Business & Economy

Bill Gates Honoured Apolitically

The world’s wealthiest man, whose charity outfit, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, gives Ethiopia more than 250 millions dollars in aid, was in town last week, where he was honored with an honorary degree from the Addis Abeba University (AAU). “I never have a formal degree,” he told members of the media in the same afternoon. “It’s a nice acknowledgement.” Bill Gates was not, however, as forthcoming to other issues such as governance, human rights and democratic records of governments in countries where his foundation is active. He remained illusive in addressing these issues raised by journalists he met during a briefing held at the Sheraton, on July 24, 2014. Haddis Tadesse, the Foundation’s first country representative in Ethiopia, was alongside Gates at the Sheraton last week. “We aren’t picky when it comes to supporting children,” Gates said. “We don’t blame them for the things that go wrong. Children in every country have the right to vaccine, for instance, including North korea.” While emphasizing his Foundation’s apolitical approach in helping countries in areas of health and agriculture, he credited Ethiopia for “standing tall” on its pro-poor budget allocation. “No government is perfect,” said Gates. “Not even in rich countries such as the United States.”

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