By Alazar Shiferaw
The next fifteen years will be critical in mollifying the lives of the poor at a faster pace in a meaningful way than any time in history, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation so disclosed in an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald regarding Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 Annual Letter and the Foundation’s activity.
According to the Foundation, this segment of the society will chance unprecedented opportunities to better health, agricultural food security, education as well as benefits from mobile banking.
The aforementioned four things wedded with opportunities prevalent globally, 2015 promises to really shape what happens in the next fifteen years. The life of destitute people in poor countries including Ethiopia will improve significantly as never before. “We extrapolate, in the next fifteen years, Africa as a whole will feed itself,” The Foundation donates its grants in three phases, not at one go. The Foundation backs about hundred and fifty projects in Ethiopia with an outlay of a half billion USD. Country Representative to Ethiopia and Africa Union (AU) Haddis Tadesse said that generally speaking the Foundation’s interest eyes at improving the lives of people.
“All of our investment activities are anchored in Ethiopia’s poverty reduction strategy.”
He further said that the Foundation focuses on health and agriculture sectors as they are the two fundamental tools, critical in poverty reduction. It closely works with the government of Ethiopia in devising plans and bolstering the Growth and Transformation Plan, among others.
“Our development interventions and support to the Ethiopian government form the bedrock of what we do here in Ethiopia.”
Haddis further said: “We want each and every citizen to lead a healthy and productive life. In our bid to support the community, we make significant investment in health, agriculture, financial services, water and sanitation as well as urban development. We extend services in the cases of emergency too. We work with GOs, NGOs and the private sector and others to really find ways of solution for challenges that the poor face in Africa.”
He further said that Ethiopia is a very important country for the Foundation. “We have made tremendous investments in this country. We are witnessing that our efforts are bearing fruits in Ethiopia.”
The Foundation’s agriculture investment venture covers a large swath of the country. It is active in almost all of the agricultural zones in the country. Specially, the Foundation zooms its area of focus to the belts that promise bumper crops, be it Teff or maize. The Foundation fosters researches, creates market linkages for farmers and support Agricultural Extension Programmes, among others, he said.
“We believe investing in Ethiopia pays. We have seen that firsthand. We think our investment in Ethiopia is a feasible one and it is being attended by a change in the life style of those we care about,” he said.
The next 15 years will see major breakthroughs for most people in poor countries. These breakthroughs will be driven by innovation in technology — ranging from new vaccines and hardier crops to much cheaper smart phones and tablets — and innovations could help in making the gadgets accessible to more people.
- Gates Foundation Country Representative to
- Ethiopia and Africa Union (AU) Haddis Tadesse
- Grants half bln. USD in three phases
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