21 Feb Sarkozy asks Bill Gates to find ways of raising cash for Africa
Heather Stewart, Guardian.co.uk
French president Nicolas Sarkozy has commissioned the Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates to examine new ways of raising cash for the world’s poorest countries, as G20 finance ministers gather in Paris.
Campaigners for an international tax on financial transactions – the so-called “Robin Hood tax”, welcomed the move, which reflects France’s determination to press ahead to look for innovative ways of boosting resources for Africa.
Max Lawson, spokesman for the Robin Hood tax campaign, said, “We welcome Bill Gates’ investigation and his commitment to consider all good ideas that will provide additional funds to lift people out of poverty. A financial transaction tax is an idea whose time has come – it could be the most popular tax in history.”