Nairobi, Kenya, 30 May 2019 - The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) today signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN agency focused on sustainable urbanisation, UN - Habitat. The MoU will further enhance AKAH’s work in implementing and driving urban and rural habitat planning, policy and design in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kenya to improve the quality of life of the communities it serves.
AKAH, with other agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), will partner with UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Design Branch in urban policy and capacity building and will support the development of the UN-Habitat’s newly formed Global Network of Labs through shared planning projects and the development of normative products and publications.
UN Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, welcomed the partnership, stating: ‘We are very honored to have the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat and the AKDN at our First Assembly. I first worked on a conservation action plan with the AKDN in Penang. I would like to renew my partnership from Penang to Nairobi with AKAH and the AKDN. I look forward to doing sustainable projects and to developing normative work to further sustainable development goals and urban planning frameworks for implementation with the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’.
Onno Ruhl, General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, said ‘It is such an honour to be present at the First Assembly of the UN-Habitat under Madame Maimunah Sharif’s leadership. This MoU is an anchor to our partnership and we are very excited to work on urban and rural planning and resilience projects with the UN-Habitat and the UN-Habitat Lab. My commitment is to make sure this is an MoU of action. This is a big day for us’.
The signing of this historic agreement took place during UN-Habitat’s First Assembly with the theme “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities” at the Agency’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. (https://unhabitat.org/habitatassembly/).
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), was established in 2015 to address the increasing threat posed by natural disasters and climate change. As an agency of the global Aga Khan Development Network, it works to ensure that poor people live in settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who live in high-risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response, and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a better quality of life.
For more information please contact:
Aga Khan Development Network Kenya
Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) brings together a number of social, economic and cultural development agencies, institutions and programmes that work primarily in Africa and Asia to help those in need achieve a level of self-reliance and improve their quality of life. The AKDN, operates in over 30 countries. It has been present in Kenya for over 100 years, where it has the largest number of agencies operating in a single country; employs over 16,000 staff (99% Kenyan) across all counties; and reaches over 7 million Kenyans directly, and many more millions indirectly, every year. All surpluses generated by the economic development agencies are reinvested for further development. Conservation of the natural environment, the protection of natural resources and empowering local communities through the preservation of culture and heritage are a part of the AKDN’s ethical framework and mandate.
Mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1978 to address the issues of urban growth, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world, focusing on building a brighter future for villages, towns, and cities of all sizes. Through extensive experience, UN-Habitat has gained a unique and a universally acknowledged expertise in urban matters. UN Habitat is positioned to provide answers and achievable solutions to the current challenges faced by our cities. It works to ensure that cities become inclusive and affordable drivers of economic growth and social development.