Nurjehan Mawani, Head of Aga Khan Development Network Representation for Kyrgyz Republic tells about AKDN's achievements and objectives in interview to NA AKIpress
Bishkek (AKIpress) - BISHKEK (AKIpress) - Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, Head of Aga Khan Development Network Representation for the Kyrgyz Republic, in the interview to the NA AKIpress has told about achievements and objectives of AKDN. The full text follows below.
Q:There is an impression, that the policy of Aga Khan Foundation is to highlight the activity as less as possible, to be less demonstrated in public.
A:I can not agree with this. If you go to our website, you will find that it is very comprehensive and provides information about all activities of Aga Khan Development Network. We probably don’t talk too much about our achievements. That is because we believe that the results should speak for themselves and that the beneficiaries of our development programs become the masters of the development process. For us, actions speak louder than words. Thus, we want to make sure that the people, for whom we implement our projects, not only are informed, but also directly participate in them.
Q:It is considered, that primary activity of Aga Khan Foundation is concentrated in educational sphere, construction of the University of Central Asia and new schools. In what other areas and projects the Aga Khan Foundation participates? What are the priorities?
A: On my arrival in Kyrgyzstan, I found that we are mostly known by the public for the work of Aga Khan Foundation. Actually, Aga Khan Foundation is part of the Aga Khan Development Network which I have the honoure to represent in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Aga Khan Development Network is active in more than in 30 countries of the world. Aga Khan Foundation as one of nine agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network and has been active in Kyrgyzstan in social development, especially in the spheres of rural development, health and education.
If I were to speak about general principles, our activity is directed on institutional support and development of human resources. It includes community mobilization and building capacity. The success of each project and sustainability will be ensured where there is direct involvement of community which is more informed about its needs and expectations.
As a whole, our work is based on such principles as institutional development on a long-term and steady basis. We focus attention on the development of the most remote regions which are limited by resources and where often the poorest part of the population lives. Earlier this month, I visited the Aga Khan School in Osh and some of the projects of Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP) in Alai district. I had an opportunity to see with own eyes the realization of our projects on the grassroots, and to be convinced of their necessity for this region. These include the construction and rehabilitation primary schools, kindergartens, health facilities, and construction of irrigation channels. I witnessed the deep interest and desire of the local communities to build their own future and to become full partners in this process.
In Alai and Chon-Alai, there is also the microfinance program of Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance. This program is aimed at improving incomes and the quality of life of the local population and becoming self-reliant. The program has now been expanded to Naryn oblast.
In the framework of education projects, the Aga Khan School in Osh was established in 2002 and this year the school has received the license of the Ministry of Education for using English language medium for teaching of subjects. In the future, graduates of this school can enter any international educational establishment, and prepare themselves to participate in the global economy. Intensive training programs are conducted for teachers including for state school teachers in order to strengthen capacity.
In the sphere of culture, the Aga Khan Music Initiative for Central Asia (AKMICA) focuses on the preservation and promotion of traditional musical heritage. This is very important especially for societies in transition. I have observed that traditional Kyrgyz music is passed from generation to generation.
Q: If to compare your organization to Soros Foundation, Eurasia Foundation and other institutes of development is there any basic difference exist in approaches to realization of the projects?
A: I am not going to make any comparisons. For me, it is easier to talk about our approach. We tend to have a focused and an integrated approach working in certain sectors in certain regions. This is for maximum effectiveness in improving the quality of life of local communities. Once we know that a certain approach works and we have results, then we consider expanding the activity to other regions. For example, in Kyrgyzstan, we are expanding the micro-credit program and MSDSP currently in Osh oblast to Naryn oblast.
Q: Why have you begun the activity in Alai?
A: In Kyrgyzstan, we are mainly focused on mountain communities. Before deciding where to focus specifically, an in-depth evaluation is carried out. This includes defining the needs, and the resources that are currently available. When I visited the small remote communities in Alai recently, they told me that no other organization was working there.
Q: Now the new government works on the strategy of development of the country, there is a rough discussion of this strategy, but sights are very different. What is your opinion on the given question?
A: We are a member of the donor community. Donors have been working closely with the government in a number of areas, including the country development strategy. As to our direct participation, we regard ourselves to be investors working for the long-term solution of social and economic issues, particularly in remote areas. We work with government and civil society.
Q: How the problems of integration of Central Asian countries and political disagreements between them could influence on the activity of the Aga Khan Development Network?
A: Perhaps, I will answer this question a little differently. Regional cooperation is very important from our perspective. The University of Central Asia is a very important example of this in the region. Mountain communities although they may be divided by borders often have the same problems. Therefore they could cooperate by the sharing of knowledge and experience and develop a common approach to the solution of their issues.
As for the second part of your question, I am not an expert in the field of “conflict-science”, but if we look to what occurs in the world now, we can see the importance of regional cooperation especially in the economic sphere. More often, it is the economic imperative that stimulates regional cooperation. There are issues trade, transport, and transit as well as energy. These were discussed at last year’s CAREC conference in Bishkek. Economic prosperity will likely push people and government to communicate among and between themselves in the language of peaceful dialogue.
Q: What attitudes have been developed with state authorities, whether there are any attempts to obstacle from their part?
A: The government gives us great support. Like everyone else, we sometimes collide with bureaucratic procedures; there are a lot of them like in many countries. As a former civil servant myself, I know that these procedures are often dictated by an aspiration to have a more regulated process. It is important to have simplification and avoid duplication. The main task is to find this balance. As His Highness the Aga Khan has noted that the role of government is to foster an “enabling environment” for development by creating favorable legislative, regulatory and fiscal structures. We are now seeing an era of public–private partnerships. Accountability is also very important.
Q: How have the political events of 2005 and change of the country leaders affected the activity and policy of your organization in Kyrgyzstan?
A: AKDN works here in the framework of a very important Agreement of Cooperation that was signed by the former president and ratified by Parliament. The new government has completely supported the terms of this Agreement.
There was a sense of instability after the events of March, 2005 which were felt by everyone. In my opinion, the situation is more stable now and our programs are not only continuing but expanding. Just in April of this year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education on Early Childhood Education.
Q: The Aga Khan Foundation associates with Akaev’s family among people. Bermet Akaeva was the coordinator of the Foundation. What are the relations between your organization and family of the former President today?
A: The work of Aga Khan Development Network had the support of the former authorities and has the support of the current government. Our principle is to work with the government of the day. Our purpose is to help improve the quality of life of people in the country. To achieve this, we work with everyone including government, local authorities, business community, and civil society. I am pleased to say that we are supported at all levels.
Regarding Bermet Akaeva, she was program coordinator of Aga Khan Foundation in Kyrgyzstan. As I know, her involvement came to an end when she ran for parliamentary elections.
Q: Could you tell about projects which you plan for the future?
A: We are currently considering expansion in sphere of microfinance, education and banking sector. As well, we are considering possible participation of Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) in telecommunication sector. We are also interested in supporting high-quality tourism development. Issyk-Kul is a very unique geophysical unit. AKFED has a lot of experience in the tourism sector. Our interest in the sphere of tourism in many countries is first of all, directed on the support of economic development. It also focuses on the preservation of ecological and cultural values of the country.
We have conducted expert study on the development of tourism in Issyk-Kul and we are considering organizing a special conference to discuss the recommendations of the study. The conference would involve the participation of all stake-holders. The purpose would be to develop a common strategy for the development of an all-year round, high-quality, and sustainable tourism industry. The conference would use available experience from such development in other countries. AKDN’s own focus would be directed at the development of human resource capacity for the tourism and related industry. It is also very important to have an enabling legal and regulatory framework.
Q: You have mentioned the project in telecommunication sector, is there any experience in the given sector in other countries?
A: AKFED has a lot of experience in this sector. It is already working successfully in the region, including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It has considerable experience in providing high-quality and reliable service in remote mountain regions. In Afghanistan, for example, “Roshan” which is part of AKFED started to cover not just Kabul, but distant mountain areas. The participation in telecoms sector is part of AKDN’s socio-economic development strategy.
Q: Does it mean that the telecommunication project in these countries is designated by one company?
A: In each country there is a separate company which works with different partners providing technical support. We are able to attract a lot of investment. The quality, reliability, and security of the service are a priority. As well, priority is given to the development of local human capacity. An example of this is the call-center in Kabul where the local employees receive specialized training. Many of them are former refugees who have returned to the country when the civil war ended.
Q: Initiative on pluralism is one of the latest initiatives of AKDN. What is the essence of that?
A: If we look around at the world today, it is clear that most of the tension and conflicts are based on misunderstanding among different ethnic and religious groups. These conflicts are caused by a lack of tolerance and respect for diversity. This causes big divisions in society. AKDN’s work in sphere of development shows that pluralism is an essential part of the infrastructure for development.
His Highness the Aga Khan is establishing the Global Centre for Pluralism in Canada. His Highness has promoted pluralism for many years as an “integral component of peace, security and human development”. As His Highness the Aga Khan said in one of his speeches: “Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other people’s cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world”.
The support for pluralism is an integral part of our development approach. This includes the Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP) in Kyrgyzstan. This project promotes pluralism in ideas, cultures, and peoples through the implementation of innovative humanities courses based upon the cultural traditions and influences of Central Asia. While being an educational program, it was established as an inter-civilization dialogue. I think this is critical in today’s world so that we can better understand each other and work together in the common interest of humanity.
The first Central kindergarten of Kyzyleshme was officially opened today in the presence of Deputy Governor of Osh oblast, Aziza Turdueva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Anatoliy Ivannikov, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Representative for the Kyrgyz Republic, Nurjehan Mawani, and Akim of Chonalay rayon, Abdimanap Myrzabekov, representatives of local administration, parents, teachers and other guests, AKDN told AKIpress.
“The opening of a new kindergarten is a very special event. It is a moment of pride and hope for the parents, teachers and the whole community. It symbolizes a collective commitment to the future and we are very pleased to be partners in this initiative,” emphasized Nurjehan Mawani, the AKDN Representative for the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP KG) of Aga Khan Foundation started its Early Childhood Development (ECD) program in this village in 2005 by establishing the first satellite kindergarten within the secondary school. There had been no access to ECD in this village prior to this. As a result of the partnership between MSDSP and the community, 15 children were able to have access to early childhood education for the first time.
This partnership has broadened with the construction of the first Central kindergarten providing access to 120 children of pre-school age in the village. Funded by AKF and supported by community contribution (both labour and monetary), MSDSP KG spent almost 2.5 million soms on the construction of the Central kindergarten and provision of equipment, learning materials and other supplies. As part of the ECD program, the training of kindergarten teachers has already been implemented.
Now the new Central kindergarten of Kyzyleshme village will enroll 80 children and together with the satellite kindergarten will provide access to all 120 children in the village. The shift system model pioneered by MSDSP KG will double the coverage of the number of children who need access to ECD. This initiative also ensures that children from disadvantaged families are provided with equal access to this program.
“The opening of a new kindergarten is a very special event. It is a moment of pride and hope for the parents, teachers and the whole community. It symbolizes a collective commitment to the future and we are very pleased to be partners in this initiative,” emphasized Nurjehan Mawani, the AKDN Representative for the Kyrgyz Republic.
On the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in April 2006 between the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy and Aga Khan Development Network, Aga Khan Foundation continues to support the development of the education sector in Kyrgyzstan. By the end of December 2007, AKF had completed the construction or rehabilitation of 17 central and 33 satellite kindergartens in Osh and Naryn oblasts. AKF also engages in the training and upgrading of skills of both teachers and kindergarten supervisors which stress innovation and interactive methods of learning.
Government of Kyrgyzstan to provide all possible support to Aga Khan Development Network
March 5, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Aga Khan Development Network, Asia, Kyrgyzstan.
4 March 2009 AKIpress
First Vice Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov today met with Nurjehan Mawani, Aga Khan Development Network Representative in Kyrgyzstan, reported the press service of the prime minister’s press office.
Omurbek Babanov thanked AKDN for its support in resolution of social and economic problems in Kyrgyzstan, as well as improvement of living standards of the population in mountainous parts of the republic.
The First Vice Prime Minister underlined that the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic highly values activities of AKDN. “Your organization is distinguished by practical work targeted at resolution of concrete problems in rural areas and as such is respected to a great extent,” Omurbek Babanov went on.
Nurjehan Mawani told about activities of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Kyrgyz Republic. Then cooperation in development of telecommunications, education, small aviation.
“The Government of Kyrgyzstan is always ready to provide all necessary support to the Aga Khan Development Network in all its endeavors,” the First Vice Prime Minister concluded.AKIpress
Education Minister met with head of AKDN Representation in Kyrgyzstan
20/03/2009 08:21 | Category: News, Society | Печатать запись
KABAR, March 19. Minister Abdylda Musaev received the head of Aga Khan Development Network Representation in Kyrgyzstan Nurjehan Mavani. The press service of the Ministry of Education and Science reports.
At the meeting N. Mavani told about construction projects of the University of Central Asia in Naryn, program of vocational education and the Aga Khan School in Osh. She stressed that implementation of AKDN Early Childhood Development program is recognized as successful. In this connection 60 experts from India, America, Great Britain, Afghanistan and other countries, who implement AKDN program in their countries will come to Kyrgyzstan in May of this year to exchange experiences.
N. Mavani reminded that it is planned to build Academy of Aga Khan in Bishkek. The construction of the Academy was approved by Prime Minister Igor Chudinov in November, 2008. “The Academy will represent a boarding school with all conditions for physical and cultural development t of children”, she said.
Kyrgyzstan shares innovative approaches to early childhood education development at an international level
May 11, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Aga Khan Foundation, Asia, Education, Kyrgyzstan.
11 May 2009 AKIpress
Kyrgyzstan will share the experiences of sustainable development of early childhood education at a special international learning event entitled Program Learning Group (PLG) bringing together over 60 early childhood specialists from 20 countries of South and Central Asia, East and Southern Africa, the Middle East, North America, Europe, and Russia in Kyrgyzstan on May 10-16, 2009.
Organized by Aga Khan Foundation-Geneva, an agency of Aga Khan Development Network, PLG is organized to expand the success of an early childhood education (ECD) model, which provides for financial sustainability and increases access to high-quality kindergartens at affordable costs in mountainous regions. The model was developed by the Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP KG) of Aga Khan Foundation – Kyrgyz Republic and is implemented in partnership with local governments and community groups.
“PLG comes at a pivotal time when education is one of the top priorities of the Kyrgyz Government. We believe our initiative will make a contribution to mapping a road to the restoration of quality early childhood education and give Kyrgyzstan an opportunity to share its achievements at an international level,” says Nurjehan Mawani, Aga Khan Development Network Representative for KR.
During the PLG Meeting delegates will make field trips to Alai rayon where they will observe innovative alternative approaches which enable kindergartens to reach more children in rural areas, including a unique initiative of yurt kindergartens in the jailoo (pastures), which preserve the traditional lifestyle while providing children with mobile preschools. Participants will also learn about the income generation activities including vegetable growing and animal breeding at preschool institutions, which raise funds to cover different needs of children.
To date, MSDSP KG has applied its sustainable model and restored 82 kindergartens in Osh oblast and Naryn. In Alai and Chonalai districts where the program operates, the model has increased access almost five-fold – from 510 children in 2005 to more than 2,400 in 2008. In addition, MSDSP KG has developed and published 25 Kyrgyz-language books for young children, established 21 libraries with the support of local partners in villages and set up a revolving fund where profits from book sales are re-invested into publishing new books.
“ECD program influences social, cultural, economic, geopolitical and political contexts in which children are growing up and this impacts upon individual and national development,” says Burulai Aitikulova, Early Childhood Development Program officer of Aga Khan Foundation.
Previous PLG were held in Syria in 2006 and Tanzania in 2007 and pursued the same aim of laying a strong foundation for further learning, experience and expertise exchanging across countries and accelerating progress towards the Education for All, one of eight Millennium Development Goals.
His Highness the Aga Khan is founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.
In Kyrgyzstan, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) works through its local partner, the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP KG) in Osh and Naryn Oblasts where complementary interventions in education, health, and rural development converge in villages and are implemented in partnership with government authorities, community organisations, and local civil society groups. In April 2006 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy and Aga Khan Development Network that enables Aga Khan Foundation to support the development of the education sector.AKIpress
Foreign Minister Sarbaev, Prince Rahim agree on closer cooperation under AKDN programs
June 9, 2009
Posted by ismailimail in Aga Khan Development Network, Asia, Prince Rahim, Tajikistan.
8 June 2009 AKIpress
Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev on Saturday met with Prince Rahim Aga Khan to discuss the issues related to implementation of the projects of the Aga Khan Development Network in Kyrgyzstan, reported the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Kadyrbek Sarbaev expressed his hope that the joint agreements in support of mountainous communities, micro-financing, tourism, telecommunication technologies, functioning of the Kyrgyz Investment Credit Bank, support of folklore musical groups will be implemented effectively.
As a result of discussion of cooperation prospects the agreement was reached regarding closer coordination of actions under existing programs of the Aga Khan Development Network in Kyrgyzstan.AKIpress
Osh mayor’s office and Aga Khan Development Network intend to cooperate more closely
08/07/2009 17:50 | Category: Society | Печатать запись
KABAR, July 8. Osh mayor’s office and Aga Khan Development Network intends to cooperate more closely.
The city’s mayor Melisbek Myrzakmatov expressed his intention during a meeting with representatives of the AKDN. “Your support is very important for us. We hope for further cooperation”, - said M.Myrzakmatov.
The mayor pointed out the importance of educational programs.
Nurjehan Mawani, head of Aga Khan Development Network Representation for Kyrgyz Republic, congratulated the mayor on Suliman-Too’s inscribing on UNESCO World Heritage List. He told the AKDN plans to launch several projects in Osh.
Renovation and expansion of the kindergarten completed in Osh
Posted: 11 Feb 2011 05:43 AM PST
Renovation and expansion of the kindergarten completed in OshExcerpt translated via Google:
On 8 February 2011 was the formal presentation of the newly renovated and expanded kindergarten “Darman” in the district Sherjomuschki the city of Osh to young users and their carers in the presence of the Head of the Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in the Kyrgyz Republic, Nurjehan Mawani, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Kyrgyz Republic, Holly Green. The nursery is now for about 200 children – nearly twice as many children as before. Education is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable human development.
Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker, Aga Khan Development Network Representative discussed education cooperation prospects
March 7, 2011 by ismailimail Leave a Comment
Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker, Aga Khan Development Network Representative discussed education cooperation prospectsKyrgyz Parliament Speaker Ahmatbek Keldibekov met with the Head of the Aga Khan Development Network Representation Nurjehan Mawani on February 11, 2011.
The parties discussed development of cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Aga Khan Development Network including in the education sector. The opening of the Aga Khan Academy in Bishkek first was discussed during the visit of Prince Karim Aga Khan IV to Kyrgyzstan in 2006. The Aga Khan Academy will be a residential school, part of an international network of the Aga Khan Academies worldwide. The implementation of the project is currently underway.
Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker, Aga Khan Development Network Representative discussed education cooperation prospects“The authorities of the country attach great importance to the improvement of the level of education in Kyrgyzstan. If the Aga Khan Academy is opened in the capital city, this would be big improvement on the quality of education in the country,” Speaker Keldibekov stressed.
Expansion of cooperation in agriculture, micro-financing and infrastructure development was discussed among other issues at the meeting. The Speaker underlined the importance of the projects implemented by the AKDN in the Kyrgyz Republic. “As the Speaker of the Parliament, I will personally facilitate cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Aga Khan Development Network,” added Mr. Keldibekov.
Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker, Aga Khan Development Network Representative discussed education cooperation prospectsMrs. Nurjehan Mawani expressed gratitude to the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic for fruitful cooperation during the past ten years. With regard to the role of the Parliament in the new power structure, Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani underlined the important role of the Speaker in the development of the parliamentary system of government in the country and further strengthening of democracy.
Notes: Located in countries in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East, the Aga Khan Academies are an integrated network of residential schools offering girls and boys an international standard of education from pre-primary to secondary levels.
Kyrgyzstan’s President Inaugurates New Head Office of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank
Please also see: Remarks by Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Photographs
Bishkek, 23rd March, 2011 – Her Excellency President Otunbaeva today officially inaugurated the new Head Office of the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) in the presence of Prince Rahim Aga Khan -- the eldest son of His Highness the Aga Khan - the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) one of the organisations that helped establish the bank.
KICB was set up in 2001 to issue short, medium and long-term loans to stimulate the development of small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Kyrgyz Republic. Currently, KICB serves over 27,000 clients throughout the region and operates a network of 16 branches in five oblasts in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prince Rahim Aga Khan reiterated AKDN support for Kyrgyzstan and the central Asia region.
“I am here today to pledge the continuing support of the Aga Khan Development Network to the future growth of KICB, including its expansion into every part of this country—and, beyond that, to other countries of Central Asia,” he said.
The opening coincides with the 10th anniversary of KICB. The ceremony was attended by over 300 guests, including senior officials from the Parliament and Government, the National Bank, Board members of KICB, heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations, and customers of the Bank.
Earlier, the shareholders confirmed a decision to increase the charter capital from US$ 10 million to US$ 17.5 million in the second half of 2011. With this increase, the bank’s total capital and reserves are expected to reach US$38 million by the end of the year.
“This investment marks an important milestone in our 10-year continuous presence in Kyrgyzstan,” said Mr. Kwang Young Choi, CEO of KICB. “KICB is becoming one of the pillars of financial services in Bishkek.”
“The proposed capital increase is a testament to our confidence in the Bank and our strong commitment to the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Mr. Sultan Ali Allana, Head of Financial Services at the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) -- which operates the bank. “We are commited to playing a key role in the economic growth of the country,” he continued.
KICB was established in 2001 with the share capital of US$ 7 million. The Bank’s shareholders are the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft GmbH (DEG), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and International Finance Corporation (IFC). KfW is a co-founder of the bank and also provides access to long-term financial resources.
KICB has gained a reputation as a “reliable bank” due to its transparent banking practices and the credibility of the shareholders. Since its establishment, the Bank has attracted over US$ 56 million in credit lines that were issued as long-, medium- and short-term loans. As the principal member of VISA International in Kyrgyzstan, KICB also offers a range of VISA card products to its customers. The Bank also supports the development of human resources through the KICB Training Centre, which is part of its corporate social responsibility program.
Located in the centre of Bishkek, at the intersection of Moskovskaya Street and Erkindik Boulevard, the new modern Head Office occupies four floors with a gross area of over 2,700 square meters. It is equipped with modern banking facilities and security system, which will further improve the quality of service of the Bank and increase its efficiency. The new building, which houses a number of operational units, can accommodate over 200 staff.
For further information please contact:
Deputy Head Banking Operations
Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank
Phone: + (996 312 ) 620101
The World through Children Eyes June 2, 2011
etween February and March 2011, children attending Kyrgyz, Russian, and Uzbek schools in Osh City participated in the art contest “The World through Children Eyes” organized by the Aga Khan Foundation through its partner the Aga Khan School. This activity, implemented under the project Supporting Communities in Infrastructure Repair and Building Tolerance: Osh sponsored by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), allowed children from different ethnic groups and religions to depict their vision of peace, tolerance, and inter-ethnic friendship through paintings and drawings.
More than 300 students of grades 1-5 representing 29 schools submitted their pieces of arts that were exposed in Aravan Square (Osh City) on 26-27 March 2011. This two-day public event, organized in collaboration with the city administration and the Department of Education, was attended by people from the different ethnic groups. While this initiative gave a unique opportunity to children express their vision of tolerance, it also contributed to open the eyes of the adults on the hopes of the young children for the future. One visitor mentioned: “These draws really represent our wish to live and harmony with each other”. After the exposition, a selection committee composed of staff from the Aga Khan School identified the best 89 illustrations, based on their originality, artistic merit and expression on the theme of tolerance. These selected pictures
Later in the project, the Aga Khan School will go through an additional round of selection in order to identify the 10 most powerful pictures that will be published in a book. 79 copies this book, which will also include a Teacher and Parents’ Guide to help teachers and parents facilitate discussion with students and children about their experience of the conflict, will be disseminated to 20 libraries located in multi-ethnic neighborhoods in Osh city and 59 school libraries.
Opening of Central Asia and Afghanistan Women's Economic Symposium
Heide Bronke Fulton
Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
July 19, 2011
Yesterday in Bishkek, Assistant Secretary Robert O. Blake and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer welcomed over 200 women entrepreneurs, policy makers, educators and civil society leaders from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to the three-day Strategies for Success: Central Asia and Afghanistan Women’s Economic Symposium. In a video statement to the participants, Secretary Clinton encouraged growth of an expanding partnership network, also affirming that “investing in girls and women spurs economic growth and helps create stable and prosperous societies.” Kyrgyz Republic President Roza Otunbayeva provided an opening address that emphasized the common bonds women share across the region, and closed the night with a reception at her residence.
During the symposium, which concludes tomorrow, women have developed a region-wide network of leaders, expanded their knowledge and tools, and supported efforts to increase their economic participation in the regional context. Already, the participants have identified a need for a gender assessment of trade and small- and medium-sized enterprise policies in order to move women’s enterprise to the next level.
The United States appreciates and looks forward to further collaboration with partner organizations and corporate sponsors, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Finance Corporation, UN Women, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asia Development Bank, Aga Khan Development Network, Goldman Sachs, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Mary Kay.
Celebrating Diversity in the Kyrgyz Republic
July 17, 2011
On July 14, 2011 the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), presented a new series of multi-language books for children developed in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation, the Ministry of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Osh and Jalalabad city administrations.
Through a series of dialogues and workshops with parents and teachers, the Aga Khan Foundation produced dual-language books (Kyrgyz-Uzbek, Kyrgyz-Russian, Kyrgyz-Tajik, and Kyrgyz-English) aimed at promoting peace, tolerance and respect for diversity. The Aga Khan School organized an art competition among students from 29 schools in Osh City on themes related to peace, harmony and friendship. The winning entries will be published as a book. The dual-language books and the art competition books will be distributed to schools and libraries throughout the country.
This project supports community infrastructure efforts to rehabilitate nine kindergartens in ethnically-mixed neighborhoods in Osh, Nookat, Uzgen and Karasuu to create better educational environments for children from multiethnic communities. Approximately 1,900 ethnic Uzbek and ethnic Kyrgyz children will benefit from this activity.
This initiative is a direct response to the June 2010 conflict and complements Kyrgyz government's initiatives to promote the consolidation of a multicultural society. It is one of many projects supported by the American people through USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). Launched in the Kyrgyz Republic in May 2010, OTI's program aims to mitigate conflict and improve governance at national and local levels.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. In Kyrgyzstan, AKF currently operates Osh and Naryn Oblasts where complementary interventions in education, health, and rural development converge in villages and are implemented in partnership with government authorities, community interest groups, and local civil society organisations. In April 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy and Aga Khan Development Network enabling the Aga Khan Foundation to support the development of the country's education sector.
AKDN hosted seminar on corporate social responsibility for leaders from business, government, and civil society
Bishkek, September 19 / Kabar /. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Civil Society Programme organized a “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Business and Society” seminar as part of a CSR week in the Kyrgyz Republic. More than 60 representatives from leading businesses, Government and Parliament, civil society, and the international community attended.
Mr. Oleg Pankratov, Deputy Minister of Economic Regulation welcomed participants on behalf of the Government and underlined the importance of promoting CSR in Kyrgyzstan noting the Government’s readiness to cooperate with the private sector in this area.
Speaking on CSR’s role in development, Mrs Nurjehan Mawani, Head of the AKDN Representation noted: “The Aga Khan Development Network experience has demonstrated that sustainable development requires complementary efforts by government, civil society institutions and the private sector. CSR’s role is to serve as a catalyst to shape new societal behavior, new economic traditions based on a responsible attitude towards society. It is very gratifying to note that CSR is evolving in Kyrgyz Republic with key stakeholders increasingly accepting its principles.”
Through practical examples, the seminar explored how CSR is being practiced in the Kyrgyz Republic and around the world. Using case studies from international companies, Elena Korf from International Business Leaders Forum (United Kingdom) and Rostislav Kurinko, founder of CSRJournal.com (Ukraine), explained how CSR initiatives are enhancing business development opportunities and are allowing companies to reach new markets. Local companies, Mol Bulak Finance and SK Development, outlined the rationale for starting CSR programmes in the Kyrgyz Republic and the successes they have achieved thus far. The seminar also launched “Experience and Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility in Kyrgyzstan”, a catalogue published by the Aga Khan Foundation and the CSR Business Network.
Among other activities, the AKDN Civil Society Programme in the Kyrgyz Republic has developed and introduced civic education curriculum in 15 universities across the country and facilitated sound partnerships between civil society and Government both at national and local levels. Since 2006, the Programme has worked closely with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and the International Business Leaders Forum to integrate CSR in business practice of over 50 companies worldwide. In doing so, it has helped businesses to view CSR as an important vehicle through which they can contribute to the overall development of the societies in which they operate while benefiting their own enterprises.
01/12/2011 - His Highness the Aga Khan will meet with President of Kyrgyzstan
Parent Category: News Category: Politics, Analyses & Opinions
Published on Thursday, 01 December 2011 Written by Dinara
BISHKEK, December 1 (Kabar). His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has arrived inKyrgyzstan to attend the inauguration of the President-elect of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambaev scheduled for 1 December 2011 at the official invitation of President Roza Otunbaeva.
During the visit the Aga Khan will meet President Atambaev, former President Otunbaeva, and Speaker Keldibekov to discuss AKDN’s current and future partnerships with the Kyrgyz Republic supporting institution building, creating economic opportunities and enhancing regional stability. The meetings will also focus on AKDN’s expanding presence in Kyrgyzstan including in the areas of high-quality education and critical infrastructure development.
The visit of the Aga Khan reinforces AKDN’s commitment to helping Kyrgyzstan’s mountain communities overcome challenges of poverty, isolation and vulnerability. The Network’s decade-long engagement has ranged from early childhood development to university and adult education, from micro-credit to banking and financial services, from supporting tradition-bearers in music and oral recitation to building capacity of civil society institutions, from tourism to infrastructure development. Anna Vorobeva, Communications Officer of the Aga Khan Development Network Representation in Bishkek reports.
Mawlana Hazar Imam attends presidential inauguration in Kyrgyzstan
Mawlana Hazar Imam congratulates President Almazbek Atambaev on his official inauguration as President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: Artur Boldjrov
Bishkek, 1 December 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Bishkek today for the inauguration of the new President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambaev.
During the visit, Mawlana Hazar Imam met with President Atambaev, as well as former President Roza Otunbaeva, to discuss the Aga Khan Development Network’s partnership with the country. Current AKDN initiatives in Kyrgyzstan support the development of human resources, creating economic opportunities and enhancing regional stability. The meetings also focused on the Network’s growing presence in Kyrgyzstan’s high-quality education sector and the development of critical infrastructure. Hazar Imam also met with Speaker Ahmatbek Keldibekov.
Upon his arrival in Bishkek to attend the inauguration of President Almazbek Atambaev, Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed with a traditional bread ceremony. The Kyrgyz Minister of Education and Science, Kanat Sadykov, received Hazar Imam at the airport. Photo: Artur Boldjrov
Upon his arrival in Bishkek to attend the inauguration of President Almazbek Atambaev, Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed with a traditional bread ceremony. The Kyrgyz Minister of Education and Science, Kanat Sadykov, received Hazar Imam at the airport. Photo: Artur Boldjrov
Mawlana Hazar Imam’s visit reinforces AKDN’s commitment to helping Kyrgyzstan’s mountain communities overcome challenges of poverty, isolation and vulnerability. The Network’s decade-long involvement in the country has seen it engage in issues ranging from early childhood development to university and adult education, and from micro-credit to banking and financial services. AKDN also supports tradition-bearers in music and oral recitation, builds capacity among civil society institutions, and contributes to tourism to infrastructure development in the country.
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» AKDN press release and photos
Aga Khan Attends Inauguration of Kyrgyz President, Discusses Development Activities
His Highness the Aga Khan congratulates President Almazbek Atambaev on his official inauguration as President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: AKDN / Artur BoldjurovHis Highness the Aga Khan congratulates President Almazbek Atambaev on his official inauguration as President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Photo: AKDN / Artur Boldjurov
Please also see related photos.
Bishkek, 2 December 2011 -- His Highness the Aga Khan, Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, arrived in Bishkek yesterday to attend the inauguration of the President-elect of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambaev.
During the visit the Aga Khan met President Almazbek Atambaev as well as former President Roza Otunbaeva to discuss AKDN’s current and future partnerships with the Kyrgyz Republic. The meetings also focussed on AKDN’s expanding presence in the Kyrgyz Republic, including education and critical infrastructure development. The Aga Khan also met with Speaker Ahmatbek Keldibekov.
Since 2000, AKDN has supported social, economic and cultural programmes in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Network’s social activities range from early childhood development to university and adult education, support for the creation of civil society institutions and rural development and health projects in Alai and Chon Alai districts of the Osh Oblast, which are implemented through the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP).
Its economic development initiatives range from microfinance to corporate finance. Microfinance activities are largely focused on rural loans for agriculture and animal husbandry. The Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) was set up to provide a wide range of products and services that had not existed in the planned economy of the Soviet era. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is the principal shareholder.
The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) was created by the Aga Khan in 2000 to support the efforts of Central Asian musicians and communities to sustain, further develop and transmit these important musical traditions, many of which had faced decline. AKDN’s activities include support to music schools, instrument makers and for touring programmes within the region and abroad.
One of AKDN’s largest projects is the University of Central Asia (UCA) campus in Naryn. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies. UCA consists of the School of Professional and Continuing Education (the first operational division of the University); the School of Arts and Sciences (undergraduate) and the Graduate School of Development, both of which will be launched when the three campuses are built in Khorog, Tajikistan, Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic and Tekeli, Kazakhstan. Three other programmes build teaching and scholarship in the region: the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme, the Aga Khan Humanities Project, and Research Programme.
One of the dignitaries attending the inauguration of President Almazbek Atanbaev was His Highess Prince Karim, Aga Khan IV. He’s actually quite an important person here in Kyrgyzstan, but my guess is that if you asked the average man in the street, most of them would have little idea of who he is.
He is often known simply as the Aga Khan, which is an hereditary title, and he’s the fourth person to hold it. More importantly, he is the the 49th, and the current, Imam of the Shia Imami Nizari Ismaili Muslims, having succeeded his grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan, in 1957 at the age of 20. Upon taking the position of Imam, the Aga Khan stated that he intended to continue the work his grandfather had pursued in building modern institutions to improve the quality of life of the Ismaili community. Ever since his own inauguration, he has emphasized to his followers the importance of fostering positive relations among different ethnicities – something quite appropriate in contemporary Kyrgyzstan.
He has a distinctly international background. His Grandfather served at one time as the President of the League of Nations, and his father as Pakistani Ambassador to the United Nations. He himself was born in Geneva, but he spent most of his childhood in Nairobi, where he received a private education from private tutors, but later attending the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland for nine years, and graduating from Harvard University with a BA honors degree in Islamic history. Interestingly, he skied for Turkey and Iran respectively at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games.
As part of his interest in international development he has established the Aga Khan Development Network, (AKDN), one of the largest such networks in the world, which coordinates the activities of over 200 agencies and institutions, operating in the fields of health, education, culture, rural development, institution-building and the promotion of economic development. It is dedicated to improving living conditions and opportunities for the poor, without regard to their faith, origin or gender. Half a billion dollars are given out in charity and development every year through this huge network.
Here in Kyrgyzstan the AKDN has a large number of projects, ranging from supporting Community Health schemes, Disaster Risk Reduction, Early Years education, Management of Natural Resources.
Much of their work is done through the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme which was established in 2003.
One of their major projects over the years has been the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia which has been active in trying to preserve and promote traditional music.
Perhaps the major flagship of the AKDN’s work in Kyrgyzstan is the University of Central Asia.
There are two Universities of Central Asia in Bishkek, which can sometimes be a bit confusing. One is the American University of Central Asia, (AUCA), and the other is known simply as the University of Central Asia, (UCA).
AUCA was founded in 1993 as the Kyrgyz American School, (KAS), in the Kyrgyz State National University, (KSNU). The school proved to be very popular and in 1997 a decree of the President transformed it into the American University in Kyrgyzstan, (AUK). Then, in 2002 the trustees changed the name once more, this time to reflect the fact that the institution was developing into a regional institution with students from over thirty different countries. The university entered into a partnership with Bard College in 2008 which means that AUCA graduates can also receive liberal arts degrees accredited in the States as well as a Kyrgyz diploma. (Bard College is a Liberal Arts college, founded in 1860, in New York.) As well as this formal partnership, the institution also maintains links with a number of other universities and organizations worldwide. About 1800 students have graduated from the university so far and currently there are almost 1200 students following courses taught by 124 teaching staff. The university is currently housed in a building in central Bishkek, but a site in the suburbs has been allocated for a purpose built campus and construction has already commenced.
UCA, on the other hand, was established in 2000, by an agreement between the governments of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan with His Highness the Aga Khan, representing the Aga Khan Development Network. It’s an unusual arrangement in that the University has three campuses, one in Naryn, (Kyrgyzstan), another in Khorog, (Tajikistan) and the last in Tekeli, (Kazakhstan). The administrative headquarters is located in Bishkek. (At the moment, however, the campuses are still on the largely on the drawing broad.) Even though the campus facilities don’t yet exist the UCA has started work. The first operational unit, for example, is the School of Professional and Continuing Education which has delivered some courses in the Naryn region, and some research papers have already been published. It is sometimes referred to as the Mountain University, because the stated mission of UCA is: “to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies, while at the same time helping the different peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions and heritages as assets for the future“.
(For more information about the work of AKDN in Kyrgyzstan and the projects that they undertake in Social, Cultural, Economic and Rural development, see their website).
The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, (AKFED), is a “for-profit” agency of AKDN which works in partnership with international organizations and governments to stimulate the private sectors of developing economies, with the aim of generating capital for investment into long-lasting and sustainable development initiatives. As well as working in the Financial Services sector, around the world it also has projects in Aviation, Food and Agriculture, Industry, Infrastructure, Media Service and Tourism Development.
In Kyrgyzstan it is one of the founders of one of the country’s strongest banks: the Kyrgyz Investment Credit Bank, (KICB). As well as supporting KICB, AKFED also supports several Microfinance projects – which is something I happen to strongly support.
Amongst his other interests, the Aga Khan includes Architecture, (in particular promoting Islamic Architecture), and Thoroughbred Horse Racing, (owning, for example, the largest horse racing and breeding operation in France).
He has received a large number of honours and awards for his work over the years, including an Honorary Professorship at the University of Osh, and being named “Personality of the Year” by the International Association for Spiritual Renewal, (“Ruhaniat“), in 2009.
Today happens to be his birthday – so, Happy Birthday your Highness!
Schools of Kyrgyzstan to get books promoting tolerance
18/01-2012 15:20, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Anastasia BENGARD
Schools of Kyrgyzstan will get books promoting tolerance and pluralism. Education and Science Ministry press service reports.
According the press service USA will republish 90.5K bilingual and multilingual books: “Mother Goose song of friendship” and “The three sad magicians”. They will be distributed among 2.191K schools of the republic with Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek and Tajik learning language. Also they will be distributed in 507 boarding schools and other training establishments.
As Aga Khan Fund notes together with Kyrgyz Education Academy the Fund will develop and spread 4.382K items of methodic books for teachers which include problems of ethnic policy and harmony in society.
Aga Khan Foundation is ready to begin reconstruction of airport in Naryn in April 2012
Bishkek, January 17 / Kabar /. Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov met today with Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, the Aga Khan Development Network Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic. The information policy department of the Kyrgyz Government’s office reports.
N. Mawani congratulated O. Babanov on assuming the office of Prime Minister and wished him success in his work. The AKDN Representative also said the Aga Khan Foundation is interested in further cooperation with the Government of Kyrgyzstan. She also gave the Prime Minister congratulation of the Prince Aga Khan on his election as Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The AKDN Representative told that the Aga Khan Foundation will continue its previously launched projects in Kyrgyzstan, in 2012 the Foundation plans to launch a number of investment projects. In particular, reconstruction of the airport in Naryn, investing in telecommunications sector in the republic, completion of the University of Central Asia in Naryn oblast, as well as construction of the Aga Khan Academy in Bishkek.
The representatives of the Aga Khan Foundation presented the Prime Minister the Naryn airport reconstruction project and architectural plan of the University of Central Asia in Naryn oblast.
According to N. Mawani, Aga Khan Foundation has been successfully working in telecommunications sector in the markets of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The Foundation can also do the same job in Kyrgyzstan. Speaking of the Aga Khan Academy, she noted that the new school will be a boarding school. Children of preschool and school age will study there. Children can get education according to international standards due to the curriculum of international baccalaureate program.
Expressing gratitude to the Aga Khan Foundation for their active cooperation, O. Babanov asked to consider the possibility of giving preferential micro-credits to Kyrgyz farmers. O. Babanov also said that tribal and seed farms are planned to be built in all regions of the country with the support of USAID and Aga Khan Foundation also can take part in implementation of these projects.
"For its part, the Government is ready to fully support the above-mentioned initiatives and projects aimed at improving infrastructure in regions of Kyrgyzstan, increasing potential of local communities and improve well-being of the population", said the Prime Minister.
Kyrgyzstan seeks AKDN’s support for helping ethnic Kyrgyz living in the Afghan Pamir
DUSHANBE, February 2, 2012, Asia-Plus -- Kyrgyzstan is seeking support from the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for working out joint recommendations and appropriate projects to provide assistance to ethnic Kyrgyz living in the Afghan Pamirs, the Kyrgyz MFA official website reports.
This issue was reportedly discussed at a meeting of Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbayev with Ms. Nurjehan Mavani, Head of Aga Khan Development Network Representation for Kyrgyz Republic.
Kyrgyz minister, in particular, noted that 2,016 ethnic Kyrgyz now live in the Afghan Little Pamir and 1,100 ethnic Kyrgyz now live in the Afghan Big Pamir. “According to evaluated data, the Kyrgyz community in Afghanistan decreases by 6-7 percent annually,” said Kazakbayev, “If this downward trend remains intact within the next 10-15 years, this original Kyrgyz community may disappear.”
According to him, the serious problem facing ethnic Kyrgyz living in Afghanistan is “lack of any official belonging of them to Afghan citizenship.” In this context, Kazakbayev asked AKDN to provide assistance with working out joint recommendations and appropriate projects to provide assistance to ethnic Kyrgyz living in the Afghan Pamirs.
AKDN has been supporting the establishment of institutions and programs that help develop an economically dynamic, politically stable and intellectually and culturally vibrant Kyrgyz Republic since 2002. Its programs range from financial institutions that are helping build the nation’s economic infrastructure to support in several districts for the “tradition-bearers” of Kyrgyz music and oral recitation. Its rural development, health and education projects in Alai and Chon Alai districts of the Osh region are implemented through the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP).
02/02/2012 - Aga Khan Academy to be opened in Kyrgyzstan
Parent Category: News Category: Other Central Asian News
Published on Thursday, 02 February 2012
Written by Kabar BISHKEK, February 2 (Kabar). An agreement will be signed between the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan and the Aga Khan Development Network on establishment of the Aga Khan Academy in Bishkek. The Aga Khan Development Network Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic Nurjehan Mawani said during a meeting with Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev.
According to the information of the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss ongoing and planned projects implementing by the Aga Khan Development Network in the Kyrgyz Republic. In particular, the sides discussed the projects on reconstruction of the airport in Naryn, construction of the Aga Khan Academy in Bishkek, further implementation of the Mountain Development Support Program and prospects for further cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and Aga Khan Development Network.
The sides also discussed the problems of Kyrgyz people living in Pamir of Afghanistan.
R. Kazakbaev expressed request to assist the Kyrgyz Republic in development of joint recommendations and the relevant draft decision on assistance to ethnic Kyrgyz, who live in Pamir.
The director of MSDSP part of AKDN speaks about issues facing farmers in Kyrgystan.
A major factor pushing farmers to quit their fields is volatility in agricultural production costs, especially gasoline, says Talant Aldashev, director of the Mountain Societies Development Support Program, part of the Agha Khan Development Network. The network specializes in development projects in rural, mountainous regions.
EU and AKDN visit Naryn to review joint projects and strengthen collaboration
Bishkek, June 12 / Kabar /.
The Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the Kyrgyz Republic Chantal Hebberecht and the Head of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for the Kyrgyz Republic Nurjehan Mawani are on a two-day working visit to Naryn Oblast from June 12-13, 2012. The delegation will meet with residents of the mountainous region and review the progress of Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and EU joint programmes supporting the efforts of Government in improving living conditions of the rural populations in the Kyrgyz Republic. Anna Vorobeva, Communications Officer of the Aga Khan Development Network Representation reports.
Cooperation between the EU and AKDN in Kyrgyzstan builds upon a two-decade long partnership and was reaffirmed by a Joint Declaration signed in 2007 by His Highness the Aga Khan and President José Manuel Barroso of the European Commission. The Declaration aims to broaden collaboration in development endeavours, strengthening civil society institutions, promoting governance and social inclusion in a number of countries including Central Asia.
In Naryn district, the delegation will review local economic initiatives which have been launched jointly by EU and AKF to contribute to enterprise development and to strengthening the local market. Currently, AKF is working with 350 smallholder farmers to help increase productivity and diversity in local agriculture. The delegation will meet with farmers and a woman entrepreneur selected to establish a vegetable processing unit under the Vegetable Value Chain project. The project, funded by EU, will also introduce 10 Chinese-style greenhouses in rural Naryn to extend the vegetable harvesting season, assist farmers in marketing and processing their harvests.
The delegation will also meet students and teachers of Oi-Tersken School, in At-Bashy district, who are members of a School Parliament supporting civic education in the country. This joint initiative of EU and AKF creates opportunities for youth in 177 schools in Naryn and Osh Oblasts to actively participate in the development of their communities and resolve problems related to their well-being.
Both projects are being implemented by the Kyrgyzstan Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, a locally registered public foundation, initiated by AKF.
On the second day, the delegation will also visit the University of Central Asia’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Naryn Town, which is Central Asia’s first provider of post-secondary professional and vocational education, and meet with students and teachers. For the past six years, SPCE has graduated over 11,000 students through market relevant programmes including in accounting, IT, entrepreneurship, tourism and applied languages that meet immediate requirements of the local population. SPCE, which is licensed by the Ministries of Education and Science, and of Labor, works in close collaboration with local and state institutions.
In modern democratic Kyrgyzstan, it is very important to educate youth on the spirit of social responsibility. This is why the project “Strengthening School Parliaments to Improve Children’s Participation in Local, Regional and National Decision-Making in the Kyrgyz Republic” has been launched. The project is implemented by the Public Foundation Kyrgyzstan Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP KG) in partnership with Foundation Education Initiatives Support (FEIS) with the financial support of the European Union and Aga Khan Foundation.
The Aga Khan School, Osh celebrates its 10th anniversary
Bishkek, October 18/ Kabar /. The Aga Khan School – the first private school in Osh - today celebrated its 10th Anniversary in the presence of Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
Established in 2002, the school is part of a network of over 250 schools managed by the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) in East Africa, South Asia and Central Asia and provides close to 500 students with quality learning experiences in an environment which values diversity, and responds creatively to the educational needs of children.
The ceremony was also attended by Speaker of Osh City Kenesh, Vice Governor of Osh Oblast, Vice-Speaker Asiya Sasykbaeva, Vice Mayor of Osh City as well as 200 guests including senior government officials, heads of diplomatic missions, international organisations, parents, students and alumni.
“It is with great pride and admiration that we are here to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of this young school,” said Princess Zahra speaking at the ceremony. She went on to speak about His Highness the Aga Khan’s ambitious goal for the Aga Khan School. ‘The ability to make judgments that are grounded in solid information, and employ careful analysis should be one of the most important goals for any educational endeavour. As students develop this capacity, they can begin to grapple with the most important and difficult step: to learn to place such judgments in an ethical framework. Therein lies the formation of the kind of social consciousness that our world so desperately needs.’
The celebrations at the Aga Khan School included student performances and a special awards ceremony recognising high performing staff, and outstanding students for their community service and academic excellence.
“Building on a century of leadership in educational development, the Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) established the Aga Khan School in Osh Kyrgyzstan in 2002 to offer an education for success in the modern world. Since the first graduating class in 2007, all 246 graduates have continued their education at local and international universities. This is a significant achievement,” said Nakat Abdulofizov, Head of Education, AKES, Kyrgyzstan.
For the past decade, the Aga Khan School has become an integral part of the Osh City community offering innovative education approaches to both students and teachers. The school encourages students to master multiple languages, promotes the use of communication and information technology, as well as nurtures the love of sciences by conducting annual science fairs. It challenges the students to be intellectually inquisitive and socially conscious, preparing them to become confident leaders so they may contribute their knowledge to the development of their country.
Each year the school presents several scholarships and needs-based discounts to students from different districts of Osh Oblast to pursue a high quality education.
"I love spending my free time in the Learning Resource Centre, one of the best parts of the school,” said Nurkyz Abdykerimova, a grade 11 student. “The school provides students with everything they need. My parents are very proud that I am a student here. They are always excited to tell people that their daughter attends the Aga Khan School. Before, my parents wanted me to stay here, but now they are eager for me to study abroad. Thanks to my scholarship, my parents will be able to support my pursuit of post-secondary education at an international university."
Following its mission of promoting quality education, the Aga Khan School has become the first school to be awarded a license from the Ministry of Education to offer certified professional development programmes to government school teachers impacting over 3,000 students. Developed in collaboration with the Osh Institute for Teachers Professional Development, these programmes highlight subjects such as the sciences, information technology, languages and critical thinking skills and have become models of best practice in Osh Oblast.
Kyrgyz Government and the Aga Khan Foundation will extend support to farmers in 2013
Bishkek, 10 December / Kabar /. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantoro Satybaldiev met with head of the Aga Khan Development Network in Kyrgyzstan Nurzhahan Mawani. The Information Policy Department of the Kyrgyz Government’s Office reports.
During the meeting the sides discussed the development of cooperation, plans of the Aga Khan Development Network in 2013 to support rural producers. The Prime Minister proposed to consider the possibility of extending the support to farmers of the republic the next year.
Jantoro Satybaldiev and Nurzhahan Mawani also discussed the process of construction of the University of Central Asia in Naryn.
The Prime Minister said that the government is interested in speedy completion of the construction of the object.
Prince Aga Khan highly regards cooperation with Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek (AKIpress) - Aga Khan Prince Aga Khan IV highly regarded cooperation with Kyrgyzstan for 15 years.
The Network and the system built in Kyrgyzstan allow implementation of several activities carried out in the country presently, His Highness Aga Khan told reporters today during his visit to the campus of the University of Central Asia in Naryn.
The Aga Khan Foundation supports development of rural areas, microcrediting and education system. This is primarily the quality of secondary education that should be on a high level, since secondary education impacts the quality of higher education. This is why the school was opened in Osh and the University will be opened in Naryn. Opening of the Academy is planned in Bishkek, Prine Aga Khan said.
Lots of projects are run in Kyrgyzstan by the Aga Khan Development Network, he said.
Prince Karim Aga Khan arrives in Kyrgyzstan on 4-day visit
Bishkek (AKIpress) - Prince Aga Khan IV His Highness the Aga Khan arrived in Bishkek on November 2 for a four-day visit to the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Aga Khan is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of agencies working in economic, social and cultural development. AKDN has been engaged in the Kyrgyz Republic since 2000 operating the Aga Khan School in Osh, the Aga Khan Music Initiative, the First Microcredit Company, the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), Jubilee Insurance Kygyzstan and the Aga Khan Foundation working in Osh and Naryn in the fields of rural development, early childhood development, health, education and disaster reduction.
His Highness the Aga Khan is also the Chancellor of the University of Central Asia (UCA), which was founded by him and the Presidents of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. During this visit, His Highness will travel to Naryn, where he will review progress on the construction of UCA’s main campus and brief provincial and local leaders on developments, including the opening of the Naryn campus which will admit its first undergraduate students in September 2016.
He will also review developments of AKDN’s activities with the country’s senior leadership including His Excellency Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Speaker of Parliament Asylbek Jeenbekov, Prime Minister Joomart Otorbayev, Minister for Foreign Affairs Erlan Abdyldaev and Minister of Education Kanat Sadykov.
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