Bill Gates urges Africa to learn from China in People’s Daily op-ed
Gates praises China’s healthcare innovation and agricultural development
People’s Daily, the main mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, has a special columnist.
Microsoft founder-turned-philanthropist Bill Gates wrote an article published in Chinese on Monday, hailing China as a model of success for African nations.
“Everytime I visit China, I can feel tremendous changes underway -- whether it’s the towering skyscrapers or construction sites in progress,” he wrote.
The piece comes just before the start of the triennial China-Africa summit in Beijing, with Gates highlighting two areas where he thinks African countries could learn from China.
“The first is how to eradicate the diseases and poverty that still exist in many regions in Africa. The second is how to unleash African countries’ potential in agriculture,” he explained.
The Seattle-based magnate, with a net worth of more than US$95 billion, said that China’s agricultural productivity has grown about 4 to 6 times faster than sub-Saharan countries over the past few decades.
This isn’t the first time that Gates has praised China’s development model. He also spoke on a similar topic in an interview with the People’s Daily last March.
He was also elected a foreign member of Chinese Academy of Engineering last year.
Since stepping down as chairman of Microsoft in 2014, Gates has become one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. Many of his philanthropic efforts with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation take place in Africa.
Meanwhile, China has been pouring billions of dollars of aid and loans into Africa as part of its Belt and Road initiative, even as critics question if Beijing might be pushing African governments into a “debt trap” in a bid to gain diplomatic influence over the continent.
On Monday, President Xi Jinping said that “China does not interfere in Africa's internal affairs and does not impose its own will on Africa.”