Shell Distinguished Lecture Series -- Seizing Africa's Opportunity: The Role of Effective Governance

The Right Honorable Tony Blair served as prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 1997 to June 2007. During this time, he was responsible for setting up the Commission for Africa, which championed governance and growth on the continent. He also convened the historic Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005, where more than ᅡᆪ40 billion of developing world debt was canceled and a further ᅡᆪ50 billion was pledged in aid.

After stepping down as prime minister, Blair launched the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) to continue the interest and commitment to Africa he had while in office. AGI works in Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Sudan at present, with new countries on the horizon. The organization works at two levels. At the political leadership level, Blair draws upon his 10 years of experience as prime minister to offer leaders the kind of advice on reform that only someone who has stood in a leader"s shoes can give. At the same time, AGI teams based permanently in each country work shoulder-to-shoulder with counterparts to put in place the nuts and bolts needed to accomplish their goals.

AGI"s practical support helps local leaders to bridge the gap between their vision for a better future and the government"s ability to achieve it, strengthening African countries" capacity to deliver programs -- from public services and rural development to infrastructure and job creation -- that will change ordinary people"s lives for the better.

The Shell Distinguished Lecture Series is the Baker Institute"s flagship speakers program, reflecting the vision of our honorary chair, former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, and Shell"s commitment to defining the role of statesmanship, integrity and bold leadership in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

For more information about Blair"s work in Africa, please visit the AGI website at or email AGI-US is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity in the USA.

Please note that the live webcast will begin at 5:50 pm CDT.

Group(s): Baker Institute