Bill Gates took to the stage at the University of Pretoria to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela for the 14th annual Mandela Lecture for Mandela Day. In his heart-warming Mandela Lecture, he discussed how a brighter future for Africa lies in a healthy and educated youth. Bill Gates also touched on this year’s theme which is Living Together with a focus on those who gave their lives for the Struggle for Liberation.

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The youth must be given an opportunity to thrive. We must clear away the obstacles that keep people from growing. By 2050, 40 percent of the world’s children will live on this continent.

In his Mandela Lecture, the tech legend continued to discuss the challenges which HIV and TB wage in South Africa, saying that people need to continue to fight against HIV/Aids, otherwise the hard-earned gains in Africa will be reserved, as high-birth rates continue. Bill Gates pledged to donate over $5 billion to Africa in the next five years, of which health and education will be a main focus. So far Bill Gates and his wife’s charity, called the Bill and Melinda Foundation, have invested over $9 billion dollars in Africa, towards health and education.

During his Mandela Lecture, he went on to discuss the importance of education in South Africa saying that South Africa is “blessed” to have some of the best universities in Africa, and that a good education is the best opportunity we have to give young people to make the best of their lives.

Healthy and educated young people are eager to make their way in the world. Our duty is to invest in the young people and our duty is to do it now. There is so much work that still needs to be done for us all to be able to live together.

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