World’s riches man, Bill Gates, delivered a transcript of the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, which aims to motivate young people of Africa into greatness.
Gates’ speech delivered on Monday, July 18, cited a Nelson Mandela quote which says,
“Poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”
The owner of Microsoft, Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gate began the programme: Living Together with late Nelson Mandela as a means to change the impoverish situation in all of Africa, if not eradicate the endemic spurred by lack of innovative minds among the young ones, diseases; sickness; poor governance, lack of education, Malnutrition, and so on.
Gates spoke on a wide range of topics including Progress and Challenges; Youth; Health and Nutrition; Education; Productivity; Agriculture and Governance.
He reiterated how important it is for government to invest heavily on the youths of Africa. According to him;
“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.”
“When you have more people of working age, and fewer dependents for them to take care of, you can generate phenomenal economic growth. Rapid economic growth in East Asia in the 1970s and 1980s was partly driven by the large number of young people moving into their work force.
“But for me, the most important thing about young people is the way their minds work. Young people are better than old people at driving innovation, because they are not locked in by the limits of the past.
“When I started Microsoft in 1975—at the age of 19—computer science was a young field. We didn’t feel beholden to old notions about what computers could or should do. We dreamed about the next big thing, and we scoured the world around us for the ideas and the tools that would help us create it.
“But it wasn’t just at Microsoft. Steve Jobs was 21 when he started Apple. Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 when he created Facebook.”
Bill Gate pointed that the continent’s two largest economies, here in South Africa and in Nigeria, are facing serious economic turmoil, and pledge his full support to invest in Agriculture, using small farms as a base.
“With Africa’s small farms as a base, the next step toward economic opportunity is to promote job creation in other sectors. Doing this will require significant investments in infrastructure, including energy.”
Gushing his opinion on electricity power in Africa, Gates continued:
“Seven in 10 Africans currently lack access to power, which makes it harder to do everything. Harder to get healthcare in a dark clinic. Harder to learn in school when it’s boiling hot. Harder to be productive when you can’t use labour saving machinery.
“Unfortunately, a shortage of power—like Nigeria is currently experiencing—is also a massive drag on economic growth. Businesses will not invest in places where they can’t operate efficiently.
“A recent report projected that more than 500 million Africans won’t have electricity in 2040. That number needs to go down.”
Gate specifically acknowledged Nigerian innovator – thirty-year-old Oluseun Onigbinde – who gave up a career in banking five years ago to devote himself full-time to pulling back the curtain on Nigeria’s federal expenditures.
He went on:
“Savvy in the use of data and social media, Onigbinde founded BudgIT Nigeria, a website that provides facts and figures the average Nigerian can understand. Onigbinde is no doubt a thorn in the side of some of Nigeria’s elite. To me, he is an example of what one person can do to make a difference.”
The Billionaire cited a quote by Nelson Mandela which says;
“Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.”
He supplemented the quote saying;
“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. There is so much more work to be done to create a future in which we can all live together. But there are also so many people who are eager to get to work.
“Let’s do everything within our power right now to help them build the future that Nelson Mandela dreamed of—and the future that we will achieve together.” Bill Gates concluded.