mardi 2 décembre 2014

Questions over Tony Blair’s 'opaque’ deals in Africa

30 Nov 2014

Emails obtained by The Telegraph suggest Tony Blair was attempting to bring in wealthy clients for South Sudan where he was also an adviser

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Tony Blair was involved in attempting to secure business deals for wealthy clients in an African country that he also advised, according to emails obtained by The Telegraph.

The emails sent between one of Mr Blair’s charities – the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) – and the US government suggest the former prime minister was eager to use his connections with sovereign wealth funds to secure deals in South Sudan, an impoverished African state with untapped oil reserves.

The latest disclosure threatens to embroil Mr Blair in fresh criticism over his charitable activities. One Conservative MP said it was time for Mr Blair to make a “full disclosure” of his various business dealings to ensure there was no conflict of interest between his philanthropic and moneymaking activities, while a leading human rights charity criticised Mr Blair for being “opaque”.

The controversy follows the decision by the US arm of the charity Save the Children to give Mr Blair its “Global Legacy” prize for his work alleviating poverty in Africa. The award led to a letter of protest from staff across the wider international charity. An online petition demanding the award be revoked has attracted more than 113,000 signatures.

The prize was in recognition of Mr Blair’s work as prime minister and in setting up AGI in 2008. Since then AGI has embedded teams of its staff in at least nine African governments, offering advice on how to deliver “effective government”’, in a model based on Mr Blair’s experience in Downing Street.
By Robert Mendick, Matthew Holehouse and Edward Malnick

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