Bill Gates Shares Optimism about Nigeria’s Future: Says Innovative, Talented Young People are a Powerful Asset
LAGOS, Nigeria, 21 June 2023 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- At a forum with students and young innovators from Nigeria and across Africa, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed how science and innovation can accelerate positive change and contribute to a brighter future for Africa.
The conversation took place during ‘Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation.’ The hybrid in-person and online event was co-hosted by the Lagos Business School and Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), in partnership with Africa.com and Channels Television.
Gates, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time since 2018, praised Nigeria’s youth and many Nigerian partners whom the Gates Foundation has worked with for more than a decade. These include scientists who are scaling up new interventions that save mothers and babies, researchers who are helping smallholder farmers thrive in the face of climate change and grow more nutritious foods, and companies that are expanding access to digital financial tools.
“When it comes to making the world a better place talented young people are the world’s most important asset,” Gates said. “Nigeria has one of the biggest youth populations in the world, and it’s growing fast. That represents a lot of potential skills and passion to solve big problems.”
Gates also stressed that progress had not been equally distributed. , highlighting poor digital access for many Nigerians and inconsistent availability of health services, education, and employment – especially for women. In Nigeria, the gender gap in employment has increased 25% in the last five years. Men are twice as likely as women to have mobile money accounts.
“I’m a huge believer in the power of science and innovation to help people lead long, healthy lives.” Gates said. “But one of the big lessons I’ve learned is that the benefits don’t automatically reach everyone. To do that, the people creating new breakthroughs, the people funding them, and the people getting them into the world all need to prioritize equity.”
Gates’ remarks were followed by a Q&A session with the audience. In his answers, Gates emphasized ways he sees Nigeria’s youth collaborating across sectors and encouraging the country’s leaders to follow through on commitments to make life in Nigeria better for everyone.
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA).
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 Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.
About Lagos Business School (LBS)
Lagos Business School is a private graduate business school of Pan-Atlantic University in Lagos, Nigeria, established in 1991. It is owned by the Pan-Atlantic University Foundation, a non-profit foundation registered in Nigeria. LBS collaborates with other business schools in Africa and around the world on programs to develop responsible business leaders for Africa and the world. LBS has been ranked among the top 70 business schools in the world every year since 2007 by the Financial Times and has received multiple international accreditations in recognition of the quality of its programs and its global best practices and emphasis on professional ethics and service to the community.
About Co-Creation Hub (CcHub)
The Co-Creation Hub is a technology-oriented centre located in Yaba, Lagos, providing a platform for technology-oriented people to collaborate on ideas to solve social problems in Nigeria. The Co-Creation Hub is an innovation centre dedicated to applying social capital and technology for economic prosperity. In particular, it prioritizes developing innovative and relevant healthcare solutions and contributes to good governance by accelerating the application of innovative technology to mitigate the risks of the digital age and bridge the gap between governments and citizens.
Africa.com is a top-tier pan-African digital media company founded in 2010. The outlet has an established audience of decision-makers and leaders across the continent and globally. Africa.com delivers content through its website in addition to podcasts, webinars, virtual events, and workshops. They partner with high-level influencers such as governments, multi-lateral organizations, and private sector leaders. Its events have hosted heads of state, C-suite executives, thought leaders and influencers from different sectors and have engaged more than 134 speakers in the past two years.
The company operates from South Africa and the United States with a presence in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Accra, Lagos, and New York.
About Channels TV
Channels TV is a Nigerian independent 24-hour news and media television channel based in Lagos, Nigeria. Its primary focus is producing news and current affairs programs on Nigerian domestic issues. Channels TV’s mission is to act as a watchdog on governmental policies and activities. Channels TV is the first and only thriving national TV brand dedicated solely to the dissemination of news.