The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) focuses on the physical, social, cultural and economic revitalisation of historic urban environments. It’s programmes include: the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; the Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme; the Aga Khan Music Initiative; the on-line resource Archnet.org; the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and, the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada.
An important lesson arising from AKDN experience has been that there are few area development contexts in which a single institution can have the necessary impact on the quality of life. Rather, a broad spectrum of national and international partners must be engaged in the process of area development. More
Baltit Fort, Northern Pakistan, restored by the Aga Khan Historic Cities ProgrammeThe Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which was founded in 1988, is registered in Geneva, Switzerland, as a private, non-denominational, philanthropic foundation. It is an integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a family of institutions created by His Highness The Aga Khan, with distinct yet complementary mandates to improve the welfare and prospects of people in countries in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa.
Though their spheres of activity and expertise differ - ranging from social development, to economic development, to culture - AKDN institutions share at least three principles that guide their work. The first is a dedication to self-sustaining development that can contribute to long-term economic advancement and social harmony. The second is a commitment to the vigorous participation of local communities in all development efforts. Finally, all Network institutions seek shared responsibility for positive change. They actively work to facilitate collaborative ventures, seeking potential partners - from universities and governments, to foundations and international development agencies, to individual and corporate donors or investors - on the basis of shared objectives and the complementarity of resources.