Tony Blair visits UP during whirlwind visit

Picture: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and UP Vice-Chancellor Prof Calie Pistorius

British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, visited the University of Pretoria on June 1 to discuss the impact of climate change on food security in Africa.

Mr Blair, visited the Field Trial Section of the Department of Plant Production and Soil Science, at the University’s Experimental Farm where he was met by Prof. Calie Pistorius, UP Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Anton Ströh , Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and several heads of academic departments.

“Mr Blair was introduced to specific research projects and discussed several important global issues with staff and post-graduate students,” said Prof. Ströh. The emphasis of discussions was on climate change, the efficiency of water use and alternative crops. Mr Blair was shown several important research projects such as the investigation into the potential of alternative crops to produce fuel from renewable resources and the potential of sub-tropical trees and grasses to produce bio-energy on a renewable basis.

The Prime Minister complemented post-graduate students from South African and other African countries such as Erithrea and Mozambique on the important research they are conducting. His discussions at the University of Pretoria were in line with the importance he placed on climate change and global warming throughout his African visit.

Mr Blair will be stepping down as British Prime Minister at the end of the month and visited South Africa as part of a farewell tour to Africa. He will now prepare for the G8 summit in Germany this month where the issues of climate change and Africa will again feature high on the agenda.

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