FILE - A woman and child walk past an informational mural portraying the global battle against the coronavirus, on a street in Kericho, Kenya on Jan. 26, 2022. The head of Africa's top public health institute urged authorities across the continent on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 to step up COVID-19 testing amid a concerning rise in new cases in some countries. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)BY EVELYNE MUSAMBI
NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) — Bill Gates, on a visit to Kenya, has announced his foundation will spend $7 billion to improve health, gender equality and farming in Africa.
The new pledge will be spent over the next four years and is in addition to existing Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding to strengthen health systems across the continent.
“Africa’s young people have the talent and opportunity to accelerate progress and help solve the world’s most pressing problems,” Gates said.
The new funding comes as countries in East Africa and the Horn of Africa face the worst drought in decades.
“We will invest in local institutions and new collaborations that build the long-term resilience needed to make these crises less frequent and less devastating,” Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said.
On his visit to Kenya, Gates has been visiting primary healthcare centers, leading medical and agricultural research institutes, and smallholder farms.
During the visits he learned from partners about “what programs and approaches are making an impact, what obstacles remain, and how the foundation can better support future progress,” the foundation said in a statement.
“The foundation will continue to invest in the researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and healthcare workers who are working to unlock the tremendous human potential that exists across the continent,” he said.