Philanthropist and entrepreneur Bill Gates will use the platform of the 14th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture to lay out his vision of how to create a better world for all when he addresses the issue of “Living Together”, the theme of this year’s Lecture.
The Lecture is hosted in association with the University of Pretoria at their Mamelodi campus. It is dedicated to the Mamelodi families who lost loved ones during the apartheid years. The Lecture honours their contribution to the struggle for democracy.
Speaking in a pre-recorded video message, Gates said he was honoured to have been invited to contribute to the conversation on how to create a better world.
Gates highlights the need for a new social pact across the globe to end protracted conflict, overcome intolerance and prejudice, improve access to healthcare and education, and reduce poverty and inequality.
The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is the Foundation’s flagship programmes to honour its founder, Nelson Mandela, and to raise topical issues affecting South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. It encourages both local and international dialogue – often about difficult subjects – as a means to address the multiple and complex challenges that face the world today. The Lectures are addressed by speakers who have made a significant contribution in their field of expertise.
Gates said the founding President of a democratic South Africa would be “remembered for generations to come for his courage, his vision and his relentless pursuit of equality and justice”.
He said Mandela’s legacy “lives on as a reminder that it’s possible to solve big challenges”.
“Previous speakers in the lecture series have shared thought-provoking insights about how we can create a better world envisioned by Nelson Mandela. I’m privileged to add my voice to the conversation this year. For hundreds of millions of people life is better today than it was a generation ago, but there is so much more we can, and must do, to make that a reality for people everywhere,” he said.
Explaining the choice of Gates, Nelson Mandela Foundation board member, Nikiwe Bikitsha said, “Gates has a significant impact on the issues facing the poor and marginalised. I look forward to engaging with Gates views on how we continue to work collaboratively to improve the lives of all people through the extraordinary efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
Dr Ayo Ajayi, director of the Africa Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “Bill coming for the Mandela lecture and the AIDS conference is an indication of how important both South Africa and Africa is to the foundation. The Mandela lecture will show Bill’s thinking about the role Africa can and is already playing in its own development. We hope the lecture will stimulate more debate about philanthropy in Africa and Bill’s approach to development”.
Professor Tinyiko Maluleke, Advisor to the Principal and Vice Chancellor: University of Pretoria said, “Partnering the Nelson Mandela Foundation in hosting the 2016 Lecture is a special honour for the University of Pretoria. We are especially delighted that this event will take place at our Mamelodi Campus, located in Mamelodi, a township with impeccable struggle credentials. In hosting this lecture, the University hopes to make its own contribution in keeping alive the memory of the greatest statesman in South Africa and one of the greatest in the world.”
1. The lecture begins at 5pm on Sunday 17 July. It will be broadcast live on SABC 2, channel 404 on DSTV as well webcast on nelsonmandela.org; up.ac.za; gatesfoundation.org.
2. The lecture will be broadcast live through Facebook Live on the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/Nelsonmandelacentreofmemory). With Facebook Live you can use your phone to share a moment instantly with the people you care about. This means your friends, family or fans can be there with you, and you can respond to their comments and see their reactions.
3. For a copy of Bill Gates’ video address and pictures go to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ljzq0c0twqxvbu7/AAAAenpz7yaJLp6Rv24ST1kWa?dl=0.
4. List of Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture speakers:
- 2003 Former US President, Bill Clinton
- 2004 Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- 2005 Nobel laureate, Wangari Maathai
- 2006 Former President Thabo Mbeki
- 2007 Former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan
- 2008 Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
- 2009 Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus
- 2010 Chilean-American author, activist and professor of Literature and Latin-American Studies, Ariel Dorfman
- 2011 Director of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, Ismail Serageldin
- 2012 Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson
- 2013 Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim
- 2014 President Michelle Bachelet of Chile
- 2015 Economist, Thomas Piketty
5. Transcript of Bill Gates video address:
“Hello I’m honoured to be giving this year’s annual lecture of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Nelson Mandela will be remembered for generations to come for his courage, his vision and his relentless pursuit of equality and justice. Melinda and I had the privilege of meeting President Mandela several times. We were deeply inspired by his fight against Apartheid, but we personally knew him best for his extraordinary courage in the fight against HIV and Aids at a time when many people were still reluctant to even speak about it.
Today, his legacy lives on as a reminder that it’s possible to solve big challenges. Previous speakers in the lecture series have shared thought-provoking insights about how we can create a better world envisioned by Nelson Mandela. I’m privileged to add my voice to the conversation this year. For hundreds of millions of people life is better today than it was a generation ago, but there is so much more we can, and must do, to make that a reality for people everywhere.
I look forward to coming to South Africa in July and sharing my thoughts at this year’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.”
Via African Media Agency (AMA)