Tony Blair and Africa

“The evidence is clear: Africa needs better governance. None of the other issues it faces will be overcome without it.  As Prime Minister, I learned that the gap between setting out a vision and seeing real change is hard to cross. But for African leaders, that gap can feel like a chasm. In the daily mechanisms of government, there is simply not the capability to make things happen. And when government doesn’t work, it’s the poor who suffer most.

I believe that Africa can become in this century an engine of prosperity as powerful as Asia became in the last. That’s the goal, but it will only become a reality if Africa’s leaders are able to drive the reforms their countries need, and their governments have the capacity to deliver them.

For a new generation of African leaders, this means that having a clear vision for their country is not enough. They also need to transform the capacity of their government to deliver it. I set up AGI to help them do that.”

Tony Blair


Africa was at the heart of Mr Blair’s foreign policy whilst he was Prime Minister – from the Commission for Africa and the Gleneagles summit to the military intervention in Sierra Leone. Since leaving Office he has renewed his commitment to Africa’s development by creating the Africa Governance Initiative, of which he now acts as Patron and high-level adviser. 

Commission for Africa The Commission for Africa was set up in early 2004 by Tony Blair. See here for the Commission's original 2005 report "Our Common Interest", and here for the Commission for Africa's 2010 report "Still Our Common Interest".
Africa Progress Panel The Africa Progress Panel (APP) was formed in 2007, as a vehicle to maintain a focus on the commitments to Africa made by the international community in the wake of the Gleneagles G8 Summit and of the Commission for Africa Report.