As part of the University Seminar Series, AKFC is pleased to present:
Can Democracy be Built from the Bottom up?
Join us on Wednesday, March 16th at 5:30 p.m. for a special screening of Change in the Making: A Journey in Afghanistan, a film by Canadian journalist Richard Phinney about his experience travelling in the remote mountainous province of Badakhshan where he meets Afghans whose lives have been transformed, thanks to the work of the Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with Canada.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with Sujeet Sarkar, Senior Regional Advisor, Governance and Civil Society, with Aga Khan Foundation. Mr. Sarkar will speak to the question, "Can democracy be built from the bottom up?", as a starting point for looking at what it takes to stimulate governance, democracy, and civil society at the grass-roots level.
The Aga Khan and his family.
By Edwin Nuwagaba (email the author)
Posted Sunday, March 13 2011 at 00:00
When one talks about philanthropy, our minds might run straight to Hollywood celebrities, but the spiritual leader of the world’s Ismaili Muslims has a special niche in that category, writes Edwin Nuwagaba.
The Aga Khan was born Prince Karim in 1936 in Geneva and declared healthy despite being premature. He is the son of Prince Aly Khan and his wife Princess Tajudaulah (Joan Yarde-Buller), daughter of Lord Churston. After spending his early childhood in Nairobi Kenya, where his early education was done by private tutoring, he attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland and graduated from Harvard University with an honours degree in Islamic history in 1959. Aga Khan IV succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, to the Imamat on July 11, 1957 at the age of 20.
He is the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismailis, the largest branch of the Ismaili followers of the Shia faith and is the alleged direct descendant of the Islamic prophet Mohammad through his cousin and son-in-law, Ali, the first Imam, and his wife Fatimah, Mohammad’s daughter.
The Aga Khan, (third right) has not only shown clear headed and focused leadership to his followers, but has stretched out a generous hand to people outside his religion. As soon as he was crowned imam, he founded the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), whose work is mostly in Asia and Africa. The network is a group of development agencies whose interest lies in the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development and disaster reduction.
AKDN conducts its programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender and is said to be one of the world’s largest private development agencies. But the Aga Khan has expressed concern about the work of the AKDN being described as philanthropy.
“Reflecting a certain historical tendency of the West to separate the secular from the religious, they often describe the work of the AKDN either as philanthropy or entrepreneurship. What is not understood is that this work is for us part of our institutional responsibility it flows from the mandate of the office of Imam to improve the quality of worldly life for the concerned communities.”
However, this has not stopped him from giving and reaching out to the poorest of communities. But to be able to sustain abilities to give, he conducts his philanthropic work with a business mind.
The Aga Khan married his first wife, the famous model Sarah “Sally” Frances Croker-Poole, who assumed the name HH Begum Salima Aga Khan, on October 22, 1969 (civil) and October 28, 1969 (religious) at his home in Paris. The couple were married for 25 years and have three children: Princess Zahra, born September 18, 1970, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, born October 12, 1971 and Prince Hussain Aga Khan, born April 10, 1974. They divorced in 1995.
The Aga Khan married his second wife, Gabriele Thyssen, (fourth right)who assumed the name Begum Inaara Aga Khan. “Inaara” is derived from Arabic nur, meaning light. They have a son, Prince Aly Muhammad Aga Khan, born 7 March 2000 and a stepdaughter, Princess Theresa of Leiningen.
While he is a Muslim leader, this suave man passes for a moderate one and for that he has been criticised by extreme Muslims. Instead of traditional robes, he often wears suits, a trait that was influenced by his long stay and studying in the western world. But that, in the first place, is the reason his grandfather chose him as leader. In his own words, the old man said that having seen the changes that were taking place in the world and the numerous discoveries most notably of atomic science, it was in the interest of the Ismaili community for him to be succeeded by a man who had grown up and developed in the new age. In fact, his grandfather skipped the Aga Khan’s father, who was in direct line of succession. It is because of this that the Aga Khan has sometimes been referred to as Imam of the Atomic Age by Ismailis.
He has individually contributed donations to human causes more than any individual and most countries. And he is known by economists to take big risks. While other venture capitalists tend to shy away from third world countries, he has invested largely in countries like Uganda, recently investing in hydro electric production at Bujagali Falls.
His other investments in Uganda include Industrial Promotion Services, Kampala Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd, Leather Industries of Uganda Ltd, Uganda Fishnet Manufacturers Ltd, West Nile rural Electrification Co., Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust, Diamond Trust Bank, The Jubilee Insurance Company, The Monitor Publications Ltd, Aga Han Hospital Kampala, Aga Khan schools, and Tourism Promotion Services (Uganda) Ltd (Serena hotels and resorts) among others. Yes, all this may sound like straight business, but the Aga Khan does it differently from popular tycoons. He makes money, but it is not his topmost priority.
What motivates him is embedded in his famous 1983 quote in India: There are those who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both means and the motivation to improve their circumstances. Unless they can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink into apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.” Spoken like a true leader.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION FRONTIERS
March 14-15, 2011
MaRS Discovery District
101 College Street, Toronto, Ontario
Register Here: http://ccafrica.ca
Innovation and entrepreneurship are the keys to economic development in Africa, and as growth accelerates on the continent there are fresh opportunities for Canadian companies.
Hosted by the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, the “Africa Rising” conference brings together leaders from the worlds of business, science and government to explore several aspects of entrepreneurship in Africa: business development, growth sectors, financing, commercializing research, new development models, information and communications technologies, and innovation in governance.
The discussion will reflect on practical experience, real success and future prospects for growth and opportunity in Africa, and promises to stimulate thought and action with a view to promoting more Canadian trade and investment in Africa’s dynamic economies.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
MaRS Discovery District
International Development Research Centre
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Government of Ontario
May 23, 2011
Walk aims to reduce global poverty
World Partnership Walk raised $60M since 1985
By JESSICA ROLLI, 24 HOURS
Thousands of Vancouverites will gather for the World Partnership Walk at Stanley Park May 29 to raise both funds and global awareness.
The event includes a five-kilomtre walk, live entertainment, kids activities, food and a “Global Village” showcasing how past donations are helping alleviate poverty in the world’s poorest regions through the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
“Half of the world is living on under $2 a day, and we living out here cannot even fathom what that would be like,” Shellina Lakhdhir, AKFC regional campaign manager, told 24 hours. But as Canadians we are globally and socially responsible people.”
To date, 10 Canadian cities have raised more than $60 million in total since 1985. The Vancouver walk aims to raise $2.2 million this year through the participation of more than 8,000 walkers and 500 volunteers.
“With such a large event, of course it takes a lot of planning and organizing. But for us volunteers it’s worth it,” said Amyn Jaffer, a volunteer logistics coordinator for the past three years.
“On a personal level I always root for the underdog, and with all of the other volunteers involved it looks like I’m not alone,” he said. “AKFC goes to a lot of areas that other organizations shy away from. While there, instead of just handing out money, they help by setting up programs and educating people.”
“Everyone loves being involved because 100 per cent of donations and work goes towards AKFC projects, that’s the biggest draw.”
With corporate sponsors matching donations from two to ten-fold, on some projects, noted Jaffer, “Your $20 donation could become $200.”
What: World Partnership Walk, includes a five-km walk, live entertainment, educational activities and food.
Where: Lumbermen’s Arch at Stanley Park
When: Sunday, May 29, 10:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Why: To raise money for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and spread global awareness.
On May 4, Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) hosted Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, to discuss diplomacy and governance in the 21st century.
Dr. Slaughter’s thesis rests on the premise that not only should we have a new world order, but that we already do. In her remarks, Dr. Slaughter asked the audience to completely rethink how we view the political world – no longer only a collection of nation-states that communicate through presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers – but conversations that also take place at the government-people level, and the people-people level.
These new conversations, she said, are empowering to both government and society. To emphasise this argument, Dr. Slaughter focused on both the importance of development, and the role of social media in facilitating conversation.
Development, she emphasized, must be a driving force in diplomatic relations. “Whether you think about it conceptually as governments and societies, or you think about it from the perspective of specific problems, development has to become an equal pillar of our foreign policy, of our international relations,” she cautioned.
Building on this argument, moderator Arif Lalani, Director General, Policy Planning Bureau at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), focused his questions on the role of social media in redefining diplomacy, particularly in light of the recent upheaval in the Arab world. “Is it really about technology,” he asked, “or is it about a culture change?”
Dr. Slaughter noted that she is a self-proclaimed “Twitter addict,” but to refer to “digital diplomacy” is to miss the point. “Technology has enabled a far more profound social engagement,” she explained. “[The] sense of possibility is deeply empowering. People can be reporters, they can organize, they can take charge and try to solve problems in their communities, in their nations. So, it is a marker, but only a marker – we need to think of it as a tool of empowerment.”
It was on this notion of empowerment that Dr. Slaughter ended her remarks, directing her remarks to the youth of today. “The new generation starts from connection; separation is the odd thing. These young people assume that the starting point is densely interconnected webs, and they think in those terms, which give them a different sense of possibility. This new generation sees [the world] collaboratively – what can we do, instead of what can I do, and I think that is the difference.”
Click on the links below to view video highlights:
Address by Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter
World Partnership Walk garners more than $2 million for world’s poor
Families, corporate teams among those who take stroll through Stanley Park to fight poverty in developing nations
By DENISE RYAN, Vancouver Sun May 29, 2011 8:31 PM Comments (1)
The World Partnership Walk, held under sunny skies in Stanley Park on Sunday, raised more than $2 million to help fight poverty in developing countries, organizers said.
The walk benefits global development projects supported by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
What began in Vancouver in 1980 as a fundraiser and celebration of giving for Vancouver’s Ismaili community has become a national event with walks in Toronto and Victoria on the same day, and walks in other Canadian cities later this month.
“What makes the walk unique,” said representative Karim Salemohammed, “is that it is underwritten by the Aga Khan foundation, and 100 per cent of all funds raised goes to projects around the world.”
Walkers, including families and corporate teams, took advantage of the sunny day to walk five kilometres through Stanley Park before joining festivities that included bhangra and other musical performances at Lumbermen’s Arch.
They also had a chance to taste some Ismaili specialties, including sugar cane juice, fresh-cut young coconut, tamarind seeds and traditional barbecue.
The Aga Kahn Foundation Canada is a non-denominational registered charity dedicated to finding solutions to global poverty through grassroots projects focusing on education, sanitation, clean water and rural economic ventures in some of the world’s poorest countries.
“The walk is really all Canadians saying we care about the world. We can do something locally and make a difference globally,” said Salemohammed.
Jameel Dawood, a volunteer at the walk’s global village tent, said what he finds most exciting about working with AKF Canada is the partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency, which meets every dollar raised with a corresponding amount of $8 or $9.
“Just $10 can educate a child in a developing country for a year,” he said.
“Most projects we support start at a grassroots level and use a sandwich approach, bringing research and development and best practices to communities at a grassroots level.”
Funds raised through the annual walk and other Aga Khan Foundation events and partnerships go to communities in countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Mozambique and Kenya.
Since 1980, the event has raised more than $60 million.
Tournament raises $400,000 in the battle against world hunger
By Nick Lees, Edmonton Journal
The cry of F-O-U-R was heard at Red Tail Landing Golf Course this week. But it wasn't a golf warning.
It was for the $400,000 Edmontonians had raised when they took a swing against the 25,000 people who die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes.
"Global poverty is one of the most pressing issues of our time," emcee and stockbroker Angus Watt said at the post-game dinner.
One person dies every three-anda-half seconds because of hunger caused by poverty, reports the UN.
"We are ecstatic about the success of our World Partnership Golf Tournament this year," said convener Ali Sachedina. "Our funds will support 44 different projects in primarily Africa and Asia."
For the past five years, Sachedina has spearheaded the World Partnership in Golf games that began in Edmonton 13 years ago.
"Tournaments are now played in eight cities across Canada," he said. "The idea is to introduce more people every year to the work of the Aga Khan Foundation."
Old and new friends
Being introduced more fully to the work of the foundation this week were many tournament newbies, including former Canadian deputy prime minister and guest speaker Anne McLellan; Tony Franceschini, former president and CEO of Stantec; and Don Lowry, Epcor president and CEO.
Returning supporters included Alberta Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky and industrial and commercial realtor Sine Chadi.
Eric Newell, former University of Alberta chancellor and retired chairman and CEO of Syncrude Canada, returned with his wife Kathy for the second year.
But while a keen golfer, he didn't bring his clubs. "I fell over a few weeks ago and broke my wrist," said Newell, whose left wrist is in a splint "We wanted to support the event."
Work to address root causes
The Aga Khan is the spiritual leader of the Ismailis. The Aga Khan Foundation is a non-profit international agency that supports social development programs.
"We work to address the root causes of poverty," Sachedina said. Some 82 per cent of the golfers were from outside the Ismaili community and they helped raise some $100,000. Funds for projects will be on average quadrupled by grants from the Canadian International Development Agency.
The admiral washes ashore
A Cockney who must be one of the heads of state of world cab drivers chauffeured me Thursday in the Capital Ex parade.
"My grandfather drove one of the old-fashioned horse-drawn hackney carriages," said Ian S. Lee, born within the sound of the Bow Bells.
As admiral of the Sourdough Raft Race, I waved to the crowds from our Mills Nissan 370Z convertible as Lee told me his cab pedigree.
"My father drove a London cab for more than 50 years and my brother has now driven one for 50 years," he said.
"I broke the cycle, became a goldsmith and came to Canada in 1980. But the economy wasn't doing well at the end of the '80s and I slipped back in that black hole.
"I became a cab driver again and drove a Yellow Cab for 15 years before becoming fleet manager of the Yellow Cab family."
United Cycle's Paul Harms is supporting triathlete Nancy Taubner's bid to take running shoes to needy Filipino kids. "It's better than the shoes ending up in a landfill," he said. "We have a collection box."
AKF participates in Toronto International Microfinance Summit
TORONTO, July 29, 2011 /CNW/ - Toronto International Microfinance Summit announced today that Philip Smith, successful American entrepreneur and co-author of A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty will speak at its Friday Gala and set the tone for the 2-day Toronto event. In its third year, the Summit brings together microfinance practitioners, business, international development agencies, NGOs and students to learn, interact and get involved. This year's theme - From Microcredit to Financial Inclusion: Making a Difference in our World - is the focus of the signature events:
Gala - September 16 (Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street) to raise funds for international and domestic microfinance projects and a scholarship. Reception: 6:00 pm, Dinner & Program: 7:30 pm. Silent & live auctions, entertainment.
Conference -September 17 (Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place,105 Princes' Blvd.) features experts who address the effectiveness of microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool and provide frontline insights from around the world. A NEW MicroMarketplace will showcase products of micro-entrepreneurs. Registration: 7:30 -9:00 am, Program & Lunch: 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
"Microfinance is an effective way to deal with poverty," says Dr. Carol Golench, President of Toronto International Microfinance Summit. "When you consider that, worldwide, in 2009 over 92 million borrowers from nearly 2,000 microfinance institutions had an average loan balance of $527USD, you realize microfinance is addressing poverty in a significant way and transforming people's lives."
"Microcredit enables people to become givers, not takers," adds Philip Smith. "Microcredit should not be seen as charity but rather as the opportunity poor people need to build a decent life. Through microcredit, donors can shed the old hand-out mentality and become true partners in progress with the people of the developing world."
Over 30 event speakers include: Bob Annibale - Citi, Joyce Lehman - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael Bowles - Aga Khan Foundation, Kadita (A.T.) Tshibaka - Opportunity International USA, Stéphanie Émond - FINCA Canada, Dr. Tanjina Mirza, PLAN Canada, Jeff Rayman - UEnd: Poverty Foundation, Deborah Lindholm - Foundation for Women and Gordon Crann - Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit.
Once again, The MasterCard Foundation is providing financial assistance for the first 100 students to register for the conference.
Book Launch Invitation: "Cotton, Computers and Citizenship" by John Saxby
Aga Khan Foundation Canada, in partnership with the Committee of Entities in the Struggle Against Hunger and for a Full Life (COEP) is pleased to host the Canadian launch of Cotton,Computers and Citizenship: A story of economic and social change among rural communities in Northeastern Brazil.
Authored by John Saxby, the publication provides an insightful account into the work of COEP, a social mobilization network made up of nearly 1,100 organizations from varying levels of Brazilian society, including the government, private sector and civil society organizations. Cotton, Computers and Citizenship documents the work of COEP in food security, rural livelihoods, and community development in the semi-arid northeast of Brazil.
Accompanying Mr. Saxby will be COEP's President and Executive Secretary, André Spitz and Gleyse Peiter. The speakers will present the work, challenges and successes of this unique entity, including its efforts to expand and ensure its sustainability. Copies of the book will also be available for sale.
We hope you will join us:
Thursday, September 22, 2011
5:30pm - 7:30pm
The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Please feel free to forward this invitation to any colleagues who may be interested in this event.
Kindly RSVP to Nilufar Mohamed by calling 613-237-2532 ext. 131, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with "COEP Book Launch" in the subject line by Friday, September 16.
Brooks: Golf tournament helps raise funds for developing world
Zahir Karim, left, and Khalil Shariff, CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada
Photograph by: Bill Brooks, Calgary Herald
It has been in existence for more than 25 years and yet for many, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada is not widely known. The foundation supports sustainable improvements in the quality of life of poor, marginalized communities in Asia and Africa, and fosters dialogue on critical global issues to enhance Canada’s unique leadership in world affairs.
One of the initiatives the foundation uses to raise funds and awareness is World Partnership Golf which was launched in 2000. The tournament takes place in eight cities across Canada and the Calgary event, held at Priddis Greens, was a resounding success.
Sponsors, players and VIPs gathered at Hotel Arts the evening before the tournament for a casual, yet informative reception, which featured an address from foundation CEO Khalil Shariff.
Aga Khan International Development Fellowship
International Development Fellowships
The Aga Khan Foundation is recruiting young people for its International Development Fellowship Program. Fellowships feature an eight-month placement in Asia or Africa, preceded by a four week management seminar in Ottawa facilitated by leading development practitioners.
The month-long management seminar in Ottawa provides fellows with a thorough grounding in the skills required to contribute effectively to their host organizations by emphasizing an analytical approach and strategic thinking and planning. Workshops are taught by some of Canada’s foremost international cooperation professionals.
Participants then carry out an eight-month internship where they gain first-hand, practical experience, while contributing to their host organization’s work.
Fellowships are available in:
international development management
international microfinance and microenterprise
young professionals in media
Click the link above for the Foundation's website and more information.
Please note that the materials for the 2012 - 2013 Fellowships will be posted on the Aga Khan Foundation's website on October 31, 2011.
Updated on Tue, 2011-10-11 11:04
Youth Engagement in Northern Pakistan
In northern Pakistan, young people have very limited access to market-relevant skills training and enterprise development services, leading to a mismatch in the market and higher levels of unemployment and underemployment.
Fortunately, new opportunities are emerging. The Aga Khan Development Network sees youth participation and employment as central to its mandate of supporting the quality of life for communities, particularly in Pakistan.
To support this mission and on-going projects, Aga Khan Foundation Canada has created a Dynamic Reference Guide on Youth Employment that attempts to steer program developers and practitioners through the daunting amount of youth-focused literature by identifying lessons learned from key references and credible sources.
All lessons and case studies were selected based on their relevance to northern Pakistan, where the AKDN has made substantial investments in engaging youth. It is not necessary to apply each lesson from the Guide, but rather a variety of lessons are presented to offer readers options to consider. We hope that as a dynamic document, this Reference Guide will evolve over time and include emerging lessons from youth programming in Pakistan and beyond.
Women Leading Change - Perspectives from Canada and the World
.In celebration of International Women’s Day, The Coady International Institute, in partnership with Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), is pleased to invite you to a public conversation: Women Leading Change - Perspectives from Canada and the World on February 29th, 2012.
Moderated by author, journalist and filmmaker Sally Armstrong, our speakers will discuss how women are leading change in Canada and around the world. Their goal is to achieve women’s equality at the deepest level in societies, resulting in enduring peace and prosperity for all.
Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, will be joined by Coady Global Change Leaders Josephine Ndambuki of Kenya and Shruti Upadhyay of India.
For more information about our speakers, please click here.
Greater than the sum of its parts: Improving quality of life with a holistic approach to development
Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) is pleased to invite you to a public lecture with Mr. Apoorva Oza, CEO of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme – India (AKRSP-India).
From clinics to classrooms to village councils, development is multi-dimensional and complex.
The elements of poverty are inextricably linked, often limiting the long-term effectiveness of narrow aid programmes. Recognizing this intersection between economy, society, and politics, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) approaches development as a complex process requiring cooperation on many levels.
This methodology – called Multi-Input Area Development (MIAD) – forms the cornerstone of many AKDN projects in rural areas. MIAD brings together development activities in a variety of programme areas, aiming for a broad, sustained improvement in overall quality of life. This approach has been introduced in Bihar, India, where AKDN programming covers areas as diverse as microfinance, early childhood/primary education, health care, and income generation.
Speaking from 24 years of experience with AKRSP-India, Mr. Oza will discuss the challenges associated with multi-faceted development.
We hope you will join us:
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
2:00pm – 3:30 pm
The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1N 1K6
Apoorva Oza is the Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India). He is trained as a mechanical engineer, with a diploma in rural management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA). He has also studied at Cranford University in the United Kingdom, and Cornell University in the United States.
Mr. Oza started his career as a Deputy Manager (Projects and Engineering) with Gujarat Dairy Development Corporation. He joined AKRSP (India) as a Programme Coordinator in 1988, advancing to the position of Senior Programme Executive in 1994. He was appointed CEO of AKRSP (India) in 2001.
Mr. Oza sits on the Board of Directors of Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). He is also a trustee of several NGO networks – such as Pravah, Sajjata Sangh, and Charkha – and NGOs like Society for Women's Action and Training Initiative (SWATI), Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP) and Arid Communities and Technologies (ACT).
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