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US: Bill Gates urges SEC to ignore corporate lobbying on corruption

Date: 16 Feb 2012

Bill Gates

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has written to the US Securities and Exchange Commission urging it to disregard attempts by energy companies to water down anti-corruption legislation.

Gates has historically not been inclined to take such direct positions on public policy areas, but has said that he was concerned about extractive industries lobbying against a new law aimed at increasing transparency in dealings in developing countries.

Gates pointed out that Africa's natural resources were worth $246bn in exports - six times more than the figure the continent received in aid. "Little of this value remained in Africa. Transparency of financial flows is critical to ensuring these valuable resources are transformed into public benefits."

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