Close cooperation with the Development Network
Two businessmen are climbing a staircase. His Highness Prince Aga Khan IV (right) visited KfW in Berlin, where he also met Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the KfW Group's Executive Board. The discussions focused on the long-standing collaboration between the institutions. Source: raum11 / Gregor Fischer
He is not only an expert on development issues, but also the spiritual leader of the Nizari Ismailis: His Highness Prince Aga Khan IV, founder of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), recently visited KfW in Berlin. He met Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the KfW Group's Executive Board, and Bruno Wenn, CEO of DEG. The meetings, which lasted about two hours, focused on the long-standing cooperation between KfW Development Bank, DEG and the AKDN.
Cooperation particularly in "fragile states"
KfW and DEG have been cooperating with the AKDN, the world's largest private development network, for many years now, particularly in so-called "fragile states" affected by crises and conflicts. The Aga Kahn Development Network has outstanding local knowledge, especially in Afghanistan and other countries in Central Asia. The employees know the socio-cultural conditions, are familiar with circumstances on the ground and maintain good contacts with the local communities and non-governmental organisations.
KfW is therefore working together with the Aga Khan Network and the Afghan authorities to implement (among other initiatives) the "Northern Afghanistan Stabilisation Programme". The aim is to improve the infrastructure in the crisis-ridden country on the Hindu Kush. With the assistance of KfW and the Aga Khan, funds from the Federal Foreign Office are being used to build new schools, administrative buildings, roads and water pipelines. Moreover, the two institutions are striving to promote trade and the exchange of goods in the region.
Aga Khan employees know the local conditions
The "PATRIP Foundation", which KfW and the Federal Foreign Office established around three years ago, wants to help strengthen networking between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. New markets, bridges and roads are being built, making it easier for people to transport their products and offer them for sale in neighbouring countries. This is creating fresh economic momentum and jobs. Jens Clausen, KfW Head of Division, is repeatedly impressed by the "rapid implementation" of the projects. "It is the result of the professional, pragmatic and largely unbureaucratic work of the Aga Khan employees," he says in praise of the organisation.
Central Asia is not the only region in which KfW cooperates with the Aga Khan Network. In East Africa, they jointly support the training and further training of experts in the health care sector. Indeed, the range of training that the private Aga Khan University has to offer working professionals and those preparing for their careers is being expanded and improved. The project includes a new university building in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, improved further training courses, new degrees and offers in state partner hospitals in poor areas. Over the coming years, thousands more nursing staff will thus be trained to alleviate the crisis in East Africa's health care sector.
In total, the cooperation between KfW, DEG and the Aga Khan Development Network currently comprises 22 projects in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa with a financing volume of around EUR 240 million.
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