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Aga Khan in East Africa for First Golden Jubilee Visit (Media Advisory)


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Nairobi, Kenya, 12 August 2007 - His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on Sunday, 12 August, on the first leg of a 12-day official visit to the East Africa region, at the invitation of the Governments of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. During the trip the Aga Khan will meet with members of the Ismaili Community and top ranking government officials.

The East Africa tour will be the first undertaken by the Spiritual Leader of the 15 million-strong Ismaili community since he completed his 50 years as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims last month. He is expected to make a number of visits during his Golden Jubilee year, especially to countries where the Ismaili Community resides and where the Aga Khan Development Network operates.

Fifty years ago, at the age of 20, the Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, as the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. In the Ismaili tradition, the Imam’s jubilee celebrations offer occasions to launch new social, cultural and economic development projects. Projects launched during the Jubilees of his grandfather, Aga Khan III, including the Diamond Jubilee Trust Bank and the Jubilee Investment Trust, continue to serve the people of East Africa.

During his visit to East Africa, the Aga Khan will preside over the foundation stone laying ceremonies for the Faculty of Health Sciences of the East Africa chapter of the Aga Khan University, the residential campus for the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, the new Aga Khan Academy in Kampala and Uganda’s Bujagali Hydro Power Project. While in Mombasa, he will participate in the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Aga Khan Foundation’s educational Madrasa Programme.

For further information please contact:
Wanjiru Mwangi Ruhanga
Communications Officer
AKDN Kenya
E-mail: wanjiru.ruhanga@akdnkenya.org
Tel: + 254 (0)721 217 499

Notes:
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, comprising ethnically and culturally diverse peoples living in over 25 countries around the world. He is the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$ 300 million.

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