The Guardian

Bill Gates Gets Poor Marks for Ignoring Education

Editor's note: In a post to the Guardian's Poverty Matters Blog, Kevin Watkins and Justin W. van Fleet argue that the Cannes G-20 Summit was a missed opportunity to demonstrate how education is an essential component part of the development agenda, particularly with respect to reducing global poverty.

You've got to hand it to Bill Gates. The eurozone might be going up in smoke, financial markets are teetering on the brink, and international trade tensions are mounting, but the philanthropist gets prime time at the G20 summit in Cannes to present a report on global poverty. Pity about some of the content.

Education in the world's poorest countries does not figure high on Bill Gates's list of development priorities. The report to the G20 has just one throwaway sentence on education: "Evidence suggests that social enterprises such as private health clinics and schools have the potential to pay back the original capital invested — and sometimes provide market rates of return." 

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