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Melinda and I are lucky to have Dangote as friend- Bill Gates

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said he and his wife are lucky to have Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, as a friend and partner in battling development issues in Africa.

In a note via his blog, Gates said Dangote Foundation is the largest organization in sub-Saharan Africa tackling health and education.

The world’s richest man for 18 years also highlighted the similarities between himself and Dangote — both in business and charity.

He said, ‘That first meeting sparked the beginning of a fruitful friendship. In 2016, our foundations announced a joint, five-year $100 million commitment to reducing malnutrition in Nigeria.

“Malnutrition is the greatest health inequity in the world. It’s responsible for nearly half of all under 5 deaths in Nigeria (and around the world). Even if you survive to adulthood, your chances of dying are much higher, and your quality of life is greatly reduced.

“One of the ways our foundations are working together to fight malnutrition is through food fortification. Kids often become malnourished when they don’t get enough micronutrients—vitamins and minerals—to digest their food properly. One way to correct this is by adding micronutrients to the food that families—especially those from low-income households—are purchasing every day.

‘When you go to a grocery store in the U.S., a lot of food already has this fortification. Think iodized salt, or milk that comes with extra vitamin D and calcium. By introducing additional micronutrients to the food people are already eating, you can improve health without changing any habits. Our foundations are now working together to find other staple foods and condiments that could be used to deliver more micronutrients to more people in Nigeria, like fortified bouillon cubes. (I talked with Aliko about this at our Goalkeepers event in New York a couple days ago.

“Aliko Dangote understands this, and that’s why he’s committed to making progress in his home country. Melinda and I are lucky to have him as a partner (and friend!) in improving health.”

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