One billion people have been lifted out of poverty in the last 20 years. But rapid population growth in the poorest countries, especially in Africa, is challenging future progress. This was the conclusion of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which published its annual report on progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 on September 18.
Guest of Europe 1 Wednesday in the morning of Nikos Aliagas, the billionaire called on rich countries and philanthropists directed their financial aid to sub-Saharan Africa, on the occasion of the UN General Assembly.
Focus on sub-Saharan Africa. “The progress we have made is fantastic, but most of it has been made in Asia. What was very surprised when we prepared this report is how much extreme poverty will be concentrated by 2050 on a single continent, sub-Saharan Africa,” Bill Gates said on our antenna.
“I knew it was the trend, but I was amazed myself: 90% of extreme poverty will be there! It’s like when your good students leave, and you still have those who have the greatest difficulties,” says the founder of Microsoft. In detail, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation report indicates that more than 40% of the world’s extremely poor people will be counted in only two countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria.
The role of philanthropists… and that of governments. Anyone who has already invested billions of dollars in international aid with the creation of his foundation in 2000 is well aware of the role of the “super-rich” in this area. “But even if philanthropy can play an important role, the development aid budgets of Europe, the United States, and Japan are essential. It is 90% of the aid,” he emphasizes.
However, the billionaire believes that “philanthropy can help to find new ideas.” “So I encourage people who are super prosperous: let’s do more philanthropy! And let’s focus on the poorest people in the world. I think there will be more and more philanthropy, but it will not replace government dollars.”
Reduced migration. For some time now, these same governments have been faced with a large influx of migrants, which they sometimes try to curb through strict policies. Hence the need, according to Bill Gates, to help poor countries directly. “What is obvious is that if you have stable countries, they will be less of a source of migratory pressure. It’s long-term, it won’t be immediate. But if we can help sub-Saharan Africa improve like India or China, then these migration problems will be much less acute,” he concludes.