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Opening of the phase II expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/events/2019/zr2_6232.jpg Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Thursday, 7 March 2019 1552124700 Address by Princess Zahra Aga Khan at the Opening of the phase II expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam speech Tanzania 2010s 8996 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/events/2019/zr2_6232.jpg Serviços Aga Khan para a Saúde Health

Your Excellency Honourable Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania,
Honourable Ummy Ally Mwalimu, Hon. Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, the United Republic of Tanzania,
Ambassador Clavier,
Mr Christian Yoka, Regional Director, Agence Francaise de Developpement,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies, Gentlemen and Friends,

Today is indeed a momentous day for the Aga Khan Development Network as we celebrate the inauguration of the Phase II expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam.

Other pressing engagements have kept my father, His Highness the Aga Khan, away today but he asked me to carry with me his congratulations, his gratitude to President Magafuli, Prime Minister Majaliwa and to the Government of Tanzania for helping us to construct this state-of-the-art facility in Dar es Salaam.

The Aga Khan Development Network has now been in Tanzania for over 100 years and works in many sectors of economic and social and cultural development across the country. Indeed, the original building on this site was built in 1964. I think it’s a testimony to the long history of the Aga Khan Development Network and the long partnership between the Government of Tanzania and the institutions of the network.

Your Excellency, Prime Minister, thank you so much for accepting to be our guest of honour at today’s celebration. Thank you also Honourable Minister for all the wonderful support that your Ministry provides to the Aga Khan Health Service, Tanzania, which enables us to continue with our mandate of providing quality care and community health initiatives across 11 regions of the country.

We are delighted to have been able to construct this facility and to expand the Aga Khan Hospital, however, the real value lies in the project, in the clinical programmes. These will supplement the efforts of the Government of Tanzania, and working with the public health system will develop a robust capacity to see that many Tanzanians receive advanced trainings in this institution. In advance of this project, Aga Khan Health Services ensure that many of our colleagues and staff are trained overseas to be able to provide the technological complex health care, which is provided now in the Phase II building we are opening today. I am pleased to say, thanks to that, today, the Hospital employs some of the most qualified and competent human resources, supplemented by world-class technical expertise, and that this Hospital will offer specialised programmes in cardiology, oncology, neurosciences, advanced critical care diagnostics as well as responding to the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases in Tanzania.  These services come in addition to our traditional key focus areas of maternal, neonatal and child health, which have also been strengthened as a result of this expansion, the Phase II building. I am delighted that this advanced facility will allow all Tanzanians to receive world-class treatment at home and therefore reversing the need for medical tourism abroad and hopefully encouraging medical tourism within the region.

As you heard already, this Phase II expansion was part funded by Agence Française de Développement. A partnership between AFD and the Aga Khan Development Network which extends to many countries around the world and many sectors, and we remain extremely grateful to AFD for their extensive and continuous support. Please could I ask Mr. Christian Yoka on our behalf, to convey our appreciation to Mr. Remy Rioux the CEO of AFD who has been here and visited this project before it was inaugurated. 

The Aga Khan Health Services is a leading not-for-profit health care operation working in 12 different countries, operating 20 hospitals and nearly 500 health centres that provide quality health care to more than five million patients a year, working closely with government and other institutions in areas of service delivery, population health, capacity building and cross cutting themes, medical and nursing education, digital health, health care financing and quality of care development.

This Hospital was internationally recognised in 2016 with the Joint Commission International, the first hospital in Tanzania and only the second one in East Africa, after the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, to get this distinction of quality of care.

With this quality assurance and in keeping with the growing need for specialised quality care in East Africa and Tanzania, AKHS embarked on this TZ Shillings 192 billion (equivalent to US$ 83.5 million) expansion of the Hospital, but, also as Mr. Yoka said, expansion of outreach centres that span across Tanzania.  We hope that this expansion, working with these outreach centres, government centres and government hospitals, training nurses and doctors for the country, will have an impact far outside Dar es Salaam.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who were involved in planning and constructing this ultra-modern hospital, especially the Project Team, the architects, the contractors, the engineers and all of the professionals who made this a reality.  Also, thanks to the staff who put up with the construction, to the patients who survived the noise and the dust and to all those who were involved in making this project a reality.

Asante Sana!

speech_227286 English
Entretien de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan avec Henri Weill de La Cohorte https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/people/portrait-his-highness-the-aga-khan.jpg Gouvieux, Chantilly Wednesday, 6 March 2019 1552056300 His Highness the Aga Khan's interview with Henri Weill from La Cohorte interview France 2010s 6926 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/people/portrait-his-highness-banner.jpg Civil society

(Interview on 29 January 2019)

In 1957, the Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather as the leader of the Ismailis. He is the 49th Imam of a community estimated at between 12 and 15 million believers living in 25 countries. Prince Karim Al-Husseini (his birth name) created the Aga Khan Development network (AKDN), committed to development in the world, regardless of whether there is a community in the country in question. Grand Croix of the Legion of Honour, this discreet man, aged 82 years old, welcomed us for one of his rare French interviews in his property in Gouvieux, Oise.

Your Highness, you are a head of state, but a head of state without a State.
In fact, I am the Imam of an international community. As you know, there is no state that is totally Ismaili. The community is in South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, in Africa, and now in Europe, North America and Australia. A part of it was in the former Soviet Union, because there is a large community in Tajikistan. It has become internationalised since my grandfather died in 1957.

But how should we consider you internationally? As a Head of State?  A prince?  An Imam?
As an Imam.

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"I want my institutions to look to the future", His Highness the Aga Khan.
Copyright: 
Laurence von der Weid

What is the community for which you are the 49th Imam?
It is a Shia Muslim community which has been in existence for centuries with successive Imams and is probably now more international than ever. I think that is the major difference with the past. We have created institutions in countries, especially in the West in which we previously had no presence. We have universities, schools, financial institutions in a very large number of countries that serve both the community and the local population.

What is your goal? To reduce poverty?
It is to improve the quality of life and that indeed involves reducing poverty, but it also provides people with the means to improve their quality of life. That is the goal. For example, we try to eliminate disease when we can eliminate it, we want to build national or international institutions, such as universities, schools and hospitals which help the community and societies. It is therefore necessary for the community to be valued, recognised and its institutions must serve the countries in which they are based.

But isn’t it rather unusual for a spiritual leader to be involved in development?
Not in Islam. This is one of the major differences between Islam and many other religions. Here, the Imam is responsible for the quality of life of the men and women who look up to him. He gets involved in their daily life.

But there are many Islams. Are you representing the social side?
In Shia Islam, Imams have always been concerned with the community’s quality of life. In Sunni Islam, it is much more dispersed since there are many more Imams.

But are you not in fact, looking to show the religion in another light?
I think it is more a question of interpreting what you mean by religion. The 48th Imam had his own views and an enormous political career. Personally, I was not interested in a political career, but I have one through the community. It represents a large population in countries where there is a political life. And that is why we have set up national councils in twenty countries, made up of volunteers committed to improving quality of life.  

Do you also want to project a very ethical image?
Yes. I think that having a community that is committed to ethics, is very important and particularly in democratic countries.

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Meeting with President Kennedy in the Oval Office at the White House in 1961.
Copyright: 
Robert Knudsen

You just mentioned your predecessor (your grandfather). You are the 49th imam. And have been for over 60 years, now. What have you learned from these six decades?
There are certainly some things that stand out. In 1957, the Cold War was a major problem for Western governments, and the world in general. That Cold War had a significant impact on the Third World. The Cold War no longer exists. It has been replaced by other visions of what a State is, so now the core issue is one of good governance.

When we look at the world we are not moving towards this type of governance, on the contrary, it seems to me we are regressing?
I think it is a fluctuating, unstable situation. That is what makes planning quite difficult. The former Soviet countries came out of the orbit of the Soviet bloc, other countries, which had been colonised, decolonised themselves and became independent. Then there was a whole series of regional agreements that have played their role. Financial institutions have become very important and have an impact on Third World economies in particular. We are living in a totally different world. And the most important thing is to be able to predict change such that a community’s institutions can start anticipating and preparing themselves. And it's a very complex job, but it's fascinating and if it's well managed will produce excellent results.

Do you never have moments when you feel disillusioned?
Certainly, and moments when I am worried, because often disillusionment follows on from worrying. Firstly, we are concerned, then we start to feel forces that are not necessarily those we want and we try to anticipate. A big debate, which existed as far back as the 1960s and still goes on today is the role of the State in the life of its people.

Through your foundation, are you replacing the unsatisfactory roles of certain states?
We are indeed trying to get involved wherever we can play a positive role, and not just for Ismailis. We often have partners who work with us and even international partners such as the World Bank and other similar institutions.

Is that why you became a partner of the Peace Forum?
Yes, it is one of the things I have done. Peace is clearly something that we are trying to stabilise, and above all to strengthen. It's very complicated. However, it is very important to make dialogue a part of everyday political life. We're getting there, but it's slow.

You work through your foundation, AKDN, which is one of the largest private development organisations in the world...
When you look at the Third World, where the Ismaili community is particularly present, we have to ask ourselves about governments. And I have always taken the view that civil society must play a fundamental role in the future of all populations. So, we have to consolidate and strengthen it. And that means taking the most important institutions of civil society and giving them support and encouragement wherever we can perhaps help them do things differently from anything we have known up till now. Especially when it comes to decolonisation.

Do you want to embody a voice of reason?
Oh, I'm not sure that's the case, but I hope it's a voice of logic. The Imam's role is also to anticipate change, to help make positive changes. In the end, it is the strength and quality of civil society that determines people’s quality of life.

It seems that your message of peace, forged from logic and reason is one that is heard with decreasing regularity today.
Yes, that's right, but I think it's also because of the problems with governance and economic imbalances. Foreign influences also have a big role to play. We are faced with a world that is changing and trying to develop. I am optimistic yet cautious.

Do you only work in those countries who ask you to get involved or is it you who makes the request?
We work in countries where there is a community or in countries that ask us to get involved, even if there is no community. We have realised that regional phenomena are very important. Even if we are not present in a given country, if a neighbouring country has a large community, you try to build with that State.

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The Aga Khan surrounded by the Prime Minister of Mali and the Imam of the Djingareyber Mosque of Timbuktu (Mali) in 2003. The conservation work of this 14th century UNESCO World Heritage monument was financed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
Copyright: 
AKDN / Gary Otte

Do you consider yourself a benefactor of humanity?
Not a benefactor. Benefactor means that we are involved in philanthropy; I work within the framework of the institution of the Imamat. We certainly do philanthropy of course, but we also set up economic institutions, which have their own business life and are intended to last and grow.

In sixty years, you have built so much.
Yes, I have built things because circumstances demanded that I do so and that it was what the community needed; but this process of growth is an infinite process at the same time. So, what is important is to try and predict future developments in society and then create institutions that can contribute to positive growth. For example, it is important to reduce poverty as much as possible.

That is an uphill battle.
It is probably a battle that is limitless in time.  We try one direction. We don't necessarily know what will happen, but we know we are on the path. For example, in health or micro loans, we can measure progress in improving quality of life.

Do foreign heads of state often ask for your advice?
Yes, that is true. Especially in countries where there is a large Ismaili community or strong institutions. And it also works the other way. I talk to them because I need to know what their thoughts are on the future, what is the best academic or economic institution.

But by investing, you're not looking to proselytise?
No, we do not proselytise. We could, but we don't feel the need. There are certain religions where proselytising is recommended. We however, take the attitude that everyone should do whatever they want. If they want to become a Shia, they can become a Shia, if they want to become a Shia Ismaili, they can become a Shia  Ismaili.

What is the next major project that is really dear to your heart?
I believe that the civil society today is very influenced by large institutions, when they have been well founded, are stable and extend their influence to civil society. And this is what I am trying to support the Third World. For example, in education, we have universities in Central Asia, Pakistan and East Africa. They have an enormous influence. We are trying to create strong institutions to support society. Not only with universities but also with hospitals, banks, financial companies, etc.

You're not a businessman?
No, but I have had to learn what that is. We have our own institutions which are not at all limited to the Ismaili community. We start with microfinance and go as far as financing the largest companies. We are trying to support economic development. There are countries that have emerged out of poverty and wherever we find ourselves, we must contribute to this development and ensure that it is positive and stable. And these two things don't necessarily go together.

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In Tajikistan, several thousand members of the Ismaili community came to hear their Prince and Imam speak.
Copyright: 
AKDN / Gary Otte

Development programmes that include improving housing, for example.
I will tell you why.  When we studied the economic development of poor societies, we realised that when poor families manage to put money aside for the first time, they invest in their homes. Often it is a tin roof, running water or a sewerage system. In other words, human beings first look at everything that happens around them and their family. By working on people’s homes, we are working on basic needs and this then has an impact on several generations in the family.  It is often an asset which increases in value if the property is well managed. So, housing has an impact on many areas in a family's life and that's why I wanted to monitor the development and try to support institutions that help to drive change.

Culture is also a priority. You support architects as much as music. Even to the point of creating awards?
I am interested in music because we are trying to broaden the international reach of Third World cultures. If we can make them known and appreciated in the West, we can bring them stability as well as knowledge about the cultures in these countries. And often there are connections that are extraordinary, especially, for example, in ‘devotional’ music. For example, the music of  Central Asia.

Would you make a perfect head of state?
(Laughs…) No, no. Let’s say I work in many countries, so I learn. Then since I have been around for a while...

But that desire is still with you.
I was educated in a country where development is seen as a phenomenon of world life and so I observe as much as possible, I try to ensure that our institutions look to the future. Because in the end, anticipating is necessary in life, whether you are dirt poor or fabulously rich. You need to be able to anticipate intelligently.

Anticipate and think about others?
And build.

Are human beings at the centre of everything?
Clearly. And then, I have a conviction: poverty exists, but is not inevitable. We need the courage to analyse and understand it. A few years ago, we analysed Ismaili demographics and realised that the environment was the biggest contributor to poverty in poor communities. Some communities are born and live in a place in our world where the local economy cannot support human life. So, when we came to this conclusion, we recommended these communities to move and settle elsewhere. There are places on our planet where human life is unsustainable and if there are communities that, for historical reasons, live there, you know that there is no future for them. This is not subjective, it is an economic fact. We are duty bound to tell the people this, and then we try to develop the resources to help them move. There are countries where 50 years ago our community lived in really very difficult conditions and we told them, “Listen, take your time, it may not be possible for today's generation but perhaps for tomorrow's generation, but educate yourself, prepare yourself to go and settle elsewhere”.

It that a painful process?
Yes, and it is always difficult to move communities. It is a decision that you take unwillingly. The circumstances make it necessary. If the measurable evidence shows you that quality of life is impossible, you are obliged to draw such conclusions. So then, you prepare the younger generation with education, in other words with languages and technical knowledge. In this case, we are not being subjective, we must be rigorous and even quite hard sometimes. Because communities do not move alone. We have to prepare the place they will move to, create institutions, schools, financial institutions, etc. That is what we did in Tajikistan for example.

Your Highness, are you considered to be a good man?
That is the role of the Imam, but not only mine.

That is your vision.
I think that is the right vision for an Imam.

Why did you choose Portugal as the headquarters of your Imamat?
The Imamat is an institution that is originally from the East. And I wanted it to have a head office in a Western country that would recognise the Imamat as a religious institution. Portugal is a country that has signed the Concordat with Rome and therefore there was a precedent that allowed me to sign a Concordat with a Western state that was somewhat similar.

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President Emmanuel Macron and His Highness the Aga Khan after their meeting at the Élysée Palace.
Copyright: 
AKDN / Cécile Genest

Yet, you are deeply French, or at least you are a Francophile?
Yes… Many of my studies were in French and I live in France. We have extremely cordial relations with the State but there is not a Concordat such as we could have with Portugal.

You have embassies in many countries, but not in Paris.
No, but we have an agreement with the French government and our institutions operate in France under this agreement, which commits the Imamat.

You are also very committed in and for Chantilly. Why?
It's a tradition with us. In the past, many eminent figures in the history of the Imamat contributed to the quality of life in their place of residence... it's a tradition that I've applied here.

You are also known around the world for horses. You own 700 thoroughbreds?
I don't know what the actual number is right now, because it obviously varies depending on the time of year, but in fact it's a business that I inherited. It was my grandfather who started it, first in England and then in France. My father took it over, and upon his death, the family wondered if we wanted to continue this business or not. And we decided that yes, we wanted to try to continue this tradition. It is very common in the Muslim world. It a very enthralling sport.

Your jockeys wear green silks and red shoulder pads, why is that?
It's the family's colours. My grandfather used brown and green in England and red and green in France and I kept both.

Your father and grandfather hit the newspaper headlines more often than you do. You opt for a more discreet approach.
I believe that as a Muslim institution in the West, I can be more effective without constantly making headlines. There is no reason for me to be in the news. When there are problems I try to solve them discreetly. I don’t always manage, but in general, discretion has served me well.

You are a Grand Croix of the Legion of Honour. What does this distinction mean to you?
It is a recognition which is very dear to me. France welcomed my grandfather, my father, my brother, myself, my uncle. It is a country that is very dear to us.

Translated with the permission from La Cohorte

speech_227196 French
AKU 15th Convocation ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-kenya-2019-02-convocation_2019_-10_r.jpg Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, 14 February 2019 1550139300 Speech by Dr. Amina Mohamed, Ministry of Education at the AKU Convocation ceremony in Nairobi speech Kenya 2010s 226401 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-kenya-2019-02-convocation_2019_-10_r.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

President, Aga Khan University, Mr. Firoz Rasul,
Member, Board of Trustees, Mr. Yusuf H Keshavjee,
Provost and Vice President, Academic, Dr. Carl Amrhein,
Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corps,
Deans,
Members of Faculty, and staff of the University,
Alumni, Distinguished Guests,
Parents, Guardians,
Graduating Class of 2018,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be part of this 15th Convocation of the Aga Khan University. I congratulate the graduands - gathered here who have toiled hard in search of knowledge and excellence. Your hard work has finally paid off.

Today marks the beginning of a special phase in your lives: a moment of special personal accomplishment and deep society pride. Relish it and step into the world of work or management with the same dedication and zeal as you exhibited during your time here. I want to commend the Aga Khan University for preparing you well for the world of work. Please join me in appreciating the many contributions that His Highness the Aga Khan has made across the world, in East Africa and of course Kenya.

We do not say thank you enough. I urge you to do the University proud by being good and noble citizens that will contribute to our national development with integrity and commitment.

There is a consensus in cognitive psychology that it takes knowledge to gain knowledge and that the most educated people are not those who know everything, but those who know where to find information at a moment’s notice. This is the skill that you all take away from this institution today. Use it for the good of others, your communities and country. It has been said before that your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. Lead well and with compassion and with dedication. Be ambitious and gracious, dream big it has been said before that if your dreams do not scare you they are not big enough. (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf former President of Liberia.)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Universities are the highest institutions of learning and research. As the level at which high-order skills are imparted, universities will continue to drive our national technological and industrial development agenda as well as the advancement of knowledge in all other fields of national endeavour. We are living in a complex skills-demand and supply paradigm that is unpredictable and highly competitive. We must therefore nurture an education system that focuses on the individual and prepares them adequately for the world of work.

Globally, the economic returns for higher education graduates are the highest in the entire educational system — an estimated 17 percent increase in earnings as compared with 10 percent for primary and 7 percent for secondary education (World Bank, 2017).

However, we continue to experience high levels of unemployment as a result of automation, training and industry needs mismatch, inadequate post-graduation preparation for young graduates, and increased skills supply compared to market demand. This has necessitated critical introspection by the sector and the inevitable need to reform university education to guarantee quality and relevance.

The soaring rate of youth unemployment and underemployment is of great concern. A study conducted by Dalberg in 2018 revealed that approximately 84% and 60% of the entire workforce comprised of young people between the ages of 15-35 who were either unemployed or underemployed. While the state of youth has been evaluated through the sole lens of unemployment, studies now show that underemployment is synonymous to unemployment. Most young graduates are classified as being employed while in fact, they are grossly underpaid (0.2 dollars a day) or not paid at all.

By the year 2023, Dalberg estimates that an additional 2.3 young people will join the workforce and estimated that 6.1 million young Kenyans will either be unemployed or underemployed by 2023. This number takes into account the expected creation of 8.5 new jobs. In light of the foregoing, the entire landscape of training for skills needs an urgent, practical and prioritised policy shift taking into consideration the effects of these changing dynamics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In order to provide quality and relevant training, a systematic review of the constraints facing the higher education sector is necessary. These constraints include: curricula that is poorly aligned with the changing needs of the knowledge economy, declining quality of education, inadequate infrastructure to match curricula reforms and increased enrolment, which has overloaded lecturers and strained available infrastructure, moonlighting and inadequate student-lecture contact hours, declining standards and depth of research and shrinking liquidity.

To address these challenges, the Ministry has proposed and is implementing the following measures to streamline tertiary education:

  1. Increased the capital allocation dedicated to research and innovation.
  2. The Commission for University Education is reviewing the depth and substance of university programmes to eliminate unit duplication and shallow course content.
  3. To bridge the skills-industry mismatch, I launched the Office of Career services as a mandatory feature in all tertiary institutions. All institutions were directed to conform to this directive on or before 31 December 2018. To this end, I direct the State Departments for University Education and Vocational and Technical Training to carry out an audit in all Universities to ascertain that this directive has now been fully complied with.
  4. 75% of all government coordinated and offered scholarships will be reserved for university faculty with the aim of strengthening capacity and broadening expertise to deliver world class education.
  5. Universities should enhance enrolment into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Agriculture and Fisheries (STEMAF) to build capacity to deliver the Big 4 Agenda. These courses will produce the competencies we need to transform Kenya into ‘a newly industrialising, middle-income economy.’ It is encouraging to note that we doubled the number of students enrolling into STEM subjects from 20 per cent to 44.8 per cent in the 2017/2018 in take.
  6. In addition to this, I launched the Out of School Science, Technology and Innovation (OSSTEI) Programme aimed at creating a culture of creativity, innovation, curiosity and productive entrepreneurship. I call upon tertiary institutions to partner with the programme champions in every county to provide space for lab development and experimentation as we roll out this programme nationally.
  7. To survive the tough economic times, we have banned university expansion through satellite campuses and are supporting ongoing austerity measures as universities rethink strategies to raise sustainable operations capital. Universities must also devise innovative ways to generate additional income to supplement government allocation.
  • We are engaging partners to expand our pool of intellectual-exchange with other high-powered universities in the world.
  • In March 2019, I will lead a delegation of 10 local University Vice-Chancellors to the United Kingdom to meet and engage with 10 United Kingdom based institutions’ Vice Chancellors in a first of its kind, active collaborative project. It is my hope that this carefully thought-through process will offer an opportunity for our local universities to find ways of engaging with counterparts in the United Kingdom particularly, in the fields of research and innovation.
  • I have also extensively engaged with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a series of discussions that will broaden sino-Kenyan relations in the field of higher education. Several institutions including the University of Nairobi and Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology have benefitted from this collaboration.
  1. I initiated University Dialogues to personally engage with university students as a critical part of the sector players in reforming university education to suit the dictates of the future of work and to reaffirm the stature of students as present leaders. The next series will be held at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University in March 2019.
  2. Delays in releasing HELB loans to students are occasioned in part by bureaucracies of university administration. Starting September last year, all universities were directed to adopt and operationalise the HELB Smart card solution. In this regard, the Ministry will be directly engaging institutions yet to implement this directive for compliance.
  3. Starting last year, the trend of placements into universities and colleges has shifted from the top-university heavy model to an ideal inverted model where most candidates are placed into middle level colleges. This year, 90,744 candidates who attained a mean-grade of C+ and above qualified to join local universities. 121,288 who scored between C (plain) and C- (Minus) are eligible for placement in diploma courses in various TVET institutions. 244,436 who scored D and D+ are eligible for placement in craft certificate courses while 194,721 who scored between D and E qualified for selection to artisan courses in vocational institutions.
  • In order to continuously sustain the uptake of government sponsored students into universities and TVETs, the government has enhanced HELB financing to 13.5B and is sourcing more funds to enhance this allocation for uptake of more students.
  • The placement exercise is currently under-way until Saturday 23 February 2019. Candidates who wish to apply or revise their choices are therefore encouraged to visit the KUCCPS website for more information.
  • In order to support government initiative to place more students into the TVET sector, applications from candidates who sat their national examinations from the year 2000-2018 will be considered. This will provide a window of opportunity for broader skills acquisition to support the nation’s development priorities and reinforce the dignity of the individual through education and dignified livelihoods.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, let me urge all of you to support the Ministry’s last mile form one admission tracer campaign aimed at ensuring that we have, for the first time in our country, 100% transition from primary to secondary school. This policy priority championed by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta will fully meet Kenya’s commitment to the constitutional imperative on the right to education, reinforce the rights of all Kenyan children and give every young person a chance to acquire 12 Years of Quality Education. As at 12 February 2019, the transition rate was at 90%. We will continue with the push to account for all the candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination last year.

Let me conclude by sharing one of my favourite poems with all of you, especially the graduating class of 2018:

Don’t just learn, experience
Don't just read, absorb.
Don't just change, transform.
Don't just relate, advocate.
Don't just promise, prove.
Don't just criticize, encourage.
Don't just think, ponder.
Don't just take, give.
Don't just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don't just hear, listen.
Don't just talk, act.
Don't just tell, show.
Don't just exist, live.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Thank you very much.

 

speech_226396 <p dir="RTL">"أود أن أُثني على جامعة الآغا خان لإعدادكم بشكل جيد نحو عالم العمل، وأتمنى منكم أن تـنضموا إليّ في تقدير المساهمات العديدة التي قدمها سمو الآغا خان في جميع أنحاء العالم، في شرق إفريقيا وبالطبع في كينيا.&nbsp;<span dir="RTL">إن كلمات الشكر تبدو غير كافية، وإنني أحثكم على أن تجعلوا الجامعة فخورة بكم لكونكم مواطنين صالحين ونبلاء يساهمون في عملية التنمية الوطنية بنزاهة والتزام".</span></p> English
AKU 15th Convocation ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-kenya-2019-02-convocation_2019_-1_r.jpg Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, 13 February 2019 1550070000 Speech by Mr. Firoz Rasul at the AKU 15th Convocation ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya speech Kenya 2010s 8941 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-kenya-2019-02-convocation_2019_-1_r.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

Our Chief Guest, the Honourable Ambassador Dr. Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Education;
Mr. Yusuf Keshavjee, Member of the Board of Trustees;
Provost Carl Amrhein;
Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corps;
Deans, faculty, and staff of the University;
Family members, partners, supporters, and distinguished guests;
And most importantly, our graduands:

Good morning. Hamjambo and karibuni.

Welcome to the 2019 convocation of the Aga Khan University in Kenya.

The moment you have all been waiting for – that you have been working towards has arrived. Today, we celebrate your graduation.

It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it?

Your studies asked more of you than had ever been asked before. And, for many of you, studying was far from your sole responsibility. You had jobs that demanded the utmost attention. And you had families to care for.

Yet you were determined to further your education. And you have reaped the reward. You now have the knowledge and skills; the confidence and compassion; and the capacity for leadership needed to change people’s lives.

Everyone, please join me in congratulating the members of the Class of 2018.

Graduands, I know you will agree you could not have done it alone.

Your families made many sacrifices. Our faculty and staff were very demanding – but also supportive and encouraging. Your classmates inspired you to keep pushing yourselves.

You also benefitted from the extraordinary investments made in this University by our supporters and partners, including the Governments of Germany, France, and Canada. And many of you are here today because of the student financial assistance made possible by our many, many generous donors – and especially by our Founder and Chancellor of this university, His Highness the Aga Khan.

I also want to acknowledge the support we have received for our nursing students, from Johnson and Johnson.

To everyone who contributed to the success of our graduands – thank you.  

Today is the end of a journey. But it is also the beginning of a new chapter in your lives and careers. And there is every reason to believe it will be filled with remarkable achievements.

We are very pleased to have with us today two of your predecessors, who exemplify the power of an AKU education.

Elijah Ogoti Ongarora graduated from AKU’s Institute for Educational Development in Dar es Salaam in 2014. He teaches at Tartar Girls School in West Pokot County. And he is the recipient of Kenya’s 2018 Teacher of the Year Award.

Anthony Maina Gioko graduated from our Institute for Educational Development in Karachi in 2007. He is the Vice Principal for Professional Development and Outreach at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa. And out of 10,000 nominees in 179 countries, he was selected in December as one of just 50 finalists for the Varkey Foundation’s US$1 million Global Teacher Prize.

These are tremendous honours, and we will be further honouring both these leaders later in this ceremony. We are extremely proud that these two AKU graduates are recognised nationally and internationally as among the best in their field. They are clear evidence that our alumni are “a powerful light” – as our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, described our graduates three decades ago.

So graduands, you can follow in the footsteps of these leaders and the many other AKU graduates who are bringing change for the better in Kenya and around the world. How can you contribute to the great task of overcoming ignorance, disease, and poverty?

This is a question our Chancellor asked at AKU’s founding, and considered deeply with the help of eminent leaders and thinkers such as the president of Harvard University.

The answers the Chancellor elaborated form our founding vision. Today, I will ask you to join me in reflecting on that vision. Because I believe it can help you answer the all-important question: how can I make a difference?

First and foremost, His Highness the Aga Khan recognised that the growth and spread of knowledge drives improvement in human welfare. And he saw that this means universities, as generators of knowledge and educators of leaders, have incredible potential to change our world.

He concluded that what was needed was a new university rooted in the developing world and devoted to meeting international standards of excellence. Such a university could be a role model that would inspire other institutions to set their sights higher. It could point the way toward a future in which there might be hundreds of universities in the developing world, in his words, “on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.”

This is a bold vision.

But His Highness the Aga Khan was not deterred. Today it is clear how right he was to persevere.

Every day, the Aga Khan University is working to improve quality of life for the people of Kenya, and to help the government to meet its health and education goals.

All told, we have now awarded more than 3,000 diplomas and degrees in East Africa, including more than 1,200 in Kenya.

Our professional development programmes have equipped another 900 Kenyan educators with new strategies for enhancing teaching and learning, which benefit over 67,000 students.  

Together with other agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, our Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health is working with government to improve the health of 135,000 women and children in Kilifi and Kisii counties. The Centre is also contributing to a major international study designed to determine why more than one million women and children in Africa die from various pregnancy complications every year.

At the same time that we are building capacity and generating new knowledge, our health network is growing and evolving to meet Kenya’s changing needs.

The Aga Khan University Hospital and its 42 outreach medical centres now provide health care to more than 650,000 Kenyans every year.

We recently acquired the region’s first PET-CT scanner to enable advanced diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases. The Hospital’s clinical laboratory just became the first such lab in Africa to meet the rigorous quality standards of the College of American Pathologists. And we will be building a new Children’s Specialty Hospital to provide cutting-edge paediatric care.   

Graduands, several principles emerge from the history of AKU with special vividness.

First: Boldness is a Virtue. To make a lasting difference, you must be willing to swim against the tide. Great achievements are born from audacious ambition – the kind that brought this University into existence.

And second: Excellence Drives Impact. Rather than a luxury, excellence is a transformative force with the power to improve the life of everyone.

There is another pillar of the founding vision that I believe has special relevance to your lives today.

Around the world, we see efforts to stoke conflict by pitting different groups against each other.

By contrast, this University has always stood for the principle that everyone deserves access to opportunity, regardless of faith, race, tribe, nationality, gender, or socioeconomic status. Hence I urge you to focus not on that which separates one group from another, but on our common humanity. I urge you to work across borders and boundaries of all kinds to better people’s lives, especially those of the disadvantaged.

In other words: Be a Unifier, not a divider.

The final principle that I will mention was memorably stated by our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan.

Universities, he said, “must endeavor…to fly high and see beyond our present horizons.”

That is precisely what AKU is attempting to do. And what we see is a world where the issues are large, numerous and interconnected – a world that demands a truly multidisciplinary university equal to the scale and complexity of the problems that we face.

Hence, we have plans to establish a Faculty of Arts and Sciences to provide a wide-ranging undergraduate education that prepares students for leadership in multiple fields. We are educating journalists and communicators at our Graduate School of Media and Communications, the first of a number of new Graduate Professional Schools we are developing. Our East Africa Institute is delivering conversation-shaping insights on public policy issues. The Institute for Human Development is conducting research aimed at ensuring every child develops to their full potential.

Soon all our academic programmes will be housed in the 12-storey University Centre we are building across the street to provide our faculty and students with state-of-the-art teaching, learning and research facilities.  

Graduands, in a constantly evolving world, you too must endeavour to fly high and see beyond our present horizons. You must anticipate, adapt to, and shape the course of change.   

As you chart your unique course in life, I encourage you to look to your University’s founding vision for inspiration.

Be bold. Pursue excellence. Be a unifier. Look to tomorrow, and stand ready to act.   

Graduands, this is not goodbye. Today, you are joining the AKU alumni community – a network of thousands of change agents that spans the country, the region, and the world. Stay connected to your classmates and your University. Seek out your fellow alumni for advice and collaboration.

Your story is part of this University’s story, and our founding vision will find its fulfilment in your achievements.

We cannot wait to see how brightly your light will shine.

Thank you. Asanteni sana.

 

speech_226381 <p dir="RTL">"نحن نساهم في إجراء دراسة دولية كبرى تهدف إلى تحديد سبب وفاة أكثر من مليون امرأة وطفل في إفريقيا بسبب مضاعفات الحمل المختلفة كل عام.</p><p dir="RTL">إلى جانب ذلك، دعمنا القدرات وإنتاج معارف جديدة، وهذا مؤشر إلى نمو شبكتنا الصحية وتطورها لتلبية احتياجات كينيا المتغيّرة".</p> English
Aga Khan University's Convocation ceremony in Kampala https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku_uganda_2019_i0a4105_2_0.jpg Kampala, Uganda Monday, 11 February 2019 1549706400 Address by Mr. Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University, at AKU's 16th Convocation ceremony in Kampala speech Uganda 2010s 8941 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku_uganda_2019_i0a4105_2_0.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

Our Chief Guest, the Honourable Minister of State for Higher Education Dr. John C. Muyingo;
Mr. Yusuf Keshavjee, Member of the Board of Trustees;
Provost Dr Carl Amrhein;
Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corps;
Deans, faculty, staff of the University;
Parents, partners, supporters, and distinguished guests;
And most importantly, our graduands:

Welcome to the 2019 Convocation ceremony of the Aga Khan University (AKU) in Kampala.

Today, we celebrate your graduation. There is really no other day like convocation. There is so much optimism in the air. So much pride on so many faces. And finally, the day we have all been working toward has arrived.

An AKU education is a stern test. But it has brought out the best in you. You have the knowledge and skills; the confidence and compassion; and the capacity for leadership needed to make a difference in the lives of others. On behalf of the entire AKU community, I congratulate all of you today - congratulations!

This is a milestone in your lives. And it is also a milestone in the history of the Aga Khan University.

With the graduation of this year’s class, we will have awarded more than 3,000 degrees and diplomas in East Africa.

From rural clinics to Mulago National Hospital, your fellow alumni are providing the outstanding care people need to lead healthy and productive lives. They are elevating the quality of teaching from pre-primary to university level. In the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, they are formulating policies to accelerate Uganda’s development.

They are leading change in Kampala, in Arua, in Lira, in Amudat, and everywhere else in between.

That is truly cause for celebration. AKU graduates are indeed “a powerful light” – as our Founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, described them three decades ago.

It is also cause for giving thanks – and there are many to whom we are indebted.

Our donors, and especially our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, have made extraordinary investments in this University, enabling us to provide financial support for our students’ education. Our partners are helping us to achieve new levels of impact. Our faculty and staff have dedicated themselves to meeting rigorous international quality standards. And the family members of our graduands deserve very special recognition. I know you made many sacrifices so your loved one could be here today.  Thank you and we want to acknowledge your particular contribution in that.

We are also enormously grateful to our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, for founding this university 35 years ago and for guiding its evolution ever since. We hope he is proud of the impact that we are making, the quality we are achieving, the values we are upholding, and the reputation that we are earning.

Graduands – what an extraordinary moment this is in your lives. It is rich with possibility but also full of questions.

But I believe there is one question above all that confronts each of you today: How can I lead a consequential and rewarding life?

I mean a life that contributes to the great tasks of overcoming disease, poverty, and ignorance. A life that empowers others to pursue their dreams. A life that calls upon all the knowledge you have acquired, and challenges you to continue learning and growing.   

You are not alone in facing the question of how to make this a more just and prosperous world. It is one that we all wrestle with.

Indeed, it is one the Chancellor asked at AKU’s founding, and considered deeply with the help of eminent leaders and thinkers such as the president of Harvard University.

The answers the Chancellor elaborated form our founding vision. Today, I will ask you to join me in reflecting on that vision. Because I believe it can help you to answer the all-important question: how can I make a difference?

First and foremost, His Highness the Aga Khan recognised that the growth and spread of knowledge drives improvement in human welfare. And the Chancellor saw that this means universities, as generators of knowledge and educators of leaders, have incredible potential to change our world for the better.

He concluded that what was needed was a new university rooted in the developing world and devoted to meeting international standards of excellence.

Such a university could be a role model that would inspire other institutions to set their sights higher. It could point the way toward a future in which there might be hundreds of universities in the developing world, in his words, “on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.”

This was a bold vision.

But His Highness the Aga Khan was not deterred. Today it is clear how right he was to persevere.

Every day, AKU is working to improve the quality of life for the people of Uganda, and to help the government to meet its health and education goals.

Our professional development programmes have equipped more than 900 Ugandan educators with new strategies for enhancing teaching and learning, and benefitting hundreds of thousands of students.  

Recently, we visited some of our 800 nursing and midwifery alumni in Uganda, and learned how their leadership is improving public health.

A principal nursing officer explained how she used the skills she learned at AKU to reduce neonatal infections in her hospital. We spoke to a head nurse who has transformed her hospital’s maternity unit, increasing fivefold the number of women who choose to deliver there.
The founder of a nursing school credited its rapid growth to her education. She said: “AKU made me what I am today and who I am. I got courage.”

And our most important contribution to Uganda is still to come.  

With the support of His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, and other members of government, we are hard at work on our largest project ever here: construction of a new Aga Khan University Hospital in Kampala.

The Hospital will be a transformative force in Ugandan health care. It will deliver international-quality care in fields ranging from obstetrics to oncology (cancer). Its Patient Welfare Programme will enable access for low-income individuals. As a teaching hospital, it will educate outstanding health professionals. And it will support research that helps solve Uganda’s health challenges.

Thanks to the generous support of KfW, an agency of the German government, as well as private donors, this project will feature student housing and an academic building that will allow us to educate not only doctors, nurses, and midwives, but also journalists, communicators and teachers. In this context, I would note that for the second time, an AKU alumnus has been named a finalist for the US$1 million Global Teacher Prize. This is an international competition that teachers from all over the world compete, and we are glad our alumnus won it.

Graduands, several principles emerge from the history of AKU with special vividness. I urge you to consider them closely.  

First: Boldness is a Virtue. To make a lasting difference, you must be willing to swim against the tide and into uncharted waters. Great achievements are born from audacious ambition – the kind that brought this University into existence.

Second: Excellence Drives Impact. Rather than a luxury, excellence is a transformative force with the power to improve life for everyone.

There is another pillar of the founding vision that I believe has special relevance to your lives today.

Around the world, we see efforts to stoke conflict by pitting different groups against each other.

By contrast, this University stands for the principle that everyone deserves access to opportunity, regardless of faith, race, tribe, nationality, gender, or socioeconomic status. That is why, for example, we provide financial assistance to those in need – so that students from the widest possible range of backgrounds can attend the Aga Khan University.

Hence I urge you to focus not on that which separates one group from another, but on our common humanity. I urge you to work across borders and boundaries of all kinds to better people’s lives, especially those of the disadvantaged.

In other words: Be a Unifier, not a divider.

The final principle that I will mention was memorably stated by our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, more than three decades ago.

Universities, he said, “must endeavor…to fly high and see beyond our present horizons.”

That is precisely what AKU is attempting to do. And what we see is a world where the issues are large, numerous and interconnected – a world that demands a truly multidisciplinary university equal to the scale and complexity of the problems that we face.

Hence, we have plans to establish a Faculty of Arts and Sciences to provide a wide-ranging undergraduate education that prepares students for leadership in multiple fields. We are educating journalists and communicators at our Graduate School of Media and Communications, the first of a number of new Graduate Professional Schools we are developing. Our East Africa Institute is delivering conversation-shaping insights on public policy issues.
The Institute for Human Development is conducting research aimed at ensuring every child develops to their full potential. And our Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health is strengthening health systems for East Africa’s most vulnerable women and children.

So graduands, in a constantly evolving world, you too must endeavour to fly high and see beyond our present horizons. You must anticipate, adapt to, and shape the course of change.   

As you chart your unique course in life, I encourage you to look to your University’s founding vision for inspiration.

Be bold. Pursue excellence. Be a unifier. Look to tomorrow, and stand ready to act.   


So graduands, this is not goodbye. Today, you are joining the AKU alumni community – a network of thousands of change agents that spans the country, the region, and the world. I urge you to stay connected to your classmates and your University, and to seek out your fellow alumni for advice and collaboration.

Your story is part of the University’s story, and our founding vision will find its fulfilment in your achievements.

We cannot wait to see how brightly your light will shine.

Thank you.

 

speech_226171 <p>“From rural clinics to Mulago National Hospital, our alumni are providing the outstanding care people need to lead healthy and productive lives. They are elevating the quality of teaching from the pre-primary to the university level. In the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, they are formulating policies to accelerate Uganda’s development.”</p> English
AKU 16th Convocation ceremony in Kampala, Uganda https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku_uganda_2019_i0a4552.jpg Kampala, Uganda Monday, 11 February 2019 1549703700 Valedictory speech at the AKU Convocation ceremony in Kampala speech Uganda 2010s 226161 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku_uganda_2019_i0a4552.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

The Chief Guest: Dr. John. C. Muyingo, State Minister for Education,
Members of the Board of Trustees,
President Firoz Rasul,
Honoured Guests,
Members of the Faculty and Staff,
Alumni of the University,
Members of the Graduating Class,
Our Sponsors and employers,
Our dear family members and guardians,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured to address you on this special day, together as we share the emotions filling this auditorium as we graduates close this chapter of the beginning of our life story.

Today, here we are after a challenging academic journey, which we have been able to complete successfully through hard work, diligence and determination. However, wading through the mighty waters of Aga Khan University until we have reached the dock has not been entirely easy. I, therefore, take this opportunity to first thank the almighty God for having seen us through.

Our beloved parents, husbands, wives, our beautiful family members and friends, we are very grateful for the endless support you have given us even when seemed like we were detached from you and we were on a different planet, you’ve always been there! Our employer, we are very grateful even when we have had excuses, you’ve always borne with us because you knew that we chose the right path.

Pure gold is refined with fire, our faculties and the entire staff of Aga Khan University you have always been there through thick and thin what more can we say? “We have balanced the boat.” Even when you became a little tough and tight, it was for this noble cause. All we can do is to pray to God to give more years and more wisdom like King Solomon. Faculty Grace Nakate you are the best mum we have met, not forget the beautiful story of the man who wanted to bury his horse but it kept shaking off the dust. Dr. Ekaete when you came in, you made us get the deeper insight of our profession. If it was music, then that was the voice missing to make the song sweeter. And I am sure my colleagues from the MEd programme by similar great faculty at IED, Dar-es-Salaam. You have reminded us that we often forget, or take for granted the most obvious things around us. Yet they matter so much and always create a difference and if we are to be nurses and midwives of difference, we have to take into account what is obvious. You have encouraged us to be prepared to leverage and maximise the advantages of whatever forms of diversity we find in our professional environments.

To my fellow graduates, we have all come from different programmes, masters of Education, Bachelors of Science in Midwifery and Nursing and Diploma in general nursing. The Aga Khan University joined us together as a mighty team, we have learnt a lot from each other and we are very grateful to God that we met. Challenges have been there but together as a team, we had to learn the group dynamics and it is what has made us reach this day as one.

The professions of nursing and education in Uganda are still at their infancy and we as a team, are being sent out to ensure we make this “child” grow through the knowledge we have acquired and not to be selfish but to address the ever increasing needs of our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and our children in the community today. When we are out there, the community expects a lot from us and we pledge here today to give them our very best.

This is a kind request to president Rasul to convey our heartfelt message to the chancellor his Highness the Aga Khan for the special financial support to some of the less privileged students from Moroto and Ntungamo districts of Uganda, through the First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni. We are very grateful.

Johnson and Johnson Foundation; we do not even know how express our sincere gratitude. You have made us see this bright and wonderful day without fail and we have been able to reach out to the noble calling. There is a time when some of us felt giving up because everything had become too much, but it is the time you came in and you changed the game. You were heavenly sent. We are grateful.

Finally, today were are coming out as leaders because we are now professionals. We can only be the best care providers, best advocates and educators if we also see ourselves as leaders and we have to strive and demonstrate the required qualities of leadership at our places of work. We promise not to just be leaders but rather transformational leaders; applying evidence-based practice, embracing the increasing impact of technology, take on leadership positions at higher level and improve the quality of care provided to our clients in Uganda and beyond!

Once again, I thank you.

I salute you the class of 2018.

For God and my Country.

speech_226156 <p dir="RTL">"تمكنّا اليوم من التخرج كقادة محترفين، وبإمكاننا أن نكون أفضل المقدمين للرعاية وأفضل المدافعين والمربين، وإذا تمكنّا من أن نكون قادة، فإننا سنسعى جاهدين لأن نظهر كافة المواصفات المطلوبة للقيادة في أماكن عملنا، وإننا نعدكم أن لا نكون قادة فقط بل قادة لإجراء التغيير، عبر قيامنا بتطبيق الممارسة القائمة على الأدلة، التي تتبنى التأثير المتزايد للتكنولوجيا، إضافة إلى تولي المناصب القيادية على مستوى أعلى، فضلاً عن إجراء تحسينات في جودة الرعاية المقدمة لعملائنا في أوغندا وخارجها."</p> English
Aga Khan University 14th Convocation ceremony, Dar es Salaam https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-tanzania-2019-02-4b4a7137_r.jpg Dar es Salaam Thursday, 7 February 2019 1549449900 Valedictory speech at the AKU Convocation ceremony in Dar es Salaam speech Tanzania 2010s 226091 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-tanzania-2019-02-4b4a7137_r.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

Valedictory speech presented by Abdallah Shaaban Hoza, AKU-IED, EA student.

Our Guest of Honour Prof Anne Makinda,
The President Aga Khan University, Firoz Rasul,
The Board of Trustees,
Deans,
Director Aga Khan University,
Institute for Education Development, East Africa,
Prof. Joe Lugalla, Academic head school of nursing and midwifery, Aga Khan University,
Dr. Columba Mbekenga,
Faculty,
Alumni of the university,
Invited guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon!

It is with immense joy that I represent colleagues in the masters in education Class of 2018 and the BSCN Class of 2018. I am privileged to stand at the lectern today to mark the completion of our respective programmes at the Aga Khan University and to recognise those who have made today such a great celebration.
 
We have much to be thankful for today, for we had a great experience at AKU. It was an educational experience that was embedded with timeless values that moved us out of our comfort zones into a culture of inquiry that developed our skills and attitudes. This experience was made possible by our distinguished professors alongside a very caring and supportive administrative staff. Our dear faculty and staff, rest assured that we are very well packaged and prepared to surge forward and overcome whatever challenges we will have to face in our professional lives. Our time at AKU was well spent and we now have the much needed theoretical understanding of issues to enable us to make viable practical decisions offering the solutions required in our line of work, be it in the health or education sector.
 
Our Guest of honour, we met here at AKU having left our beloved families behind in the pursuit for further education. It was not an easy decision parting with loved ones and especially our children, but we were determined to study and make this very special day real for each one of us. We are therefore grateful to our Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan for the establishment of a University offering high quality education, scholarships and equal opportunities for women to access to tertiary education. We are grateful for the support we received enabling us to complete our programmes smoothly.
 
Fellow graduates, I know that we all realise what a great gift is to be as prepared as we are. We consider ourselves privileged to have been beneficiaries of the unique educational experience we had here. I want you to remember the competitive knowledge, skills and attitudes we were furnished with. We have got the most prestigious academic excellence, and if you intend to pursue further education or not, you will still benefit greatly from what you learned at AKU.
 
Many of us work in the public sector, mainly in the health and education sectors and we are grateful to our employers for release from duty. As you are aware, adult learners have many roles and responsibilities and so to be able to study as a full time or as a part time student is a great demonstration of the governments’ investment in our professional development. We appreciate all the three East African governments for the support given.
 
To our families, many of whom are seated here today, you are very special. Thank you parents and also husbands and wives who for a long time were both ‘mama’ and ‘baba’ as we burned the midnight oil studying. We appreciate your commitment. More thanks to our brothers and sisters who stepped in to support our families while we immersed ourselves in the rigor of learning. We thank God also for protecting our families.
 
Finally, fellow graduates and friends, this journey is over and we celebrate this milestone in our lives with joy and pride. But remember that, this is the beginning of another journey. We have been equipped so we have a responsibility to put into practice all that we have been taught in our places of work. Be the person that makes the difference in your office, be the person that people come for professional guidance. Be generous with your knowledge and skills. Let us be known for not only our competence but also our excellence. I urge us to be committed, responsible and diligent. As AKU’s Alumni, let us give back to the institution, which has given us so much, which will change our lives and of those around us forever.

Thank you. God bless you and let us celebrate our achievement this day.

 

 

speech_226096 English
Aga Khan University 14th Convocation ceremony, Dar es Salaam https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-tanzania-2019-02-aku_convocation_3_r.jpg Dar es Salaam Thursday, 7 February 2019 1549449900 Speech by Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University, at the Convocation ceremony in Dar es Salaam speech Tanzania 2010s 8941 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_university/aku-tanzania-2019-02-aku_convocation_3_r.jpg Université Aga Khan Education,Health

Our Chief Guest, the Honorable Anne Makinda, former Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania;
Chief Justice Mohammed Othman;
Members of the Board of Trustees;
Provost Carl Amrhein;
Members of Government and the Diplomatic Corps;
Deans, faculty, and staff of the University;
Parents, partners, supporters, donors, and distinguished guests;
And most importantly, our graduands:

Hamjambo and Karibuni. Welcome to the 2019 Convocation ceremony of the Aga Khan University.

Today, we celebrate your graduation. There is really no other day like convocation. There is so much optimism in the air. So much pride on so many faces. So much confidence in so many hearts. And, finally the day we have all been working toward has arrived.

Graduands, you sit here surrounded by your family and friends, your classmates and professors, ready to receive your reward for all those long hours of study, and ready to write the next chapter in your lives and careers.

An AKU education is a stern test. But it has brought out the best in you. You have the knowledge and skills; the confidence and compassion; and the capacity for leadership needed to make a difference in the lives of others. On behalf of the entire AKU community, I would like to congratulate all of you!

This is a milestone in your lives. And it is also a milestone in the history of the Aga Khan University.

With the graduation of this year’s class, we will have awarded more than 3,000 degrees and diplomas in East Africa.

From rural clinics to Muhimbili National Hospital, your fellow alumni are providing the outstanding care people need to lead healthy and productive lives. They are elevating the quality of teaching from the pre-primary to the university level. In the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, they are formulating policies to accelerate Tanzania’s development.

The alumni are leading change in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Mtwara, the Southern Highlands and everywhere in between.

That is truly cause for celebration. It shows that AKU graduates are indeed and I quote “a powerful light” – as our Founder and Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, described them three decades ago.
It is also cause for giving thanks – and there are many to whom we are grateful.

Our donors, and especially our Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan, have made extraordinary investments in this University, enabling us to provide financial support for our students’ education. Our partners are helping us to achieve new levels of impact. Our faculty and staff have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to meeting rigorous international quality standards. And the family members of our graduands deserve special recognition. I know you made many sacrifices so your loved one could be here today.  

And we are humbled to be the recipient of so much generosity, trust, and dedication.

We are also enormously grateful to our Chancellor for founding this university 35 years ago and for guiding its evolution ever since. We hope he is proud of the impact we are making, the services we are rendering, the quality we are achieving, the values we are upholding, and the reputation we are earning.

Graduands – what an extraordinary moment this is in your lives. It is rich with possibility and full of questions.

But I believe there is one question above all that confronts each of you today: And that question is how can I lead a consequential and rewarding life?

I mean a life that contributes to the great tasks of overcoming disease, poverty, and ignorance. A life that empowers others to pursue their dreams. A life that calls upon all the knowledge and skills you have acquired, and challenges you to continue learning and growing.   

You are not alone in facing the question of how to make this a more just and prosperous world. It is one we all wrestle with.

Indeed, it is one the Chancellor asked at AKU’s founding, and considered deeply with the help of eminent leaders and thinkers such as the president of the Harvard University.

The answers the Chancellor elaborated form our founding vision. Today, I will ask you graduands to join me in reflecting on that vision. Because I believe it can help you to answer the all-important question: how can I make a difference?

First and foremost, the Chancellor recognised that the growth and spread of knowledge drives improvements in human welfare. And he saw that this means universities, as generators of knowledge and educators of leaders, have incredible potential to change our world for the better. Yet at the time, with honoured exceptions, relatively few universities in the developing world were achieving all that they might.

He concluded that what was needed was a new university deeply rooted in the developing world and devoted to meeting international standards of excellence in teaching and research.

Such a university could be the seed of widespread change. It could be a role model that would inspire other institutions to set their sights higher. It could point the way toward a future in which there might be hundreds of universities in the developing world, and in his words, “on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge, radiating intelligence and confidence, research and graduates, into flourishing economies and progressive legal and political systems.”

This as he just articulated was a bold vision.

But the Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan was not deterred. Today it is clear how right he was to persevere.

Every day, AKU is improving quality of life for the people of Tanzania, and helping government to meet its health and education goals.

Our professional development programmes have equipped nearly 3,000 Tanzanian educators and teachers with new strategies for enhancing teaching and learning, benefitting well over 100,000 students. And we are working hard to develop a new Diploma in Education to support the government’s goal of upskilling primary school teachers.

In Mwanza, we are collaborating with government health facilities and fellow agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network to improve health for more than 700,000 women and children.

Recently, we visited dozens of our nursing alumni across the country, including many working in the public sector, and heard how their leadership is improving the health of their communities.

We spoke with a top nursing official, a nursing school principal, the director of nursing at a regional referral hospital, and many others. We heard how they have reduced hospital mortality, increased the number of women giving birth in health facilities, helped write new nursing regulations, and much more.

As one alumnus said and I quote, “We were taught to be courageous, to challenge things, and always ask what the outcome would be if we did things in a different way.”

I am pleased to report that the quality of an AKU education was confirmed by the recent news that a graduate of our Institute for Educational Development here in Dar es Salaam received Kenya’s 2018 Teacher of the Year Award. What’s more, is for the second time, an AKU alumnus has been named a finalist for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize. This is a source of great pride for us.

Graduands, several principles emerge from this history with special vividness. I urge you to consider them closely.  

First: Boldness is a Virtue. To make a lasting difference, you must be willing to swim against the tide and into uncharted waters. Great achievements are born from audacious ambition – the kind that brought this University into existence.

And second: Excellence Drives Impact. Rather than a luxury, excellence is a transformative force with the power to improve life for everyone.

There is another pillar of the founding vision that I believe has special relevance to your lives today.

Around the world, we see efforts to stoke conflict by pitting different groups against each another.

By contrast, this University has always stood for the principle that everyone deserves access to opportunity, regardless of faith, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or socioeconomic status. That is why, for example, we provide financial assistance to those in need – so that students from the widest possible range of backgrounds can attend AKU.

Hence I urge you to focus not on that which separates one group from one another, but on our common humanity. I urge you to work across borders and boundaries of all kinds to better people’s lives, especially those of the disadvantaged.

In other words: Be a Unifier, not a divider.

The final principle that I will mention was memorably stated by our Chancellor His Highness the Aga Khan three decades ago.

Universities, he said, “must endeavour…to fly high and see beyond our present horizons.” They must “identify which current trends are likely to evolve into major changes, and to stimulate thinking about their implications in advance.”

Let me quote that again - “to fly high, and see beyond our present horizons.”

That is precisely what AKU is attempting to do. And what we see is a world where the issues are large, numerous and interconnected – a world that demands a truly multidisciplinary university equal to the scale and complexity of the problems it faces.

Hence, we have plans to establish a Faculty of Arts and Sciences to provide a wide-ranging undergraduate education that prepares students for leadership in multiple fields. We are educating journalists and communicators at our Graduate School of Media and Communications, the first of a number of new Graduate Professional Schools we are developing. Our East Africa Institute is delivering conversation-shaping insights on public policy issues. The Institute for Human Development is conducting research aimed at ensuring every child develops to their full potential. Our Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health is strengthening health systems for East Africa’s most vulnerable women and children.

Graduands, in a constantly evolving world, you too must endeavour to fly high and see far. You must anticipate, adapt to, and shape the course of change.   

As you chart your unique course in life, I encourage you to look to our founding vision for inspiration.

Be bold. Pursue excellence. Be a unifier. Look to tomorrow, and stand ready to act.   

Graduands, this is not goodbye. Today, you are joining the AKU alumni community – a network of thousands of change agents that spans the country, the region, and the world. I urge you to stay connected to your classmates and your University, and to seek out your fellow alumni for advice and collaboration.

Your story is part of the University’s story, and our founding vision will find its fulfilment in your achievements.

We cannot wait to see how brightly your light shines in the world today.

Thank you and Asanteni sana.

 

speech_226086 <p>“We have helped to reduce hospital mortality, increased the number of women giving birth in health facilities, helped write new nursing regulations, and much more. Our students are taught to be courageous, to challenge things, and always ask what the outcome would be if we did things in a different way.”</p> English
KfW "Weiterdenken" ("Thinking Ahead") event https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/events/2019/2019-01-germany-011519_1492.jpg Berlin, Germany Monday, 14 January 2019 1547569800 Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the KfW "Weiterdenken" ("Thinking Ahead") event speech Afghanistan,Germany 2010s 6926 1 https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/events/2019/2019-01-germany-011519_1492.jpg partnerships

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

Minister of State, Mr. Niels Annen,
Professor Dr. Joachim Nagel,
Members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to celebrate here today the special partnership between Germany and the Aga Khan Development Network, or AKDN. Over the past 25 years, we have implemented almost € 600 million of programmes together in Asia and in Africa - spanning clean energy and infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, financial services and tourism, as well as education, health and civil society.

In all of this work, our relationship with the KfW Development Bank and DEG remains vital. And while AKDN has also cooperated with most of Germany’s development actors, I should especially thank the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of Development, or BMZ, for their key support.

Tonight, we gather to recognise our shared commitments and achievements in Afghanistan, and reflect on lessons that might apply towards other contexts of fragility and crisis.

The breadth of AKDN’s global partnership with Germany is reflected in extensive cooperation in Afghanistan. Together our institutions have strengthened regional connectivity through cross-border infrastructure; improved health through public-private partnerships; and restored Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage at the Bagh-e-Babur and Chihilsitoon Gardens, and now the Kabul riverfront project.  

We have also used an innovative programme of small, community-led infrastructure projects to encourage local people to take charge of their development. This Stabilisation Programme for Northern Afghanistan was the springboard for today’s conference and tonight’s dialogue. Over € 100 million has been programmed through community consultations into 450 projects, responding to the needs identified by local people as most important to them. These build more than infrastructure: they also build trust, they enhance government legitimacy and civic engagement.

Those are vital ingredients for stability within any country, but especially for fragile regions. These are hallmarks of AKDN’s approach, developed in places such as Northern Pakistan, post-conflict Tajikistan or Afghanistan, as well as Syria, Mali, Mozambique and elsewhere.

From this experience in stabilisation, we would emphasise three crucial elements:

The first key lesson is to concentrate at the local level. Wherever the national conditions are unfavourable - in fragile or conflict situations they rarely are favourable - meaningful changes often start fastest locally, quickly building credibility and confidence.

The second lesson is that commitment to pluralism is essential. The consultations must be wide, and everyone in the community must benefit. I have learnt this lesson during my more than 60 years as the Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, responsible for the spiritual and physical well-being of my Jamat and - most crucially in this context - for those with whom they live, whatever their faith or creed.

Finally, we would insist on the critical importance of civil society, which we refer to as private organisations designed to serve public goals. Such institutions are stabilising factors and points of continuity where security is fragile and politics are volatile. Consequently, investing in them, alongside the state, remains critical.

I look forward to the rest of tonight’s discussion and reflection on these important topics.

The world needs Germany’s principled and pragmatic leadership role - now more than ever. As Germany reflects on the future of its commitment in Afghanistan and the nature of its engagement in other parts of the world, I hope that it will draw on these principles that have guided our cooperation together over such a long time - emphasising local participation, promoting pluralism and strengthening the institutions of civil society.

Thank you very much.

speech_225116 <p>"It is my pleasure to celebrate here today the special partnership between Germany and the Aga Khan Development Network, or AKDN. &nbsp;Over the past 25 years, we have implemented almost €600 million of programmes together in Asia and in Africa - spanning clean energy and infrastructure, water supply and sanitation, financial services and tourism, as well as education, health and civil society."</p> English
1980 Cycle Master Jury statement https://www.akdn.org/sites/akdn/files/media/institutions/aga_khan_trust_for_culture/aga_khan_award_for_architecture/AKTC-AKAA-master-jury-1980.jpg Friday, 4 January 2019 332521200 1980 Cycle Master Jury statement writing 1980s 223486 1 Aga Khan Trust for Culture Architecture

As members of the Master jury, we have carefully considered the nominations for the first Aga Khan Award for Architecture during our meetings in Geneva from June 30th to July 5th, 1980. Our deliberations were greatly facilitated by the thoroughness and technical competence of the nomination, review, and evaluation process conducted under the supervision of the Steering Committee for the Award over the last two years, and by the high level of discussion in the five seminars on architectural concepts and designs.

In our task, we were guided by the terms of reference for the Award which stress recognition of those projects "which demonstrate architectural excellence at all levels"; which respond to their "social, economic, technical, physical, and environmental challenges"; which nurture "a heightened awareness of the roots and essence of Muslim culture"; and which "have the potential to stimulate related developments elsewhere in the Muslim world."

We found our task a difficult one. The difficulty arose from the prevailing reality that Muslim culture is slowly emerging from a long period of subjugation and neglect in which it had virtually lost its identity, its self-confidence, its very language - those characteristics which, after all, are what relevant architecture does and should express. The present is a period of transition - a period when traditional heritage is being rediscovered, when new experiments are being made to combine modern technology with cultural continuity in both richer and poorer countries, and when there is urgent search for socially responsive forms of architecture for the poor majority.

Considering the fact that this is the first time that an award of this kind has been instituted, the sustained effort and imagination that went into the nomination, review, and evaluation process were remarkably thorough. An impressive effort was made to review projects in as many as thirty countries. However, there was a somewhat restricted coverage in the projects we reviewed, and certain areas of architecture were not fully represented, such as educational buildings, mosques, community centres, and public offices. We hope that a much larger sample of projects will be made available to future juries once the objectives of the Award are better understood and firmly established. Thus, the projects presented to us reflected the present stage of transition, experimentation, and continued search in Muslim societies.

In most instances they represented not the ultimate in architectural excellence, but steps in a process of discovery, still an incomplete voyage towards many promising frontiers. Although we have selected some of the projects for their excellence in architecture, many of them stand as accomplishments in this continuing search for relevant forms and designs that has already started and which must be supported. For this reason we have deliberately chosen a fairly broad sample of projects for the Award, rather than up to only five projects, since few projects really meet all the criteria for a creative and socially responsive Islamic architecture, though each presents an important facet of the ongoing search for an ideal. For this reason too, we have allocated the prize money with the intention of striking a balance between need and encouragement, keeping in mind the use to which this money can be put by those receiving it.

In the process of our independent review and selection of projects for this Award, we have become deeply conscious of the need for future evolution of Islamic architecture to meet the urgent needs of the impatient masses. The search for appropriate forms of low-cost housing is one such area of urgent crisis in many Muslim societies. A good deal of intensive research and analysis is needed to identify cost-effective, indigenous, and innovative solutions to the architectural forms which are most suitable for the economic, cultural, and technological needs of the Muslim world. No responsible architect can ever afford to ignore the socio-economic environment in his legitimate pursuit of excellence of design, nor is it necessary to sacrifice architectural excellence in finding socially responsive solutions to the difficult problems of these societies. We faced this dilemma time and time again in our discussions, but on closer examination the dilemma proved to be a false one. What is really needed is a redefinition of architectural excellence in a socio-economic context.

We believe that it is necessary to support continued research on appropriate forms of architecture for Muslim societies when only limited financing is available. The study of architecture should be encouraged in schools as part of a broad movement to train future generations for practising and disseminating relevant concepts. We urge that special efforts be made to provide adequate financing for research and training in this area.

We would like to place on record our deep appreciation for the visionary initiative taken by His Highness the Aga Khan. We also value highly the major role played by the Steering Committee in piloting the entire process for the Award, the high calibre of technical review, and the substantive organisation by the Convenor and her staff. The Award has started a new dynamic process towards a contemporary architecture that meets the evolving needs of Muslim societies.

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