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Bill Gates’ alleged attempt to “depopulate” Africa: Examining recurring conspiracy theories

For years, there have been conspiracy theories around Bill Gates, the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, allegedly trying to depopulate the world, particularly Africa. 

Although proponents of such theories often fail to back their claims with facts, the belief is held by several conservative Africans. 

Bill Gates’ visit to Nigeria and Conspiracy Theories

Recently, a video promoting the narrative surfaced online after Mr Gates and Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote paid a visit to Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu. According to reports, the popular philanthropist visited the president to discuss issues around health and development in the country.

It is also part of the Foundation’s commitment “to work closely with communities and leaders to support innovation that can help accelerate progress and improve lives across Africa.”

It is also understood that the collaboration between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation aimed to improve Nigeria’s health sector.

However, the visit has elicited mixed reactions from some quarters, as many videos linking the visit with the years-long conspiracy theories resurfaced on social media. One such videos shared on TikTok suggested that the collaboration between the two organisations –Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation– portends danger to the Nigerian healthcare system. 

The video, which is a compilation of several clips, featured a young lady whose social media footprint could not be traced. The creator aggregated already-created videos from TikTok pages to push the twisted narrative. 

DUBAWA observed that the video, posted on a TikTok account, has elicited reactions suggesting social media users believed the conspiracy theory, as seen in the screenshot below.

Bill Gates’ alleged attempt to “depopulate” Africa: Examining recurring conspiracy theories
Screenshot of the TikTok comment section.

The video has also been shared several times on WhatsApp with the caption, “Another devil’s weapon against Africa nations begins in Nigeria (APC government and its likes) this is worse than gbokoharams and all the likes evil works put together (sic).” 

Bill Gates’ alleged attempt to “depopulate” Africa: Examining recurring conspiracy theories
Screenshot of viral WhatsApp message.

The virality of the video and requests of private individuals informed this article. 

A bolded text across the video reads, “Transhuman and depopulation agenda to begin in Africa, Nigeria has already consented.”

The first clip in the video featured a young man who said Nigerians should be very concerned about Mr Gates and Mr Dangote’s collaborative intervention in the health sector and subsequent visit to President Tinubu. 

He said: “Aliko Dangote and his friend, Bill Gates, came to congratulate the president of Nigeria. Dangote has merged his foundation with the Bill Gates Foundation to help Nigeria in the health and other sectors. 

Now, who is Bill Gates? Bill Gates is the man who manufactured mosquitoes in California to come and carry the virus to pierce into human beings, especially Africans; Bill Gates is the man solidly behind the COVID-19 vaccine. You know what the vaccine was meant for. Bill Gates is a man that said in his own words that they have to reduce the population of this world, and they have to start from Africa. He is the man in Aso Rock. 

The subsequent clip featured Mr Gates in an interview speaking on vaccines provided for kids. 

“We are taking things that are genetically modified organisms, and we’re injecting them in little kid’s arms. We just shoot them right into the vein,” the business tycoon said in the clip.

Also, another clip featured Mr Gates in a  2010 TED Talk speaking about the increase in population.

“First, we’ve got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about nine billion. Now, if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, and reproductive health services, we could lower that by, perhaps, 10 or 15 per cent. But there, we see an increase of about 1.3,” he said. 

The clip was followed by another featuring a young lady who said those who have been following stories and reports and interviews from Bill Gates should know that his presence in Nigeria is a serious issue to be worried about.

“This is not scaremongering. This is stating facts. The depopulation agenda is an old agenda that has been running for years…Africans, they don’t want us here for several reasons, we have been at war for hundreds of years now but unfortunately, the majority of us are not aware,” she said.

The video creator gave an instance of war in Congo, where over 15 million people were allegedly killed through genocide on the continent and how the rest of the world is using bioterrorism to fight against Africa and Africans. “They are doing this to control our resources,” she said.

She also showed another clip wherein erstwhile Fox presenter Tucker Carlson spoke about white and black genetics and which one is superior.  

“They are talking about us on their news. They are comparing us biologically,” the video creator said.

How true are the claims?

However, DUBAWA observed that some of the claims raised in the video (various clips) are false or have been taken out of context. Subsequent paragraphs will present the facts.

The claim that Mr Gates’ company manufactured mosquitoes to cause sicknesses has been analysed and debunked here

In one of the editions of the Gates Notes, the philanthropist explained that the Wolbachia mosquitoes manufactured by the World Mosquito Program are directed at helping to save people’s lives. 

“The manufactured mosquitoes are released to mate with the wild mosquito population, spreading the Wolbachia bacteria that blocks the transmission of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases to humans,” he explained. 

The claim that Bill Gates wants to depopulate the world via vaccines has been recurring over the years after several conspiracy theories that have taken his talks out of context.

DUBAWA found that Mr Gates’ comment on genetically modified organisms (GMO) was edited from a video (2:08) shared by the pan-European media network Euractiv from January 2015, where Mr Gates and his ex-wife Melinda were speaking about the endorsement of GMO crops for African farmers.  

While speaking on GMO, Mr Gates made an analogy with medicines (vaccines) used particularly on children though there may be concerns about the side effects. Concerning agriculture, the philanthropist said there might be a safety system to do trials and test things to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the GMOs. He further argued that the technique that will solve nutrition, productivity and crop disease problems can be considered. 

The second clip showed Mr Gates where he spoke about population has also been taken out of context to mean the philanthropist wants to depopulate the African continent. 

DUBAWA traced the comment to a TED talk video of 2010 where Mr Gates spoke on Innovating to Zero. The philanthropist spoke about climate change and how this adversely affects the planet. As explained by this article, his statement was to ensure curbing unsustainable population growth, not using some diseases to kill people. 

Also, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, says its major objective is to “advance public goods for global health through technological innovation by accelerating the development and commercialisation of novel vaccines and the sustainable manufacture of existing vaccines…”

Recently, Mr Gates promised to commit $7 billion to Africa in the next four years to support routine immunisation in Nigeria and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Northern Nigeria. 

There is no evidence to support the claim that Mr Gates plans to depopulate the world starting from Africa; rather, the philanthropist has, in many ways, contributed to the financing of the health sector. 

DUBAWA also found that the clip featuring former FOX News presenter Tucker Carlson had been taken out of context. The video, shared on another TikTok account, says the FOX News presenter was confirming that Black people are superior. 

Although the words were written in quotation marks to suggest that Mr Carlson was actually quoting a person or a report, the accounts said white people have indeed agreed that blacks had special genetics. 

DUBAWA’s search brought up a report from 2021. FOX News had reported that Kristen Clarke, who was Joe Biden’s nominee, made some racist statements when she was an undergraduate at Harvard University.

The report quoted Clarke’s 1994 letter to The Harvard Crimson in her capacity as the president of the Black Students Association to explain her views on race science.

It was the alleged contents of the letter that Carlson had read on the News channel, a clip that conspiracy theorists have pushed to mean White people envy Black people’s genetic makeup.

What’s Next?

In conclusion, it is important to note that while there have been various conspiracy theories regarding Mr Gates’ interest in Africa’s health sector, they are without evidence.

Instead, the philanthropist has, in several ways, led interventions in the continent’s health sector to save millions of lives. 

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