Bill Gates Makes His Pitch
The mega-philanthropist is in Davos raising money to fight infectious diseases, but is the world's second richest man the best person to spearhead this effort?
The mega-philanthropist is in Davos lobbying governments and the global business elite to donate money towards the fight against infectious diseases. But is the world's second richest man the best person to spearhead this effort?
Ed Butler speaks to Mr Gates about why he considers it critical that the US and other rich world governments continue to finance efforts to fight Aids, malaria, polio, TB and the like. Meanwhile, Peter Sands - executive director of the Global Fund, one of the four major health initiatives that Gates is backing - explains why any let-up in the fight could be very costly indeed, particularly for the developing world.
But the philanthro-capitalism embodied by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation faces increasing criticism. Sophie Harman, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, expresses her qualms about their lack of accountability, while historian Benjamin Soskis of the Urban Institute in the US says the very willingness of Gates to lobby for good causes is raising questions about why wealthy individuals should wield such influence over public policy.
(Picture: Bill Gates; Credit: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)