Bill Gates: Aid does work
- 27 Jan 07, 10:40 AM
Richard has already done a good write-up of the breakfast with Bill and Melinda Gates.
I just wanted to add two points:
When asked whether a lot of money spent on aid was wasted, Bill got really passionate. Of course some aid projects were unsuccessful or misguided, but that didn't mean that aid doesn't work, he said.
"That would be a bit like saying Silicon Valley is unsuccessful because 70% of companies there fail," he said and pointed to the millions of people saved - for example 2.3 million lives saved just through Gavi, the vaccination campaign backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Oh, and one other thing. Put aside your feelings about Bill Gates, Microsoft, Windows and all the rest.
The man's command of facts and detail is astounding. Talking about aid in the developing world he knows how fertiliser is distributed in certain provinces of Nigeria (which hurts farmers) and can recall detailed statistics about mortality rates for certain diseases in specific countries.
I wonder whether the development and aid sector knows what will hit them once he directs most of his energies on his charitable work, after he semi-retires from Microsoft in 2008.
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