The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has submitted its first set of annual accounts to Companies House and they are published today (5 September 2018) on this website. These accounts follow the complex merger of institutions, which included the transfer of staff, activities and certain net assets as detailed in the accounts, from the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TBFF) and Windrush Ventures Limited.
The Institute is a company limited by guarantee and is a not-for-profit organisation. Tony Blair is the sole owner and executive chairman of the Institute. Its articles of association stipulate that he will not receive any salary or remuneration for his work at the Institute, to which he devotes at least 80 per cent of his time. As the accounts show, the amount gifted by Tony Blair to the Institute was $8.8 million.
Established in December 2016, the Institute aims to help make globalisation work for the many, not the few. We do this by helping countries, their people and their governments address some of the most difficult challenges in the world today.
Our accounts are presented in US dollars, which best reflects the global scale of our operations. They show a robust platform to build on and signal the scope and breadth of the work we do around the world. Today, we employ 221 staff of more than 35 different nationalities and work in more than 30 countries. In the first year, turnover was $34.8 million. Running costs for this period include the one-off initial costs to set up the Institute and establish a new office in London. The consolidated statement of the financial position as at 31 December 2017 shows total reserves of $5.8 million. All future surplus amounts will be reinvested into the organisation, which we are confident will grow in scope and scale in the coming years.
By merging the organisations Tony Blair founded after leaving office as prime minister, we have streamlined our activities and made our work more coherent, reflecting the overlap between extremism, governance, the Middle East and the policies needed to fight back against populism in the West. All are key to peace and prosperity, and all are interrelated. Countries will not develop where extremism flourishes. Without peace in the Middle East, grievances will continue to fester and conflict spill over to other countries. Those seeking refuge have also been used by populists to whip up anger in the West—and the centre-ground has to find a way to deal with this issue and renew a politics of hope and optimism, not fear and pessimism.
Our staff, in the UK, the US, Africa and the Middle East, comprises a range of expertise, all joining together to work on some of the world’s most pressing challenges faced by leaders today.
Our strategic report can be seen in the accounts, but below are some examples of our work so far:
- Governance: Working in partnership with 14 African governments to build their capability and improve living standards for their people, this year we have assisted a democratic transition in Sierra Leone; continued to implement a rural electrification strategy in Rwanda, which will increase access to 500,000 households by 2020; and helped to develop Ethiopia’s pharmaceutical strategy and approach to four new industrial parks designed to create 50,000 jobs.
- Co-Existence: Our research on religious extremism to help understand how ideology fuels violence has included the reports Struggle Over Scripture, which looked at the overlap of extremist and non-extremist interpretations of theology, as well as For Caliph and Country, which explored what connects jihadis from across the UK and how they made their journey into jihadism. Our three pioneering programmes, Generation Global, Compass and Supporting Leaders, have also had significant success:
- Generation Global: Our schools programme brings evidence-based teaching to schools and students aged 12 to 17 to promote open-minded attitudes and critical thinking. It has schools registered in 55 countries and in 2017 alone reached more than 73,000 students.
- Compass: A pilot project based in four schools in three East London boroughs, focused on creating more inclusive communities that are resilient to division and destructive ideologies. Through a network of 36 volunteer mentors, it last year supported 98 young women in communities affected by inequality, deprivation, hate crime and extremism.
- Supporting Leaders: By working with trusted religious leaders, we help build community resilience to extremist narratives in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017 we worked with 34 local trainers and 65 Muslim and Christian leaders, who trained a further 91 community leaders in northeast Nigeria. We plan on replicating the model in Kenya in 2019 to support female religious leaders.
- Middle East: Our team engages with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and key officials, influential regional actors, diplomatic missions and multinational institutions, to inform and guide thinking and decision-making. We develop and advocate practical recommendations on the peace process and to improve the economic, political and humanitarian realities on the ground in the West Bank and Gaza, which has been a major recent focus of our work.
- Renewing the Centre: In addressing the major policy challenges presented by globalisation, we have produced reports on a modern technology programme needed to transform government and society in the 21st century, a progressive policy platform for immigration and a new agenda for housing and how we revitalise and liberal democracies and combat the rise of populism.