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Bill Gates delivers 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in SA

(People's Daily Online)  Sissy Zhang  2016-09-21 10:28


Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gates delivers the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus in South Africa on July 17th 2016. (Picture: Zhang Kai)

 
Pretoria July 18 (People's Daily Online) - The world must work together to ensure Africa’s young can seize their potential and thrive, said Bill Gates in Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday.

Gates will meet with some African young innovators in the coming days - the 21-year-old who founded Kenya’s first software coding school to provide other young people with computer programming skills, and the 23-year-old social entrepreneur in South Africa who manufactures schoolbags from recycled plastic shopping bags.

Delivering the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus, Gates said he was optimistic about the future of the continent because of its young people.



Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gates delivers the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus in South Africa on July 17th 2016. (Picture: Zhang Kai)

Pointing out that Africa was demographically the world’s youngest continent – in the next 35 years, it is estimated that 2-billion babies will be born in Africa and by 2050, 40% of the world’s children will live in Africa. Gates said he believed Africa’s youth “can be the source of a special dynamism”.

“Economists talk about the demographic dividend. 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. The real returns will come if we can multiply this talent for innovation by the whole of Africa’s growing youth population,” Gates said.



Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gates delivers the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus in South Africa on July 17th 2016. (Picture: Zhang Kai)

Gates used the platform of the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture to lay out his vision of how to create a better world. Among previous annual lecture speakers were former US President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, former SA President Thabo Mbeki. It is the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s flagship programme to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela, and to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. The theme of his speech was “Living Together”.

Gates said he had admired Mandela, whom he had met on many occasions. He said that “one topic that Nelson Mandela came back to over and over again was the power of youth”.

“There is a universal appeal to the conviction that youth deserve a chance. I agree with Mandela about young people, and that is one reason I am optimistic about the future of this continent,” said Gates.



Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gates delivers the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus in South Africa on July 17th 2016. (Picture: Zhang Kai)