BILL GATES, founder of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the foundation will spend 5 billion dollars in Africa in the next five years. He said the spending has become imperative because the foundation’s biggest priority is health and a lot still needs to be done. “Health remains’ the priority work of the foundation in Africa.”Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is faced with a struggle to bring down the rate of new HIV infections in the world’s poorest continent,’’ he said. He said that the Horn of Africa country is one of the biggest recipients of funds from the foundation. Gate noted that halving the child mortality rate from 1990 to the present, was very fantastic and cheering. He, however, observed that the presence of pneumonia, diarrhoea and other illnesses still leaves far too many children dying. He noted that two-thirds of new HIV/AIDS infections continued to take place in Africa. “It is a mixed situation, as stakeholder’s we have a challenge to bring the numbers down. The philanthropic organisation formed in 2000 by the world’s richest man has an endowment of more than 40 billion and distributed grants of 4 billion dollars in 2014. Gates observed that the slumping commodity prices have posed serious challenges to economic and political stability in some African countries, and have slowed the momentum of poverty reduction. He said even at the commodity slump, the direction is largely going the right way. The founder said that the infrastructure, education and health investment during the boom years had laid solid foundations. (Reuters).
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