While in Australia this week to lobby for increased foreign aid commitments, Bill Gates, the world's richest man and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gave a wide ranging interview with ABC News where he talked about his philanthropy and his thoughts about taxing the rich.

ABC News noted that Gates' friend Warren Buffet has said he thinks America’s richest citizens should have to pay more tax and Gates agreed.

'I agree with Warren in 99 per cent of all things including that,' Gates said. 'I paid over $6 billion in US taxes, glad to have done it. He's talking mostly about the US, which is the tax system he knows, but, you know, in order to deal with all the medical cost demands and other challenges in the US as we look at raising that revenue the rich are going to have to pay proportionally slightly more. I think that's quite clear.'

Asked about a recent hearing in Washington DC to look at the tax arrangements for global tech companies, Gates was asked what obligation he thought companies should have in terms of paying tax in the countries in which they're operating?

'Most of the tax paid is the sales tax or value added tax and those are collected and that's gigantic,' he replied. 'There's also some type of profit tax and that's where people are saying the way the laws look at those work the way that countries want them to. I don't think anyone's alleging that someone's not following the rules so, you know, the issue here is different tax authorities looking at the rules and seeing if they - if it's the will of the government to change what those look like.'

Meanwhile an Irish research centre has been awarded $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to the Herald, the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at the National University of Ireland, Galway was allocated the funding for research on improving agricultural tools to reduce labor demands for women farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is the first time any Irish institution or university has been successful in being awarded a a Gates funded Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) award.

While the initial grants are for $100,000, projects showing major promise have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to $1 million.

The Galway research is a collaborative program with Irish and international humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide. The funding will allow it to pursue research focusing on labor-saving agri-tool innovations for women smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

With more than a thousand small holder farmers, who are predominantly women, currently using labor intensive agricultural hand tools for weeding, planting, harvesting and crop/food processing, the work of the Irish research center will help to enable small holder farmers, who are predominately women, to generate more produce while reducing the labor burden.

Dr Una Murray of NUI, Galway, told the Herald: 'Labor-saving tools for women smallholders can have major impacts, including higher yields, higher incomes, more time for other activities, and reductions in harmful child labor.'