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Address by Princess Zahra Aga Khan at the 2022 UCA graduation ceremony Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan Wednesday, 22 June 2022 1655562600 Address by Princess Zahra Aga Khan at the 2022 UCA graduation ceremony speech Kyrgyz Republic 2020s 8996 1 Education,Kyrgyz Republic University of Central Asia Education

Bismillah ir Rehman ir Rahim

Your Excellency the Governor of GBAO, Alisher Mirzanobot,

Your Excellency the Governor of Naryn, Sabyrkul Ashimbaev,

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, and Members of the Board,

Rector Sohail Naqvi,

Dean Maxim Khomyakov and the Faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences,

Generous donors and friends of UCA around the world,

Parents and family members,

Distinguished guests,

And dear graduates of the class of 2022,

On behalf of the Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all, in Khorog, Naryn, and around the world, to the graduation of the Class of 2022. Before I address the graduates, who are soon going to join the ranks of the distinguished alumni of UCA, may I take this opportunity to highlight some extraordinary achievements of UCA that are likely to have a significant impact on the socio-economic development of Central Asia.

As you know, last year we celebrated the historic first convocation of UCA, and I cannot help admiring the giant strides this young University of Central Asia has taken in its short but immensely productive life.

First, I would like to acknowledge, on behalf of the Chancellor, the support and encouragement UCA has received from the Governments of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The several collaborative agreements UCA has signed with the various ministries are making a valuable contribution towards helping to promote and achieve national development agendas through public-private partnerships. These range from urban resilience programmes in Khorog and Naryn, with generous support from the Swiss Government and support of the AKDN agencies, to regional master plans to attract investments, promote digitization in the creation of “Smart Cities” and explore the potential for tourism in the region.

UCA defines itself as a “development university” focused on mountain societies. Its School of Arts and Sciences, which began classes just six years ago, is already considered among the premier Liberal Arts Schools in the Central Asian region, with a unique focus on the needs and challenges of mountain communities, in the hearts of which its campuses are located.

UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) last year celebrated 15 years since its founding; it has graduated over 200,000 course participants from its 17 learning centres, of which six are in Afghanistan. Its vocational education and entrepreneurship programmes have established an impressive record of enhancing occupational mobility and job creation through business start-ups. SPCE’s popular short-cycle courses are helping to upgrade technical skills and expand job opportunities, thereby providing a much-needed boost to enhancing the quality of life and harmony in rural communities. Encouraged by this success, the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees support the expansion of SPCE programmes.

Climate change is a global problem, but solutions and adaptation measures have to be locally defined and implemented. The reason that UCA teaches Earth and Environmental Sciences is that climate change will affect Central Asia as it will the rest of the planet. This sad reality will have several outcomes for the students of UCA. First of all, it will affect your daily lives and your families. It will force changes to the way you grow and distribute food; to your approach towards resources; and to the way you will build houses in the future. It will also create a raft of new jobs and careers that will be essential in the decades to come. Not only will this area, like others, require technicians and engineers who are capable of adapting daily life to a new and different reality, but it will also force changes to architecture, transport, forestry management, water conservation, livestock management, trade and effectively all areas of daily life. Most importantly, you, the students of today, will be the scientists of tomorrow. Those who can model and predict natural disasters as well as predict future changes in the climate, and the effect it will have on humans in the next hundred years or more. These scientists will be greatly in demand in various careers, from biology, geology and geography, to physics and chemistry, because all these fields will evolve with climate change, and career options will be varied and crucially important. Unfortunately, sooner than we think.

Among the Graduate School of Development’s many research accomplishments is the early success in finding drought-resistant varieties of crops, and sharing various remediation efforts with local communities. In addition, the University is engaging civil society organisations, community associations and working with women’s organisations in rural areas to find and implement sustainable solutions. Today, globally, there is a greater understanding of the potential for innovation in rural communities and how digital technologies can help farmers shift from input-intensive agriculture to knowledge-intensive agriculture. UCA is making a singular contribution in this endeavour by pushing the frontiers of knowledge and relevant research.

Let me now turn to the graduates of the Class of 2022, for whom I bring congratulations and good wishes from the Chancellor. Throughout your tenure at UCA he has been following your progress with great interest, and today is the culmination of your achievements of which we are all so proud. Despite the challenges and disruptions posed by COVID, you adapted to online learning and made up for lost time so that you could graduate on schedule. Kudos to all of you, and to the faculty and staff, from us Trustees.

The Faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences also played a significant role and were fully invested in ensuring that you graduated with the skills to enable you to pursue graduate education, or enter the job market with ease. The success of the first batch of graduates last year in achieving these objectives is evidence of the Faculty’s determination and dedication to your education. They deserve our heartfelt congratulations.

It is the Chancellor’s hope that the graduates of the School of Arts and Sciences will not only find employment opportunities in the region, but also that the graduates will themselves create employment opportunities and successful businesses to invigorate the economy of the entire region. Building an active and successful economic environment will improve the lives of all communities and add to social stability and well-being for all.

On behalf of the Chancellor, I would like to express our thanks and admiration to Sohail Naqvi, for the four years that he has spent at UCA as Rector, and for all his accomplishments in that time. Dr Naqvi has contributed to UCA in many ways, in improving the experiences of students and faculty alike. We wish Dr Naqvi every success in his future endeavours, and I would like to thank him again, on behalf of the Chancellor, for his many contributions to UCA.

The generosity of donors has made it possible to you to access an internationally benchmarked quality of education; to them we all owe a deep debt of gratitude. Their continued support will be pivotal to ensuring a strong financial foundation for UCA to sustain itself in the decades ahead.

As you continue your professional journey, our hopes and aspirations go with you. Ultimately, UCA’s success will be measured by the success of its graduates. No effort has been spared to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable you to thrive in a rapidly changing world, and it is our dearest hope that you will underpin your professional growth with the values of pluralism, responsible citizenship and ethical leadership.

Graduands, as you enter the next phase of your lives, UCA eagerly looks forward to celebrating in your success. We hope that your alma mater will always have a special place in your heart, and that you will stay connected to UCA as a lifelong learner and enthusiastic ambassador.

Congratulations to all of you again, on behalf of the Chancellor, and thank you.

speech_267650 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SY" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">"... أُقدم أجمل التهاني والتمنيات الطيبة باسم سمو المستشار، الذي كان يتابع تقدمكم باهتمام كبير طوال فترة دراستكم في جامعة آسيا الوسطى، واليوم هو خير مثال على تتويج إنجازاتكم التي نفخر بها جميعاً".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
Speech by Princess Zahra Aga Khan Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tuesday, 12 April 2022 1649591100 Speech by Princess Zahra Aga Khan speech Tanzania 2020s Foundation stone laid for Tanzanian cancer care centre, 1.7m to benefit 8996 1 Tanzania,Aga Khan Health Services,Health Aga Khan Health Services Health

Honourable Ummy Mwalimu, Honourable Minister of Health of the United Republic of Tanzania,

Ms Stephanie Mouen, Country Director, Agence Française de Développement,

President and Vice Chancellor of AKU and fellow members of AKU Board of Trustees,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends,

Jambo and Karibu and Ramadan Kareem

Today marks the beginning of another really exciting journey for the Aga Khan Development Network as we lay the Foundation Stone for the cancer care centre at the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam. We are grateful to Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, to the Ministry of Health and to various other Government authorities for their support and cooperation in enabling us to build the cancer care centre at this strategically important site.

We also extend our immense gratitude to Agence Française de Développement for being a critical partner on this project. Our relationship with AFD goes back many years and spans many initiatives. Their commitment and partnership have shown an incredible commitment to improving health outcomes in East Africa and AFD has been instrumental in our work. Thank you!

This centre will further enable the Aga Khan Development Network to play a pivotal role in promoting cancer care of international standards in Tanzania.

Honourable Minister,

Your continuous support to our endeavours in the health sector is truly appreciated, and for this we would like to convey our deepest gratitude. Thank you! We are fortunate and grateful that you performed the commencement ceremony for the Phase 2 project of the Aga Khan Hospital, and today you will lay the foundation of the cancer care centre and thank you indeed for that again. Following the completion of Aga Khan Hospital’s Phase 2 project, Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania and Agence Française de Développement undertook a study on the prevalence of cancer in the country.

This study highlighted the need to establish comprehensive cancer care services as cancer is becoming an increasing burden for public health in the country. Statistics from the United Nations Cancer Research Organization (IARC) show that there are 42,000 new cases of cancer each year in Tanzania, with a high mortality rate of over 28,000. Almost 75 percent of those cases are diagnosed at stage 3 and 4. This is a major challenge and affects survival rates. Cervical cancer represents 40 percent of all female cancers in Tanzania and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programmes are still in their infancies, unfortunately. Facilities are few and far between requiring patients to travel long distances to reach facilities for cancer screening, early diagnosis, and treatment. As a result, cancer patients present themselves too often too late.

The cancer burden can be greatly reduced if there is widespread awareness for people to have routine health check-ups, so the disease can be caught early on and easily treated.

The findings of the study above have guided the establishment of the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project, a strategic public-private-partnership, led by the Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania together with the Government of Tanzania and Agence Française.

Thanks to a 13.3 million Euro grant, 10 million from Agence Française and 3.3 million from Aga Khan Development Network.

This four-year project is an evidence-based comprehensive initiative, aimed at reducing the burden of cancer morbidity and mortality, through a strategy that focuses on the enhanced performance and expanded outreach of the TCCP partner institutions including:

1. The Ministry of Health

2. The President's Office

3. Ocean Road Cancer Institute

4. Muhimbili National Hospital,

5. Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, and with the technical help of the Institut Curie in Paris, France.

Today’s foundation stone ceremony marks a critical project objective of enhancing comprehensive cancer care facilities in this country. The cancer care centre will have two linear accelerators to complement radiation oncology at the Ocean Road Institute and it will work with the public health system to strengthen community cancer care practices, as well as services that are affordable, comprehensive and stretched across the nation. It will include primary preventive services, screening and early detection. The new centre will work with government health facilities, to provide welfare support to needy patients, including beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Fund NHIF.

AKHS Tanzania's continued growth over nine decades is a strong testimony of our commitment to health care and development in this country. Today, AKHS facilities are known for their high level of ethical practices, innovation and provision of quality, safe and evidence-based care. The hub-and spokes-model, with one hospital here in Dar es Salaam, a medical centre in Mwanza and 24 outreach centres across 14 regions of the country, enables our institutions to increase access to quality health services, as well as to work closely with the government and other partners across the health spectrum.

Our institutions contribute to and positively help impact the health of over a million people in Tanzania every year. The patient welfare programme enables non-affording Tanzanians to utilise services at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam and in Mwanza. The programme provides financial support of about 5 billion TZS which equates to US$ 2.2 million annually and this is in addition to the 24 billion TZS which is US$ 10.2 million contributed through subsidised services offered under the NHIF programme.

The Aga Khan Health Services has been working relentlessly to attract international grants to strengthen the health systems in Tanzania, in coordination with the Government of Tanzania and especially the Ministry of Health.

Earlier, amongst other investments, AKHS was able to secure a US$ 14.7 million IMPACT project, funded by Global Affairs Canada and the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, aimed at improving access to reproductive, maternal and newborn health in the Mwanza region between 2017 and 2021. The project made a substantive contribution towards reducing maternal and newborn mortality in the Mwanza region, reaching over 1 million beneficiaries.

I thank the President’s Office and the Ministry of Health for exceptional support to the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project, and for being part of the Project Steering Committee, monitoring project implementation. Without your continuous support and guidance, the project could not be successful.

I also thank the Bugando Medical Center, Ocean Road Cancer Institute and Muhimbili National Hospital for their active participation and contributions to the success of this innovative partnership, which we believe, will positively change the landscape in Tanzania for cancer prevention and treatment.

Also, our special appreciation to Institute Curie for their commitment as a full partner primarily responsible for providing technical expertise, and guidance concerning the implementation of the project across the cancer care spectrum.

Also, I extend my thanks and appreciation to all cancer stakeholders such as foundations and survivor groups participating in the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project.

My heartfelt gratitude to all those who have been involved in planning this state-of-the-art Cancer Centre.

On a personal note, I am so very happy to see this event happen today. I have been discussing this project as part of the wider project in Dar es Salaam and in Tanzania with my father for 20 years and I know that he would be thrilled to be here. So, thank you!

speech_264981 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">"تساهم مؤسساتنا وتساعد في إحداث تأثير إيجابي على صحة أكثر من مليون شخص في تنزانيا كل عام ... سيعمل المركز الجديد مع المرافق الصحية الحكومية على تقديم الدعم والرعاية الاجتماعية للمرضى المحتاجين."</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p> English
Address by the Honourable Minister of Health Ummy Ally Mwalimu Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Tuesday, 12 April 2022 1649587500 Address by the Honourable Minister of Health Ummy Ally Mwalimu speech Tanzania 2020s Foundation stone laid for Tanzanian cancer care centre, 1.7m to benefit 264979 1 Tanzania,Health,Aga Khan Health Services Aga Khan Health Services Health

Thank you very much Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sichwale.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, The Head of the Social Welfare Committee, of Aga Khan Development Network

Justice Othman Chande, Former Chief Justice of Tanzania and Member of the Aga Khan University

His Excellency, Nabil Hajlaoui, French Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Sichwale, Chief Medical Officer of Tanzania

Dr Grace Maghembe, Deputy Permanent Secretary Responsible for Health, President Office, Regional Administration and Local Government

Mr Sulaiman Shahabuddin, President and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Aga Khan University

Dr Gijs Walraven, Director of Health, Aga Khan Development Network

Dr Zeenat Sulaiman, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Health Services, East Africa

Ms Stephanie, Representative of the French Development Agency (AFD) Tanzania

Representative of the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Dr Rashid, Dar es Salaam Regional Medical Officer

Heads of Public Institutions, Development Partners, Directors from the Ministry of Health, President Office, Executive Directors from Various Government and Private Health Institutions in Tanzania

Representatives of Religious Institutions

Invited Guests

Ladies and gentlemen,

Nawasalimu kwa Jina la Jamuhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania

First, let me start by thanking God, for giving us good health and enabling us to be here to participate in this important event of laying the foundation stone for the construction of the cancer care centre at the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam. In particular, I would like to express on behalf of Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan,President of the United Republic of Tanzania, our congratulations and appreciation for the construction of the modern cancer care centre here in Dar es Salaam. Hongereni Sana Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam. But I will also want to thank you very much for the briefing and insightful information about the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP), we have been told it’s a PPP project which is going to be implemented by the Aga Khan Hospital in collaboration with the ministry of Health, PO-RALG, Muhimbili National Hospital, Ocean Road Hospital and Bugando Medical Hospital. I think this is a very good model of a PPP project in the health sector and I would like to encourage other partners to take this as an example of a good collaboration between Government and the private sector in improving access to quality healthcare services for Tanzanians. Hongereni sana wote ambao mmebuni mradi huu.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We all know that non-communicable diseases, including cancer, affect us all. Cancer is a disease that affects people of all ages and genders, children, adults, men to women. We all know people whose lives have been cut short by cancer here in Tanzania and outside Tanzania. Furthermore, it also causes significant losses to the nation because the disease reduces the workforce and slows down the development of the individual and the nation. It also results in family dependency and increasing the burden on the health system as it is a chronic disease and consumes many resources.

Statistics from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for 2020, for example, show an estimated 19.3 million new cancer patients worldwide each year. Of these, more than 10 million, about 50 percent of the new cases, about 50 percent of the patients die from cancer each year. In addition, out of five people, one person is diagnosed with cancer and out of eight people, one dies from the disease. Here in Tanzania according to International Agency for Research on Cancer, Tanzania has an incidence of 76 cancer patients per a hundred thousand population per annum. Equivalent to 42,000 new cancer cases each year. And approximately 29,000 patients, equivalent to 68 percent, die each year because of cancer. This is mainly attributed by the late diagnosis and inadequate number of facilities to provide or to cater for cancer treatment in palliative care. The national population based cancer registry has registered for example 12,000 new cases which is almost 28 percent of the expected number of new cases per annum for the year 2020. This means further effort is needed to capture all cases. According to the National Registry, Eastern Zone has the highest number of registered cases about 7,381 followed by Northern Zone 2,783 cases, Lake Zone 1098 cases. In other zones in Tanzania combined making the remaining 13% of the registered cases. These statistics are alarmingly high and as a country we need to make immediate measures to control the situation. Strengthening health education, early screening and treatment is key for the control of cancer in Tanzania.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am aware that on 11 March 2022 the Ministry of Health partnered with the Aga Khan Hospital here in Dar es Salaam in the official launch of the Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP). One of the project goals as we have been informed is the improvement of cancer care infrastructure and treatment facilities in Tanzania. Recognising the importance of this cancer project, the Government of Tanzania will give all the necessary support to make sure that its citizens can easily access these much-needed services. Availability of these services here at the Aga Khan Hospital will reduce patient congestion at our Ocean Road Cancer Institute. We have been informed here this centre is expected to treat about 120 patients per day. Currently at our Ocean Road Cancer Institute they see about 800- 900 patients per day, so you can see the importance of this centre. It also going to reduce congestion at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute. Good news, Princess Zahra, I am very pleased to hear that this centre will also provide services to about 35 percent of cancer patients who will not be able to afford medical treatment [they] will be offered welfare support. We would like to encourage this arrangement to be implemented and we would like to thank you very much for taking it into consideration of the Tanzanians especially from low-income households to have access to high-quality cancer services at the Aga Khan Hospital. This is a good thing and I congratulate you very much. Asanteni sana.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I understand that Tanzania has a shortage of radiation equipment especially LINAC machines. So far in Tanzania we have a population of about 60 million people and we have seven radiation treatment machines, four are located at Ocean Road Cancer Institute, one at BESTA, one at Good Samaritan Hospital in Ifakara and one is in Bugando Zonal Referral Hospital, in Mwanza. I am told that Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Centre will add two radiation treatment machines thus increasing the number of radiation treatment machines in the country to nine machines, increasing access to cancer radiation treatment in Tanzania. It is my hope that these machines will be matched with all machines in other hospitals in Tanzania so that, should one of them break down, as we usually observed at our Ocean Road Cancer Institute, then patients can easily be transferred and treated in other hospitals.

In addition, these services will reduce the number of patients travelling abroad for cancer services and it will make Tanzania the hub of premier care - for premier cancer care in medical tourism. All of these show that our Government is determined to fight cancer, but also enabling private hospitals to provide such services. And since the Aga Khan Hospital is going to add two radiation machines at our Ocean Road Cancer Institute we are installing a PET-SCAN machine, so we are looking forward to seeing complementarity between the Aga Khan Hospital and our Ocean Road Cancer Institute and other cancer centres in Tanzania.

However, my humble request to the Aga Khan Hospital here is also to invest in improving or enhancing access to screening services for early detection. As a Minister of Health, it is really, very, very painful to see that 80 percent of patients who attend or visit our Ocean Road Cancer Institute, they go there while cancer is at stage 3 or stage 4 then they make treatment very difficult. And so, we would also like to request the Aga Khan Hospital and other partners also to collaborate with the Government of Tanzania to enhance access to screening services and detection not only for cancer but also for other non-communicable diseases, for example, diabetes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would also like to recognise that the Aga Khan, maybe before talking about this, the Government will also continue to ensure or to reach out to various girls in Tanzania to have HPV vaccine. We launched it in 2017-2018 but because of COVID-19 the number has gone down because of supply of HPV vaccine in Tanzania. So, we do also believe that improving access to HPV vaccine to young girls in Tanzania will also help us to reduce the burden of cancer disease in Tanzania.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to recognise that Aga Khan Health Services in Tanzania has been working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health for many years. It has had enormous contribution on health system strengthening, particularly around quality health service delivery, in effective and efficient programming in maternal child and newborn health quality and accreditation, capacity building and now on cancer care being the good example.

The Ministry of Health highly supports this project which provides [a] unique opportunity for improving access to cancer care especially for high-end treatment and training of health professionals and we believe that partners and communities will respond positively to this project. The Government appreciates Aga Khan Health Services’ integrated approach of service delivery and collaborations in building capacities of public and private health service providers on cancer.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Before concluding this speech, on behalf of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan,  President of the United Republic of Tanzania, I would like to thank various stakeholders and donors who have made this project possible including the French Development Agency (AFD), thank you very much Stephanie for the contribution and the Aga Khan Foundation. But also, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, we thank you very much for your active participation to make this project a reality today. I know cancer, you are so much concerned to make sure Tanzanians, especially the women, men have access to cancer, quality cancer treatment, access to quality cancer services in Tanzania.

So, with due respect, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations and appreciation to His Highness the Aga Khan for giving priority to cancer and for ongoing support to Tanzania in improving health care. Kindly send our warm appreciation to His Highness the Aga Khan.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the role and importance of the media in our joint efforts to educate the public about cancer and how the sixth-term Government is improving medical services in the country. I urge you to inform Tanzanians about the importance of early screening of cancer and other non-communicable diseases as soon as possible in order to reduce the burden of disease.

With that said, I would like to officially announce that I am now ready to lay the foundation stone for constructing the cancer care centre here at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

Thank you for your attention, asanteni sana kwa kunisikiliza.

speech_264980 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">"الإحصائيات مرتفعة بشكل ينذر بالخطر، ونحن كدولة نحتاج إلى اتخاذ تدابير فورية للسيطرة على هذا الوضع. يُعتبر تعزيز الثقافة الصحية وإجراء الفحوصات المبكرة وتقديم العلاج أمراً أساسياً للسيطرة على السرطان في تنزانيا".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
Statement by Prince Rahim Aga Khan at the virtual Afghanistan Conference 2022 Afghanistan Thursday, 31 March 2022 1648720800 Statement by Prince Rahim Aga Khan at the virtual Afghanistan Conference 2022 speech Afghanistan 2020s 9241 1 264216


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of His Highness the Aga Khan, I thank the Governments of Germany, Qatar, the United Kingdom, as well as the United Nations, for convening this meeting at a time when so many Afghans are in peril.

Since August, despite huge challenges, in cooperation with UN agencies, the Aga Khan Development Network has maintained its life-saving work across Afghanistan: keeping its hospitals and clinics open; assisting communities with food, shelter and livelihoods; and continuing to help thousands of children of both genders to access learning.

That is a sign of the unfailing commitment of the Ismaili Imamat and the AKDN to the people of Afghanistan. Our experience over the past three decades, along with generous support from many international partners, has taught us to believe deeply in the capacity of Afghans, in their pluralism, and in the strength of their vibrant, diverse communities. They have shown time and again that they are resilient and resourceful, but today, they need help.

That is why we urge the international community to support the UN’s humanitarian appeal with generosity and speed. But it must also address the causes of this crisis – the economic collapse, banking and monetary paralysis, and the strangulation of legitimate Afghan businesses and jobs. These deserve equally urgent and practical attention. 

Today, we must send a signal of hope to Afghans across the country, and especially at the community level where Afghanistan’s future will be determined. It is there that Afghans of all backgrounds will come together to address their most urgent needs. Let us act swiftly in solidarity, with foresight and with compassion.

Thank you.

speech_264217 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">"يجب أن نرسل اليوم إشارة أمل إلى الأفغان في جميع أنحاء البلاد ... دعونا نتصرف بسرعة من خلال التضامن والتبصّر والتعاطف".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
Speech by the AKDN Diplomatic Representative Nazim Ahmad Maputo, Mozambique Monday, 21 March 2022 1647684900 Inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo speech Mozambique 2020s 263585 1 Aga Khan Academies,Education,Mozambique Aga Khan Academies Education


Your Excellency President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi

Your Excellency President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Your Excellency Prince Rahim Aga Khan

Your Excellency Prime Minister Adriano Maleiane

Your Excellency President Joaquim Chissano

Her Excellency Madam Minister of Education and Human Development Carmelita Namashulua

Honourable Members of the Government

Your Excellency Secretary of State in Maputo Province Vitória Dias Diogo

Your Excellency Governor of the Province of Maputo Júlio Parruque

Your Excellency President of the Municipal Council of the City of Matola Calisto Cossa

Your Excellency Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Portugal Francisco André

Representatives of the Authorities of the States of Mozambique and Portugal

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am deeply honoured to convey to all present here our most heartfelt and warmest greetings to this inauguration ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo. 

This is a memorable occasion for all of us, which officially marks the opening of an important project of the Aga Khan Development Network in Mozambique, a project that will, we believe, impact the development of Mozambique and of Mozambicans.

What we are witnessing today reflects the spirit of partnership, friendship and the strong relationship between the Republic of Mozambique and the Ismaili Imamat, grounded on shared values and on the common goal of building a better future for the peoples of this beautiful country, known as the pearl of the Indic.

I therefore welcome, with particularly warmth, Your Excellency President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi to this ceremony, and convey our gratitude for making availability and honouring us with this presence.

I also warmly greet Your Excellency President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for having also accepted to participate in this ceremony.

I also extend a fraternal and respectful salutation, allow me, to Your Excellency President Joaquim Chissano, who makes us very happy with Your presence and who was at the epicenter of this project and the institutional presence of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Republic of Mozambique, since 1998.

I express my deep gratitude to the state entities – central, provincial and local; to public companies; the project team; past and present leadership and faculty; and to all the employees who started and continued this ambitious project, since 2008.

We are fortunate to have, with us today, two Heads of State that are recognised for the affinities that unite Mozambique and Portugal. The Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network are privileged to also have a close relationship with the two countries here represented at the highest level.  It is an honour to be able to humbly welcome you to this house of knowledge, of sharing, of merit, of equality, of inclusion, of opportunities, of intellectual enlightenment and of hope.  Hope in this generation that studies here, hope in the coming generations who will study here, hope that these generations will be in the leadership of the country, in its progress, in improving the quality of life of Mozambicans.

This Academy provides excellent education in state-of-the-art infrastructures, from early childhood development to pre-university.

The principle of providing access to opportunities is rooted in AKDN projects, having the first initiatives established more than 100 years ago in Eastern Africa and South Asia, emanating from its principles of respect for human dignity and social conscience.

The Aga Khan Academy Maputo, inaugurated today by the Presidents of two Portuguese-speaking countries, in the presence of Prince Rahim Aga Khan, will play a central role inside and outside Portuguese-speaking countries, in the creation of capacity, knowledge and exchange. This will be reinforced by the future Aga Khan Academy in Lisbon.

We can find ways to build bridges around knowledge and competence, to build stronger and more inclusive societies.

Today, the creation of these bridges is increasingly pressing. We hope that this Academy, its students, parents and teachers, can make positive contributions to our common future.

Therefore, I thank you once again for your presence at this auspicious ceremony and reiterate my deep gratitude to the Mozambican government and to all those who made this dream a reality.

Thank you very much.

speech_263586 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">"إنه لشرف كبير أن أرحب بكم وبكل تواضع هنا في دار المعرفة والمشاركة والجدارة والمساواة والاندماج، والفرص، والتنوير الفكري والأمل".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
Speech by President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa Maputo, Mozambique Monday, 21 March 2022 1647684000 Inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo speech Mozambique,Portugal 2020s 263582 1 Aga Khan Academies,Education,Mozambique,Portugal Aga Khan Academies Education

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi,

His Excellency Prince Rahim Aga Khan,

His Excellency President Joaquim Chissano,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Young students of this Academy,

I was here in January of 2020, when the Academy was being born. I took the time to talk to the students about its present and its future. The Academy was yet to become what it is today. It was still in its inception, but now we can all start looking at its future. I told you then and I will tell you again: attending this Academy is a great privilege and a unique opportunity in your lives. It represents the vision of His Highness the Aga Khan, which has been passed on to His Highness Prince Rahim, and it is a vision made up of humanism, of respect for the individual, for the dignity of each individual, made of flesh and bone, with their own particularities, their own diverse paths and stories. This is a very rich way of experiencing Islam, one that believes there is an intimate connection between faith and social action. Humanism results from that dignity of the divine creation of the human being and that is why it is universal; that is why it is based on tolerance and dialogue, open and inclusive, and with a place for everyone. I often carry with me a quotation from the Qur’an, which says: "The blessings of your Lord reach everyone. No one shall be denied the blessings of your Lord." It is about being open to all religions, to those without one, to all beliefs, everywhere in the world. This is the vision that inspires the entire Aga Khan Development Network, both economically and socially, and also this Academy. A vision that has inspired the message of the Aga Khan Network all over the world: in education, health, social solidarity, supporting those in need, fraternity, dialogue, the gathering of cultures and civilizations. This is a reality we are familiar with in Portugal, where there is a strong Ismaili Community, a Community that has been the bearer of this message of humanism and fraternity.

This message is also very present in Mozambique, a country with an Ismaili Community that is also very strong, dynamic and courageous. And this Academy is, in its own way, the recognition of the importance of that Community. That is why we have here today the Presidents of the two States in representation of the two Peoples. The President of Mozambique testifying to the strength and the future of a great country, generous and open, one which would rather give than take. And the President of Portugal, who shares the same values and principles, in an atmosphere of fraternity. And we are both here, in the context of my visit to Mozambique, to thank His Highness Prince Rahim for his message, a message of future, one that will carry on a legacy. But none of us are what really matters in this celebration, not me, nor President Nyusi, nor President Chissano, a very important figure in the early days of this project, nor even His Highness Prince Rahim; what really matters are these young women and men who are here today. They are the raison d'être of the Academy, there is no Academy without students and youth. And what I want to tell you, picking up on our conversation two years ago, before the pandemic, is that you are privileged. 

There are millions of children and young people around the world who cannot attend an Academy like this. Millions in every country and every continent would like to be able to attend an Academy such as this one. That is a great responsibility you bear on your shoulders. The more you take the more you shall give to others. One's happiness can only be built with others in mind. And the only way to reward the millions that will never get to attend this school is to be the best and the most you can be. You have to be the best at grasping this opportunity that others will not have. The best at studying, learning and communicating, at living with those who are different and respecting them. And then you must be the best in building Mozambique. A country that shall be open to all religions, to those who have no religion, to all opinions, dreams and future projects. That is your duty. 

His Highness Prince Rahim came here to express that the Aga Khan's message enabled the construction of this Academy. But its success will depend on the success of each and every student that will pass through here. I wish you all the happiness in the world because your happiness is the happiness of Mozambique. If there is happiness in Mozambique, there is happiness in Portugal. In Africa. In the world. What we do in our lives has an impact on the whole world. It is your duty to learn from the message of His Highness the Aga Khan, embodied by His Highness Prince Rahim Aga Khan here today: be useful to the world, but start by being useful to Mozambique.

speech_263583 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="text-justify:inter-ideograph"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%">"ثمة الملايين من الأطفال والشباب حول العالم لا يمكنهم الحضور والدراسة في مثل هذه الأكاديمية... والطريقة الوحيدة لتعويض الملايين الذين ليس بإمكانهم القدوم إلى هنا هو أن تكونوا في أفضل حالاتكم وأن توظّفوا أفضل إمكاناتكم".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
Speech by President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi Maputo, Mozambique Monday, 21 March 2022 1647683100 Inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo speech Mozambique 2020s 263580 1 Education,Aga Khan Academies,Mozambique Aga Khan Academies Education

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin my remarks by once again welcoming His Highness Prince Rahim Aga Khan and his delegation. I trust you are enjoying our traditional hospitality, seasoned with abundant smiles and typical Mozambican cuisine.

It is always a pleasure to have Your Highness on our homeland soil, indeed I recalled that when I was with your father in France, I repeated this many times. We are sure that wherever you go, you have been our ambassadors promoting our landmark of hospitality and welcoming, to economic and social investment.

Once again, we would like to reiterate our warm greetings to His Excellency, dear brother and friend, President of the Portuguese Republic, friend of the Mozambicans. Just yesterday, I was told that for three hours you were talking to Mozambicans in the coffee shop. You are also a friend of the Aga Khan Development Network, we thought that it was in this light that you could not resist the invitation to be with us at this inauguration ceremony of the Aga Khan Academy.

We can, therefore, say that it is an honour to be present with you at this solemn ceremony of the inauguration of this Academy and to share the history of the growth of this group in Mozambique.

I renew the invitation that I will formally extend to you so that in August we will also be on another mission in Quelimane.

It is with great honour that we inaugurate today the Aga Khan Academy Maputo, in our beautiful city of Matola, Maputo province. This is the 2nd Academy of the Aga Khan Development Network that is implemented in our country.

The ceremony we attended today is a further testimony that our partnership agenda focused on the development will always be a priority, with human capital at its core.

Your Highness the Prince, we have been monitoring with appreciation the implementation of several social and economic projects carried out by the Aga Khan Network that contribute a lot to the development of Mozambique, mostly aligned with the national development programme.

Let me remind you of what we talked about yesterday when the three of us were together.

It doesn't need to be half of this infrastructure, it can even be one third, one third and in partnership with the Aga Khan group we'll build a hospital in Mozambique. It will be different. It will help, it will reduce travel, but taking the words of President Marcelo, it will touch the Man.

Therefore, we are pleased to say that the inauguration of this Academy is part of a far-reaching vision and is part of the reinforcement of the good cooperative relationships that we are establishing with different partners who, with us, dream of building an increasingly prosperous society.

I think you know that we will soon sign again the agreement that is being worked on and this agreement will be an instrument to strengthen our relations.

This Academy is the result of our relationship with this group that we have carried out in recent years, following our interest in expanding its field of activity, aiming for its growth. I am convinced that Mozambique can only succeed in building a prosperous nation if it succeeds in its human capital development programme, which involves promoting universal access to quality education that is capable of meeting the demand of the labour market in quantitative and, above all, qualitative terms.

We encourage the activities developed in Mozambique by the Aga Khan Network, as been referred, like the case of social development programmes, services to promote tourism, with the management of the Polana Serena Hotel as an important mark, services of industrial production such as in textiles here in Matola, the Agricultural Institute of Bilibiza in the province of Cabo Delgado, which unfortunately was the target of a terrorist action.

With the inauguration of this Academy in the city of Matola, I pray that my compatriots from this city and from other corners of our beautiful Mozambique and from the world, may acquire the knowledge and skills that this establishment will offer. The know-how that will come out of here should become a tool capable of driving the socio-economic development of our country and serve everyone without distinction.

I would like to end by thanking everyone here present and those who worked so that this act was crowned with success. And I will say one more thing: Maputo province must take advantage of these infrastructures in a rational manner and within the regulations of this institution. Let it not just be a beauty implanted in the city, but knowledge should come out of this.

To His Highness Prince Rahim Aga Khan of the Aga Khan Development Network, thank you very much for the initiative, I salute you personally and also thank you for being in person at this event of great importance for Mozambicans.

In particular, I would like to thank my brother, His Excellency Professor Marcelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic, for his honourable presence at this ceremony, and for the fact that since yesterday we have been directing our attention to important projects for the creation of the well-being of those who need it most.

Thank you very much for your attention.



speech_263581 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">"مع افتتاح هذه الأكاديمية في مدينة ماتولا ... يجب أن تصبح المعرفة التي ستحصلون عليها أداة قادرة على تعزيز التنمية الاجتماعية والاقتصادية في بلدنا، فضلاً عن ضرورة تقديم الخدمات للجميع دون تمييز".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p> English
Speech by Prince Rahim Aga Khan Maputo, Mozambique Monday, 21 March 2022 1647674100 Inauguration of the Aga Khan Academy Maputo speech Mozambique 2020s 9241 1 Education,Mozambique,Aga Khan Academies Aga Khan Academies Education


Your Excellency, President Nyusi, Republic of Mozambique

Your Excellency, President Marcelo of the Portuguese Republic

Your Excellency, President Chissano

Honourable ministers and excellencies

Students, parents, and staff of the Aga Khan Academy

Todo protocol compredo

Ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of His Highness the Aga Khan, good afternoon. Your Excellency, President Nyusi, without your friendship and your support for this project we would not be here today. Under your leadership, the Mozambican authorities provided the enabling conditions for this project to see the light of day. We are inspired by your leadership and honoured by your presence – thank you.

Excellency, President Marcelo, your presence here today is a symbol of the deep friendship between the Ismaili Imamat and the Republic of Portugal, and we are honoured and grateful that you are here with us.

Excellency, President Chissano, I know that my father the Aga Khan and Your Excellency first discussed education in Mozambique some five decades ago. And that you are here today for this inauguration is an honour and a joy – thank you. I wish to thank our friends at the Agence Française de Développement for their collaboration on this academy project. They are a longstanding and valued partner of the Aga Khan Development Network, and we appreciate them deeply.

This Academy is one among a growing network of integrated Aga Khan Academies comprising Mombasa, Kenya; Hyderabad, India; Maputo; Dhaka, Bangladesh, currently in construction; and Lisbon, Portugal, in the design phase. These will be followed by Islamabad, and Inshallah several more. The wide geographic spread of the Academies is by design – to allow students and staff to seamlessly travel to academies in other countries, see different cultures, and build an appreciation and a love for them. The intercultural awakening that we hope will be experienced at the Aga Khan Academies is further enhanced by their highly diverse student bodies. For instance, in this academy, half the students are Mozambican, while the other half hail from 23 other countries.

It is no accident then, that one of the Aga Khan strands with which the Academies complement the International Baccalaureate is pluralism. We know that the Academy students will graduate into a highly interconnected world, and they need therefore to be open minded and exposed to a multiplicity of backgrounds and of views. Further preparing the Academy students, the IB curriculum at this academy is taught in two languages – Portuguese and English – but an almost unlimited number of languages can be learnt here.

As a centre of excellence, this Academy will equip its students with the tools needed to be competitive and to thrive, as they go on to their universities and then enter the arena of adult life. And it will teach them to push themselves to be the best they can possibly be.

But just as important as the academic tools with which the academy will equip its students, are the values they will strengthen here. Indeed, another one of the Aga Khan strands interwoven into the IB curriculum is that of ethics. Ethics are taught here not just in theory, but put into practice in elements of service and of leadership in the student's daily lives. The Aga Khan Academies intend for their graduates not to be good at subjects only, but good as individuals. While tools are important, the values that drive their use are what will make the world better through these students. Our commitment to our parents, then, is to do our utmost to develop values and ethics in their children, just as we equip them with the practical skills needed to achieve success in their lives.

To the students here today, I would like to share with you one perspective. Throughout your studies and your youth, adults will tell you that the future is ahead of you. I want to tell you that the future is what you leave behind you, shaped by every one of your actions and your statements and your decisions. The future follows behind you in the path that you choose. Look at this academy - it's an institution born of past decisions and past actions, which now will shape the future: your future, the future of your families, and the future of this beautiful country, Mozambique.

I cannot end today without saying that what I've seen here in the last days is a great friendship between the Ismaili Imamat and these two countries. And I think in our organisation and in our community, nobody embodies friendship as much as our diplomatic representative, Nazim Ahmad, without whom perhaps all of this would have been much more difficult. So Nazim, I want to recognise your role in getting us all here today.

Thank you very much.

speech_263558 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif">"طوال فترة دراستكم ومرحلة شبابكم، سيخبركم البالغون أن المستقبل أمامكم. أود إخباركم أن المستقبل هو ما تتركوه وراءكم، وما تشكلونه من خلال أفعالكم وتصريحاتكم وقراراتكم، وإن المستقبل يتبعكم في الطريق الذي اخترتموه".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
The Global Convocation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University Nairobi, Kenya Monday, 28 February 2022 1645899300 Address by Chief Guest Dr Peter Kalmus at the Global Convocation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University speech Kenya,Pakistan,Tanzania,Uganda 2020s 262283 1 Education,Pakistan,Kenya,Tanzania,Uganda Aga Khan University Education

His Highness the Aga Khan;

Princess Zahra Aga Khan;

Guest of Honour Dr Peter Mathuki, Secretary General of the East African Community;

Chairman Zakir Mahmood and the Board of Trustees;

Chairman Moyez Alibhai and the AKU-Kenya University Council;

President and Vice Chancellor Sulaiman Shahabuddin;

Ladies and gentlemen;

And above all, to you, the incredible graduates:

Greetings and congratulations. What an honour it is to address you today, on this joyful occasion. Great job to all of you! I share your commitment to improving the lives of all beings on this Earth. I want to acknowledge AKU’s work to improve quality of life in the developing world, as well as the leadership that Prince Rahim and the AKDN are demonstrating in addressing climate change and environmental degradation.

Now, this strikes me as a strange time in our planet’s four-and-half-billion-year history for giving convocation speeches. 

As a climate scientist, I see a meteor hurtling directly toward our achingly beautiful planet, and I don’t yet see society or world leaders mobilising to stop it. Fossil fuels are heating our planet at a rate of a tenth of a degree Celsius every five years. This may not sound like much, but for an entire planet to heat this quickly is both astounding and terrifying.

The disasters we are living through now are just the beginning. At every additional fraction of heating, climate disasters will come faster and hit harder. Like gut punches to our global society, they will increasingly stress infrastructure systems, economic systems, energy systems, food and water systems, political systems and ecosystems. 

The proximal cause of climate destruction is burning fossil fuels. Before we had a fossil fuel industry, the planet was in energy balance. The same amount of energy came in as sunlight as went back out to space, so it stayed at a constant temperature. Burning gas, coal and oil has changed that. It continues pushing our planet further and further out of balance, forcing it to heat up.

The crisis has been overwhelmingly caused by the Global North, with impacts hitting the Global South soonest and hardest. And powerful vested interests are doing what they can to block action. So, what can we do?

This is a question I’ve been grappling with for a very long time.

Sixteen years ago, I was a physics PhD student in New York City, in love with the universe and its mysteries, overjoyed to finally be part of the noble quest for human knowledge. I was interested in cosmology – the big questions, where we come from and where we’re going.

The year 2006 brought two big changes to my life. First, I became a dad, which was expansive. It connected me to the future. And second, I heard a lecture about how the Earth was out of energy balance and heating up. This lecture rattled me. Earth is out of energy balance? This is absolutely monumental news, literally the biggest story on the planet. It was then, and it’s even more so today.

I started learning about climate change. I tried to get my university to switch to electricity that came from wind power. I could only find one other person on campus who supported my cause – and not for a lack of trying, because back then, hardly anyone cared about climate change. Social norms around climate hadn’t started to shift. 

Now, social norms are unspoken but very powerful shared beliefs. They’re like society’s subconscious mind. For example, the belief that it’s normal to burn fossil fuels. Sure, it’s destroying our planet – but it’s a normal thing to do. Everyone’s doing it.

Social norms are like the water surrounding a fish. We swim in them, every moment. They create society, they shape its systems and its power structures, but most of the time, we don’t even notice them. They are partly responsible for climate and ecological breakdown, as well as humanity’s breath-taking lack of response. How much we can still save will be largely determined by how quickly we can shift these norms.

Now, as the years ticked by, I grew ever more alarmed and frustrated about climate inaction. By 2010, burning fossil fuels had become deeply upsetting to me. The connection between fossil fuels and worsening climate impacts was just too clear. So I started reducing my emissions systematically, scientifically, starting with the biggest things first: giving up air travel, biking instead of driving and slashing my energy use at home, among many other changes. This taught me three valuable lessons. First, for me it was fun to live with less fossil fuel. It engaged my curiosity, led me to new hobbies and caused me to make new friends. Second, I experienced how we all rely on vast impersonal systems for all of our daily needs – food, water, clothes, streets – everything. To be able to get to zero fossil fuel use, all those systems are going to have to change. And third, very few people were actually willing to follow me in these sorts of changes.

When I started, I hoped my actions would inspire other people. But I’d say roughly maybe one out of a hundred people are willing to systematically reduce their emissions. So, while I think it’s a great thing to do, it simply isn’t enough on its own.

By 2012, I’d become so alarmed that I couldn’t focus on astrophysics any longer, so I switched into climate science. I also started speaking out as much as I could. I was told that scientists aren’t supposed to speak out, but I did it anyway. How could I not speak out, seeing what I see and knowing what I know?

We need to help each other wake up, and quickly. We need a billion climate activists. We need to build a global climate movement that’s even stronger than the fossil fuel industry. We need a huge number of engaged, passionate, courageous climate activists. We need to come together, with courage, conviction and creativity, to stop the meteor that’s hurtling toward us. No one is safe from global heating. There is no hiding from it on this tiny, connected, pale blue dot of a planet. The only safety will come from stopping it and doing this will require deep changes in how humanity organises as a society, and how we live upon this Earth. 

Climate work will be humanity’s main task for the rest of this century: healing the Earth, restoring wild places, adapting to new disasters and figuring out how to live side by side with each other and all the other species here, who have just as much of a right to be on this planet as we do. There’s infrastructure to build, technologies to invent. There are new legal and moral and even spiritual frameworks to come up with. There is new art to make, new economics to devise and new stories to tell. We need institutions to devise new disciplines and new ways of thinking, rapidly reduce their emissions, educate the public and create social change. AKU is already playing a hugely important role in the Global South and must keep going.

We also need you, the graduates of the Aga Khan University – among the best and the brightest the world has to offer – to devote your lives to solving the greatest crisis humanity has ever faced. Contribute to global knowledge and innovation. Demand climate justice. Have the courage to cause good trouble. Be the voice for the voiceless, for all the species that are going extinct and for future generations. 

Climate disasters will get worse before they get better. But we could stop all of this if we would make the collective choice to treat climate breakdown as an emergency. Imagine in the future that we’ve turned this corner, that the living Earth is in the process of healing, that our species was on the brink of destruction but came to its senses at the last moment. I foresee that this will bring a tremendous feeling of global solidarity, of cosmic solidarity with life in the universe. My dream is that I will live to experience a time when we are finally on the right path, toward a more mature humanity, a kinder and more grateful humanity, full of joy simply to be here, on this Earth – one strand in the tapestry of life. 

I know that a much better world is possible. No law of physics prevents it. It’s up to us. It’s the journey of a lifetime, and it beckons to each and every one of you. Go out there and do it.

speech_262284 <p dir="RTL" style="text-align:justify"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">"نحن بحاجة لمساعدة بعضنا البعض في الاستيقاظ بسرعة من غفلتنا، فضلاً عن حاجتنا لمليار ناشط ممن يهتمون بالمناخ. كما أننا بحاجة للقيام بعمل على مستوى العالم تجاه المناخ أقوى من صناعة الوقود الأحفوري، إضافةً إلى حاجتنا إلى عدد كبير من نشطاء المناخ ممن يتحلون بالالتزام والحماس والشجاعة".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English
The Global Convocation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University Nairobi, Kenya Monday, 28 February 2022 1645898400 Valedictorian address by Mr Adnan Ali Khan at the Global Convocation Ceremony of the Aga Khan University speech Kenya,Pakistan,Tanzania,Uganda 2020s 262281 1 Pakistan,Kenya,Tanzania,Education,Uganda Aga Khan University Education

His Highness the Aga Khan;

Princess Zahra Aga Khan;

Leaders of the University;

Distinguished guests, family, friends and my fellow graduates:

Good afternoon. My name is Adnan Ali Khan and I am grateful and honoured to welcome you on behalf of the Aga Khan University, Class of 2021. A class of physicians, dental hygienists, nurses, educators and journalists – or in other words, future leaders, pioneers and trailblazers. Congratulations to each and every one of you for chasing your dreams to this destination.

AKU has given us a multitude of opportunities to flourish in all aspects of our lives. We have been trained and pushed to achieve goals far beyond our expectations.

There have been opportunities to grow, inspire and to be inspired. It is being in the company of other passionate, ambitious and talented students, as well as following in the footsteps of many inspiring alumni, that empowers AKU graduands to strive for excellence.

Reflecting on my medical school journey has made me grateful for the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned – from lifelong friendships with fellow students, residents and nurses forged through classes, clinics and long night calls, to chai breaks with mentors that have helped shape me into who I am today and will continue to influence who I am yet to become.

At AKU, there is always an emphasis on the academic side of our profession, but there was equal importance placed on being a humanitarian. Each programme here today has made unique efforts in shaping the world into a better place through service to their community.

I would be remiss to not mention the elephant in the room: COVID. The reason we’re sitting far apart, masked up, and our family and loved ones joining us virtually instead of being by our sides, cheering us on as they’ve been doing for the last few years. We owe our faculty and administration, who made sure we are ready to face this new reality. We owe the unsung heroes who spent hours helping us follow COVID protocols, testing us weekly to make sure we remained negative on paper and positive in our attitudes.

During the pandemic, our student experiences may have to have been socially distanced, but whether it was community-based volunteer camp, an academic research-society or AKU’s own student mentorship programme, “Synergy”, COVID didn't stop any of us from reaching out and doing what we do best. Rather, it changed us – motivated us – to volunteer more, to innovate in research, and most importantly, it reminded this community that even students can and do make a difference.

We learned one of the most important skills you can’t be taught in a classroom: the ability to adapt, to pick ourselves up when we’re battered and bruised and use that experience to become wiser and more agile than ever.

With this in mind, I can safely say that this class of AKU graduates will be one of the most tenacious, resilient and open-minded groups of professionals to come from this institution. I think I speak for my entire class when I say this: We are ready.

To our Chancellor, His Highness, faculty, family members and everyone who gave us their unwavering support in our journey here: I cannot thank you enough.

On that note, it’s time for this class to look ahead to what’s next in life, after we step away from these familiar halls.

 As a fellow graduate of the Class of 2021, I can promise you the following three things:

Firstly: You are joining one of the strongest alumni communities in the world. A global family sprawled across six continents and 55 countries that will open its arms for you in your time of need – one that has embraced my classmates and myself, irrespective of distance, nationality or religion. Many of these alumni are our personal heroes, and some of our greatest inspirations returned back to this institution so that they may pass the torch to us. Remember, today, you are not just Aga Khan University graduates of Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, or London. Today, you are global graduates.

Secondly: You will be a leader in whatever you choose to do, and you will thrive. I know this because you have all succeeded thus far to be here on this momentous day – and that in and of itself is an act of courage.

Thirdly, and finally, I can promise you this: You will change someone's life. In fact, many of you already have – not just those who scrubbed in way past midnight in surgery, or their clinical partner who chose the right music in the operating room, but each and every one of you, just by virtue of being on this path, has made the world a better place. You have all chosen a career to give back to humanity and provide meaningful contributions to society first and foremost.

I believe I speak on behalf of my fellow graduates when I say that we are filled with excitement for the rest of our journeys. And whatever path we may end up on, we know that AKU has prepared us to take on the next challenge – with agility, perseverance and courage as a part of who we are.

Thank you, and congratulations once again.

speech_262282 <p dir="rtl" style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="direction:rtl"><span style="unicode-bidi:embed"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="background:white"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"><span style="color:black">"يمكنني القول بثقة وأمان أن هذه الدُفعة من خريجي جامعة الآغا خان ستكون إحدى أكثر مجموعات المهنيين ثباتاً ومرونةً وانفتاحاً. أعتقد أنني أتحدث نيابةً عن دُفعتي بأكملها عندما أقول: نحن جاهزون</span></span></span></span></span><span lang="AR-SA" style="font-size:12.0pt"><span style="line-height:150%"><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,sans-serif"> ومستعدون<span style="background:white"><span style="color:black">".</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> English