The Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates, has said investments from and the participation of youths are crucial to the growth of the Nigerian economy,

He stated this during a conversation with the Chief Executive Officer of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Dr ‘Bosun Tijani, at the Pan-African Youth Forum 2023.

According to the co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, the voice of youths in the country was critical to ensure that the resources were shifted to investments in infrastructure, health, and education.

He added that if young people applied their strengths, educated themselves, and made contributions in the spaces they were passionate about, the path to impact would reveal itself.

Responding to a question from Tijani about his framework for determining what to focus on, Gates spoke about how identifying the divide between rich and developing countries, and the limited resources going into healthcare informed what he prioritised.

During the conversation, which covered the impact of Artificial Intelligence on education, health, manufacturing, and governance, Gate noted that Africa would benefit by applying AI to languages and unique datasets in healthcare that cater to the continent’s realities.

According to a statement, the African Youth Innovation Forum was organised by the Lagos Business School and Co-Creation Hub Nigeria to form part of Gates’s visit to Nigeria.

The statement read in parts, “Following the session with Mr Gates, there was also a panel with Oluwatosin Olaseinde of Money Africa, Preston Ideh of Stears Insights, and Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson of Health Tracka, three young Nigerian innovators building novel solutions in financial literacy, information, and health care.

“The discussion, also moderated by Tijani, focused on understanding the challenges they faced in their startup journey and recommendations on how to scale support for entrepreneurs like them.”

Gates is currently on a tour of Niger Republic and Nigeria to discuss health and development challenges with leaders and partners. He recently met with the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, in the company of the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote.

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