Addis Ababa, July 24, 2014 (GSN) - Addis Ababa University conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters on Mr. William Henry Gates, the richest man in the world.
At convocation in the University, attended by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom, and the Speaker of the House of Federation, Kassa Tekleberhane, as well as Ministers, Ambassadors, members of the University Senate, and staff and students, Dr.Admasu Tsegaye, President of Addis Ababa University, read the citation for the degree.
He noted Bill Gates' business acumen and his vision for software which had inspired innovations that have improved the lives of many. He underlined Mr. Gates's commitment to corporate philanthropy and his creation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000.
The citation notes this is now the world's largest philanthropic organization focusing on reducing poverty and improving health and economic opportunity in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia as well as on giving young people in the United States access to a good education. Since its foundation, it has contributed more than US$30 billion in support of charitable initiatives around the world.
The citation says "what you are doing for Africa makes you a special friend and advocate of the afflicted". It notes the work done for "agricultural development, financial services for the poor, primary health care, water and sanitation, HIV, malaria, polio and vaccines delivery. It enables more people, especially women and youth, to benefit from the economic opportunities of the continent." It concludes by stressing that "Your generous support for the continent is making a difference in the lives of many people in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Senegal, Malawi, Tanzania, Nigeria and Zambia", as well as in Ethiopia.