Comment at end
24th February, 2010
President Johnson Sirleaf and Tony Blair launch Africa Governance Initiative in Liberia
Transcript follows, with thanks to reguar reader here, Margaret:
President Sirleaf: I would like to say to Prime Minister Tony Blair and his delegation how pleased we are that they are here. How pleased we are what he has achieved, he has been working with us to identify means whereby we can improve our systems, our processes and our procedures resulting in more efficiency and more effectiveness in the ways that we respond to the needs of our people. This is Mr Blair’s first visit and we are just pleased that finally he has come. We welcome what he’s done in Africa. He has been an African proponent as prime minister. He continue to produce a report that focused on Africa and since he left the prime ministership he has continued to use his vast African experience to continue to work for African countries in helping them to achieve the millennium development goals. So Liberia welcomes him and we are just looking forward to working with him and his team towards the results that we all seek – that is getting … better for the Liberian people. Thank you Prime Minister Blair for coming. Thank you for selecting Liberia as one of those countries that you will help as a primary achiever for the millennium goals.
Tony Blair: First of all I would like to pay tribute to the vision, the courage and leadership of the President of Liberia. She’s one of the people I admire most in a position of leadership in the world and it’s a very great honour to come and play a small but I hope effective part in helping her and her government to deliver the priorities that the government’s set out for the people of Liberia. This country as you know better than me has been through some difficult times but is now on its way to the change that its people want to see and that the world also wants to see. And it’s going to happen. So in the African Governance Initiative which is one of the things I lead since leaving office, we work as we are doing in Rwanda and Sierra Leone trying very much to try to focus on the processes to help deliver the priorities. Those priorities are decided by the President and the Government of Liberia and not decided by us. But we play some part in making sure that there are effective methods of delivery, in helping these priorities come about. So Madam President, thank you so much for inviting me here. It’s a very great honour and privilege to stand alongside you and be with you, and …I … hopes and expectations for what we can do but also for the future of Liberia under your leadership.
Visit the BBC World Service to hear the Liberian President’s thoughts on what she’d like to achieve from Blair’s visit
‘The former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is in the west African state of Liberia to oversee the start of a project to promote good governance in the country.
This is part of Mr Blair’s African Governance Initiative to help countries to develop their private sector and make government work more effectively.
During the 1990s Liberia saw a brutal civil war in which around 250,000 people were killed.
Since 2005, however, the country has been stable under the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.’
Further information –
- The Office of Tony Blair
- Africa Governance Initiative
- Cimate Change – Breaking the Climate Deadlock
- Office of the Quartet Representative
- The Tony Blair Sports Foundation
- The Tony Blair Faith Foundation