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  • His Highness the Aga Khan and Ambassador Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community, exchange folders and share congratulations during the signing ceremony.
    AKDN / Zahur Ramji
East African Community and Aga Khan Development Network sign agreement to foster development in the region

Issued jointly by AKDN and EAC

Arusha, Tanzania, 18 July 2012 – The East African Community (EAC) and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) today signed a pivotal agreement to strengthen and broaden cooperation in the areas of economic, social and cultural development throughout East Africa.

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of AKDN and Ambassador Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community signed the agreement during a ceremony at the headquarters of the East African Community in Arusha.

The agreement is designed to facilitate and accelerate development in order to bring long-term sustainable benefits for the populations of the EAC partner states. Recognising the ethnic and religious diversity of the region, the agreement places emphasis on the importance of pluralism in building healthy, sustainable and prosperous societies and seeks to build on the multiple traditions of East Africa’s cultures, faiths and natural habitats.

The agreement also stipulates that AKDN and EAC will work jointly, together with the Government of Tanzania, to develop the Arusha region as a hub for commerce, governance and intellectual exchange.

Ambassador Sezibera emphasised the EAC’s commitment to fostering cooperative agreements with regional and international organisations and development partners interested in the pursuit of EAC’s objectives. Speaking at the signing ceremony, he said: “This partnership reflects the vision articulated in the first East African Community Development Strategy in 1997 and in every successive strategy, and is consonant with our shared ambition of bringing sustainable benefits and improved quality of life to all the peoples of the EAC.”

The broad partnership includes initiatives in employment creation, income generation and poverty reduction in selected regions and sub-regions of the EAC partner states. It also highlights the need for improvements to standards, quality and delivery of services, particularly in the fields of pre-tertiary and higher education, and healthcare, through public-private partnerships and other collaboration. This includes efforts to promote the expansion of the Aga Khan University as a regional university for East Africa, which will set up a number of centres or campuses in each Partner State, in addition to the establishment of the principal campus in Arusha.

“Our partnership will aim to provide equitable development through equal opportunity to the people of the East African region. Our joint programmes will aim to develop human potential and build cohesive societies that will ensure the improvement of the quality of lives of all regardless of faith or origin,” said the Aga Khan.

In a separate agreement also signed in Arusha on Wednesday, the EAC and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany announced a contribution of 10 million euros towards the support of the Aga Khan University’s nursing and midwifery education programmes in East Africa.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Aga Khan met in Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam, with the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete.

For more information please contact:

Richard Othieno Owora
EAC Head of Communication

Department of Communications
Aga Khan Development Network
Tel: +33 344 58 4000


The East African Community (EAC) is the regional intergovernmental organisation of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The vision of EAC is a prosperous, competitive, secure, stable and politically united East Africa, and its mission is to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investment. The realisation of a large regional economic bloc with a combined population of more than 130 million people (2010*), land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $74.5 billion (2009*), bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects of a renewed and reinvigorated East African Community.

The agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) are private, international, non-denominational development organisations founded by His Highness the Aga Khan. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in 30 countries in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa. 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. Their mandates include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities. AKDN agencies conduct their programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender.