Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair graces South African soil to talk education


Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, graced Monash South Africa with his presence to talk to students, staff and stakeholders about internationalisation and Africa.

Blair emphasised that good governance was the key issue in African countries. Along with a panel of local experts and leaders to discuss African development and issues affecting such growth, Blair stressed that governance be supported by supportive infrastructure that promoted a business environment for the sake of confidence among investors. The infrastructure should also promote security, healthcare and education for ordinary citizens, Blair added.

Tony Blair with panellists and speakers including Monash South Africa students and alumni.

“Our institutions must focus on creativity rather than rote [repetitive] learning,” he said. Blair highlighted that if a country had even one effective university, it may serve as a motivation to others and inspire better education. Blair was joined by Prof. Olive Shisana, president and CEO of Evidence Based Solutions; Prof. Narend Baijnath, CEO of the Council on Higher Education; Ogi Williams, senior research analyst of In On Africa, and Tafadzwa Mandinyenya of SADC Youth Network.

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The talk at the Monash South Africa campus highlighted the need for an Afro-centric education, while maintaining a globally relevant perspective and the ability of students to work cross-culturally and across the globe.

Sharad Mehra, CEO of Monash South Africa, expressed his gratitude to the former prime minister for his attendance and continued interest in African development. “Our campus prides itself on providing internationally relevant degrees, while ensuring an education sensitive to African needs and challenges,” Mehra said. “Hosting a speaker of such prestige on our campus is a remarkable honour and reinforces our commitment to a truly global education for all our students. We are so very grateful to Mr Blair for participating in this incredible event and visiting our campus.”

What do you think about incorporating Afro-centric knowledge in education in South Africa? Let us know by emailing your thoughts to the Rosebank Killarney Gazette at [email protected]

Nikita Fernandes

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