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Blair: Investors must help improve African infrastructure - As it happened

2015-02-10 12:31

Investors needs to help governments in Africa build infrastructure, Former UK prime minister Tony Blair tells 2015 Mining Indaba in Cape Town.

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Last Updated at 12:01
10 Feb 15:53
Fin24's Matthew le Cordeur filed this report from the Mining Indaba:

10 Feb 13:29
Blair: I am off to the East Coast of Africa now. I get a huge sense of joy and optimism whenever I am in Africa.  

10 Feb 13:26
When Harold McMillan made his Winds of Change speech, Blair's dad was teaching in Sierra Leone.

10 Feb 13:25
Blair sidesteps getting into UK politics: There are two great alliance of the UK - the US and the EU. Those are the two pillars that you can build all sorts of new relationships. It is important to realise that those alliances are the most determined when there is a crisis. It is important for the UK to play for the full part in these alliances.

10 Feb 13:23
Blair: With regard to Ukraine - I am not saying Europe has handled this well. Let's hope Minsk can come to a solution, but the people of Ukraine must make their own mind up.

10 Feb 13:22
Blair: I believe this is the single biggest security challenge of our time. We need the force capacity to get this out and we need to improve education systems that encourage this. The only world worth living in is one where everyone has equal rights and respect for all.

10 Feb 13:21
Blair: The issue of extremism and radical Islamism is a big challenge in Africa.

10 Feb 13:20
“With Eskom as our foundation customer, we will be able to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock the basin. There will be a 400 km pipeline connecting our field directly into the market and Ankerlig and into Saldanha,” said Sunbird managing director Will Barker.

10 Feb 13:18
Blair: How to make change work is a very difficult thing to achieve.

10 Feb 13:18
Blair: Try and help communities that you are investing in.

10 Feb 13:18

10 Feb 13:17

10 Feb 13:17

10 Feb 13:17

10 Feb 13:17

10 Feb 13:16
Blair: There are two types of unions. The service unions, who they realise the conflict at local level but understand the higher level of what is happening. Then you have politicised unions, which can be problematic. It is very important when dealing with industries that have a history of exploitation – they need to improve conditions. There needs to be a sense of partnerships. When politics comes in, it does become very hard.

10 Feb 13:14
Aleg Hogg on Ngoako Ramatlhodi's presence at the Mining Indaba: SA mining needs all the help it can get

10 Feb 13:14
Aleg Hogg on Ngoako Ramatlhodi's presence at the Mining Indaba: SA mining needs all the help it can get

10 Feb 13:13
Blair: Some of the biggest trade barriers in Africa are between African countries.

10 Feb 13:13
Blair: Take steps that should have been taken long ago and that can now be seen quite visibly, to get your country back on your feet.

10 Feb 13:12
Blair: (Lessons from ebola) They can now look at what they can do as various countries working together.

10 Feb 13:12
Blair: The response to ebola was too slow and investors were scared off. It seems to be improving now but there is a lot of work. In this crisis, there is a real opportunity. I have seem those governments effectively (slowly at start and with outside help). I say, take that lesson for when normal times return, like your health system.

10 Feb 13:12
Blair: The response to ebola was too slow and investors were scared off. It seems to be improving now but there is a lot of work. In this crisis, there is a real opportunity. I have seem those governments effectively (slowly at start and with outside help). I say, take that lesson for when normal times return, like your health system.

10 Feb 13:10
Blair: Transportation and logistics will get interesting in Africa.

10 Feb 13:09
Blair: African governments today look for options. They look to Brazil, the UK, China - they want a range of options. It is important to diversify economically so you are not subjected to a fall off in say China. Then your own economy gets depressed.

10 Feb 13:07
Blair: Energy is vital in Africa. It is as important as defenses in a country.

10 Feb 13:06
Blair: To get the best investors in, governments should get investors together to co-operate. The best spirit to do things is through co-operation, trust and relationships.

10 Feb 13:06
Blair: To get the best investors in, governments should get investors together to co-operate. The best spirit to do things is through co-operation, trust and relationships.

10 Feb 13:05

10 Feb 13:05
Blair: Government and business need a deeper relations to work completed things out and to build relationships so when they go into a meeting for a deal, there is trust. It is worth spending money. It is worth negotiating with the best people alongside you.

10 Feb 13:04

10 Feb 13:03
Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi  earlier told delegates at the Mining Indaba that South Africa offers a stable mining environment for investors as well as respect for the law.

10 Feb 13:03

10 Feb 13:02
Blair: Education is enormously important. I plead with governments in Africa. They ask me when they will get an education system like the one in UK. There is a revolutionary way of using technology to educate. I would use private/public partnerships. I would draw from all the innovations from around the world. Even for low-income families

10 Feb 12:58

10 Feb 12:58

10 Feb 12:58
Blair: Whatever challenges such as ebola and extremism, if you take the continent as a whole and compare it to 20 years ago, the progress is enormous. Investment in long term, so the fluctuations in the commodity prices and the market, Africa is a great place to invest. I never regret the interest I have taken in Africa.

10 Feb 12:58
Blair: I see countries get on their feet and slowly and surely move forward.

10 Feb 12:58
Blair: Whatever challenges such as ebola and extremism, if you take the continent as a whole and compare it to 20 years ago, the progress is enormous. Investment in long term, so the fluctuations in the commodity prices and the market, Africa is a great place to invest. I never regret the interest I have taken in Africa.

10 Feb 12:57
Blair: Africa will change enormously in the next decade.

10 Feb 12:57
Blair: Large companies looking to invest. There are examples in Africa of what works and what doesn’t. The challenge is to put systems in government to implement and get things done.

10 Feb 12:57
Blair: My party had been out of 10 Downing street for 18 years. When you win an election you go into Downing street the next day and the predecessor walks out the back door, just as the new PM walks in. I remember when I walked in on my first day. The staff applauded the former PM. When I walked in. the staff were weeping. I was feeling guilty about the whole thing. I went into the cabinet room. The chief civil servant – a very grand person – said to me and a very British way. “Well done. Now what?” That’s the great issue of governance. You can be a great communicator, which gets you the job, but once in power, you’re a CEO and need to run a business.

10 Feb 12:54
Blair: 5. Business environment. Quality of government – its effectiveness to get things done is a vital importance to a successful investment playing field.

10 Feb 12:54
Blair: 4. Taxation. Paying taxes is important and the predictability of the taxation system is important. They will deter investment if there is no predictability.

10 Feb 12:45
Blair: 3. Transparency is key in investments. Corruption needs routed out.

10 Feb 12:44
Blair: 2. There needs to be benefit for local investors. Governments need to boost productivity with local businesses through education and other means.

10 Feb 12:43
Blair: For a developing country today, access to electricity is the main fundamentals for success for the country to be connected to the world.

10 Feb 12:42
1. Where people are making investments in mining, they will look beyond investment to infrastructure like roads and power. The government will want to see the partnership dealing with the right issues for its people.

10 Feb 12:42
Blair: Five principles that govern these relationships in terms of investors and countries:


10 Feb 12:40
Blair: African countries have also resolved to solve some of their own issues.

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