By Temilolu Oke
World number one philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Bill Gates, has disclosed the reasons he is visiting Nigeria and Niger Republic this week.
The visit to the two African countries is a continuation of his global tour following a visit to China, to discuss global health and development with national and local leaders, foundation partners, grantees, scientists, and young innovators.
It is part of the Gates Foundation’s commitment to work closely with communities and leaders to support innovation that can help accelerate progress and improve lives across Africa.
In a statement issued by the Foundation’s media office, Gates and other foundation leaders are visiting to learn from partners helping to address polio, anemia, and other health threats; scientists applying research to develop agricultural innovations that will help with food security and climate adaptation; innovators using technology to improve access to financial services; and others working to improve lives in Niger and Nigeria and throughout the continent.
They will also meet with national and regional leaders to encourage them to make investments and advance policies that promote innovation and provide equitable opportunity, despite challenging economic conditions.
Most importantly, Gates will also participate in a conversation with students and young leaders to gather insights and share perspectives on how science and innovation can accelerate positive change and contribute to a brighter outlook for Africa.
The moderated event, Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation, will be co-hosted by the Co-Creation Hub Nigeria and Lagos Business School and livestreamed across Africa by media partners Africa.com and Channels Television. It will take place at 10am WAT (Lagos) on 21 June. You can register here to attend virtually.
BACKGROUND ON FOUNDATION INVESTMENTS IN AFRICA, NIGER AND NIGERIA:
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes that solutions to Africa’s greatest challenges can come from within Africa. This is why the foundation supports African partners whose bold ideas and creative approaches have the potential to save lives, improve health, and help families across the continent.
- Since the foundation’s inception in 2000, it has supported partnerships with African regional institutions, national governments, and local communities in 49 African countries to contribute funding and scientific expertise in support of their agendas for change. These partnerships have driven the success of numerous health, agriculture, equality, and anti-poverty initiatives.
- In Niger, the foundation works with the government and multilateral organizations to strengthen routine immunization and control polio outbreaks.
- In Nigeria, the foundation works with the government of Nigeria, the private sector, non-profit organizations and civil society to improve health outcomes, boost agricultural productivity, expand access to digital financial services, and empower women and other marginalized populations with greater economic opportunities.
- More information about the foundation’s work in Nigeria is available here.