On his first visit to Canada, Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with CTV’s Your Morning to discuss partnering with Malala Yousafzai and promoting equality around the world.

Cook, who launched Apple into a partnership with Yousafzai’s Malala Fund after meeting with her in Oxford earlier this month, says it was a natural fit for both of them.

“Equality is at the core of both of our beliefs and values,” he told Your Morning’s Ben Mulroney.

Apple’s partnership with the Malala Fund is expected to boost the latter’s efforts to bring education to 130 million girls around the world who are not in school.

“Girls should receive a quality education,” Cook said, adding that education can serve as a “multiplier” to improve the lot of those around an individual. “If you’re able to improve the life of the young girl in the family, you improve the entire family,” he said.

Cook was at Toronto’s CF Eaton’s Centre for the interview, where he dropped in on an Apple Store computer coding session involving students from Charles Gordon Senior Public School.

The Apple CEO spoke to several children about their coding education, and touted the value of learning a programming language at a young age.

“Outside your native language, in my view, coding is the language to learn if you can only pick one,” Cook said.

“I hope that’s a false choice for people and they can learn more, but coding is a global language,” he said. “It gives all of us the ability to express ourselves to 7 billion people in the world.”

Cook also shared his optimistic view of the future, despite what he called a few “speed bumps” in the United States right now. “I still believe the future is much better than the past,” he said, adding that, at Apple, his goal has always been to democratize technology and unlock “the potential of the world.”

Cook hopes that will be the result of his partnership with Malala Yousafzai, whom he sought out on a trip to Oxford University earlier this year.

“I knew that it was her first term there and I reached out to her and asked if she’d take a meeting,” he said.

Cook said the two clicked immediately, and quickly moved from discussing possibilities to working out details of a partnership.

“It’s one of those rare points in time when you begin to talk to somebody, you know instantly you’re kindred spirits in something that’s really really important,” he said.