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Africa News of Friday, 23 July 2021


Tanzania’s President Samia meets former UK PM Tony Blair in Dar

Tanzanian President Samia and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair Tanzanian President Samia and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday July 22, 2021 met and held talks with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair where the latter pledged to support Tanzania’s war on the Covid-19 pandemic.

A statement, issued by the Director of Presidential Communications, Mr. Jaffar Haniu, said on Thursday that during the meeting at the Dar es Salaam State House, Mr. Blair said through his Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, he was in full support of President Hassan’s development initiatives.

Mr. Blair, who served as British PM for ten years starting 1997, set up the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in an effort to support leaders and governments, drawing primarily on his deep crisis management experience from his time in government.

The Institute also works with African countries during the Ebola crisis to drive its (the Institute’s) response to Covid-19.

According to the State House statement, Mr. Blair said his Institute was working within 16 African countries, focusing primarily on implementing the priorities of their governments whereby during the past one year, focus has been on how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The statement stated that, Blair said in response to the pandemic, his Institution was more concerned with testing and distribution of vaccines, noting that the organization was ready to help Tanzania to reach out to companies that make the vaccines.

Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Institute was also building the capacity of partner countries to monitor projects in agriculture, energy and technology.

In her remarks, President Hassan said her government was currently working to improve Tanzania’s investment climate in an effort to facilitate a private sector-led growth as outlined in the Third Five Year Development Plans (FYDP III).

On Covid-19, President Hassan informed Mr. Blair that the government had already put in place a national strategy on how to address the pandemic, including coordinating the roll out of the vaccines.

Going forward, President Hassan said, the focus was on how to build domestic capacity in vaccine manufacturing. She requested the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change to her government in the initiative.