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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledges Sh100 billion, quarter of his wealth, to coronavirus relief

Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of both Twitter and Square, on Tuesday pledged to donate an equivalent of Sh100 billion to fund to fund coronavirus research to help “disarm this pandemic”.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he would transfer equity in his digital payments group Square to his limited liability corporation, Start Small, contributing around 28 percent of his overall wealth.

“Why now? The needs are increasingly urgent, and I want to see the impact in my lifetime,” Dorsey said.

“I hope this inspires others to do something similar. Life is too short, so let’s do everything we can today to help people now,” he added.

Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 then went on to establish payments company Square, also wrote that his pledge will go beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

“After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently,” he wrote on his Twitter page.

“UBI” refers to universal basic income, which is part of a movement to give everyone a specific amount of money regardless of their income level or employment status as a way to help reduce income inequality.

The move could be the largest from a single person for Covid-19 relief and comes as the pandemic ravages the globe causing ailments, death and economic devastation.

The twitter chief said that after the coronavirus pandemic ends, the fund would focus on health and education for girls and “universal basic income” efforts.

Dorsey’s net worth is estimated at about $3.9 billion including his stake in Twitter and Square and said he opted to use his equity from the payments group because “I own a lot more Square.”

“The impact this money will have should benefit both companies over the long-term because it’s helping the people we want to serve,” he said.

Globally, the number of people diagnosed with the virus now exceeds 1.4 million.

More than 81,500 people have died while more than 300,000 have recovered according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.