The billionaire Bill Gates reaffirmed his commitment to distributing his wealth and said he would eventually “drop off” the list of the world’s richest people.
It happened at the same time the co-founder of Microsoft revealed he would give $20 billion (£17 billion) to his charitable organization.
The fourth-richest individual in the world claimed he had a “responsibility” to give back his wealth to society.
In 2010, Mr. Gates made a commitment to donate his wealth, but since then, it has more than doubled.
According to Forbes magazine, he is presently worth $118 billion, although that amount will drop dramatically following his donation in July to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity organization he founded with his ex-wife in 2000.
In a Twitter thread, Mr. Gates stated that recent “global setbacks” including the pandemic, Ukraine, and the climate issue will cause the foundation to increase its investment from $6 billion per year to $9 billion by 2026.
“As I look to the future,” he stated, “I intend to leave practically all of my wealth to the foundation.” “I will fall and eventually fall off the list of the world’s wealthiest people.”
“I owe it to society to redistribute my wealth in ways that have the greatest impact on eliminating suffering and enhancing lives.” And I hope that others in positions of tremendous wealth and privilege will also stand forward at this time.”
The Gates Foundation works in developing nations to eliminate diseases like malaria, boost education, and address poor sanitation. It is expected to be the world’s second largest charity foundation in 2020, with $49.8 billion in assets, and is supported by affluent benefactors such as billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Although the foundation has done good work, others have expressed reservations about the ethics of a private endeavor having such power.
With its annual commitment in 2018, the foundation is the World Health Organization’s largest private donor, trailing only the United States. Concerns over this grew after previous President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw US financing.
Between 1995 to 2010, and again from 2013 to 2017, Mr Gates earned the Forbes title of World’s Richest Person.
In 2017, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos knocked him off the top rank, until Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over in 2022.