Bill Gates visits prime minister and royal palace


The world’s richest human was in Brussels this week to talk about the work of his foundation, which focuses on health care in the developing world

Forgotten diseases

Bill Gates, the American tech entrepreneur who created Microsoft to become the richest man in the world, visited Brussels this week, where he met with both prime minister Charles Michel and the king and queen. Gates, who now occupies himself full-time with philanthropy and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is on a world tour to promote innovation in health care, particularly in the developing world.

Gates and Michel were joined by Alexander De Croo, who is the federal minister of both development co-operation and the digital agenda. “Research into neglected diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis is primordial,” Gates said during a round-table event organised by Friends of Europe.

He also praised Europe for its rapid response to the Ebola epidemic and its important role in research into the disease. And he expressed his foundation’s focus on neglected diseases, which hit the very poorest of the poor, leading to seven million deaths a year from a lack of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Gates Foundation has been sponsoring research into these diseases for nine years and has discovered a downward trend in investment by governments, while private R&D spending has risen.  

Later in the day, Gates was received by King Filip and Queen Mathilde at the royal palace. 

Photo: Bill Gates at the Shaping the World event organised by Friends of Europe

©Thierry Roge/BELGA