Bill Gates: Innovation to nearly eradicate poor countries by 2035

Jan 21, 2014
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Technology comes in many varieties, and though the left arm may be doing something vastly different than the right arm, both intersect at the same point -- the human element, where for better or worse technological innovations alter our lives. Many innovations have both taken place and grown in the tech industry's recent past that promise to shape our future, from 3D-printed eye cells as a potential cure for blindness to virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In part because of these innovations, the poverty in present-day poor countries will more or less be eradicated by the year 2035, says Bill Gates.

In an annual letter published today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates expressed optimism that innovation taking place in rich countries will serve to pull poor countries upwards, doing so by 2035. Based on the present definition of what makes a country poor, says Gates, he thinks there will be "almost no poor countries left in the world."

"Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. Countries will learn from their most productive neighbors and benefit from innovations like new vaccines, better seeds, and the digital revolution. Their labor forces, buoyed by expanded education, will attract new investments." He goes on to say that almost 90-percent of countries will have income higher than found in present-day India.

One could debate about how digital and technological innovations will help shape this future. Google's Project Loon, for example, aims to bring Internet to emerging markets where it is either entirely unavailable or beyond the means of most residents. Mr. Gates has been vocal about this, saying it won't help in areas that are present core issues, such as malaria. Fortunately, innovation in vaccines are another area showing ample promise.

SOURCE: Economic Times


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