Everyday Africa’s success in showcasing diversity has made it stand out from the pervasive generic depictions of the continent and its people. A collaboration between African photographers, the account powerfully documents the lives of Africans from various backgrounds.

Gates also took his hat off to innovation on the continent, citing progress by solar energy companies and programs like East Africa’s M-Kopa and the US-backed Power Africa project in helping “rural families leapfrog their way to clean, reliable energy.” He’s also excited by food technology work on the continent, as scientists use “the most advanced hybridization techniques” to create more nutritious and virus-resistant strains of popular staples like cassava, for example.

While scientists help fast-track growth on the continent, Gates also paid homage in his post to the powerful role of grandmothers in getting things done in Africa, particularly when it comes to protecting maternal health. Gates says NGOs increasingly enlist the help of these authority figures “to guide pregnant women to health facilities and educat[e] them about proper prenatal care. They’re helping to change attitudes about female genital mutilation (FGM). They’re helping to increase newborn vaccination rates.”

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