Human Development

In the face of rampant global inequality, are Bill and Melinda Gates afraid of fighting the challenge?

3 min read

Oxfam released a 2018 report that painted a gory picture of where the world is headed with regards to extreme inequality.

An excerpt from the Oxfam website says, “Our economy is broken. Hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top. There are more billionaires than ever before, and their fortunes have grown to record levels. Meanwhile, the world’s poorest got even poorer. Many governments are fueling this inequality crisis. They are under taxing corporations and wealthy individuals, yet underfunding vital public services like healthcare and education. These policies hit the poor hardest. The human costs are huge, with women and girls suffering the most”.

Was Oxfam dramatic in their report and how close to the truth are they? Has global inequality increased or decreased? Given your answers to these questions, what do you propose the world does to correct the imbalances?

What I know for sure is that, for any solution to be sustainable, people from all walks of life should collaborate in solving the problem. The solution should include people from across the wealth spectrum, the poorest man should sit next to the richest man and discuss how best they can find optimal solutions to bridge the wealth divide.

In Africa we say, “it takes a village to raise a child”, and in the case of global inequality,  it takes everyone to solve the problem.

Bill and Melinda Gates are one of the richest couple to ever walk on planet earth. They have achieved in business and have the option to sit comfortably and enjoy the fruits of their labour. Contrary to popular belief that wealthy people are self-centred and live for self-aggrandisement, Bill and Melinda have taken the road less travelled and devoted their lives to solving extreme global inequality.

Their efforts have seen them in all four corners of globe working with various partners in conquering the challenges faced as a result of poverty. The couple has poured billions of dollars in education and health in a bid to solve the hardest problems of our times like malaria among others.

In the face of rampant global inequality, Bill and Melinda Gates have shown immense courage and faith in their fight for equity. To scale their operations they have searched for partners who have the same values and are solving similarly difficult problems in their communities.

Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) they have set up an army of Goalkeepers who are on a mission to ensure that the 17 Global Goals are achieved. These Goalkeepers are movers and shakers in their chosen fields and are contributing immensely to health and education among other challenges.

Goalkeepers are dedicated to accelerating progress towards the Global Goals: using powerful stories, data, and partnerships to highlight progress achieved, hold governments accountable and bring together a new generation of leaders to address the world’s major challenges.

Whether the Oxfam report was accurate or not, Bill and Melinda’s work is cut out for them and their army of Goalkeepers. The good thing is that, anyone and everyone can be Goalkeeper. One can be a changemaker within one’s sphere of influence.

As a tradition started in 2017, as world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly in September, the Gates Foundation will be hosting the third annual Goalkeepers event in New York City on September 24 and 25. This year, Goalkeepers will focus on the challenge of fighting global inequality to ensure no one is left behind.

In previous years, speakers at Goalkeepers have included President Barack Obama, President Emmanuel Macron, and Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; Nobel Peace Prize winners and inspiring young leaders such as Malala Yousafzai, Nadia Murad, and Trevor Noah; and musical performers Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, and Fatoumata Diawara. We will announce the 2019 speaker line up soon.

Watch last year’s highlights here.

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