By Kato Mivule
This past week Bill Gates surprised his audience at the TED – Technology Entertainment and Design annual Conference in California by releasing a swarm of harmless mosquitoes into the audience.
Bill Gates was sending a message to the audience that they should have empathy and ‘feel the pain’ that folks in ‘Third World’ nations face with the plight of Malaria.
Among Tech Executives, Bill Gates is one of the best Ambassadors we have so far concerned with helping alleviate Poverty, Diseases and Illiteracy in Developing Nations, and employing technology and philanthropy in the process.
If there was anything good from this conference, it was Bill Gates driving the point home that Technology should not be detached from reality.
I give Bill Gates a plus for this despite his ‘high priced’ software costs with strings attached on unending license renewals at Microsoft, which makes it look like a ‘what Bill Gates gives, a Bill Gates takes away’ venture.
When Bill Gates gives a Million Dollars in Grants to fight Malaria to None Governmental Organizations – NGOs in Africa, they in turn have to pay huge amounts of money in purchasing Software applications from Microsoft not to mention annual renewal costs which they get at reduced prices…then, more mosquitoes continue to bite more Africans…
Bill Gates did drive the point home to many of the Tech Executives who seem to live outside reality and their technological ambitions seem to be disconnected from the many social ills like Poverty, Diseases, and illiteracy faced in much of the poor parts of the world.
However, Bill Gates might have sent mosquitoes into the Audience at the TED Conference in California and many of the Tech Executives might have felt the pain of mosquito bites, but surprisingly many of African Executives are far placed away from reality of the mosquito bites that their people face in Africa.
I wish Bill Gates would carry a larger container of Mosquitoes and release them in a conference of African Leaders, Presidents and Dictators, most probably the African Union – AU, who of recent went out of their mind to elect Dictator Gadaffi as President of the AU.
These are the folks who best need not just harmless mosquito bites but those infected with Malaria so that they would get the feel of the plight of their own people who suffer from Malaria.
Most recently, funds meant to fight Malaria in Uganda from the Global Fund were squandered and stolen by High ranking Ugandan Government officials and as such a number of lives lost. Up to this day no one has been sent to jail for stealing money meant to help fight Malaria.
It is such folks who best deserve a swarm of Mosquito Bites from Bill Gates, but this time mosquitoes infected with Malaria. It is Africa’s Corrupt Leaders who need the best reality check.
Bill Gates Releases Mosquitoes at TED – BBC
Bill Gates Unleashes Mosquitoes on Tech’s Elite – Information Week
Global Funds Stolen – All Africa
Libya’s Qaddafi Is Elected Chairman of African Union