The co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates has said that investment and participation of the smartest young talent in Nigeria was key to the growth of the economy
In a conversation with Bosun Tijani, CEO of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria at the Pan-African Youth Forum 2023, the global philanthropist and technology leader who was in Nigeria last week reiterated that the voice of the Nigerian youth was critical to ensure that the resources of the country could be shifted to investments in infrastructure, health and education.
Responding to a question from the Co-Creation Hub CEO about his framework for determining what to focus on, Gates, according to a statement spoke of identifying the huge divide between richer and developing countries and limited resources going into healthcare as a key factor in what he decided to prioritise. He also spoke about being able to use his unique skill sets in organizing talented teams to work with people with expertise towards delivering impact.
Tijani, in follow-up remarks, raised a point about the ability of entrepreneurs to deliver impact, while also being able to make revenue. The Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation responded that he believed that if young people were able to apply their strengths, educate themselves and make contributions in the spaces they were passionate about, the path to impact would reveal itself.
The conversation also touched on the impact of AI on education, health,manufacturing and governance. Gates provided some insight on his personal experience of AI and examples of how it could positively impact different sectors including delivering efficiency in government services and processes. He suggested that the big win for the continent would be in the application of AI including adapting to languages and unique datasets in healthcare that catered for African realities.
Following the session with Gates, there was also a panel with Oluwatosin Olaseinde of Money Africa, Preston Ideh of Stears Insights and Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson of Health Tracka, 3 young Nigerian innovators building novel solutions in financial literacy, information and health care. The discussion, also moderated by Tijani, focussed on understanding the challenges they faced in their startup journey and recommendations on how to scale support for entrepreneurs like them.
The African Youth Innovation Forum was organized by Lagos Business School and Co-Creation Hub Nigeria as part of the visit of Bill Gates.