Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reaffirms Commitment to African Countries to Help
Accelerate Progress in Health, Agriculture, Gender Equality and Other Critical Areas

Speaking with University of Nairobi students, Bill Gates praises drive and optimism of young
people in Kenya and across the continent
NAIROBI, KENYA (November 17, 2022) – Today, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, reaffirmed the foundation’s long-term commitment to Africa and to working
directly with countries to support breakthrough solutions in health, agriculture, gender equality,
and other critical areas.
In 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.
This new commitment to support African countries is in addition to existing Gates Foundation
funding to multilateral organizations, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund
to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These resources have helped strengthen health
systems and increase access to health care in African countries, contributing to dramatic
reductions in the rate of child deaths from diseases such as diarrheal diseases, pneumonia,
malaria and measles.
This week, Gates spent time visiting primary health care centers, 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.”
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 were facing 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 immunization and stalled decades of
progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
“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.”
The foundation is calling on global leaders to step up their commitments to finding solutions and
strengthening systems in African countries. This includes investing in people and innovations
that can save millions of lives and create opportunities for the world’s most vulnerable.
“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
Since the foundation’s inception, it has supported partnerships with African governments and
communities, which have driven the success of numerous health, agricultural, equality, and antipoverty initiatives. In the last two years, the foundation has funded partners working to provide
immediate action and long-term support to smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, improve
disease surveillance, increase locally led R&D and the number of health care workers in Africa,
advance gender equality and women’s financial inclusion, and combat malaria and neglected
tropical diseases. For more information, go to:
About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works
to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving
people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme
poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest
resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in
Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Cochairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.
Media contact: media@gatesfoundation.or

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