Dangote: Bill Gates made me focus on health issues

Aliko Dangote, chairman, Dangote Group and Aliko Dangote Foundation, has revealed what is most surprising to him about Bill Gates, president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

At the Goalkeepers Summit in New York on Wednesday, Gates and Dangote were asked what they have found to be most surprising about each other.

In his response, Dangote said before he met Bill Gates, he always thought was a “very, very tough guy” until he had an encounter with him.

“When I started my foundation in 1994, I never realised we had this massive challenge in the health sector,” Dangote said.

“Really, it was mind-boggling when we had this agreement to collaborate with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and that really opened my eyes to realise that there are a lot of challenges in health.

“Honestly one of the things that made me very shocked and surprised is that at that time I hadn’t had the opportunity of meeting Bill but meeting Bill changed me into a different person.

“This is somebody that has nothing to do with us in Africa or Nigeria but he is putting his money and his soul, everything. He is very committed to helping humanity and that really surprises.

“It surprises me a lot and I realised that he is a simple person and I never knew Bill would be this simple. He is a very soft-spoken guy and kind-hearted. It is very difficult to find people like Bill in this world.

“Bill, we are very grateful and I can assure you that with my association with Bill, my only prayer is that in the next few years, I will try and give my chunk of wealth to charity.”

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