I was filled with despair as I read Tony Blair's thoughts, and comments regarding Africa, and Sierra Leone published on Friday 17 June 2011 under a photograph of an unrelated new factory representing an original private initiative. Firstly, where was he standing to be interrupted by the bustle, and colour of the widely spread markets of Freetown? And how many more times must reference be made, in isolation, to that delayed British element of the immense war effort that claimed so many Nigerian lives, and was an unforgettable UN effort both in aid and personnel in our country thanks to a strong Secretary General? (Photo: Winston Forde, author)
I am intrigued by the concept of a private 'African Governance Initiative (AGI) in the 3 unusual countries selected. I believe the office in Sierra Leone comprises a small team of 6 or so, but wonder about their mandate, Terms of Reference, qualifications for the job in hand, and above all their accountability; what is their political status?
There is the matter of transparency, how much do people know about their role, and what happens if there is a change of government or even administration?
If the plan is to have more of these AGI Teams operating at the centre of several more selected governments across Africa, would this represent a new form of aid leading to political dependency, only this time under the control of an individual with himself a debatable record whilst in office?
Where is this leading, and when is it going to end? Is this a new 'Democracy' for Africa?