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Event - 1970-11-12
Thursday, 1970, November 12
Aga Khan IV (H.H. Prince Karim)

Your Excellency,
Your Highness,
Honourable Ministers,
Your excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with the greatest pleasure that I rise to speak on this memorable occasion. For, it is an occasion when superlatives are not out of place; when congratulations are of the highest and sincerest level. And, looking up at this fine building, I might be permitted to add that it is an occasion when even 'tall storeys' are justified in every sense!

Sir Eboo Pirbhai and Mr. Sayani, chairmen of I.P.S. Building Ltd., and I.P.S. (Tanzania) Ltd. respectively, have expressed already all our sentiments in extending to you, Mr. President, their appreciation of your coming here today to perform the opening ceremony. I would wish to echo these sentiments if only to underline our unanimity.

Sir, we are honoured and privileged indeed to have you with us.

I would like to take this opportunity also of expressing our heartfelt congratulations to you, Sir, on your re-election for a further term as President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Your victory at the polls can leave no doubt in anyone's mind that we, the people of Tanzania, fully support your international and domestic policies which are clearly aimed at advancing the interests of Tanzania in particular and Africa as a whole. Tanzania has made remarkable strides in its comparatively brief history of independence. We are sure that she will continue to do so under your enlightened leadership.

As Mr. Sayani stated, this I.P.S. Building is a joint venture in which I.P.S. (Tanzania) Ltd., the NDC, the Jubilee Insurance Company and the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust are the promoters and shareholders. However, lest our guests should inflate my status at this ceremony, let me hasten to add that the NDC is not -- at least on this occasion the major shareholder!.

In fact, NDC's direct shareholding is 20 per cent -- or in monetary terms, Shillings 1,200,000/ -- out of the total equity capital of the company of Shillings 6,000,000/ -- although, the percentage rises to 23.6 per cent when our present shareholding of 14 1/2 per cent I.P.S. (Tanzania) Ltd. is taken into account.

The Jubilee Insurance Company is the majority shareholder in this project, owning 50.3 per cent of the total equity but accounting for approximately 68.5 per cent of the total financing when loan capital is included.

Perhaps, I should explain here that, while Jubilee Insurance is a Kenya Company, 43 percent of its capital is held by shareholders resident in Tanzania and although it may, therefore, appear at first sight that we are doing badly at local level, the reverse is actually the case. Indeed, when the various Tanzania interests, direct and indirect, are added up, our real shareholding comes to 52.3 per cent.

It is cause for no little satisfaction that NDC's efforts have borne fruit and that our minority contribution of shillings 1,200,000 in equity and Shillings 800,000 in loans have encouraged a total investment of Shillings 14,000,000 to materialise.

Information which we have available at NDC indicates that there is a great growing demand in Tanzania, not only for office accommodation, but also for houses and flats. Obviously, this is a gap which must be closed if we do not wish to see our development programme being interrupted for lack of necessary accommodation.

No doubt, I.P.S. will bear this point in mind when deciding on their investment priorities and I trust that their catalytic influence will spread throughout the length and breadth of Tanzania.

Mr. President, you will be pleased to know that I.P.S. (Tanzania) Ltd. already has adjusted itself to the post-Arusha way of thinking and that its Board of Directors is actively formulating definite plans for increased participation in the economic development of the country on a broader basis. The company is doing this by working and co-operating closely with our socialist institutions such as the co-operatives, the Workers' Development Corporation and the National Small Industries Corporation.

As you are well aware, Sir, we do have in Tanzania - besides the NDC, of course, - other major development organisations which were established primarily to promote the industrial sector of the nation. On the one hand, we have the Tanganyika Development Finance Company (T.D.F.L.) which was formed in 1962 as a partnership between Britain's Commonwealth Development Corporation, the German Development Corporation, the Netherlands Overseas Development Corporation and the NDC. These are powerful partners to have. On the other hand, there is the I.P.S. (Tanzania) Ltd. backed by a personality of no less influence!

I believe Tanzania is fortunate to have such organisations to supplement the strenuous efforts of the Government in the industrial sector. Their investment record is sufficient testimony to this fact. Nevertheless, I think that the experience which they have gained could be employed to achieve an even better performance. It is the intention of the NDC, therefore, to convene a meeting with both the I.P.S. and the T.D.F.L. in the very near future to consider proposals for increasing our effectiveness as a group.

Certainly, there is ample evidence to show that our spending power on projects could be appreciably raised if only we would strengthen our capacity for project identification and the preparation of feasibility studies.

Mr. President, I feel that this is an appropriate occasion to express publicly our appreciation of the contribution which His Highness the Aga Khan has made - and continues to make - to the development of Tanzania. Mr. Sayani has mentioned already the varied activities of I.P.S. But this is by no means all. His Highness, like his illustrious grandfather, has shown a keen interest in all matters affecting the welfare of the people. And, this has been particularly so in the field of education and health.

We have to think of the fine modern hospital and clinic in Dar es Salaam and the eleven dispensaries upcountry to prove the point. All these health centres are open to the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.

The record with regard to education is equally impressive. Since the first school was opened at the beginning of the century, no fewer than 35 primary schools and four secondary schools have been established catering to a student population of 10,000. Here again, the schools are open to all races and creeds.

In the last two years, bearing in mind a shortage of places in Government secondary schools, a private secondary school has been established. Taking 900 pupils, the full cost of this project, amounting to some Shilling 2,000,000 was donated by His Highness.

And, besides those schools which I have mentioned, there are kindergartens in many of the main towns and centres of Tanzania, a secretarial college in Dar es Salaam, and plans are in hand for the setting up of a technical school.

In the realms of higher education, assistance for advanced studies has resulted in large numbers of teachers, economists, doctors, engineers, accountants, nurses and a variety of technicians now serving the nation.

There is no doubt that His Highness is genuinely interested in helping the youth, the wealth of our country in its quest for learning.

And what is of paramount importance, His Highness has always taught and urged the members of the Ismaili Community to be loyal and true to the country in which they may live. Under his leadership, the Ismaili Community in Tanzania has not only set an example in the true spirit of self-help, but far from being a drain on the nation has effectively assisted and encouraged others along the path of knowledge and development which must eventually lead us to economic freedom.

Finally, I would like to say that it gives me added pleasure to be able to congratulate His Highness, personally, on behalf of all in Tanzania on the birth a few weeks ago of his daughter, Princess Zahra.

Thus, today is a trebly happy occasion. We can congratulate our President on his re-election, congratulate our guest on the birth of his first child, and attend the opening of one of the finest buildings in Tanzania.

Thank you very much indeed.

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