On Monday 30 July Tony Blair and AGI Chief Executive Kate Gross visited the Guinean capital Conakry. During the two-day visit Tony Blair met with the President and his senior staff, the AGI team, and members of the international community.
“I am delighted to be back here again in Guinea for my fourth visit. My team is here from my Foundation, which is not for profit, working alongside the team of the President. Our work is all about reinforcing the capacity of the government to deliver for the people, especially in areas such as electricity, water, agriculture and infrastructure.”
He went on to discuss the imminent legislative elections, the first in Guinea’s history, before also offering his thoughts on the importance of the natural resource sector to Guinea's future development".
“I am convinced that the President is absolutely sincere in wanting elections as soon as possible. L’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) has made recommendations for the holding of the elections. These have all been accepted and I am sure that technically it is possible to do this. I also discussed this with the international community who stand ready to help in any way they can. The aim is clear: elections by the end of the year. After my visit I am confident this can be done.
“Secondly, we discussed the outstanding contracts whose resolution is so crucial to Guinea’s future. Let me emphasise: it is not my task to advise on the validity or details of the contracts, legally or financially. Rather we are engaged in helping mobilise the necessary expertise so that the President and the people of Guinea have the best possible advice. Again I am confident we can do this.
“I am optimistic about this country, about its people, and it’s President. I am sure we can turn the page this year and show further progress next year.”
Tony Blair and AGI have been supporting the work of the Government of Guinea since early 2011 – AGI’s first in a francophone country. Our small team in Conakry is concentrating on strengthening the capacity of the Presidency to deliver its priority projects and helping to improve the overall efficiency of the Presidency and its relations with other parts of government.
Photography: Francisco Anzola