"If you don’t have rule of law and you don’t have governance everything can be undermined just like that."
Those were the words of Howard G Buffett at the launch of his 40 Chances exhibit at Washington DC’s Newseum last night.
Mr Buffett set out the importance of ensuring development projects have long term sustainability saying:
"You can’t have any long-term success if the government doesn’t buy in to what you are doing and they don’t eventually support it."
The renowned businessman and philanthropist spelled out why he supports AGI’s work, citing the flexibility AGI showed during the Ebola crisis in Liberia as an example of why he believes his funding is money well spent.
Mr Blair set why the challenge of governance remains central to the continent’s future prospects, saying:
“One of the things it is important to realise about Africa is that despite challenges it is a continent on the move. Life expectancy is going up and in the next few years the size of the middle class will double, but there are still challenges. Almost two thirds of people still don’t have access to electricity. These are fundamental things which you can help change, but you can only do it if government is working effectively.
The whole question about these countries is how fast they can accelerate their development. If we can show how to do that we can have a huge impact on millions of lives.”
Some of the photos from the 40 chances exhibition can be seen here.
The work described here was carried out by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, it is now being continued by the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.