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Bill Gates visits Kuwait for full day activities

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

KUWAIT: Bill Gates visits Kuwait today to participate in a youth dialogue session and a meeting of Abdulrahman Al-Sumait board of trustees, and will be honored with Informatics Medal for his decades-long information revolution contributions.
Gates, visiting the country at the invitation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, would be participating in dialogue session with Kuwaiti youths, organized by the Amiri Diwan, over “Youth and International Development.”

The dialogue session is within His Highness the Amir’s patronage of youth activities and the development of their skills, Dr Yusuf Al-Ibrahim, Amiri Diwan Advisor, said in a statement to KUNA earlier. He said the session would inspire youth over importance of development and voluntary action. The Amiri Diwan has already invited the youth to register online to participate in the dialogue session, due in Bayan Palace.

Al-Sumait Prize
Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would also take part in a meeting of the Board of Trustees of Abdulrahman Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, where members would examine nominees for the 2015 prize, the first since its launch two years ago.

His Highness the Amir, during the November 2013 Africa-Arab Summit in Kuwait, announced the prize after late Dr Sumait, a Kuwaiti medical doctor who dedicated his life to raising funds to support humanitarian and charitable projects in fields of health, education and food for the less fortunate in Africa.

The board of trustees, chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, will discuss in their meeting in Bayan Palace how the $1 million prize be awarded whether to an individual, an institution or more than one person.

Among the board of trustees members are Abdullateef Al-Hamad, Chairman and Director General of Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director General of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).

The subject for the 2015 prize is health, and people applying for the prize should submit their research about communicable diseases prevalent in Africa such as Ebola, Malaria and HIV. It also includes provision of medical staff, medicine, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, as well as provision of medical centers.

The prize – a cash sum, a gold medal, shield and certificate of recognition is to be awarded to individuals or institutions whose research projects or initiatives made significant advancement within field of health.

The prize has two other fields: food security and education, the former aims at development of agriculture and provides solutions to environment problems hindering agricultural production development. The second field aims at providing basic and applied education, and proliferation of schools and provision of teachers and trainers.

Sumait (1947-2013) dedicated his life to helping poor and orphans in remote and destitute areas across the African continent. He spent over three decades of his life in his philanthropic work in the African continent, participating in providing care for thousands of orphans, the drilling of around 9,500 artesian wells and the establishment of 860 schools, four universities and 204 Islamic centers.

In an article published last month, Gates paid tribute for Sumait for the “remarkable man he was” although he did not have a chance to meet him. “A physician, Islamic scholar and philanthropist, Dr Al Sumait embodied Kuwait’s tradition of generosity and concern for people in need, which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon underscored last year in recognizing His Highness the Amir (Sheikh) Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as a global ‘humanitarian leader,'” he said.

‘Informatics Medal’
Meanwhile, Gates would be honored by His Highness Sheikh Salem Al-Ali AlSabah Informatics Award with its ‘Informatics Medal’ for his contributions to information technology over the past four decades, and for standing behind innovations that led to the global information revolution. His Highness the Amir will decorate Gates with the Informatics Medal at Bayan Palace Monday, the Award added in a statement last Thursday.

The Award’s Board of Trustees selected Gates for his achievements that contributed to promoting global knowledge performance, after he manifested great skills and interest in computer programming when he was only 13. In 1975, at the age of 20, Gates and his friend Paul Allen founded Microsoft, that came to be the world’s largest software business in a short period, the statement added.

It noted that Informatics Medal is the highest prize offered by the Sheikh Salem Al-Ali AlSabah Informatics Award to a public figure or a juridical person that has played a prominent role in human development. – KUNA

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