The Africa Progress Panel Chairman, Kofi Annan, today announced that Tony Blair will join the Panel.
Speaking on Mr Blair’s membership, Mr Annan said “My fellow Panel members and I are delighted that Tony Blair had agreed to become a member of the Panel. It is profoundly appropriate that Tony Blair should join us. His relationship with the Panel goes back to its very roots. Since announcing its formation in June 2006, he has been an instrumental force behind establishing and building the Panel.”
The Africa Progress Panel was launched in Berlin in April and Accra in June. Its members bring a unique set of skills and experience to the table. They have come together as an independent and authoritative body with a clear consensus to prompt Africa and its development partners to embrace the partnership adopted by the UN at the landmark summit in Monterrey in 2002 and commitments made in subsequent summits, including Gleneagles in 2005. The Africa Progress Panel has a clear remit - to work with both Africa and its development partners to encourage them deliver on their commitments. The Panel’s particular focus is therefore on the good governance and economic support which are imperative for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and reducing poverty in Africa. The Panel’s other members are Michel Camdessus, Peter Eigen, Bob Geldof, Graça Machel, Olusegun Obasanjo, Bob Rubin, Tidjane Thiam and Muhammad Yunus.
Tony Blair echoed Kofi Annan’s words, saying: "The Commission for Africa rightly set out the importance of keeping the international community focused on Africa, following on from my decision to make it top of the agenda for the G8 in 2005."
"That's why I'm very pleased to have the opportunity now to join the Africa Progress Panel and get directly involved with its crucial work, building on what we have achieved for Africa in recent years, but knowing there is much more to do."
"I share my fellow Panel members' conviction that the Panel should, and must, play a central role in driving forward progress in Africa and compel leaders and decision-makers to take responsibility for delivering their commitments on Africa. But the future looks positive. Africa will succeed."
"A prosperous Africa is a global opportunity and a global imperative, and we must deliver. I look forward to working alongside my Africa Progress Panel colleagues, who bring great strength and depth of experience, to ensure this challenge is met. "