Programmer, investor, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Bill Gates would be delivering a Lecture on Sunday, 17th July on the theme: “Living Together” at the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Pretoria.
The Lecture is dedicated to the Mamelodi families who lost loved ones in the apartheid years. The Lecture honours their contribution to the struggle for democracy.
Gates said he was honoured to have been invited to contribute to the conversation on how to create a better world.
He stated the need for a new social pact across the globe to end protracted conflict, overcome intolerance and prejudice, improve access to healthcare and education, and reduce poverty and inequality.
Gates noted that the founding President of a democratic South Africa would be “remembered for generations to come for his courage, his vision and his relentless pursuit of equality and justice”. He also said that Mandela, “lives on as a reminder that it’s possible to solve big challenges”.
In his words: “Previous speakers in the lecture series have shared thought-provoking insights about how we can create a better world envisioned by Nelson Mandela. I’m privileged to add my voice to the conversation this year. For hundreds of millions of people life is better today than it was a generation ago, but there is so much more we can, and must do, to make that a reality for people everywhere.”
Explaining the choice of Gates, Nelson Mandela Foundation board member, Nikiwe Bikitsha said, “Gates has a significant impact on the issues facing the poor and marginalised. I look forward to engaging with Gates views on how we continue to work collaboratively to improve the lives of all people through the extraordinary efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
While reacting, Director of the Africa Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,Dr Ayo Ajayi said, “Bill coming for the Mandela lecture and the AIDS conference is an indication of how important both South Africa and Africa is to the foundation.
“The Mandela lecture will show Bill’s thinking about the role Africa can and is already playing in its own development. We hope the lecture will stimulate more debate about philanthropy in Africa and Bill’s approach to development”
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is the Foundation’s flagship programmes to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela, and to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.