n his first trip to Africa since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Bill Gates announced the foundation would spend more than $7 billion over the next four years to support African countries and institutions working to develop and implement innovative approaches to confront hunger, disease, gender inequality, and poverty.
According to the American billionaire, this new commitment to support African countries is in addition to existing Gates Foundation funding to multilateral organisations, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Bill Gates praised the drive and optimism of young people in Kenya and across the continent
Gates also spent time visiting primary health care centres leading medical and agricultural research institutes, and smallholder farms to listen to and learn from Kenyan and regional partners about what programs and approaches are making an impact, what obstacles remain, and how the foundation can better support future progress. In speaking to more than 500 students at the University of Nairobi—and thousands more across Africa who tuned in virtually—Bill Gates said Africa’s young people have the talent and opportunity to accelerate progress and help solve the world’s most pressing problems.
“The big global challenges we face are persistent. But we have to remember, so are the people solving them,” said Gates. “Our foundation will continue to support solutions in health, agriculture, and other critical areas—and the systems to get them out of the labs and to the people who need them.”
The foundation urged global leaders to reaffirm their commitment to African countries
The foundation calls on global leaders to commit to finding solutions and strengthening systems in African countries. This commitment comes as the world is grappling with overlapping global crises that are worsening hunger, malnutrition, and poverty for millions. Even before the war in Ukraine disrupted the global food system, African countries faced severe climate shocks, including droughts, locusts, and flooding. Today, 278 million people across Africa suffer from chronic hunger, with more than 37 million people facing acute hunger in the Horn of Africa alone. COVID-19 has also caused significant setbacks in immunisation and stalled decades of progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
“Millions of Africans are feeling the acute impacts of geopolitical instability and climate change, so it is critical that we work together,” said Mark Suzman, Gates Foundation CEO. “In close collaboration with our African partners, we will invest in local institutions and new collaborations that build the long-term resilience needed to make these crises less frequent and less devastating.”
“Every day, men and women across Africa are rising to meet the biggest challenges facing their families, communities, and countries,” said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The foundation will continue to invest in the researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and health care workers who are working to unlock the tremendous human potential that exists across the continent.”