As the UN general assembly prepares to meet in New York next week, the annual Goalkeepers Report makes clear that most of the 17 sustainable development goals agreed by member countries in 2015, a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet”, will miss their 2030 deadline. Bill Gates fears generosity towards Africa’s needs could be affected by “costs and distraction” from the Ukraine war. Another distraction during the Covid pandemic was that the 66-year-old Gates became a target for conspiracy theorists. Gates has what has been described as an “evangelical” attitude towards gene editing technology. “Africa needs to feed its rural populations, it needs to feed its urban populations, and when you get food shortages, it’s not just the malnutrition and potential starvation which is bad, you also get incredible instability and that feeds into not being able to build infrastructure or run your education system.” The Gates Foundation has shifted emphasis towards farming in recent years – something that has attracted criticism and controversy. Some African voices have expressed concern about not having a space at the table for discussions, while small-scale farmers fear that their environmental worries might be overlooked in the push towards big agriculture and corporate, science-led interventions.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN