Canada's Trudeau to visit Africa next week, his office says

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is grappling with protests by indigenous leaders over a gas pipeline in British Columbia (AFP Photo/Dave Chan)

Montreal (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Africa next Thursday, aiming to tighten relations as the country campaigns for a United Nations Security Council seat, his office said on Saturday.

Trudeau is to visit Ethiopia and Senegal, as well as Germany, before his trip ends on February 14.

In Addis Ababa he is to meet Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner appointed after several years of anti-government protests, and Sahle-Work Zewde, the country's first female president.

He will additionally meet leaders attending the African Union summit.

On the other side of the continent, in Senegal, he will meet President Macky Sall and "participate in a series of events to further our two countries' already strong ties through La Francophonie," his office said.

The final leg of the tour will take Trudeau to Germany for the Munich Security Conference.

"As we pursue our candidacy for election to the United Nations Security Council, we will continue to advance shared global interests, and unlock new opportunities for people and businesses in Canada and around the world," the prime minister's office said in a statement.

It added the visits "will focus on economic opportunity and prosperity, climate change, democracy, and gender equality".

Canada is seeking a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, a position it has not held since the year 2000.

"In a rapidly changing world, Canada needs to be a leader on the international stage," Trudeau said in the statement.