Tony Blair Visits Sierra Leone, Calls For Increased Investment, Better Governance

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called for increased investment in Sierra Leone during a trip to the country over the weekend, VOA News reports.

In addition to discussing foreign investment in the country, Blair talked about his foundation’s work to involve the religious community in the fight against malaria (Lewis, 6/18). In an interview with the Guardian in Freetown, Blair discussed the need for strengthening African governments. “Aid is important and it works … but aid is one half; the other half is governance. For most of these countries, their problems are every bit as much governance, as much as the lack or availability of aid,” he said before outlining the work of his three-year-old Africa Governance Initiative (Wintour, 6/17).

In related news, the GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog has a Q&A with “two of Sierra Leone’s key health officials, Dr. Samuel Kargbo, director of reproductive and child health, and Dr. Kisito Daoh, chief medical officer.” The questions explore recent changes to the country’s health system, including the introduction of free health care for pregnant women, young mothers and young children (Karimjee, 6/17).