Gates Earmarks USD 30M for AI-Powered Health Systems in Africa

Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, called the attention of the world to neglected diseases such as Malaria, TB, AIDS in Africa. Based on the estimates of the Gates Foundation, there is currently a funding gap of at least USD 3 billion yearly to address these health issues properly.

Showing the way, the Gates Foundation has earmarked some USD 30 million to support #AI-powered systems to improve health projects in Africa. Currently, only 2% of funding actually go towards fighting diseases affecting the world’s poorest. The plan was made public during the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting 2023 in Dakar.

“It is a step towards ensuring the benefits of AI are relevant, affordable, and accessible to everyone—particularly those in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)—and that these critical tools are developed safely, ethically, and equitably.”

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

As an interesting case study, five Kenyan startups recently secured funding worth KSH 71 million (USD 0.5M) to scale up their innovative app which leverages #ChatGPT to provide health education and improve the customer experience for healthcare.

The Gates Foundation hopes that more funding will go towards such innovations which can have a positive impact on the state of health around the world, but especially in underserved communities in Africa. The prevalence of smartphones and the propagation of #HealthTech can serve as a powerful combination to bridge the digital divide and enhance healthcare in Africa.