Home » Bill Gates’ foundation invests $30 million to advance AI in Africa

Bill Gates’ foundation invests $30 million to advance AI in Africa

by Omokolade Ajayi
Bill Gates

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, co-founded by the world’s fifth-richest man, Bill Gates, and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, has unveiled a groundbreaking $30-million investment to bolster artificial intelligence (AI) development in Africa.

This initiative, announced in Dakar, Senegal, on Tues., Oct. 10, aims to accelerate locally-led innovation while urgently calling on countries to increase health and development research funding.

Gates, a billionaire renowned for co-founding Microsoft, deemed AI “the most important advance in technology since the graphical user interface.” Through this investment, the foundation seeks to democratize AI access for African researchers, foster local innovation, and ensure ethical and equitable technology development.

The newly established AI platform will provide crucial technical and operational support to African scientists and innovators, facilitating the transformation of promising concepts into scalable health and development solutions.

The primary goal is to make AI benefits accessible and affordable for all, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and to guarantee the responsible and ethical advancement of these critical tools.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also pledged to collaborate closely with technical partners and governments to further enhance the platform and identify opportunities for harnessing AI’s potential in healthcare and development.

Gates’ net worth currently stands at a staggering $124 billion, stemming largely from Cascade Investment, a holding company created from Microsoft stock sales and dividends. This immense wealth secures his position as the fifth-richest individual globally, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His foundation’s $30-million investment in the African AI platform signals a major stride towards leveraging AI for inclusive health and development across the continent. This initiative reflects a commitment to harnessing AI’s transformative potential while ensuring that its benefits reach those who need them most.

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