Raikes: Water and food security are pressing global issues

Jeff Raikes

The former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says water and food security are among today’s most pressing global issues.

Jeff Raikes, board chair for the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, says as countries around the world grapple with migration issues, water and food challenges must be addressed. He cites the African continent as an example.

“If you look out to 2030—12 to 13 years from now—the African continent will add roughly 500 million people. It will grow from 1.2 billion to 1.7 billion people,” Raikes says. “The question is what percentage of that population is going to be compelled to migrate and what will be the factors that determine that.”

Raikes says unless water and food security issues are resolved, it’s likely that outward migration from African countries will continue to increase.

But Raikes remains optimistic that solutions will be found.

“The tremendous advances in research and technology truly do offer us limitless opportunities for change, as long as we use our collective efforts to direct them in the right ways to deliver impact for humanity,” he says.

Raikes, a former Microsoft executive and co-founder of the Raikes Foundation, spoke at the Water for Food Global Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.

AUDIO: Jeff Raike’s address at the Water for Food Conference in Lincoln

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