Tony Blair visited Freetown today to continue discussions with local business leaders to discuss the issues that are holding back economic development in Sierra Leone. This is part of a long term program by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change to support the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) with their policy development. Their work with government leaders across Africa has resulted in dramatic improvements in the lives of millions of poor people in the areas of access to health services, education, and electricity.
Andy Gee of Sunbird Bioenergy articulated how agricultural investments can advance economic development in Sierra Leone. In particular how our agri-processing zone concept in Makeni will create economic opportunities for out-growers, particularly women and youth. And that the products produced, power and ethanol, would deliver many benefits for Sierra Leone, including 32 MW of power generation, reduce carbon emissions and import substitution of liquid fuels.
The Institute works to provide policy and strategy in support of a vision of globalisation designed to improve the well-being of the people, economically, politically, and socially, with a focus on tackling the big challenges which hold such a vision of globalisation back:
- Poor governance which stops the benefits of globalisation being shared because countries cannot build the institutional strength and resilience to transform their situation and deliver for their people
- Extremism which stops the co-existence and cultural open-mindedness essential for social integration
- Conflict which entrenches sectarianism and paralyses progress, particularly in the Middle East
- Western politics which is in urgent need of a new agenda to provide radical but sensible answers to the new challenges presented by globalisation, technology, and the rise of a new false populism.
The Institute’s work on effective governance is born from the work formerly undertaken by the Africa Governance Initiative and Tony Blair Associates – Government Advisory from 2008 until 2017. In the last decade, they have worked in 20 countries across the world, and their Private Sector Development and Inclusive Growth Practice has worked in nine countries across Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia – providing essential support to countries seeking to foster inclusive growth and create jobs for their growing populations.