The end of the Cold War transformed global politics and enabled Western governments to rethink their foreign policies towards black Africa. In this changing great-power environment, the British Conservative government under John Major (1990-97) was quick to reject the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the Cold War years and to recognize the need to ‘improve and adapt’ its ‘response mechanisms’ to Africa’s crises. The Labour administration under Tony Blair, in power since 1997, has also emphasized the need for ‘new thinking’ on Africa (Hain 1999) and has promised to give the African continent ‘a new priority on the international agenda’ (Lloyd 1999).