Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Pretoria, South Africa, Sunday, July 17, 2016, Microsoft founder Gates announced that the Bill Gates Foundation will give $5 billion to Africa within the next 5 years.
Every year on July 18th, known as Mandela Day, South Africans are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time to help others. the initiative is meant to carry on the legacy of peace and progression which was left behind by the famed African leader.
“It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”.
It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy. It is a global movement to honour his life’s work and act to change the world for the better.”
At the lecture, Gates stated that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “has already invested more than $9 billion in Africa. Health is a major focus“.
Gates will also attend a global AIDS conference that takes place today (July 18th).
According to Associated Press:
Gates warned that if the world doesn’t come up with more creative ways to make HIV treatment and prevention accessible, “the hard-earned gains made against HIV in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 15 years could actually be reversed” as high birth rates continue.
He said Africa is the world’s youngest continent in terms of demographics. “By 2050, 40 percent of the world’s children will live on this continent,” he said.
Still, he said Africa had made notable progress in fighting AIDS, saying that the last time South Africa hosted the global conference 16 years ago, only a few thousand Africans were on HIV drugs. At the time, the drugs were too expensive for many in the region hardest hit by the epidemic.
South Africa now says half of its infected population of 6.8 million people is on treatment.
Gates noted that Mandela fought stigma by announcing publicly the death of his son from AIDS in 2005.
Gates’ speech focused largely on youth and on how to achieve ambitious global development goals endorsed by countries last year.
In the only sharp words of his address, he said: “I get angry when I see that Africa is suffering the worst effects of climate change, although Africans had almost nothing to do with causing it.”