Nairobi, 17 Nov. 30% of children in Africa cannot reach their full mental or physical capacity when they grow up because they did not eat what they needed during their childhood, destroying “enormous human potential” for the continent, the American tycoon said today Bill Gates.
“That is a terrible tragedy,” Gates added at an event at the University of Nairobi where he spoke with students from across the African continent.
However, the Microsoft co-founder was optimistic and assured that, despite all the challenges facing the continent, “we are capable as humans of finding solutions for them.”
Gates highlighted, among other challenges, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine and the impact of the climate crisis in Africa.
“You all have the opportunity to make big changes,” Gates told the youth of the continent.
He also highlighted the need for a “second green revolution” to improve the productivity of small farmers, “particularly in Africa.”
To promote those agricultural changes and reduce disease, gender inequality and poverty in Africa, he announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will spend $7 billion across the continent over the next four years.
This is Gates’ first trip to Africa since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Gates met yesterday, Wednesday, with the president of Kenya, William Ruto, who was informed that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will open a regional office in Nairobi.
“We appreciate your foundation’s support of crucial initiatives in Kenya’s health, agriculture and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors. We look forward to further collaboration on food security and universal health coverage” Ruto pointed out.
Gates arrived in Kenya at a time when some 4.35 million people need “humanitarian aid” due to the worsening drought that is plaguing a part of the country, the country’s National Drought Management Authority reported on the 14th. African (NDMA).
Kenya is among the countries in the Horn of Africa affected by the severe drought currently hitting the region, where millions of people face food insecurity and malnutrition.
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Bill Gates: Africa loses enormous potential due to food insecurity