21 November 2012

Liberia: Work Along Priority Areas .. Blair Urges Donors

Former British Prime Minster, Tony Blair has said if donor community wants to help any Government, they should work in line with the priorities of the country and not what they (donors) think is good for them.

He made the statement on Tuesday at the Foreign Ministry during a joint press conference with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Blair is head of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), which provides technical support to many Africa Governments in their development programs.

"My big message to the donor community (not only here but elsewhere) is to get behind the priorities of the Government. Do not go out on your own projects, but get behind the priorities of the government." he said.

Blair's AGI was invited by the Liberian Government after a successful story in Rwanda and Sierra Leone (both post conflict countries).

He said, what is more important in any development work is to be focus and he praised Liberia for being in that direction.

"The single most important thing is to focus down on specific. The hardest things about Government are to get the work done. The President's priorities are completely correct. What is interesting about Liberia is they have named the projects they want to get done. If they do it, the country will move forward."

Then he continued again; "if you think here you have those roads built, the electricity, the ports, Get that infrastructures done, everything will take care of it self. What I have learned of Government is, the easy part is to write the report; the hard part is to see it come in action."

For her part, president Sirleaf said the Government was pleased to work with the AGI.

We are pleased to welcome Prime Minister Blair. Two years ago, we urged him to include the AGI in his plan after we saw successful programs in Sierra Leone and Rwanda. He is here to access the work of AGI. We are pleased that it has gone so well."

We are please that through the support and the intervention at the ministry of state and other ministries, we can say that the value added from AGI is indeed significant and we look to the future."

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