By Nita Karume,
January 25, 2018,
Co-founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Melinda Gates is in Kenya to launch a technology initiative. The new initiative promotes the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence with a view to reducing poverty. The initiative is dubbed Pathways for Prosperity: A new Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development.
According to a released statement, the commission aims to spark new thinking on how developing countries can best harness new technologies. This includes robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, nanotechnology, and blockchain. The purpose of the same is inclusive growth as well as effective government.
Melinda will hold a discussion with the commission’s two other co-chairs – Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Strive Masiyiwa. They are Indonesia’s finance minister and Zimbabwean billionaire philanthropist and founder of Econet, respectively.
The new commission will explore what technology can do for jobs and economic opportunities in developing countries. It will also investigate means of problem-solving as well as enhancement of economic opportunities through harnessed technologies.
The commission will hold meetings and events around the world over the next two years. Each event will focus on different thematic issues and countries. The findings will then get published to help governments, businesses and civil society groups take advantage of opportunities that technologies present developing countries.
While in Kenya, Melinda will also meet with government leaders to learn how counties are prioritizing women’s health in their budgets. She will also take part in a roundtable with the Challenge Initiative. This is an initiative that deals with urban reproductive health with an aims to increase access to family planning services in Kenya.
Melinda will also attend an event hosted by non-profit organization The Moth, featuring personal stories by advocates from across the continent. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta will join her. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest more than the US $5Bn across Africa in the next five years.