Bill Gates, the richest man on earth, established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to give away the vast majority of the Gates wealth to do good in the world — especially to eradicate disease. But the Gates Foundation wasn’t simply about the Gates money. It has a secondary mandate to attract other wealthy philanthropists to pledge their wealth — and to encourage those who don’t pledge directly to the Gates Foundation to follow suit in their own ways. Warren Buffett has pledged his fortune to Gates, for example. Now a Saudi prince is following their lead on his own.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is worth an estimated $32 billion, wealth mostly derived from oil and greatly enhanced by myriad investments, especially in real estate, tech, media, and hotels. The prince has just announced that he will give away his fortune to fight disease, “foster cultural understanding” and provide “vital disaster relief.” Another major objective of this huge philanthropic gift is to “empower women.” Prince Alwaleed is a progressive — especially in his part of the world — on the issue of women’s rights and opportunities. His staff is primarily made up of women. Prince Alwaweed said he was inspired by the Gates Foundation.