Maputo, Mozambique, 19 November 2007 - His Highness the Aga Khan arrives in Mozambique ’s capital city, Maputo, on Tuesday, 20 th November, for a 4-day official visit, at the invitation of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Armando Guebuza. During the visit, the Aga Khan will meet with members of the Ismaili Community and high level Government officials.
This visit is amongst many such visits that will be undertaken by the Spiritual Leader of the Ismaili community, since he completed 50 years as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims in July of this year.
The Commemoration of His Highness the Aga Khan’s Golden Jubilee began on 11th July 2007 and will continue until 11th July 2008. During this year, the Aga Khan will visit some 30 countries where the Ismaili Community resides and where the Aga Khan Development Network operates. He will use these occasions to recognise the friendship and longstanding support of leaders of state, government and other partners in the work of the Ismaili Imamat, and to set the direction for the future, including the launching and laying of foundations for major initiatives and programmes.
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.
In 1998, a Development Co-operation Agreement was signed between the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the Government of Mozambique, which established the AKDN’s mission in Mozambique, and laid the framework for AKDN's development activities in the country, and thereby the extension of its presence in the East African region.
The Aga Khan Foundation has been actively present in Mozambique since 2000 and has, since then, been working in Cabo Delgado, the northernmost province in Mozambique and one of the most vulnerable in the country. Its programmes enhance the livelihoods of populations, through inputs such as agricultural technology, aid to fisheries and social services, increasing economic growth and socioeconomic development of the rural and coastal communities in the province.
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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.