Tony Blair meets with 'visionary leader' Paul Kagame during latest two day visit to RwandaMonday, Nov 16, 2009 in Office of Tony Blair, Africa Governance Initiative
Tony Blair hailed President Kagame's visionary leadership as he saw for himself the remarkable pace of Rwandan progress during a two-day visit to the East African country.
The founder of the Africa Governance Initiative met with the President and senior officials to discuss ways in which Mr Blair and his team could help Rwanda build the capacity to deliver on the priorities of the Rwandan people, before witnessing examples of Rwandan progress in education, clean energy and business.
Speaking during his visit, Tony Blair said: "I'm delighted to be back in Rwanda working with my good friend Paul Kagame. It is through his visionary leadership that Rwanda has become the African success story it is today, a country moving in the right direction at a remarkable pace."
At the Institute of Scientific and Technical Research in Kigali, Rwandan scientists showed Tony Blair how they transform Jatropha and vegetable oil into biofuel for motor vehicles.
He said: "These Rwandan scientists are developing the green technology that could one day produce Rwanda's main source of energy. Projects like this are the mark of a truly innovative and pioneering country with a leadership that is not only taking the threat of climate change seriously, but taking on the challenge with practical and sustainable solutions."
Tony Blair also visited the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to attend the signing ceremony of an Eco Fuels Jatropha bio-fuel investment worth $35m. Whilst at the RDB, Mr Blair visited the One-Stop Centre which helped the country gain its status as the top global reformer.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tony Blair said: "Whether you want to start a small business or construct a complex multi-million dollar deal, the Government of Rwanda is serious about helping people do that. With this progressive drive for green investment and clean technology development, Rwanda gives us hope that climate change can be tackled."
Tony Blair's visit takes place as his Africa Governance Initiative enters its second year. The charitable organisation works with African governments to help them to develop the capacity to drive sustainable development.
Tony Blair added: "I'm extremely proud of my excellent team who are working side by side with their Rwandan counterparts to build the capacity to deliver on the priorities of the Rwandan people such as health, education, technology and building infrastructure in this great country."
President Kagame and Tony Blair have agreed to place 10 expert advisers in areas across government:
- In the Presidency where advisers will work in the Strategic Policy Unit, The Executive Office and the Communications Unit where they will help deliver on key priorities for Rwanda's development.
- In the Prime Minister's office where two advisers will focus on government delivery, especially in the Coordination Unit.
- In RDB where three expert advisers will work to help to increase the ability of the RDB to grow Rwanda's private sector.
- In the Ministry for Labour offering assistance and advice to the Government on its capacity building strategy.