ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change on Friday teamed up with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) for collaboration and coordination aimed at livelihood security of people living in the rural areas in general and Gilgit-Baltistan in particular.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the ministry will focus on key areas such as climate change and environmental coordination, matters relating to sustainable development, water and sanitation and sustainable urbanisation.
The ministry will also focus on multilateral environment agreements, national policy and plans regarding ecology, forestry, wildlife, biodiversity and desertification.
The agreement will strengthen cooperation between the ministry and its allied sections/wings and line departments and the AKF and its sister organisations, including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS).
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According to the agreement, the two sides will cooperate on the shared objective of sustainable socio-economic development and addressing the challenges of climate change in rural areas through promoting knowledge sharing, coordination, research, joint activities, capacity building, policy support and joint resource mobilisation as well as creating opportunities through closer relations.
According to an official in the ministry, both the sides have agreed to provide technical support to mainstream risks from climate change as well as share technical knowledge and model development programmes which would include but not limited to safe and resilient infrastructure, identify hazard and vulnerable areas and its mapping, glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risks identification and mitigation, water resource conservation and protection and safe water distribution.
The ministry and the foundation will also collaborate in technical and financial support in water, food, livelihoods and energy security of the mountainous and resource poor regions of the country.
Special focus would be on community based afforestation and agro-forestry drives and community based water management and conservation, as well as promote renewable energy.
Both the sides will work to improve access to markets and build awareness and capabilities related to climate change related effects.
From green bonds to ethical portfolios, assessing efforts to grow the pool of planet-friendly capital.
O holy funds
Posted February 1, 2019
Winter 2019 Issue
How the Pope, the Aga Khan and Anglican Church invest
His Holiness Pope Francis
Faithful followers: 1.2 billion Catholics
Fund management body: Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank
Mandate: To serve the global mission of the Catholic Church through the administration of the entrusted assets and providing payment services to the Holy See and related entities. The celebration of human life, creation, and human dignity are fundamental Catholic principles and values that are to guide the institute’s investment choices and always prevail over return consideration.
Assets: €5.3 billion (C$8.2b), of which €3.5 billion (C$5.4b) are assets under management and custody accounts
Returns: Net profit of €31.9 million (C$49.4m) in 2017
Negative screens: Companies that violate or do not fully respect the globally recognized principles of human rights, labour standards, the fight against corruption or the fight against environmental crime
Positive screens: Companies creating a sustainable future, corporate social responsibility leadership, promoting the development of poorer countries
The lowdown: In 2018, the Institute’s Board of Superintendence approved a faith-based approach to apply to all its financial investment, notes board president Jean-Baptiste Douville de Franssu, former CEO of Invesco Europe, who is on a mission to bring the IOR back to its ethical roots. It is difficult to verify how this is working in practice as the IOR does not publicly disclose any of its corporate bond or equity holdings. It does, however, provide its asset allocation breakdown: 97.2% of its €2.4 billion (C$3.7b) in investment securities is composed of government bonds issued by major European countries (core and peripheral), as well as financial and corporate bonds. One of the reasons the Vatican may be weary of holding equity positions and disclosure in general could be because of previous periods of intense scrutiny including in 1968 after media reports revealed controversial investments in Udine, a military weapons manufacturer, and Istituto Farmacologico Serono, a firm that once made birth control pills.
A new foundation, based in the Vatican City, “Quadragesimo anno” was set up in 2018 to create a certification system meant to ensure financial investments are in accordance with the social doctrine of the church, which could be a valuable tool for Catholic faith-based investors.
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan
Faithful followers: 20 million Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
Fund management body: Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)
Mandate: To create profitable sustainable enterprises that stimulate job growth, support entrepreneurial activity and contribute to overall economic output in places that lack access to capital, with 100 per cent of profits reinvested in further development.
Assets: 90 companies with 47,000 employees (Financial assets not provided)
Returns: Revenues of US$4.3 billion (C$5.9b) in 2017
Negative screens: None explicitly stated
Positive screens: Companies that provide goods and services essential to economic development, ranging from banking to electric power, agricultural processing, hotels, airlines and telecommunications. (AKFED adheres to an ethical framework that emphasizes the ethics of inclusiveness, education, compassion and sharing, respect for life and health care, sound mind, sustainable environment and good governance)
The lowdown: The fund discloses 78 subsidiary or associated companies (eight of which are publicly traded) spanning 19 countries across five different economic development themes. Many of the investments appear to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, a gold standard for ethical investors. Unlike the IOR, the fund discloses the names of companies it owns, so it is possible to do a partial evaluation on a few key corporate social responsibility indicators. Relative to a global index of comparator companies (MSCI ACWI), the eight publicly traded companies held in the AKFED demonstrated a high rate of tax payment (48% of profits over the past five years), below average female representation on the board (12%) and higher than average CEO-to-average worker pay ratio (160:1), according to analysis by Corporate Knights.
The fund claims impressive impact metrics that include generating electricity for 10 million people and providing quality health care to five million people. Holdings include the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa (Nation Media Group), a hydropower facility that provides half of the power for Uganda (Bujagali Energy), the leading telecoms provider in Afghanistan (Roshan, a certified B Corporation) and the largest commercial bank in Pakistan (Habib Bank, a leader on microcredit and women’s financial inclusion). The latter investment, however, landed the fund in hot water in 2017, when Habib Bank paid out a US$225 million (C$306m) settlement to the New York State Department of Financial Services for compliance failures at its only U.S. branch, which has since been shuttered.
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby
Faithful followers: 85 million Anglicans (Church of England is the mother church of the international Anglican Communion)
Fund management body: The Church Commissioners (largest of three National Investing Bodies)
Mandate: To oversee the church’s endowment, which needs to return a substantial income to “support the church of today and the church of tomorrow.” The ethical investment policy embraces stewardship, engagement and investment exclusions in activities that are materially inconsistent with Christian values.
Assets: £8.3billion (C$14.3b)
Returns: Total return on its investments in 2017 of 7.1%, with an average return of 9.4% per annum over the past 30 years
Negative screens: Indiscriminate weaponry, conventional weapons (>10% turnover), production or distribution of pornography (>3% turnover), any company which earns more than 10% of group revenues from tobacco, gambling, non-military firearms, high interest rate lending, human embryonic cloning, tar sands or thermal coal
Positive screens: Sustainable environmental practice, fair treatment of customers and suppliers, responsible employment practices, conscientiousness with regard to human rights, sensitivity towards the communities in which the church operates, and best corporate governance practice
The lowdown: The Church Commissioners disclose their 20 most valuable property and equity holdings. The fund has relatively large positions in dental supplier Henry Schein and LED-firm Acuity Brands, but unlike the Church of England Pensions Board, does not count Apple, Amazon, Facebook, JP Morgan or Wells Fargo among its top 20 equity holdings. Relative to a global index of comparator companies (MSCI ACWI), the commissioners’ top 20 disclosed equity holdings demonstrated below average rate of tax payment (14% of profits over the past five years), above average female representation on the board (25%) and a higher than average CEO-to-average worker pay ratio (157:1), according to analysis by Corporate Knights.
The paltry 14% of profits paid in taxes is the worst result among prominent religious funds analysed by Corporate Knights and even in the context of engagement stands at odds with the Archbishop of Canterbury lamenting that vast companies “leech off the taxpayer” by not paying their taxes. Relative to its benchmark, the commissioners reported both a higher exposure to climate solution companies (9.7%) and a bigger portfolio carbon footprint (313 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per £1 million of corporate revenue). The Church of England has active campaigns to use the combination of its investor and moral power to combat corporate tax avoidance and assist the transition to a low carbon economy by high carbon global companies through its involvement with the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI).
Portugal: Lisbon's Curry Cabral public hospital to have first surgical robot
Lisbon's Curry Cabral public hospital is to receive Portugal's National Health Service's first surgical robot, the hospital's board announced on Tuesday
Lisbon’s Curry Cabral public hospital is to receive Portugal’s National Health Service’s first surgical robot, the hospital’s board announced on Tuesday.
According to the chair of the Central Lisbon Hospital Centre, Ana Escoval, the first robot for surgeries in the SNS was donated by the Aga Khan Foundation.
Portugal already has several surgical robots in private units, but the SNS did not have one, Escoval said.
“On behalf of the patients, we all have an obligation to find ways to also equip the SNS […].
Any person, poor or wealthy, in our country, who needs or is better treated with robotic surgery, should not be left out due to lack of financial resources,” Escoval told journalist on the sidelines of the inauguration of the intervention radiation unit at Curry Cabral and a tribute to the surgeon Eduardo Barroso.
Surgical robots are used in various specialities as substitutes for the surgeon’s hand, allowing greater precision and less invasive surgeries.
The first SNS robot will be in Curry Cabral, to be installed during the first half of the year.
AKDN renews support for the Support Platform for Syrian students in Portugal
Through this Global Platform, the goal is for Syrians who come to Portugal to continue their academic studies.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has joined the Global Support Platform for Syrian Students to assist Syrian students who come to Portugal to pursue their academic studies.
The signing of the memorandum took place this Wednesday in Lisbon, in the presence of the former President of the Portuguese Republic and founder of this Global Platform, Jorge Sampaio, the President of the FOCUS National Committee, Munir Ahmad, and the Diplomatic Representative of His Highness Aga Khan in Portugal Nazim Ahmad.
The memorandum thus allows to maintain the spirit of collaboration between the Aga Khan Network and the Global Platform which already allowed in 2015 the reception of Syrian students in Portuguese universities, guaranteeing them support during their stay in Portugal.
Aga Khan Development Network attends International Economic Summit in Russia
AKIPRESS.COM - At the invitation of H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan, His Highness the Aga Khan was represented by Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha who led the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) delegation to the 11th International Economic Summit in Kazan from 24 to 26 April 2019.
On the sidelines of the Summit an Exhibition of AKDN and the Aga Khan Award for Architecture was opened by President Minnikhanov who warmly welcomed the decision of the Award’s Steering Committee to hold the prestigious prize-giving ceremony in the historic centre of Kazan, Russian Federation in the autumn of 2019.
“I was pleased to learn about the Aga Khan Development’s work to improve the quality of life of peoples in diverse countries of the world and it is a great honour for us to receive and to be nominated for the Aga Khan Architecture Award this year. Everything that I saw during the exhibition in Kazan inspires me, because everything in this competition is aimed at the benefit of people. Public spaces are the environments where we live,” underlined President Minnikhanov at the opening of the Exhibition.
Jubilee Insurance unveils revolutionary in-patient care program
Jubilee Insurance has Wednesday launched a first of its kind free hospital in-patient beauty therapy service in all major hospitals in the city.
The program named “Recover in Style” seeks to offer a holistic approach to patient care was launched at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.
Rather than focusing on illness, Jubilee Insurance will leverage on the connection between the mind, body, spirit and emotion to enhance the overall well-being of our members.
Beauty therapy has an important therapeutic role beyond cosmetics and aesthetics as it offers an individual an overall sense of well-being and enhanced self-esteem. Clinical evidence has shown this positive emotional and mental state results in quicker recovery from physical illness.
Tajik mobile operator Tcell, owned by Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), has announced that it is the first cellco in the country to receive a commercial 5G licence, also claiming that it will ‘launch the first 5G network in Central Asia’. A company press release lacked details such as 5G spectrum band(s) allocated or launch timeframe, however. The release highlighted how ‘the introduction of 5G technology will allow Tcell to create a new technological basis for Tajik society’, supporting ‘government e-services, smart cities and innovative entrepreneurs’, adding that ‘for the full implementation and development of … 5G services, Tcell has to do a lot of work and make considerable investments to prepare the existing platform. Tcell has already started this investment.’
The release went on to say: ‘For 5G, it is necessary to identify new frequencies that will provide a higher speed and a denser coverage. Also, an infrastructure update is needed: 5G will work in parallel with 4G and 3G, and smartphones will switch between networks. This is a very large amount of work and a bold move, but 5G is not far off, and Tcell expects very soon to please subscribers, all Tajik people and guests of the country with the amazing possibilities of this technological breakthrough.’
Many people would probably think that traveling to Afghanistan must be a very dangerous proposition.
But the truth is, a trip to the once war-torn Central Asian country through the Wakhan Corridor can offer another kind of traveling experience.
The Wakhan Corridor is a mountainous and rugged panhandle in the far northeastern area of Afghanistan that projects deep into Pakistan, Tajikistan and China.
The salient was off-limits to the Taliban even at the height of its power, mainly due to its difficult terrain.
Besides, not only is the Wakhan Corridor widely considered the only safe region for travel across the entire Afghanistan, but it is also – and this is perhaps relatively little known – an important channel through which the country is drawing foreign currencies.
Recently, I have taken a trip to the Wakhan Corridor from across the Afghan-Tajikistan border.
The trip wasn’t originally on my itinerary, and the main reason why I suddenly changed my traveling plan is that it is a “convenient” way to enter Afghanistan.
Yes, it is convenient because Afghanistan has established a consulate in a small border town in Tajikistan, where international travelers can apply for fast-track Afghan visas at a cost of US$150.
Although that’s pretty expensive, there is still considerable demand for them.
And when I said “fast-track”, I meant it was really fast: I submitted my application at 9:30 a.m. and got my visa approved at around 11 a.m.
However, apart from paying US$150, you also have to sign a liability waiver to prove that you are entering Afghanistan voluntarily rather than “being sent” there, and that you agree to travel into the country at your own risk, before you can get your visa approved.
The nearest Taliban position in the Wakhan Corridor is around six hours’ drive from its rural villages.
Although it isn’t really that far away, the Taliban insurgents rarely, if not never, set foot on these villages that lie deep in the Pamir Mountains because it is simply not “cost-effective” for them to do so.
As a result, the Wakhan Corridor has become “another Afghanistan” that is relatively safer and more tranquil.
Of course, there is no such thing as absolute safety in reality, and that applies to the Wakhan Corridor as well.
Two years ago, a retreating group of Taliban troops launched a surprise attack against another small town along the Afghan-Tajikistan border.
Many locals in the Wakhan Corridor still have haunting memories about the Taliban. Even though they themselves have remained relatively safe in the area over the years, many of their friends and relatives were killed in other parts of Afghanistan during the Taliban reign.
Still, the area serves as a valuable buffer zone.
Perhaps what impressed me most about the Wakhan Corridor are the local schools.
Ever since the fall of the Taliban regime, the Afghans have generally attached huge importance to education.
And across the Wakhan Corridor, village schools are subsidized by the local authorities, and kids, in general, can go to school, although on foot under most circumstances.
That explains why kids in school uniforms can often be seen steering their way through the valleys.
In these schools, teachers can speak foreign languages, and have access to online social media. Their biggest hope is that the outside world can once again regard Afghanistan as a “civilized paradise”.
As a matter of fact, quite a number of education projects in Central Asia are funded by the Aga Khan fund.
The Aga Khan is the hereditary leader of Ismailism, a Shia denomination that is very modernized, and is therefore seen by the Islamic fundamentalists, including the Taliban, as a heretical order.
Education is on top of the Aga Khan’s agenda. In recent years, his denomination has set up the University of Central Asia, which has three different campuses in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
I have paid a visit to the university, and believe it or not, I felt that their facilities are even better than those of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
These campuses are all built in the mountain regions of the three countries, with a view to improving the education level of the next generation in these rural areas.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 14
Nick Mlowe: Driving progress for Mtwara’s poorest farmers
In 2017, the Aga Khan Foundation’s (AKF) farm livelihoods and natural resources management interventions benefitted over one million people worldwide. In Tanzania, an AKF staff member met with one of those farmers to learn how he is working with local smallholder farmers to create an agricultural model where everyone benefits.
Nickson “Nick” Mlowe, a 26-year-old Tanzanian farmer from Mtwara, is a very busy man. In one moment, he’s ploughing fields. The next, he’s fixing farm equipment. A fractured melody of barked orders bounces off the dirt road as we venture onto his property. As we proceed, it becomes clear that our presence is throwing a spanner in the works of a perfectly functioning, albeit wonderfully chaotic, machine. Still, Nick greets us warmly and ushers us towards a set of four steps leading into an adjacent building. I look around, wondering why we have stopped here, before my guide clarifies with a wry smile, “This is our field office. Have a seat!”
Nick is the farm manager at Changarawe, a 40-acre farm. He arrived at Changarawe by way of the Sokoine University of Agriculture, in Morogoro, about 200 kilometres from Dar es Salaam. Today, under Nick’s supervision, Changarawe produces sweet peppers, green, red and yellow capsicum, tomatoes and watermelon.
A few years ago, Nick and Changarawe faced major challenges when it came to producing red capsicum, for which there is growing demand in Tanzania. At the time, Nick estimated that Changarawe produced about 1,000 kilogrammes of capsicum per month. Limited access to markets meant that approximately 30% of the harvest was being lost to spoilage – a monetary loss of approximately 450,000 Tanzanian Shillings (US$ 195) per type of capsicum per month. Another challenge was a lack of technical knowledge amongst farm staff, particularly around greenhouse management – a crucial element to the successful cultivation of capsicum.
As part of its GIZ-funded Food Value Chain Development Project, the Aga Khan Foundation connected Nick with Ramosh, a buyer in Dar es Salaam. Today, as a result, the farm is able to move produce to market much faster. Impressed by the quality of Changarawe’s product, Ramosh is now sourcing one megatonne of capsicum per week from the farm and has expressed interest in purchasing butternut squash, beetroot, sweet melon, English cucumber and eggplant.
In Mozambique, where two out of five children are malnourished, programmes of the Aga Khan Foundation – with the support of Global Affairs Canada – have helped train communities to harvest essential crops and prepare nutritious meals. Using a community approach to combat malnutrition, members of a village come together to learn about proper nutrition, and the nutrient-rich foods that are available locally. Working together, they educate their neighbours and organise gatherings to share nutritious meals.
Watch this short video, Tomas’s Story: How a peanut can save a life, where we meet Ruquia and her son Tomas from the village of Pitolha – and learn how Ruquia credits the nutrition group for saving Tomas’s life.
Despite progress, 800 million people worldwide still live in extreme poverty, many of them in remote parts of the world. To alleviate poverty in these remote areas, the Aga Khan Foundation pioneered village-based development. Given the right tools, villagers mobilised to build roads, bridges, schools and clinics, water and sanitation systems and mini hydroelectric plants. They increased yields of essential crops and raised household incomes. Watch this video to find out more.
Madagascar celebrates its Independence Day every 26 June. This is the date in 1960 when its complete independence from France was achieved and recognised. Since 2005 the Aga Khan Development Network has been undertaking development activities in both rural and urban contexts in various parts of the country, working across agriculture, nutrition, climate adaptation, access to finance, improving value chains, and creating market linkages. These photos capture the faces of some of the 82’000 beneficiaries who we’ve reached across the regions of Sofia, Diana and Analamanga.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it, in one year 13 million hectares of forests are destroyed at the expense of man’s agricultural, industrial and domestic needs. We are losing about 200 square kilometres of forest every day. By absorbing water and holding soil in place, forests reduce the risk of floods and mudslides that result from natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. In poor, rural areas where populations depend on burning firewood to cook and heat their homes, the rapid reduction in forest cover is leaving communities at increasing risk of disaster, loss and a vicious cycle of poverty.
In April 2018 we visited a pilot programme in Diana, Madagascar where the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) was introducing biogas as an alternative cooking fuel to firewood. Using a biodigester – putting cow manure in one end and getting odorless cooking gas from the other – protects the environment against deforestation, as it can help economise up to 5 kilogrammes of firewood or 8 kilogrammes of carbon fossil per day. Using gas for stove-top cooking also reduces smoke fumes in the house, which are often the cause of respiratory diseases in poor, rural households. Lastly, the time previously spent on chopping, drying and preparing firewood is freed up for income-generating activities.
Martinique Boeny was selected for the pilot because she owned cattle whose excrement could fuel a biodigester. So once she sourced the cement and other materials necessary to build the biodigester, AKF taught her how to build it. During our visit, Mrs Martinique showed us how the cattle were fed bano grasse to increase the volume of waste produced (a technique taught by AKF), which was then transferred to the biodigester and fermented there, generating biogas that then traveled through pipes leading into the kitchen, fueling Mrs Martinique’s rice cooker and gas oven that was provided by the programme.
The incredible story of Egypt’s Museum of Islamic Art
The name was changed to the Museum of Islamic Art in 1952 at the start of the July 23 Revolution. The artifacts were displayed in 25 halls, divided up according to their age and materials. On Aug. 14, 2010, former President Hosni Mubarak officially reopened the museum following an eight-year project to develop and renovate it. The work was supported by the Aga Khan Foundation and carried out with the assistance of specialists from France.
Qatar Airways Subsidies Continue to Undermine Competition in Vital Transatlantic Routes
Commercial aviation in international markets has never come under the disciplines of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is instead loosely governed under a system of bilateral and sometimes regional “Open Skies” agreements which embody rules establishing mutually beneficial rights for services between signatory countries. The U.S. has over 120 separate agreements which generally promote flexibility in setting schedules, fares and capacity between the parties. They require non-discriminatory treatment of carriers in the markets of each participant. Most agreements require that each party provide a fair and equal opportunity to compete on generally accepted commercial terms for both landing rights and associated support services such as financing and provision of airports and ground transport. The most important exception to the functioning of this system comes from the large and growing competition from subsidized carriers in the Gulf states of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
While the history of commercial aviation in its early years was dominated by state-owned (and often subsidized) carriers, in the last three decades the industry has moved toward a private sector model. Open Skies agreements have proliferated since 1992 in response to this new model and accommodate the huge growth in traffic. The commitment to use generally accepted commercial terms is the only effective check on government subsidies in the absence of WTO rules.
The biggest outliers to this model, although not the only ones, are the three Middle East-based carriers: Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines. Since the mid-1980s Emirates has become the world’s largest carrier in terms of capacity, and along with the others is rapidly taking market share from traditional carriers in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Hong Kong, to name a few of the hardest hit. The U.S. lost six percent of its total international market share after 2007. Its market share declined from 48 percent to seven percent in travel to and from the Middle East. Massive subsidies approaching $50 billion to the oil-rich Middle East carriers have fueled this growth.
In late 2017 and early 2018 the U.S. State Department signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar under Article 15 of their respective Open Skies agreements to “seek disciplines on subsidies, transparency and state-owned enterprises.” High level support by the U.S. government was signaled by the presence of both then-Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the signing ceremony for the Qatari MOU.
While the evidence is not yet clear regarding a major rollback of subsidies under the MOUs, the new transparency requirements have allowed documentation of a major breach on the part of Qatar. In late 2017 Qatar bought a 49 percent stake in bankrupt Italian domestic airline Meridiana. The majority stake was retained by the Aga Khan Charitable Foundation. Meridiana was soon rebranded as Air Italy and its aging fleet of 11 Boeing 767s began to be retired and replaced by its new Qatar Airlines investor with Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A330s. This would allow expansion of the previously short-haul domestic dominated carrier to major international routes. There is no evidence of how Air Italy is to pay for this massive transfer worth billions of dollars from the Qatar order-book to modernize its fleet.
Multi-Input Area Development—Global Development Alliance (March 2013 - June 2018)
Published on 11 Jul 2019
The Multi-Input Area Development—Global Development Alliance (MIAD-GDA) was a partnership between USAID and the Aga Khan Development Network to improve the quality of life in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province by strengthening health, education, livelihoods, and governance. The project linked Afghanistan’s public and private sectors to foster sustainable social and economic development. USAID and Aga Khan each invested just over $22 million to fund the Global Development Alliance.
Leave wholesome planet better than you found it for our successors
Thursday July 11 2019
The government, the commercial sector and civil society all have a responsibility to create an environment of interacting forces for development.
Kenya has shown continuous and unwavering efforts to protect the environment and preserve its natural resources
The AKDN is a private network of 11 commercial as well as not-for-profit agencies that has a 100-year legacy in Kenya.
Man is God’s noblest creation to whom He has entrusted the stewardship of all that is on earth.
By AZIM LAKHANI
There is a photograph of a tree in my office, taken by Prince Hussain Aga Khan and used in a campaign where the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) planted more than 10 million trees in Kenya to support the government’s pledge to increase forest cover.
It often reminds me of my presentation at a World Bank consultative meeting in Johannesburg on its “World Development Report 2000/1” on values, norms and poverty themes. Among the AKDN ethics and values I covered was stewardship, collective responsibility to leave the planet better than we found it.
I came across many more examples of how this notion is reality, not rhetoric, within AKDN in Kenya. For example, 40 years ago, Serena Hotels pioneered a form of tourism combining meeting development objectives with economic sustainability, viability and conservation of the environment. Releasing over 50,000 hatchlings into the sea to protect turtles, maintaining a butterfly house to protect species and launching Kenya’s first fully solar-powered, off-grid lodge at Kilaguni are testimony to this. Recently, the Aga Khan University’s Graduate School of Media and Communications produced four seasons of Giving Nature a Voice, a documentary series by eight-time Emmy Award winner Andrew Tkach that has been aired weekly on NTV.
A pioneering initiative by Property Development and Management, Vienna Court, is the first green building in the region, with Leadership and Environmental Design certification from the US Green Building Council.
The Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) ensure over 70,000 farms benefit from sustainable farming practices, for example, through over 10,000 water pans used to harvest and store rainwater for irrigation. IPS demonstrate the ‘circular economy’ — waste from one initiative becoming an input for another.
Schools of the Aga Khan Education Service and the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa ensure that future generations are prepared for stewardship, through engagement. Examples include a biodigester that processes gray water from showers and toilets to maintain their gardens; research projects that address air pollution, water purification and global warming; sustainability initiatives like the study of hydroponics and affordable container housing; and science projects that address food-waste management and rainwater harvesting.
Kenya has shown continuous and unwavering efforts to protect the environment and preserve its natural resources, as exemplified by the Ban Plastics and the Clean Seas Campaigns; co-chairing of the UN General Assembly Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); and hosting the international Sustainable Blue Economy Conference.
AKDN and the Ismaili Community have shown solidarity with these efforts, for example by hosting Fragile Beauty, an exhibition of Prince Hussain’s marine photographs depicting the hidden beauty that is at risk underwater; and the Aga Khan Council hosting Kenya’s creative and innovative Flip Flopi dhow (a seaworthy vessel, made from waste plastic, that sailed from Lamu to Zanzibar) at its premises in Parklands.
Others include an expert panel discussion, “How do we preserve our natural assets while building the economy?”, in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry for the Environment and Forestry.
The government, the commercial sector and civil society all have a responsibility to create an environment of interacting forces for development.
The AKDN is a private network of 11 commercial as well as not-for-profit agencies that has a 100-year legacy in Kenya, reaching millions of Kenyans annually without regard to gender, race, ethnicity or religion. It has a presence in the health, education, social development, finance, economic development, media, hospitality, culture, heritage and research sectors in over 33 counties. It directly employs over 16,000 staff, with just under one per cent expatriates.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslims, and the Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network. In Washington, D.C., in January 2005, on receiving the National Building Museum’s Vincent Scully Prize, he said: “In Islam, the Holy Quran says that man is God’s noblest creation to whom He has entrusted the stewardship of all that is on earth. Each generation must leave for its successors a wholesome and sustainable social and physical environment.”
As we mark the 62nd year in office, the Ismaili Imamat, by His Highness today, these examples highlight stewardship by AKDN’s 175 initiatives in Kenya.
Dr Lakhani is the Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network in Kenya.
Setting a global benchmark for regional power generation
AKDN and SN Power sign tri-national hydropower generation agreement with Governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
Kinshasa, DRC, 29 July 2019 - IPS, the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and SN Power, a Norwegian international renewable energy company owned by Norfund, today signed the project agreements for the Ruzizi III hydropower project with Governments of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
The proposed 147 MW Ruzizi III is planned as a run-of-river hydropower project and will be located on the River Ruzizi. River Ruzizi flows from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa and delineates the southern border of Rwanda with DRC and also forms the border between DRC and Burundi.
Mr. Galeb Gulam, Chief Executive Officer of IPS(K) Ltd., commented “Ruzizi III is truly a ground-breaking project; it is the first privately financed project in sub-Saharan Africa that will utilise a common regional resource to generate power that will be shared equally between three countries. Despite the complexities and challenges that this region has faced, this project sets a unique precedent for public-private partnership projects globally. Ruzizi III will contribute significantly to socio-economic development, building confidence in these economies, increasing access to reliable and affordable power to millions of people across the region.”
The Shia Ismaili Muslim community at the weekend donated food, drinks and biscuits to the orphanage for Idd-ul-Aduha celebrations. KOFS orphanage receives children from as far as Sudan and has been dependent on well-wishers’ support.
By STEPHEN OTAGE
Kasangati Orphans Fund Society (KOFS) has said continuing food donations received from the Shai Ismaili Muslim community, who are the followers of His Highness the Aga Khan, has enabled them to feed 800 orphans under their care.
Located in Kawanda, Wakiso District, the orphanage is called Kasangati because it started from there with few children but later relocated to near Kawanda following an increase in the number of orphans sheltering at the orphanage.
According to Sheikh Sulaiman Kiberu, they survive on donations from good-willed people such as the Ismaili Muslims, who occasionally make contributions towards maintenance of the orphanage, and require Shs500m a year to feed the children at the facility, combining a school and Mosque.
According to Mr Minaz Jamal, the president of Shia Ismaili National Council for Uganda, volunteerism and service to society are integral part of the Ismaili Muslim tradition.
These, he said, present opportunities for giving resources and time to significantly improve the communities within which the members live and inculcate in young Muslims the importance of upholding the Ismaili Muslim tradition of volunteerism.
“Idd is an occasion for performance of good deeds, including charitable giving and voluntary service, through personal sacrifices. This is a time of inclusion, sharing, giving and it is, therefore, important to reflect on this common humanity and the spirit of selfless sacrifice,” Mr Jamal said.
Minister inaugurates 306kW hydropower station in Chitral
The Newspaper's Correspondent
October 20, 2019
CHITRAL: Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan inaugurated the 306-kilowatt hydropower station in far-flung Gazen village of Yarkhoon valley here on Saturday.
The project was completed by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, which would electrify 335 households of the five sparsely-populated villages.
Accompanied by the country director of KfW German Bank, Wolfgang Moller, and Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund chief executive officer Qazi Azmat Isa, the donors of the project, the federal minister formally inaugurated the powerhouse by plucking the ribbon. A large number of local people, including women, were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Omar Ayub said that it was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to fully exploit the potential of renewable sources of energy in the country, which was not only the cheapest in per unit rate, but also environment friendly.
He said that the generation of electricity from renewable sources would exceed 30,000-megawatt during the next couple of years.
Omar Ayub says energy potential of the district will be fully exploited
Mr Ayub said that Chitral was one of the areas bestowed with hydropower potential which would be exploited to full during the coming years. He said that the electricity would be used to bring about prosperity in this backward area thus far deprived of basic facilities, including road communication and healthcare.
He appreciated the AKRSP for its accomplishment in organising the communities for development in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
“The prime minister wants development of the country by promoting and strengthening the youth and he has taken a number of measures in this direction, including Kamyab Nowjawan programme,” he said.
He said that the womenfolk could augment the household economy by raising chicken and livestock to change the very fate of their families.
Mr Ayub also announced to scale up the skills of women in Chitral so that their handmade handicrafts and other products attracted the attention of global market.
Addressing the gathering, Wolfgang Moller expressed his pleasure over completion of the project and said that while enjoying electricity they should remember those German people who provided a part of their income for such works.
He said that it was an excellent example of people-to-people connection and making joint efforts for fighting poverty and raising the standard of life of those living in marginalised areas.
Hamida Bibi, a resident of the village, told the guests how electricity would bring about a positive change in the lives of women as they would utilise it to revolutionise the cottage industry and earn more to support their families.
AKRSP general manager Muzaffaruddin presented gifts and souvenirs to the guests and thanked them on behalf of the local community.
20 November 2019 - From setting up yurt kindergartens in the high mountain pastures of Kyrgyzstan to providing digital literacy apps for young school children in the remote coastal regions of Kenya, to raising the bar on teaching and nursing credentials across almost all of the countries in which it works, in all of its endeavours the AKDN is committed to creating an environment in which young children can have a healthy, happy and meaningful start in life that cultivates opportunities for a lifetime. Here is selection of photos to celebrate this work on Universal Children’s Day 2019!
More than 800 participants, including several African heads of State, innovators, captains of industry, entrepreneurs, from around the world are expected to attend the Kusi Ideas Festival scheduled to take place next month in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
It will take place on December 8 to 9 and is organised by the Nation Media Group (NMG)
in partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and its affiliated organisations.
Speaking during a media briefing, NMG Chairman Dr Wilfred Kiboro said the festival will provide a strategic platform for Africa to look back at the past 60 years and set the pace for the next 60 years.
“There has been tremendous change in the continent in health, governance and education but there has also been great challenges such as famine, wars and genocides. If we are going to make a contribution to the world, we need to start thinking of the future,” he said.
Also present at the briefing were NMG chief Executive Stephen Gitagama, AKDN Diplomatic Representative Dr Azim Lakhani and Aga Khan Health Service Board Chair Moyez Alibhai.
Dr Kiboro said the festival will provide a strategic platform to look back at Africa over the past 60 years and set the pace for the next 60 years going forward.
More than 800 participants, including several African heads of state, innovators, captains of industry and entrepreneurs from around the world are expected to attend the Kusi Ideas Festival that is scheduled to take place next month in Kigali, Rwanda.
The two-day conference organised by Nation Media Group (NMG) is not only part of its 60th anniversary celebrations but also the beginning of efforts to build a one-of-a-kind Pan-African ideas’ transaction market that will capitalise on the opportunities and innovations available for Africa.
It has been dubbed the ‘Davos for Africa’ and will be co-hosted by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
In partnership with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and its affiliated organisations, NMG through the festival aims to bring together influential leaders, scholars, entrepreneurs and innovators from Africa to converse on important issues facing the continent.
These issues include topics around climate change, food security, human security, a borderless continent, media and democracy, sports and culture as well as sustainable economies.
PATH TO EXCELLENCE
Speaking during a media briefing on the event that will take place on December 8 to 9, NMG Chairman Wilfred Kiboro said the festival will provide a strategic platform to look back at Africa over the past 60 years and set the pace for the next 60 years going forward.
“As we celebrate 60 years, we want to provide a platform for people to discuss what they would like to see in Africa in the next 60 years. There has been tremendous change on the African continent in health, governance and education but there have also been great challenges such as famine, wars and genocides. If we are going to make a contribution to the world, we need to start thinking of the future,” he said.
Mr Kiboro, who was with NMG Chief Executive Officer Stephen Gitagama, AKDN Diplomatic Representative Azim Lakhani and Aga Khan Health Service Board Chair Moyez Alibhai, further said African countries can draw great lessons from the discussions.
The countries expected to participate include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Ethiopia, Algeria, Mozambique, Sweden and Mauritius.
Invited heads of state include those from Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Namibia, Madagascar and the DRC. Other delegates are expected from Sweden, the US, UK and Norway.
On his part, Dr Lakhani noted that AKDN-affiliated organisations, under the leadership of His Highness the Aga Khan, had over the past 60 years been thought leaders in Africa on issues such as education, infrastructure, health, environment and finance, adding that the festival will follow in this vision.
“This platform will be an opportunity for Africans to discuss challenges in Africa and solutions by Africa. It will also reiterate the need for Africa to create conditions that will enable people to thrive and economies to flourish,” he said.
The festival will have more than 30 speakers from across Africa and outside the continent, among them President Kagame with a keynote address, AU High Representative for Infrastructure and Development in Africa Raila Odinga, secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development Mukhisa Kituyi and UN Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary Vera Songwe.
Kusi festival was named after a southerly wind that made possible cultural, intellectual and technological exchanges in the Indian Ocean circle and partly shaped the history of the nations on the eastern side of Africa and its hinterland.
“We will be channelling that spirit in the Kusi Festival because the same Indian Ocean circle that carries the fibre optic cables is emerging as the world’s dominant trade arena, and is the geopolitical sharp edge with the world’s highest concentration of foreign military bases and navies,” Mr Gitagama said.
The two-day event slated for December for between 8 and 9, is expected to bring together influential leaders, innovators, development partners, scholars, entrepreneurs, policy makers and company chief executives to discuss Africa’s challenges and opportunitie
By LYNET IGADWAH
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About 800 delegates, among them heads of state from across Africa, will gather in Kigali, Rwanda for the inaugural Kusi Ideas Festival aimed at tapping into the continent’s opportunities and innovations.
The two-day event slated for December for between 8 and 9, is expected to bring together influential leaders, innovators, development partners, scholars, entrepreneurs, policy makers and company chief executives to discuss Africa’s challenges and opportunities.
The pan-African event is part of Nation Media Group’s 60th anniversary celebrations and its vision of being a ‘’Media of Africa for Africa,’’ seeking to shape the future of the continent.
“Nation Media Group has launched the Kusi Ideas Festival as part of its 60th anniversary, but more importantly to begin building a pan-African ideas transaction market to capitalise on opportunities and innovations available to Africa to help it win in the 21st century,” said Clifford Machoka, NMG Group’s head of corporate and regulatory affairs.
This year’s festival will be hosted at the Intare Conference Arena under the theme ‘’The Next 60 Years in Africa.’’
List of speakers
Speakers include United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi, Morocco’s Minister for Environment Aziz Rabaah, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa executive director Vera Songwe and AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa Raila Odinga.
Others are Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Tanzania’s former Minister for Environment Affairs January Makamba and former executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Carlos Lopes.
Discussions will be moderated by former BBC journalist Max Bankole Jarrett and renowned global conversation strategist Nozipho Mbanjwa.
Textbooks do not prepare you for real world: PM’s adviser
Shazia HasanDecember 01, 2019
KARACHI: As the graduating class of 2019 settled down in their seats there were loud cheers from them when their teachers and professors walked by in the academic procession to take their place on either side of the grand stage in the convocation area of the Aga Khan University (AKU) here on Saturday.
The AKU’s 2019 convocation saw some 350 men and women, including students from Afghanistan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tanzania, UAE and USA, receiving their degrees and diplomas.
The chief guest, Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, said that her own professional journey had an incident that changed her course. “Two decades ago, I was a cardiologist working in the cath lab when I was told not to open disposable catheters for people who could not pay for them. That’s when I decided to do something about it by embarking on a journey of finding solutions with courage, agility, perseverance and integrity,” she said, urging the fresh doctors to arm themselves with values in the next phase of their journey. “Textbooks do not prepare you for the real world,” she said.
350 men and women, including foreign students, receive their degrees and diplomas at AKU convocation
She also said that the real world is beset by many challenges: widening inequities, demographic challenges, rapid urbanisation and a context in which collusive behaviours are deeply entrenched. But such challenges also offer a huge opportunity. For example, advancements in artificial intelligence and pharmacogenetics — the study of how genetics impact an individual’s response to medicine — are transforming medicine and today’s graduates have the opportunity to change the world dramatically.
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She said that she had long admired the AKU for setting high bars of standard and quality in the area of teaching medicine. “It has become a bit cliché but the time-old adage of doing the right thing for the right reasons is something that you must hold very dear to your heart as you walk into the real world,” she stated.
In his welcome address, the university’s president and CEO Firoz Rasul called on the graduates to make the most of their education by embracing challenges and by never letting setbacks hold them back from achieving their goals.
“There is no such thing as a life without setbacks,” he said. “Remember that those who survive disappointment with their determination intact, and learn the hard lessons it has to teach, are forces to be reckoned with,” he added.
The valedictory speaker, Haider Ali Saleem, had everyone laughing and smiling as he shared some highlights of their journey at the AKU. “It feels like just last week when we were waiting at our gate for the courier. Hoping to see a large envelope in his hand instead of the dreaded small envelope of rejection,” he said.
“The first year was all about discovery. Life was more settled in second year ahead of the hysteria before our clinical phase when we entered the wards. Suddenly there were patients talking unlike the mannequins we had been practising on. And as soon as we felt that we had a grip on the clinical phase, it was over and we found ourselves in the final year of medicine. Class of 2019, it has been a marvellous journey of learning experiences and perseverance,” he said.
Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, founding chair of the university’s Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health, was elevated to the rank of Distinguished University Professor and is just the second faculty member to hold this title.
The students received degrees and diplomas in different disciplines, including nursing, midwifery, medicine, education, dental hygiene and Muslim Culture. This included 181 graduates from the School of Nursing and Midwifery, 143 from the Medical College, 16 from the Institute of Educational Development and 10 from the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
A number of students won awards at the convocation. The 2019 ‘Medical College Best Graduating Student Award’ went to Dr Maya Zahid Khan, who also received the AKU Medical College’s Gold Medal for achieving the highest score in three out of four certifying examinations. She is only the 10th student in the university’s history to receive this medal. The 2019 School of Nursing and Midwifery ‘Best Graduating Student Award’ went to Sahar Makhani.
Three awards of distinction were presented to Dr Amirali Pyarally Gulamhusein, Asif Fancy and Louis Ariano for their significant contributions to the university’s development. An Award of Excellence in Teaching and Teaching Leadership was conferred on Dr Rashida Ahmed and an Award of Excellence in Research was given to Dr Rumina Hasan.
Professor Emeritus and Professor Emerita were conferred on five retired members of faculty — Prof Abul Faizi, Prof Mohammad Perwaiz Iqbal, Prof Murad Moosa Khan, Prof Nelofer Halai and Prof Yasmin Noorali Amarsi for their sustained contributions to teaching, scholarship and service throughout their careers.
The two-day event slated for December for between 8 and 9, is expected to bring together influential leaders, innovators, development partners, scholars, entrepreneurs, policy makers and company chief executives to discuss Africa’s challenges and opportunities
The former President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Chairman of the Global Fund, Dr Donald Kaberuka has described the argument of Africa drowning into debt, particularly Chinese debt, as nonsensical.
Dr Kaberuka, one of Africa’s top economists, dismissed the argument that Africa is sinking in debt and that Chinese are about to take over the continent. He said it does not make sense because the continent has the smallest share of global debt and accesses little of it.
“It is a very small share of debt globally. Since the global financial crisis, literally, corporate debt and sovereign debt have gone off. The increase in Africa has been quite modest, but we can discuss about public financial management,”
“How is their debt [countries] used? That is a different conversation, but the idea that Africa is going to drown in debt is nonsensical. It is not supported by numbers. What is the problem, which I admit, is that our effort in mobilising domestic revenue has declined,” the former Rwandan finance minister said.
Dr Kaberuka made the observation on the opening day of Kusi Ideas Festival, themed “The next 60 years in Africa” organised by Nation Media Group (NMG) at Intare Conference Arena in Rusosoro.
“For example here in East Africa, since we are here, there are some countries which were doing up to 21 per cent of GDP in revenue collection. 21 percent, but that has declined to about 16 percent. That is about 5 percentage point every year,” he said, pointing out that is a lot of money and it is often replaced by external borrowing.
Kaberuka said that if African countries can improve on mobilising resources domestically and managing well what they borrow, the argument that Africa is sinking in debt would not be coming up.
“If we can improve on our own domestic revenue mobilisation, if we can improve on our public debt management and if we can improve on our debt management capabilities, the continent is able to take a bit more debt, especially at this time when the markets are looking for yield,” Dr Kaberuka said.
He was speaking on a panel dubbed “Turning Africa’s Population Explosion into an Economic Boom: The Opportunities and Perils” which featured among others Dr. Kamau Gachigi, the Chief Executive Officer, Gearbox from Kenya and Fredros Okumu, the Director of Science, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania.
The panel also had Dr. Carlos Lopes, the Former Executive Secretary the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), also honorary Professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town and Sylvia Mulinge, the Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom.
The panel discussed a range of issues including what the continent needs to do to address food shortage and creating jobs for young people. As Universities and colleges continue to churn out millions of young people, there few jobs in the economy to absorb them.
Speaking about the Kenyan experience, Mulinge said the Kenyan education sector produces about 800, 000 to 1 million graduates annually yet only 80, 000 jobs are created annually in the formal sector.
“The question is, where are all these young people going? Where are we creating the capacity to be able to absorb these young people? If you look at the statistics of Kenya, agriculture is the biggest employer. We could easily engage them but we also find that most of our youth are very digital, mobile phone enabled,”
Mulinge said that even that if they were to be engaged to join farming, it would be through a different kind of infrastructure or platform, which is why companies like Safaricom have started initiatives to create digital jobs and partnerships with the likes of Cloud Factory who are creating about 4, 000 opportunities annually.
A panel dubbed “Who’ll Grow The Food, Who’ll Get To Eat? Feeding Africa: Growing the Food, Paying for it, and the Innovations that Will Ensure Everyone Gets to Eat” featuring Dr. Diane Karusisi, the CEO, Bank of Kigali, Catherine Kyobutungi, the Executive Director, Africa Population & Health Research Centre discussed the challenge the continent faces in regard to food security.
Dr Agnes Kalibata, the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa said that Africa is not shot of food but what lacks is the political will and using the right means to address the problem, citing Rwanda as an example.
“We all know that hunger is the result of political inaction. It took Rwanda only three years to reduce the percentage of people that were food insecure from 55 per cent to 21 per cent. I haven’t been around for a while but I am sure a solution for the 21 per cent has been found,”
“There is a lot we can learn from Rwanda. How has Rwanda been able to do it in such a short time,” Dr. Kalibata said adding that it is not about lack of resources but how they are allocated to address the food needs of the people, citing the use of technology to improve agriculture as one of the solutions.
L-R: Presidents Felix Tshisekedi of DRC, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, First Lady of Rwanda Mrs Jeannette Kagame at Kusi Festival
President Paul Kagame and Félix Tshisekedi President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) participated in a panel dubbed “The Next 60 Years in Africa: Looking for wins” alongside Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Raila Odinga, the High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, African Union and Dr. Vera Songwe Executive Secretary, UNECA.
The first edition of Kusi Ideas Festival was organised in line with marking 60 years since NMG was established.
In his message read out by the a representative, His Royal Highness the Aga Khan, the founder of Nation Media Group, said that the forum will be key in setting the agenda for the continent for the next 60 years, adding that the world has a lot to learn from Africa.
New project to foster peace and stability in Tajikistan’s Khorog
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 06:11
Written by TCA
DUSHANBE (TCA) — A presentation of the project “Critical Infrastructure to Contribute to Stability and Peace in Khorog, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast” was held last month in the GBAO administration with participation of GBAO Governor Yodgor Fayzov, the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan reported on January 13.
The project of EUR 1,800,000 is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP) in close partnership with the local Government. Implemented over the period of 18 months (1st October 2019-31st March 2021), the project aims to foster peace and stability in Khorog, the main city of GBAO, by improving highly demanded public infrastructure and services, strengthening confidence in local authorities, and generating temporary employment opportunities through construction work.
Specific activities of the program are as follows:
- Improvement of educational conditions for schoolchildren through the construction of the building of the secondary school #5 on Saidmir Abdurahmonov Street in Khorog;
- Provision of access to sports centers for Khorog children and youth through the construction of six sports grounds in Khorog;
- Provision of the Bizmich settlement population with potable water through the construction of a potable water system and the connection of each farm to the water supply system through efficient meters for efficient water use;
- Mitigation of the impact of natural disasters through the implementation of a small-scale shore protection project in Sharifobod neighborhood of Khorog;
- Involvement of youth groups and project partners in various activities, such as coordination meetings, trainings, sports and cultural awareness on sanitation, provision of maintenance and sustainable management of established infrastructure that will enhance the impact of this project.
Governor Fayzov congratulated everyone with the launch of the project and expressed hope for the continuation of strong collaboration between the local authority and AKDN agencies in promoting peace and stability and improving the quality of life of people in Khorog. He also emphasized the importance of ownership of this project by the local government and community and requested local government officials to support the timely implementation of project activities.
AKF partners with the LEGO Foundation to support primary school teachers’ use of Learning through Play across five countries
The LEGO Foundation launches global partnerships to support primary school teachers’ use of Learning through Play across five countries
Billund, Denmark - Today, the LEGO Foundation announced partnerships with the Aga Khan Foundation, BRAC, Right To Play, UNICEF, VVOB - education for development, and RTI International. Each organisation will integrate Learning through Play pedagogies into the official in-service teacher professional development systems for primary school teachers in Kenya, Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda and Vietnam, and conduct cross-country research, respectively. Collectively this will benefit an estimated five million children aged 6-12 years, 190,000 teachers, and three million parents and community stakeholders.
The five partners will work with Ministry of Education teacher professional development systems to promote the use of Learning through Play pedagogies, many of which have already been introduced by the implementing partners in their prior work to support teachers across the five countries. These play-based pedagogies are well-aligned with ongoing curriculum reforms in the partner countries to enhance teaching and learning in primary school.
International Development, The Aga Khan Way - Podcast
Professor Stephen Howes sat down with Michael Kocher and Matt Reed of the Aga Khan Foundation to discuss the work of the Foundation.
In November 2019, Professor Stephen Howes (Director of the Development Policy Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy) from The Australian National University sat down with Michael Kocher, Global General Manager of the Aga Khan Foundation and Matt Reed, Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan Foundation UK, to discuss the work of the Foundation, one of the ten development arms of the Aga Khan Development Network.
Australia is the biggest NGO partner in Afghanistan and contributes $25M in Bamiyan, Badakhshan and the Wakhan Valley where the projects are essentially focused on early childhood development, public education and educating girls and community driven projects. This podcast illustrates the long term approach taken by the Aga Khan Foundation in building capacity through the active engagement of community leaders and civic society groups in identifying their needs and providing solutions. Michael Kocher, describes DFAT as “intelligent development partners” who promote the exchange of ideas and best practices in supporting local communities to take charge of their development supporting local empowerment and self-driven projects.
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