Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says President Trump’s “America First” message is dangerous and could cause long term harm to the United States’s influence in Africa, noting that focusing less on Africa allows competitors like China to expand its influence across the continent.
“There is a danger that if you think ‘America First’ too much [more] than the long-term benefit of African stability and good will in Africa, in absolute or even relative to competitors like China, you tend to devalue that,” Gates told Bloomberg News.
Gates said Trump should focus attention on aiding countries with health crises.
“That’s that area where I’ve chosen to take the wealth that was created through Microsoft,” Gates said from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “I understand that money can be very well spent. I’m in there saying let’s keep up the good work.”
The Hill added:
Trump is leaving for Davos on Wednesday night. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that Trump will be advancing his “America First” agenda in his Davos speech.
Gates, the second-richest person in the world, has spent more than $12 billion in the region to combat malaria and tuberculosis through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is gearing up to spend $83.6 million in Central America with the Carlos Slim Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank, according to Bloomberg.
Gates has been critical of Trump’s policies in the past, saying he was “disappointed” after Trump neglected to fund vaccinations in his first budget proposal after the pair discussed it in September 2017.
Gates has also criticized Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, which protects thousands of immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children from being deported.