Bill Gates, delivering the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture last night, has pledged $5-billion to Africa over the next five years, mainly to help eliminate HIV/AIDS.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has already invested $9-billion in healthcare on the continent.
Gates stressed the importance of the youth, and the duty of nations to invest in their future.
“The youth must be given an opportunity to thrive. We must clear away the obstacles that keep young people from growing,” says Gates.
“And our duty is to do it now’ because the innovations of tomorrow depend on the opportunities available to children today.
“It’s clear to everyone how big and complicated the challenges are. But it’s just as clear that people with bravery’ energy’ intellect’ passion’ and stamina can face big’ complicated challenges and overcome them,” Gates says.
“I agree with Mandela about young people’ and that is one reason I am optimistic about the future of this continent. Demographically’ Africa is the world’s youngest continent’ and its youth can be the source of a special dynamism.”
This can be seen in the fact that young people tend to be better at driving innovation, he adds, and this needs to be nurtured.