Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates is heading to South Africa in July to give the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, on the eve of Mandela Day.
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is one of the Foundation’s flagship programmes to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation in association with the University of Pretoria, said it is delighted to announce that Gates will be delivering the lecture.
Amongst those who have given the lecture in the past are former South African president Thabo Mbeki, Nobel laureate Prof Wangari Maathai, former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The theme Gates will be tackling in his lecture will be “Living Together.”
The theme is aimed at highlighting the need for a new social pact across the globe to end protracted conflict, overcome intolerance and prejudice.
Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson Lunga Nene says, “Mr Gates has significant influence on global development issues through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
“The Foundation is doing significant work on the continent to improve health, education, supporting woman and young children, reducing hunger and alleviating poverty and inequality,” she added.
In a statement, Gates said, “It’s an incredible honour to be invited to deliver this year’s Nelson Mandela Lecture. President Mandela will be remembered for generations to come for his courage, his vision, and his relentless pursuit of equality and justice.”
“I believe, as he did, that progress is possible. We can help people everywhere live healthier, more productive lives – if we make sure that innovation reaches everyone who need it. I can’t think of a better venue for discussing these urgent issues than the Nelson Mandela Lecture,” he added.
As a means to address the multiple and complex challenges that face the world today. The lectures are addressed by speakers who have made a significant contribution in their field of expertise.
The University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi campus will host the lecture.