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  • His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, reviewing the master plan and design for a new 42-acre campus on Sam Nujoma Road which will house both the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development serving master’s level students and an Aga Khan Academy for middle and secondary school students.
    AKDN / Zahur Ramji
Aga Khan University’s Chancellor and Trustees decide to expand in Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania, 14 August 2014 - The Board of Trustees of the Aga Khan University (AKU) last week concluded a week of meetings in Tanzania. The Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan presided over the meetings, in which Trustees from five countries spanning three continents made key decisions to expand the University’s presence as a multidisciplinary university of international standing in the East African region.

AKU’s guiding vision is to educate a cadre of leaders who have a deep understanding of the issues and problems important to the region and the skills to creatively and effectively address these problems. The goal of AKU’s programmes is to develop in its students critical thinking and analytical abilities, strong verbal and written communications skills, and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. AKU students will understand how to formulate interdisciplinary approaches to address complex challenges and appreciate the pluralism of their societies.

The University’s mission is to educate exceptional individuals from across East Africa who have the potential to transform society. Admission to the University will be based on talent and financial aid will be provided based on need. AKU has a historic commitment to enabling access and to developing student potential.

To build on its well-established international reputation for providing world-class education as well as health services in its teaching hospitals, the University’s Board reviewed plans for adding new faculties, schools and programmes to transform AKU into a comprehensive university in East Africa.

The Aga Khan University’s ambitious plans in East Africa include adding a Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a Faculty of Health Sciences, a permanent facility for its Institute for Educational Development, and eight graduate professional schools, with the initial focus on Media and Communications; Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism; and Leadership and Management. The total investment over 15 years is estimated at USD 1.2 billion, of which approximately USD 1 billion will be spent in Tanzania.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Head of the Social Welfare Department of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and a Trustee of the University also participated in the meetings. During the visit, the Chancellor and Princess Zahra met with the leadership and Board of the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam to review the expansion plans for a regional Heart and Cancer Centre. This major expansion of the hospital in Dar es Salaam is part of the growing AKDN integrated health system, which includes existing hospitals in Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi and new hospitals planned for Arusha, Mwanza, and Kampala. In Dar es Salaam alone, the capital investment will exceed USD 165 million for the hospital, a residential school - the Aga Khan Academy, and the Institute for Educational Development, providing graduate education for teachers.

The AKU Trustees also reviewed plans for the University’s expansion in East Africa with a focus on Tanzania. Beginning in Dar es Salaam, they visited the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development and met with faculty and students of the three academic programmes offered in Tanzania, including the Advanced Nursing Studies programme, Medical Master’s Degree in Family Medicine, and Master’s of Education.

His Highness the Aga Khan and the Trustees also visited the site on Sam Nujoma Road to review the master plan and design for a new 42-acre campus, which will house both the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development serving master’s level students and an Aga Khan Academy for middle and secondary school students. Residential accommodation for faculty, staff and students is part of the planned development.

The Chancellor and Trustees concluded their deliberations with a day-long session in Arusha at the proposed site for AKU’s Principal Campus in East Africa to conduct a detailed review of the academic programmes and operating budgets, land use plan, launch approach, capital investments, and preliminary architectural ideas. At launch, this campus will host undergraduate and research programmes offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a specialised programme in Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism. The campus will also include a University Village comprising a school, hospital, hotel, housing, retail, and recreation and entertainment facilities.

The Board members met in Dar es Salaam with Government officials from the Ministries of Education and Vocational Training, Finance, Health, Science and Technology, and Communications, and in Arusha with the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly, Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community, and District Commissioners. All the officials expressed appreciation for the numerous AKDN contributions in Tanzania and strongly encouraged the University to accelerate the planned new developments. The Trustees acknowledged the need to move faster, calling on the Government of Tanzania to ensure timely provision of the necessary enabling conditions for these substantial investments.

For more information please contact:

Navroz Lakhani
Management & Programme Liaison Officer
Aga Khan Development Network (Tanzania)
Plot 78, Haile Selassie Road, Oysterbay
P.O. Box 23105, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255-22-266-6914
Fax: +255-22-266-6915
Mobile: +255-784-781-187


His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the AKDN, is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. In Islam’s ethical tradition, religious leaders not only interpret the faith but also have a responsibility to help improve the quality of life in their community and in the societies amongst which they live. For His Highness the Aga Khan, this has meant a deep engagement with development for over 50 years through the agencies of the AKDN.

The Aga Khan University (AKU) is an agency of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), founded by His Highness the Aga Khan. It was granted its charter in 1983 as Pakistan's first private, autonomous university. The Aga Khan University’s objective is “to be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge” while inspiring students to be independent learners and researchers imbued with a spirit of service and respect for others. In the 28 years since its founding, Aga Khan University’s major focus has been in the fields of health and education. For the decades ahead the University plans to step beyond success in these areas and become a more diversified university, both geographically and academically.

The agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) are private, international, non-denominational development organisations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in 30 countries in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa. Some programmes, such as specific research, education and cultural programmes, span both the developed and developing worlds. AKDN employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 600 million. The project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) generate revenues of US$ 2.3 billion (all surpluses are reinvested in further development activities). While each agency pursues its own mandate, all of them work together within the overarching framework of the Network so that their different pursuits interact and reinforce one another.