World renowned richest man, co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will on the eve of Mandela Day, July 17, deliver the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi campus.
The theme he will be speaking on as revealed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation would be “Living Together“.
Former dignitaries who have had the honour of being speakers at the event include former US President Bill Clinton‚ Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu‚ and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The annual lecture is a platform for the Nelson Mandela Foundation to honour its founder Mandela and at the same time raise topical issues affecting South Africa‚ Africa and the world at large.
A statement released by the foundation said of the lecture: “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.”
The 60-year-old richest man in the world‚ sees the invitation as an honour and shares the sentiment and idea of using the lecture as an avenue to reach out to the world“
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.”
The chairman of the foundation board Professor Njabulo Ndebele‚ commended Bill Gates’ commitment to make a change as they look forward to hearing him share his ideas.
“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.”