our work in Africa

We believe that solutions to Africa’s greatest challenges can come from within Africa. Our role is to support African partners whose bold ideas and creative approaches have the potential to save lives, improve health, and help farming families all across the continent. We devote half of the foundation’s resources to projects in Africa and to helping African countries learn from one another.

A Message from the Director

In Africa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is most often associated with efforts to combat malaria and polio. These have indeed been important priorities for us over the past 15 years. But our work in Africa is much more far-reaching, addressing a multitude of challenges in the areas of health, agriculture, and financial services for the poor.

We work with partners in more than 45 African countries, ensuring far greater impact than our physical presence might suggest. We maintain just three offices in Africa—in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa, the countries where we devote the largest share of our resources and expertise. We also have representatives in six other countries—Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, and Burkina Faso.

Our modest presence in these countries gives us a clearer understanding of local needs and each country's ability to support solutions for itself. It also helps us become better partners and devise more effective strategies that align with national development goals. At the same time, we fully support the efforts of African countries to take charge of their own development agendas and enlist partners who can help them achieve their goals.

As the director of the foundation’s Africa team, I invite you to explore our work across the continent and join us in working together to improve the lives of Africa’s people.

Dr. Ayo Ajayi
Director, Africa Team