Bill Gates invests $15 million to digitize Tanzania’s health sector

American business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates has announced a $ 15 million investment to help digitize Tanzania’s health information systems and improve health data in the country.

The founder of Microsoft who is also the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently visited Tanzania to learn more about the country’s development priorities. He met with the foundation’s key partners in Tanzania, including government officials including Tanzanian President John Magufuli, health care workers and development executives, to understand how the country is increasing the use of data in its health sector.

A key focus of this visit was to see, first-hand, the progress Tanzania has made towards achieving the health sector’s data vision, including how innovative practices are delivering on this strategy. During the visit, Bill launched a new partnership with the Government of Tanzania which complements the Better Immunization Data Initiative by accelerating the use of existing data and developing strong data policy frameworks.

Bill also meet with public and private sector stakeholders to discuss opportunities to expand the reach of digital payments. About half of Tanzania’s population have adopted mobile money technology. These meetings helped identify opportunities for expanding and deepening the use of digital payments in the country.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with partners in more than 45 African countries to reduce poverty and improve health. Some of the major areas of investment include agriculture, child health and nutrition, family planning and financial services for the poor. Between 2001 and 2016, the foundation invested more than $9 billion in Africa. The foundation plans to invest an additional $5 billion by 2021.