Microsoft founder and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair, Bill Gates, will be in Kenya from Tuesday, November 15 to Thursday, November 17. He has a packed itinerary, mostly focused on the initiatives supported by the foundation in Kenya and Africa at large.
Here, Business Today breaks down his to-do list in Kenya:
- Visit and engage national and local leaders, as well as other partners and grantees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A statement shared with newsrooms ahead of Gates’ trip to Kenya indicated that he was keen to “learn more about how leaders are charting a path forward, despite the challenging economic conditions, with investments in youth, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” The foundation works with national governments and and local communities in 49 African countries, channeling funding and expertise to programs on health, agriculture, equality, and anti-poverty.
- Meet with regional scientists and innovators. Kenya is considered an innovation hub for the continent. For instance, Microsoft, the company Gates founded, recently set up one of two Africa Development Centre (ADC) facilities on the continent in Nairobi, with the other in Lagos. Other companies including Google and VISA have also recently made major investments in the country, with confidence inspired by the country’s vibrant tech scene, digital payments, talent pool and fast-growing startup ecosystem.
- Visit and learn from farmers who are using digital tools to help with climate adaptation. Agriculture and climate change remain among the key focus areas of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation continues to support various initiatives to boost adoption of technology in African farming in a bid to improve productivity and combat climate change. Among organizations it supports in Kenya is the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), which helps farmers with climate adaptation.
- See how primary health care clinics have delivered care during the Covid and post-Covid period. Health has traditionally been one of the biggest focus areas for the Gates Foundation, which officially states that its operations are ‘guided by the belief that every life has equal value’. In Kenya, the foundation supports programs such as Maisha Meds, which uses technology to improve patient access to healthcare.
- Participate in a conversation with university students on how innovative tools and approaches can bolster efforts to increase food security and support climate adaptation across Africa. The moderated town hall event, Innovating for Food Security & Climate Change in Africa, will be co-hosted by Africa.com and the University of Nairobi and take place from 6:00-7:00PM EAT (Nairobi) on Thursday, November 17.
- Gates is also expected to announce announce the foundation’s new commitment to support innovations “aimed at improving health, food security, and gender equality in African countries”.