"An education must equip students with the tools that enable them to adapt, and thrive, in a world characterised by change. In such an environment, technical proficiency is not enough. Education that prepares children for life must go beyond fundamental skills to stimulate creativity, intellectual curiosity and honest inquiry. Advancement and development, both personal and societal, are dependant on these elements. Innovation and progress arise from the ability to approach a challenge in a new way and offer a solution."
His Highness the Aga Khan, Mombasa, Kenya, 20 December 2003
First Aga Khan Academy Inaugurated in Mombasa, Kenya
The first of a planned network of Aga Khan Academies dedicated to expanding access to education of an international standard of excellence in Asia and Africa was inaugurated in Mombasa, Kenya on 20 December 2003. The Academy's curriculum is based on the framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB). It will eventually feature a robust system of international student and teacher exchanges between Academies in different countries as well as with allied schools, including Phillips Academy in the United States and the Schule Schloss Salem in Germany. Admission to the Academy is merit-based and means-blind. Find out more on the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa.
AKFED's US$7.2 million Alltex Apparel Plant Opened by Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki today officially opened the US$7.2 million Alltex EPZ Limited plant in the Export Processing Zone at Athi River in the presence of the Aga Khan on 19 December 2003. Alltex is a state-of-the-art facility that has created employment for over 2,000 Kenyans, over 80 percent of them women. The plant, one of the largest textile factories in the zone and the only one that is purpose-built, has set benchmarks in technology, training and productivity. For more information, please see the press release, video and speech by His Highness the Aga Khan.
US$ 32.4 Million Capital Increase for Economic Promotion in East Africa
Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), a division of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), was given a capital increase of US$ 32.4 million (KSh 2.5 billion) which is earmarked for investments in East Africa. These funds will be supplied principally by three leading institutional shareholders: AKFED and its affiliates, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and DEG - Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH. Since the 1960s, IPS has been providing venture capital, technical assistance and management support with the objective of encouraging and expanding private enterprise in Eastern Africa. For more information, please see the press release.
New AKDN Initiatives in Mali
Following a four-day official visit to Mali by the Aga Khan, an agreement was signed under which the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) will work towards launching new initiatives in the country. For more information, please see the press release.
Conference on Development Lessons Learned Organised by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, DFID and CIDA
The Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) in Pakistan organised a two-day international conference devoted to lessons learned from development in the Northern Areas and Chitral. Held 15-16 December 2003 in Islamabad, the conference was organised in collaboration with DFID and CIDA. The purpose was to bring together the experience of the past two decades and share lessons in integrated rural development with development organisations working in Pakistan, Central Asia and parts of South Asia. For more information, please see the conference website at http://www.akrsplessons.org.
Pledge of Support for Chitral, Pakistan
Addressing gatherings totalling over 120,000 in rugged yet spectacular mountain settings in this remote corner of Northern Pakistan, the Aga Khan pledged to assist the population to look for new opportunities to improve the quality of their lives. The Aga Khan urged the people of the region to look to commerce, tourism and other entrepreneurial activities and not to rely exclusively on agriculture. The Aga Khan indicated that institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) would be increasing their support in a number of sectors, including microcredit, education and healthcare. For more information, please see the press release.
Aga Khan University's Sixteenth Convocation
The Aga Khan spoke at the 16th Convocation of the Aga Khan University in the presence of Pakistan's Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and over 3,000 guests, including the Governor and Chief Minister of Sindh, diplomats, academics, and donors. Two hundred and forty graduates from six countries in Asia, Africa and North America included 79 newly qualified doctors, 114 nurses and 34 recipients of a Master's degree in Education. For more information, please see the press release.
Traditional Music and Dance of Central Asia Comes to the Odeon in Paris
More than 20 musicians, singers and dancers from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan performed in Paris between the 29 October and 8 November 2003, as part of a festival of Central Asian music and dance entitled "Via Kabul". Concerts at the Théâtre de l'Europe - Odéon / Ateliers Berthier, concerts and conferences at the Musée des Arts asiatiques Guimet and weekend master classes at the Maison Populaire de Montreuil featured masters of traditional music and dance from the Silk Road. Sponsored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which works to preserve and promote the music of Central Asia through its Music Initiative, the concert presented exemplars of traditions rarely seen outside of the region. Find out more on the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia
Dubai Ismaili Centre Inaugurated
On 13 December 2003, the Aga Khan announced the construction of the first Ismaili Centre to be built in the Middle East. The Ismaili Centre, Dubai, when completed, will be comparable in scope and standing to existing major centres in London, Vancouver and Lisbon, the one underway in Dushanbe and the one in advanced planning stages in Toronto. "At a time when the search for mutual understanding remains essential to assuring peace and stability," said the Aga Khan, "the creation of spaces that will enable that search becomes a greater imperative than ever." For more information, please see the press release and video.
Aga Khan in Bahrain
His Highness the Aga Khan visited Bahrain and met with His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain at Al Rawdha Palace, 7-9 December 2003. Click here for more information and photos.
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