Gates Foundation pledges $7 billion to help fund Africa’s agriculture, health

Gates Foundation pledges $7 billion to help fund Africa’s agriculture, health

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it was committing $7 billion to Africa over the next four years, as the American billionaire and philanthropist warned that the Ukraine crisis was reducing the amount of aid flowing to the continent.

Bill Gates has pledged to use 5.4% of his net worth to finance Africa’s health and agriculture sectors, which he believes anchor the continent’s progress. Since landing in Nairobi on Tuesday, November 15, the Microsoft co-founder has visited both rural and urban parts of the country, including primary healthcare centers, medical and agricultural research institutes, and smallholder farms to understand “what approaches are making an impact, and what obstacles remain.”

His tour culminated in a town hall meeting with hundreds of students at the University of Nairobi where he announced $7 billion funding to help Africa fight diseases and boost agricultural capacity in the next four years.
“The big global challenges we face are persistent. But we have to remember, so are the people solving them,” Gates told the audience and added that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will keep finding solutions to improving the two sectors “and the systems to get them out of the labs and to the people who need them.”

But since Gates is offering only 5% of the financing gap in the continent’s health and agriculture sectors, African governments have a huge task ahead of them. To fund the deficit, African governments will have to increase their revenues (likely through higher taxation) or borrow more. Both of these options are going to be challenging given the tough economic times this year.

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