Bill Gates to deliver Mandela lecture in Pretoria

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi campus on July 17‚ the eve of Mandela Day.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said Gates’ theme would be “Living Together“.

The lecture is one of the foundation’s flagship programmes to honour founder Mandela and raise topical issues affecting South Africa‚ Africa and the rest of the world.

The foundation said in a statement: “It encourages both local and international dialogue – often about difficult subjects – as a means to address the multiple and complex challenges that face the world today. The lectures are addressed by speakers who have made a significant contribution in their field of expertise.

“‘Living Together’ highlights the need for a new social pact across the globe to end protracted conflict‚ overcome intolerance and prejudice‚ improve access to healthcare and education‚ and reduce poverty and inequality.”

Gates‚ 60‚ co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation‚ said: “It’s an incredible honour to be invited to deliver this year’s Nelson Mandela Lecture. President Mandela will be remembered for generations to come for his courage‚ his vision‚ and his relentless pursuit of equality and justice.

 “I believe‚ as he did‚ that progress is possible. We can help people everywhere live healthier‚ more productive lives — if we make sure innovation reaches everyone who needs it. I can’t think of a better venue for discussing these urgent issues than the Nelson Mandela Lecture.”

Professor Njabulo Ndebele‚ chairman of the foundation board‚ said: “The Nelson Mandela Foundation shares Mr Gates’ commitment to improving the quality of life for people around the world. We know that the promise of a better life is possible through improving access and quality of education‚ health and opportunity. These are causes that Mr Gates continues to advance and support. We are honoured to have him to share his insights on the most challenging issues of our time.”

Previous speakers include former US president Bill Clinton‚ Nobel Peace Laureate archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu‚ and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

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