Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The bills Bill Gates laid at the gates of Ghana

Yesterday, we heard news that Bill Gates was coming to Ghana today. He had announced it on his blog: The Gates Notes and was oohing and aahin over how Ghana has handled immunization. The Bill Gates of Microsoft. No, the Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Still one of the richest men in the solar system though. He tweeted ...
Bill Gates was coming in without much media fanfare, unlike his fellow American Chris Brown did just before Ghana's 56th birthday. Chris Brown's face was all over billboards, Bill Gates' name was reduced to a number of tweets. Chris Brown was in town to give hope to Hope City and make the evenings of many Ghanaian women. Bill Gates was in town to check on the progress of Ghana's health care system and remain anonymous. Because the best way to really assess how well something is running is to give the something no time to prepare and look all smiling for the camera and show up announced. But maybe Ghanaians are too fast to succumb to that trick, according the @GhMediaGuy.
I got tweeting too. I was really wondering if it would be out of place for folks to throng the Kotoka airport to meet Bill Gates. Either to go give him fans for bringing us Microsoft Office, being a few degrees removed from Patrick Awuah, praise him for coming to Ghana and getting us in CNN & BBC news for good reasons,  ask him to throw some of his $36.2 million dollars into the crowd like Chris Brown throws his wear at concerts, chastise him for supposedly "controlling population", or asking him to leave his contribution at the RLG offices in fundraising for Hope City. So I said...
Eventually, the local media got into the act and started posting stories like these. Bill paid a courtesy call on President Mahama and I would have loved to be a harmless Kweku Ananse in the ceiling of that room. Turns out they discussed Ghana's healthcare and not Hope City or hope for the present and future Bill Gates of Ghana. I know for a fact the Bill Gates of Ghana, Herman Chinery-Hesse, was not in the country today. The Microsoft Founder lauded Ghana for improvement in its public healthcare initiatives in areas of immunization, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

For the better part of the day, we couldn't find any pictures of him being in Ghana. Would he be wearing a Ghanaian shirt or something like what the famous other Bill wore? Hubert satisfied my curiosity and Bill turned out wearing a suit to suit what Johnny Digital Mahama was wearing and in these many pictures, he was casually dressed. Here's hoping someone showed him azonto moves. Rumor has it that he ate waakye.

Are you still looking for the bills Bill Gates laid at the gates of Ghana? They weren't some of the billions the "$150million worth" RLG needs from Microsoft for Hope City. They weren't the tourism dollars he laid as he stepped onto the Kakum canopy walkway. They weren't the Easter donations to the Osu Children's Home. There are the stories of the Bill and Gates Melinda Foundation pushing vaccines that are killing people, birth control pills making women sterile and controlling the population, so if you pay heed to those, he left some expensive bills for Ghanaians in healthcare too. In my opinion, the bills he left were those that said "after all the money and fame, I have gotten, it's time to serve". Giving back to people he's never known. Showing the rich and wealthy people in Ghana that it is honourable to give, especially to people you don't have family ties with.
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