and more. 

Vinod Rajasekaran:

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