Bill Gates is kind of a big deal. If you look at the blazing path he created in the tech industry, it’s pretty awesome, but then if you take into account the blazing path he and his wife Melinda are currently creating in the industry of philanthropy- it’s amazing.
He’s the kind of dude where, if he speaks, you probably want to listen.
Gates and his wife Melinda started The Gates Foundation 15 years ago with the aim of backing innovative work in health and education towards reducing inequity. They’ve made exiting progress.
Now, see what he has to say in his annual letter about their goals for the next 15 years, looking forward to 2030. Listen up.
“The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.”
HEALTH: Child deaths will halve, more diseases to be wiped out.
“When we look at the progress the world has made in the past generation, since 1990, we believe global health equity is an achievable goal,”
By 2030, Gates is predicting that massively destructive diseases including both Polio and Guinea worm will be eliminated. Almost all countries will vaccinate against debilitating illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhea.
Although elimination seems a little out of reach for 2030, progress will made in the fight against the big guys – Malaria and HIV.
“As we make progress toward a[n HIV] vaccine or a cure, the number of people beginning treatment in sub-Saharan Africa will finally outstrip the number of people newly infected. When we reach that point in the region with the most dense HIV transmission in the world, cases will start going down everywhere around the globe for the first time since the disease was discovered more than 30 years ago.”
Between 1990 and now, the number of deaths for children under five was cut in half. This will happen again by 2030, bringing the death rate down to one child in 40.
Better sanitation — through simple actions like hand-washing as well as innovations like new toilets designed especially for poor places — will cut the spread of disease dramatically.
FARMING: Africa will be able to feed itself.
“With the right investments, we can deliver innovation and information to enough farmers in Africa to increase productivity by 50 per cent for the continent overall.”
70% of people living in sub-saharan Africa are farmers, and yet currently the continent relies on air and imported food. Providing African farmers with the technology to produce more nutritious, drought and disease resistant crops will allow them to increase their productivity and feed themselves.
BANKING: Mobile banking will transform lives of the poor.
“Not having access to a range of cheap and easy financial services makes it much more difficult to be poor.”
Mobile phones are the key. There are already people in developing countries who are storing and transferring money digitally on their phones. The prediction, or goal, is that by 2030 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today, will be storing and transferring money with their mobile phones.
They will also have access , via their mobile money providers, to a full range of financial services. Digital banking will allow the poor to have control over their assets.
EDUCATION: Better software will revolutionize learning
“As high-speed cell networks grow and smartphones become as cheap as today’s voice-only phones, online education will flourish,”
Online learning will be fully accessible in developing countries in 2030, providing more gender equality in education.
“Education is a great leveler, but if the factors that hold girls back are not addressed, and if access to education isn’t equal, then education will become another cause of inequity, rather than a cure for it.”
Easy access to online education also leads to a larger resource of education workers, which in turn leans to to a higher GDP and a higher overall standard of living.
If you would like to read the entire letter, please check it out here. If you would like to learn more about the philanthropy that Bill and Melinda gates are involved with, check out The Gates Foundation here.