"Over the last decade Africa has seen a remarkable transformation."
Speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference, Mr. Blair said that “at the turn of the century when I was Prime Minister I called Africa a scar on the conscience of the world because of all its challenges. Today I would say it is the most exciting continent on the planet because of its opportunities.”
As founder and patron of the Africa Governance Initiative, Mr. Blair works with African leaders to implement reforms, helping to equip them with the skills needed to deliver for their people. The foundation is currently working in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Mr. Blair said that “there is a whole new generation of African leaders today, who are focused on delivery, on getting things done,” singling out President Kagame, who was also on the panel, and President Kenyatta, who sent a video message, as two leaders who are delivering reforms for their people.
He added that “the challenges in Africa are better known than the opportunities,” but the “sensible thing is to invert that” because “when you take a step back and look at the continent over the last 10 years, there has been a remarkable transformation.”
He said that “in all the countries I work in I have noticed the difference” and said one of the tragedies of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone “is that before Ebola, these countries, that were all post-conflict countries” were all making great progress.
The AGI has been working on the response in West Africa, but Mr. Blair said that once the disease is eradicated, the challenges will be “helping these countries get back on their feet.”
The work described here was carried out by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, it is now being continued by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.