Nairobi, Kenya, 18 March 2010 - His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of Aga Khan University, today announced the establishment of a Graduate School of Media and Communications in East Africa.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the inaugural Pan Africa Media Conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nation Media Group, which was founded by the Aga Khan, His Highness stated that the School will be dedicated to advancing excellence in media performance and the strengthening of ethical media practices throughout the developing world.
“The School will be driven, above all, by an absolute commitment to quality,” said the Aga Khan. The School will also create a Forum on the Media Future, which will be “a place for conducting and disseminating cutting edge research that will help shape public communication in the decades ahead.”
The Aga Khan observed that journalists must increasingly understand the substantive, sophisticated dimensions of the fields on which they report, adding that a new generation of African media entrepreneurs could well be borne from programmes which blend economic and media disciplines.
The School will have several components; a Masters Degree programme, serving recent university graduates as well as media owners, managers, and mid-career journalists; continuing education classes designed to enhance media skills and nurture media values; and a special programme in media management - one of the first in the developing world - devoted to enhancing more robust media institutions.
Based in Nairobi Kenya, the school will work closely, not only with the Nation Media Group - but also with other local, continental and international media organisations. Over the longer term, the Graduate School of Media and Communication will ally itself with another new project of the Aga Khan University - a Faculty of Arts and Sciences, to be created over the coming years in Arusha, Tanzania.
For more information please contact:
Aga Khan Development Network, Kenya
PO Box 48508-00100
Mobile: 254-721 217499
Aga Khan University Chartered in 1983, the Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service initiatives. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the university has campuses and programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan (OR in South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa) and facilities that include teaching hospitals, Faculties of Health Sciences including a Nursing School and Medical College, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. Through its needs-blind admissions policy, the University imbues the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow with an ethic of service and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges.
The Aga Khan University is one of nine agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of private development agencies with mandates ranging from health and education to architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), 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 development activities is in excess of US$ 450 million. A direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man.