Ex-British PM Blair on Malawi visit

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair , will visit Malawi from 23 to 24 July 2013, State House has announced.

Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times on Monday that Blair, who will be accompanied by his wife, will meet with President Dr Joyce Banda, to discuss the on-going support that the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) provides to the Government of Malawi.   Blair is the patron of AGI.

This will be Blair’s second visit to Malawi; in August 2012, he met with President Banda to discuss AGI’s support as part of a wider reform agenda as  Banda sought to build the capacity of her government to deliver her ambitious development plan.

President Banda met Mrs Cherie Blair in June while in the UK and the two women discussed their shared commitment to empowering women for development and poverty reduction.  Mrs Blair, a leading British barrister, is the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

President Banda and Blair last year when the two met in Malawi
President Banda and Blair last year when the two met in Malawi

The visit to Malawi is Blair’s fifth stop in Africa.  He has also visited Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

He will depart Blantyre on Wednesday, for Ethiopia.

The Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) was founded five years ago.  AGI works in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Malawi and South Sudan.

AGI works at two levels:  At the political leadership level, Tony Blair draws on his ten years as Prime Minister to offer leaders the kind of advice on reform that only someone who has stood in a leader’s shoes can give.  At the same time, AGI’s teams, based permanently in each country, work shoulder-to-shoulder with counterparts to put in place the ‘nuts and bolts’ needed to get things done.

The organisation’s practical support helps leaders to bridge the gap between their vision for a better future and their government’s ability to achieve it.  AGI does this by strengthening the government’s capacity to deliver programmes that will change ordinary people’s lives for the better, from public services and rural development to infrastructure and job creation.

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