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Bill Gates on Nigeria’s Next Generation of Innovators

At a forum with students and young innovators from Nigeria and across Africa, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discussed how science and innovation can accelerate positive change and contribute to a brighter future for Africa. Gates, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time since 2018, praised Nigeria’s youth and many Nigerian partners whom the Gates Foundation has worked with for more than a  decade. These include scientists who are scaling up new interventions that save mothers and babies, researchers who are helping smallholder farmers thrive in the face of climate change and grow more nutritious foods, and companies that are expanding access to digital financial tools. Gates also stressed that progress had not been equally distributed. , highlighting poor digital access for many Nigerians and inconsistent availability of health services, education, and employment – especially for women. In Nigeria, the gender gap in employment has increased 25% in the last five years. Men are twice as likely as women to have mobile money accounts.