Edmonton, Canada, 9 June 2009 - The University of Alberta and the Aga Khan University today signed a memorandum of understanding that advances their respective goals to increase global engagement and to promote equitable human advancement and social justice throughout the world. The agreement was signed at Government House by University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera and Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul in the presence of Alberta Premier Ed Stelmachand His Highness the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network.
His Highness the Aga Khan received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the
On the same day, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared in the House of Commons that
Speaking at the MoU signing, University of Alberta President and Vice-Chancellor I.V. Samarasekera said: " In a world that is too often envisioned as divided and broken, His Highness has given voice to another possibility. He has shown us the possibility of a world where understanding and compassion can heal division, where education and self-reliance can raise the poorest communities out of poverty, where the celebration of beauty in all cultures can bring joy, and where an ethic of service to humanity can unite us all." (For more information, please see the
“The expansion of this partnership puts the
The agreement expands on an existing relationship between the two universities and includes two additional agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network: the University of Central Asia and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
Areas identified for immediate collaboration include health sciences education, humanities development and library planning, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land use programs with particular emphasis on mountain environments and semi-arid regions with the University of Central Asia.
“This partnership will enable the
The deepened partnership will also facilitate the participation of the U of A in the development of the Undergraduate Medical Education Programme in
The collaboration between the two universities builds on an initial agreement signed in June 2006 on academic and scientific cooperation together with Alberta Health Services. As a result of that agreement, faculty and staff from the AKU School of Nursing and the
Over the past 25 years, the
“Partnerships, such as this one, build capacity in the developing world where it is needed most, but more importantly, they build compassion and understanding across our interconnected world. By expanding this partnership to other AKDN agencies, we hope to spread the benefits further afield,” said Rasul.
For more information, please contact:
Aga Khan University Department of Communications
Director, Development Canada
Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan
780-492-8458 or 780-233-7269 cell
His Highness the Aga Khan
His Highness the Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims and Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The 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
Recent Canadian Initiatives
In 2006, the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada signed a funding agreement towards the development of a new international initiative, the Global Centre for Pluralism in
The Aga Khan, an Honorary Companion of the Order of Canada, last visited the country in December 2008, as part of the commemoration of his fifty years as the 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. During the commemorative visit, the Aga Khan inaugurated the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in
The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, serves a permanent representational role for the activities of the Imamat in Canada, and as stated by His Highness the Aga Khan represents “a new creative link between the spiritual dimensions of Islam and the cultures of the West, and even more particularly, it represents another new bridge between the peoples of Islam and the peoples of Canada."
Other projects under development in