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  • President Armando Guebuza speaking at the State Dinner at the Ponta Vermelha Presidential Palace.
    AKDN / Gary Otte
Speech by President Armando Guebuza at the State Banquet during the Golden Jubilee visit in Mozambique

Your Highness the Aga Khan
Dear Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

We give Your Highness and the illustrious delegation accompanying you, our warmest welcome do this Pearl of the Indic. It is our pleasure, above all, to be able to directly reiterate our felicitations on the occasion of the celebration of Your Highness’ Golden Jubilee as the 49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslim Community.

It is a great satisfaction to be united – not only to celebrate the work that has been constructed over half a century of spiritual leadership of this religious community, but also for the projects you are developing in many parts of the world. We extend our wishes for great successes in the pursuance of your role and, in making available more cooperation and support to the various populations of the world, including the Mozambican people.

In your role as Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, you have, with great perseverance and enthusiasm, contributed significantly towards the integrity of mankind and towards the integrated development of the countries in the world.

Amongst us, we have encouraging signs which intensify our certainty that the bases are launched, for a wider, diversified and long-lasting cooperation with the Aga Khan Development Network, whether considering the integrity of mankind or the integrated development of our Mozambique. Let us consider as an example:
• The rural and integrated development project of the coast in the Province of Cabo Delgado;
• The investments in the Polana Hotel, a touristic and architectural reference, and of great importance in Mozambique;
• The project of the Aga Khan Excellency Academy in Matola.

Part of these activities, which also include the areas of health, the development of national entrepreneurship and microfinances, currently benefit approximately 100 000 mozambicans.

Our people have access to these projects and its benefits, regardless of gender, religion and social status and, thus, the Aga Khan Development Network participates, in a sustained manner, in the battle against poverty in Mozambique, in the rural areas and in the city, from Rovuma to Maputo and from the Indic to Zumbo.

The dialogue we maintained this afternoon resulted in the identification of other areas which can be included in the co operation we are developing. Within this context, we underline our interest and commitment in seeing these areas identified and transformed into projects with results that will have a direct impact on the lives of our People.

We are sure that the implementation of the projects currently underway and with the materialisation of those which we identified today constitutes milestones of friendship and compassion amongst this Network and the Mozambicans. They are also a priceless contribution in the reduction of poverty and for the attainment of the Millennium Development Objectives.

It is convenient to recognize and highlight, that this compassion and friendship that the Aga Khan Development Network finds in Mozambique and within the heart of our People is born from a relationship many centuries old, during which the oriental traces and those of Islam were crystallised in our Beloved Motherland. With this exchange, our cultures have mutually grown and, from this relationship both have benefited as has benefited the rest of Mankind.

Your Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mozambique is characterised by Peace, stability and social and economic development. Last October the 4th, we celebrated fifteen years of peace and reconciliation in the breast of the Mozambican Family. One of the most marking moments of the celebration was the religious ceremony during which several religions jointly prayed for a Mozambique that continues do develop the principle that the only alternative to peace is Peace itself.

The stability in this Pearl of the Indic is further promoted by the environment of a multi party democracy, of dialogue, and of the inclusion which we cultivate in our everyday lives. It is equally sustained by the internal partnerships which we establish with several national players who, like us, have worked to transform Peace and stability into another important resource that has been put to work towards our social and economic development.

During these few days of your visit to our beloved Motherland, Your Highness will note that the new social and economical infrastructures are rising in our horizon as monuments that mark the victories we are attaining in our fight against poverty. More schools, more health posts and more fountains of drinkable water that are being introduced, along the height and width of our Mozambique, are having a considerable impact on the lives of our people. Likewise, more locations and Mozambican citizens are benefiting from:
• More reconstructed roads and new bridges;
• Mobile and fixed telephone network, and energy 24 hours a day;
• They benefit, yet, from more work posts that are being created by the public and private investment – both national and foreign. Recently, we inaugurated the project of Moma heavy sands which has had a visible impact, inclusively near the local communities.

Your Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The presence of Your Highness the Aga Khan amongst us, is a particularly distinct moment to exchange our views regarding the internal situation of Mozambique, and of the impact of the Aga Khan Development Nework’s projects. It is, simultaneously, an opportunity to reiterate our joint commitment to proceed with our share in the construction of a world that is characterized by the culture of peace, solidarity, and prosperity.

Hence, we invite all present to join us in a toast:
• For His Highness’ health and happiness;
• To His Highness’ Golden Jubilee;
• For the successes in the cooperation between Mozambique and the Aga Khan Development Network.

Thank you all for your attention.