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Aga Khan Foundation

Aga Khan University

Aga Khan Health Services

Aga Khan Education Services

Aga Khan Housing Boards


Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development

Industrial Promotion Services

Tourism Promotion Services

Financial Institutions


Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Historic Cities Support Program




The Aga Khan Development New is a group of institutions working to improve living conditions and opportunities in specific regions of the developing world. The Network's institutions have individual mandates that range from the fields of health and education to architecture, rural development and the promotion of private sector enterprise. Together they collaborate in working toward a common goal-building institutions and programmes that can respond to the challenges of social, economic and cultural change. This presentation introduces the Network's principal organizations and provides an overview of their activities and goals.


There are three main areas of activity in the Aga Khan Development Network-social development, economic development and culture(please see organization chart).

In social development, most Network activities take place in East Africa and South Asia. The key institutions are the AGA KHAN FOUNDATION (AKF), including the Aga Khan Rural Support Programmes, Aga Khan University (AKU), Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) and the Aga Khan Housing Boards.

The Network's economic activities are carried out by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and its affiliates-Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), industrial Promotion Services (IPS), and financial services companies. They are mainly located in Asia and Africa.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) coordinates the Network's cultural activities. Under its aegis are the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA), Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) and the Historic Cities Support Program (HCSP). Problems related to building in the developing world are AKTC's special focus of concern, particularly in societies in which Muslims are present.

In recent years, the Aga Khan Development Network has disbursed an annual average of US $100 million for non-profit activities. AKFED and associated companies control assets in excess of US $ 500 million.

Many of the institutions that are now part of the Network were originally created in the late nineteenth century by the grandfather of the Aga Khan. They were established to meet the needs of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims living in South Asia and East Africa. Today, under the guidance of the present Imam, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Network's institutions have grown beyond that geographical core. Their services are open to people of all faiths and origins. The fulcrum of the Network's institutions have grown beyond that geographical core. Their services are open to people of all faiths and origins. The fulcrum of the Network's activities, however, remains the Ismaili Community-its traditions of volunteer service, self-reliance, and the leadership of the hereditary Imam.

The Imam's responsibilities involve not only interpretation matters of faith to the Ismaili Community, whose member now live in both the industrialized and developing worlds, but also relating that faith to conditions in the present. For the Aga Khan, this had led to a deep involvement with development, seen as a process in which economic, social and cultural factors converge to determine the quality of life. The institutions that the Aga Khan has founded since 1957, when he succeeded his grandfather to the Imamat, reflect that sense of development's complexity. While all of them pursue specific mandates in social, economic and cultural development, they also work to identify ways in which these different pursuits can interact, mutually reinforcing one another.

The Network's institutions share common characteristics. Many initiatives originally came to exist through the energy, dedication and skill of volunteers, and both volunteer and professional staff are essential to the functioning of Network organizations today. They draw upon the talents of people of all faiths, and work to develop the competence of both volunteer and remunerated staff on an on going basis.

The different sectors of the Network also share common principles. Whether in health, education, architectural revitalization or industrial development, Network organizations seek to reach people without access to services, supplementing the efforts of government and other providers but not substituting for them.

They function through the participation of local people at all levels, in defining services needed, providing them, and evaluating their effectiveness. Their mandates are both urban and rural-Network organizations are present not only in many of Africa and South Asia's expanding cities but also in remote rural areas. Enabling people in rural areas to create the services they need and have access to the opportunities they want is a particular focus of the Networks activity.

Alongside their specific goals, Network projects are required to meet rigorous criteria for institutional development and management. Often initiated and always supported by the communities they serve, they aim to develop viable institutions and programmes that can become self-sustaining. By building strong institutional objectives into its projects, the Network aims to build permanent capacities for service in developing societies.

This institution-building aim is served by links between Network organizations, both within and across sectors. It is also furthered by partnerships with organizations outside the Network, both in the north and the South. In the linking process, the Ismaili Community's geographical spread and cultural diversity act as a powerful stimulus-its presence in North America and Europe, as well as in Africa and Asia, has created a unique bridge between the developed and developing worlds that is one of the Network's greatest strengths.

Finally, the Aga Khan Network seeks to strengthen the role of the private sector in the developing world. In its approach to the development process, support for private sector initiatives has intrinsic importance. From non profit,non-governmental organizations to business enterprises, the private sector plays an essential role in national life. It can become especially effective in cooperation with governments that encourage its contributions by fostering what the Aga Khan has called an "enabling environment" favourable legislative and fiscal structures. In all areas of social, economic and cultural development, building enabling environments is one of the Networks foremost goals.


The Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims are generally know as the Ismaili. They belong to the Shia branch of Islam; They belong to the Shia branch being the Sunni. During its long history, the Ismaili Community has come in include peoples from many different cultural traditions, and cultural diversity continues to characterize the Community today. In the developing world, the Ismaili now live mainly in Central and South Asia, East Africa and the Middle East. They also live in Europe and North America.

In common with other Shia Muslims, the Ismailis affirm that after the death of the prophet Muhammad (Peace of Allah be upon him), his cousin and Son-in Law Ali became the first Imam -Spiritual leader- of the Muslim Community. They believe that this spiritual leadership, known as the Imamat, continues through the hereditary line of Ali and his wife Fatima, the Prophet's daughter. According to Shia doctrine and tradition, succession to the Imammat, continues through the hereditary line of Ali and his wife Fatima, the Prophets daughter. According to Shia doctrine and tradition succession to the Imammat is by designation. It is the absolute prerogative of the Imam to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendants.

Historians conventionally divide Ismaili history into several broad periods. The achievements of the Fatimid Empire dominae accounts of the early period, roughly from the beginnings of Islam through the 11th century. Named after the Prophet's daughter Fatima, the Fatimid dynasty created a state that stimulated the development of art, science, and trade in the Mediterranean Near East over two centuries. Its centre was Cairo, founded by the Fatimids as their capital.

Following the Fatimid period, the Ismaili Muslim's geographical centre shifted from Egypt to Syria and Persia. Their centre in Persia, Alamut, fell to Mongol conquerors in the 13th century. After this even, the Ismailis lived for several centuries in dispersed communities, mainly in Persia and Central Asia but also in Syria, India and elsewhere.

In the 1830s, Aga Hassanly Shah, the 46th Ismaili Imam, was granted the honourary, hereditary title of Aga Khan by the Shah of Persia. In 1843 the first Aga Khan left Persia for India, which already had a large Ismaili Community Born in Bombay, Aga Khan II died in 1885, only four years after assuming the Imamat. He was succeeded by the present Aga Khan's grandfather, Sultan Mahomed Shah who became the 48th hereditary Imam and the third Aga Khan at age of eight.

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah was Imam for seventy-two years, a critical period in the modern history of the Ismaili community. His leadership played a crucial role in enabling the community to adapt to historical change, notably through the transformation of its institutions. During this period, centrally administered and medical facilities, schools, housing societies and cooperative banks were created, mainly in the Indian sub-continent and in East Africa. Many of them still exist today as parts of the Aga Khan Development Network.

In addition to resources provided by the Imam himself, these institutions were and are supported by voluntary contributions from the Ismailis, and by the time and energy they donate to specific programmes. An expression of its ethos of self-reliance and unity, voluntary service has long been a mainstay of he Ismaili Community.

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III began what has become a family tradition of international service. He played an important role in the political evolution of the Indian subcontinent and was a delegate to the Round Table conferences in London in the 1930s From 1937 to 1939 he was the President of the League of Nations. His elder son, Prince Aly Khan, served as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations.

The present Aga Khan, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, is the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. He was born on December 13 1936 in Geneva, the son of Prince Aly Khan and His wife, the former Joan Yarde-Buller, daughter of Lord Churston. After spending this early childhood in Nairobi Kenya, he attended Le Rosey school in Switzerland and graduated from Harvard University with an honours degree in Islamic history in 1959. Aga Khan IV succeeded his grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, to the Imamat on July 11, 1957 at the age of twenty.

The Aga Khan's brother Prince Amyn, entered the United Nations Secretariat following his graduation from Harvard in 1965. In 1968 he joined the Aga Khan's Secretariat. As a Director of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and member of the board for many other Network entities, Prince Amyn is closely involved with the Imammat's development activities and the governance of its principal institutions.

The Aga Khan's uncle, Prince Sadruddin, has been UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Coordinator for assistance to Afghanistan and Executive Delegate of the Secretary- General for a United Nations humanitarian program for Iraq, Kuwait, Iraq-iran, and Iraq-Turkey boarder areas. he promotes a number of programmes related to the environment.

Under the Aga Khan's leadership, many of the Network's principal institutions have been established: the Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Health and education activities have been restructured within the Aga Khan Health and Education Service. The Aga Khan Development Network provides and overarching framework for these development institutions and programmes


The efforts of the Ismaili Imams in health and education go back to the Fatimid Empire, when they founded the University of Al-Azhar. Working within these Islamic traditions of social concern, the Aga Khan has fostered the development of a growing network of institutions and activities in health car, education and rural development. Today the main Network institutions working in social development are the Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan University, Aga Khan Health Services and the Aga Khan Education Services. Each has a specific mandate.


In social development, the Network is particulary active in health, education housing and rural development.

The purpose of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is to promote creative and effective solutions to problems that impede social development. AKF provides funding and technical assistance for many social development projects carried out by both Network institutions and other agencies. The Aga Khan University (AKU) is an international institution whose Faculty of Health Sciences and Institute for Educational Development are in Karachi, Pakistan. It's goal is to bring intensional standards of education to bear upon the study of problems in the developing world and the training of professional there.

As providers of health and education service the date back to the nineteenth century, the institutions of the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) and Aga Khan Education services (AKES) are the historical bedrock of the Network's social development activities, along with Aga Khan Housing Boards. They work closely with AKF and AKU to implement initiatives that have the potential to promote the well -being of large numbers of people in the developing world.


Founded in 1967, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is now a major non-governmental organization (NGO) active in health, education and rural development. With roots in the third world and support in the West, it cooperates with more than thirty other national and international agencies to finance programmes, primarily in Africa and Asia. To encourage a new generation of development practitioners aware of the realities of the third world, it also provides scholarships, training and internships of young people from developing and industrialized counties. AKF's headquarters are in Switzerland. It has branches in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Portugal, and affiliates in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

While AKF is a funding agency, it also involves itself actively in the genesis and evolution of its projects, as well as learning from the experiments it funds. It is especially interested in innovative approaches to selected problems of development, which it supports through closely monitored grants to organizations that share the Foundation's goals. Grantees are selected on the basis of their ability to address important issues concerning the quality of life of their constituencies. When projects show promise of wider application AKF acts to attract funds from larger funding agencies.

Within it three areas of involvement AKF pursues specific thematic concerns. In health, it supports projects that aim to improve the health status of the poor, and has developed approaches to community-based primary health care (PHC), primary health care technology and community-oriented health personnel over the past ten years. At the present time, its programmes also aim to improve the socioeconomic status of target populations, and focus particularly upon environmental health and the promotion of basic health care.

AKF's education portfolio is divided into two distinct thematic areas: Young Children and Family, and Improving the Quality of Schools, AKF is one of the few international agencies to emphasize early childhood care and development. Its goal is to fund projects which meet the needs of young children in ways that are appropriate to the cultural context of family and community. In the area of educational quality, its priorities are improving the quality of the local school, training teachers on the job, producing low-cost curriculum materials and reforming school management.

In coming years AKF will draw upon the research capabilities of the AKU's Institute for Educational Development to prepare new programme approaches.

AKF's rural development programme has focused on poverty alleviation in fragile an degraded environments through participatory organization and better management of natural resources. Over the past decade, it has established two major programmes that foster the development of the rural poor-the Aga Khan Rural Support Programmes(AKRSP) in India and Pakistan. With its focus on village organization, decision making and skill development, the AKRSP approach in Pakistan was judged by a World Bank evaluation team to be a suitable model for widespread replication.

AKF also supports two other major experiments in rural development-the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and the Sadguru Water and Development Foundation in India. Like the AKRSP's these initiatives in rural development are now moving into critical stages of their development as self sustaining institutions. AKF's support for them in the 1990s including exchanges of personnel and experience, is designed to help them accomplish this transition.


With the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Institute for Educational Development in Pakistan, the Aga Khan University (AKU) occupies a pivotal place in the Network's social development activities. Inaugurated in 1985, its purpose is to provide higher education and stimulate research pertinens to Pakistan and the developing world, whole maintaining internationally accepted academic standards. Along with its educational aims and its mission to promote the welfare of the people of Pakistan, AKU is a major centre for health sciences training, continuing education, technical assistance and research.

Planned with the support of the medical schools of Harvard University and McGill University, AKU's Faculty of Health Sciences includes both a Medical College and a School of Nursing, and is affiliated to the Aga Khan University Hospital, which is located on the same campus. The Faculty of Health Sciences and the Aga Khan University Hospital together form the Aga Khan University Medical Centre (AKUMC).

The Medical College has a two -pronged approach to medical education that includes both medical care in the environment of a technologically advanced teaching hospital, and the delivery of primary care to the poor in the Katchi abadis, or shantytowns of Karachi. Medical students are trained to deal with the health problems of the third world through a curriculum that emphasizes both medical and community health sciences. They acquire clinical experience not only in the Aga Khan University Hospital, but also in primary care programmes in Karachi's poorest neighbourhoods.

The School of nursing shares the Medical College's goals in delivering high quality care in both the hospital and the community environment. It also aims to establish new standards and a higher status for the nursing profession in Pakistan. The School has benefited from privileged links with MacMaster University in Canada. For both the Medical College and the School of Nursing, the principal site for clinical training is the Aga Khan University Hospital, a major teaching hospital that provides a broad range of secondary care and related specialized services. Care is available to all, regardless of creed; patients unable to pay receive care under a variety of subsidy and welfare schemes.

Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences focuses on the particular problems of the third world. Current projects include an investigation of the causes and treatment of childhood diarrhoea, and study of the immunological basis of leprosy. Other projects are concerned with congenital thyroid deficiency in Pakistan, vitamin A deficiency in under-nourished children, and the design of models of low -cost community-based primary care services.

AKU's Institute for Educational Development (IED) is dedicated to the improvement of teaching, teacher training and educational research relevant to the needs of Pakistan and the developing world. Building upon Network experience in school improvement and field base teacher development (see AKES and AKF sections). IED aims to develop innovative models of educational change. Its approach to teacher training emphasizes the school-based internship and its first Professional Development Centre is AKES's Sultan Mahomed Shah School in Karachi. To meet the needs of rural teachers. IED plans to open a Professional Development Center in Gilgit, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. For both in-service training and the subsequent university-based education of the teacher, IED's programmes have been developed in collaboration with Oxford University and the University of Toronto.

Aga Khan Health Services

The Aga Khan Health Services (AKSHS) is one of the most comprehensive non-profit health care systems in the developing world. Building on the Ismaili Community's health care efforts during the first half of the century, AKHS now provides primary health care and curative medical care in India, Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Syria. The Network includes five general hospitals; the Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan, five maternity homes and more than 230 health centres. Organized in national service companies in Kenya, Tanzania, India and Pakistan, these health facilities are also linked internationally through network wide strategies in human resource development, hospital management, nursing development and primary health care.

AKHS's primary health care programmes are designed to reach vulnerable groups in society, especially child-bearing women and young children, with low-cost medical technologies to proven effectiveness: immunization, systematic prenatal care, aseptic deliveries and oral rehydration therapy for diarrhoeal disease. Experience with PHC within the network, where AKHS works closely with both AKF and the AKU, has confirmed both the efficacy of primary health care in improving health status,and its cost-effectiveness.

In AKH's approach to health services, primary health care and prevention are steps toward improved health status that must be linked to the availability of high quality medical care, To complement its work in primary health care, AKHS offers curative services in institutions ranging from dispensaries through health centres and maternity homes to full-service hospitals. At each level of care, AKHS's focus is on providing services that are needed and wanted by the community and upon building linkages within the system. It also aims to ensure a quality of care that significantly raise local standards. Quality control in laboratory diagnosis, good documentation in medical records, regular supply of pharmaceutical and continuing education of nurses and doctors are some of the practices that AKHS emphasizes in its approach to institutional development.

While strengthening its institutions and the links between them, each national health service company joins governments health services and other providers in building effective national health systems. Welding the national service companies into an international system is also an AKHS goal, Current projects with possible implications for the network as a whole include the introduction of selected clinical care interventions into PHC programmes in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, attempts to build regional referral arrangements in East Africa, and experiments with resource sharing within the AKHS, in the attempt to provide the very poor with better access to care. Many of these experiments involve close collaboration between the AKHS, AKF and the AKU.


The Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) provides schooling and other educational services in 300 facilities in the developing world, ranging from day care centres to primary and secondary schools. With roots in the Ismaili Community's traditions of educational activity, these schools and centres are now managed by national service companies in Tanzania, Kenya, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

The foundations of the system were laid by Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan during the first half of the twentieth century when over a hundred schools were established, mainly of the Ismaili Community, in East Africa and South Asia. Under the leadership of the present Aga Khan, the schools began to broaden their intake of pupils and extend their academic range in the 1950s

Today, AKES faces the same constraints as other providers of education in the developing world, whether public or private: population growth outstripping resources, poorly trained teachers, inappropriate curricula and in some areas, the low health and education status of women and girls. Their programmes aim to diminish these obstacles to educational access and achievement. To increase access, AKES has continued to create school; in close collaboration with the Aga Khan Housing Boards and the AKF, it has also supported community-based school construction. In the north of pakistan, AKES increased the number and range of facilities available to girls.

Programmes to improve educational quality have ben built into the AKES system since the early 1980s. Field-based teacher training was launched in the Northern Areas in 1983. School improvement experiments began at the same time in the Sind province in Pakistan, where AKES introduced child-centred teaching method, and in Tanzania, where new techniques for secondary school teaching in English, mathematics and science were implemented in Dar es Salaam. AKES (Kenya) has been the Network pioneer in the use of computers in the classroom, while many Network initiatives in pre-school education began in AKES (India)

Supported by the Aga Khan Foundation, some of these experiments have been carried out in government schools as well as AKES institutions, so contributing to the improvement of education in the countries in which AKES operates. And with both the national service companies and the Aga Khan Foundation acting as relays, this body of experience in teacher development and school improvement is having impact throughout the Network. The Institute for Educational Development of the Aga Khan University has been created to provide a permanent institutional base that can sustain these and other initiatives in education.


The goal of the Aga Khan Housing Boards (AKHB) in India and Pakistan is the improvement of housing design and living conditions, especially through better water supply and sanitation. They give technical advice and provide construction management services to organizations that build housing for both urban and rural communities.

Along with housing for disadvantaged families in Bombay, the Housing Board in India provides services to rural populations in Gujarat and Maharastra, from the resettlement of families in drought-prone areas to habitat upgrading. In Pakistan, the Housing Board has built schools hostels and medical centres, mostly in the mountainous areas of the North where it operates programmes in technical assistance and construction skill development, and promotes clean water provision.


The Ismaili Imamat's concern to stimulate economic activity that can improve the quality of life has given rise institutions that now span several continents and sectors of activity. From self-help finance and insurance companies founded fro the Ismaili Community at the turn of the century, the Imamat's economic activities have grown to include initiatives in industrial development and tourism promotion as well as financial services. Located principally in Asia and Africa, they serve broad national constituencies with companies and projects that range from food processing to telecommunications.


The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) carries out the Network's economic development activities. It consists of three groups of companies, especially active in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; Industrial Promotion Services(IPS), Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) and financial services companies.

AKFED's partners include the international Finance Corporation, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Deutsche Entwicklungsgesellschaft, United States Agency for International Development, and Caisse Central du Developpement Economique.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) carries out these Network activities in economic development. It looks for projects with development potential as well financial viability and works to build them into companies with lasting institutional strengths. Its criteria for project design emphasize both technology transfer and local resource use; it seeks to harness both international expertise and local know-how to the task of improving living standards in the developing world.

AKFED's approach emphasizes the importance of equity investment and partnerships in economic development. Through equity investment with partners from both the public and private sectors, it builds commitment to the long-term viability of projects in the third world. Collaboration with other international development agencies and with industrial leaders enables it to link foreign expertise and capital with local private initiative. AKFED's projects are designed to reach high standards to quality in technical achievement and in management. As in other areas of Network activity, the goal is to build strong institutions, capable of high performance, and contributing to the long-term development of the national and international communities in which they operate.

AKFED's involvement in economic development includes the promotion of enabling environments for private sector enterprise in the third world. It does this through collaborative ventures bringing together private and public investors, and through the encouragement of legislative and fiscal structures favourable to private sector development.

AKFED provides an institutional umbrella for three groups of companies: Industrial Promotion Services, Tourism Promotion Services, and a number of financial institutions in Africa and Asia.


Launched in 1963 to reinforce private sector activity in industrial development in Asia and Africa, Industrial Promotion Services(IPS) is an industrial development and venture capital institution. IPS companies exist in Bangladesh, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania Pakistan, Uganda and Zaire; in the developed world, there now IPS joint ventures in small and medium-sized businesses in Canada and the United Kingdom. A focal point for these nine affiliates and a clearing house for technical information is provided by Industrial Promotion Services S.A., Switzerland.

From its inception, IPS has worked to link strong local entrepreneurial talent to technical support, professional management, national and international development institutions and sources of private investment. Its national affiliates' knowledge of local conditions and rigorous management standards have made them attractive partners for foreign investors. Over sixty industrial projects have been launched through partnerships, including industrial packaging, metallurgy, telecommunications, leather tanneries and vegetable processing.

IPS's experience to date in the developing world has given it particular strength in several industrial sectors: agro-based products for export, metal products, printing and packaging, and textiles. Along with plans for project development in new areas, AKFED aims to consolidate IPS's comparative advantage in these sectors through attention to export possibilities and opportunities arising from privatization in Africa and Asia.


Tourism occupies a strategic position in AKEFED's approach to economic development in the third world. It enables developing countries to use their advantages in climate and geography to revitalize local architectural and craft traditions, create employment and earn foreign exchange. Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), AKFED's tourism development arm, was established in the early 1970s

TPS's first ventures were in Kenya, where Serena lodges and hotels are now recognized as leader for the quality of their services, architecture and ecological sensitivity. AKFED's involvement in East African tourism now extends to Tanzania, including the Old Stone Town of Zanzibar.

TPS's presence in Pakistan is also increasing, Along with its acquisition of lodges in the north of Pakistan,TPS Pakistan has also built new Serena hotels in Faisalabad and Quetta. These hotels aim not only to provide accommodation in two major regional centres, but also to revitalize local architectural traditions and crafts, an aim common to the entire Serena group will continue to grow in pakistan with a new hotel in Islamabad and new lodges in the Northern Areas.


AKFED provides an institutional umbrella for a number of leading finance and insurance companies in Africa and Asia. Most of these were founded as small self-help companies in the first half of this century by the present Aga Khan's grandfather, Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah. During this period, colonial financial institutions had neither the interest nor the ability to provide banking services and insurance to the small traders and farmers of the Ismaili Community.

At the outset, most of the self -help companies were financed by contributions from the Ismaili Community to mark the successive jubilees (Golden, Diamond and Platinum) of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah. The present Aga Khan opened their services to non-Ismailis, professionalised their operations and moved them it no the mainstream of national commercial life. The shares of a number of larger companies are listed on national stock exchanges. They include investment trusts, finance houses and insurance companies

To meet urgent needs for housing finance in India AKFED co-sponsored the establishment of the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HEFC) through equity participation in 1978. Its partners in HDFC are the International Finance Corporation and a major Indian development bank. The first institution of its kind in India, this publicly quoted company is now financing the construction of more than 100,000 dwellings each year. The Network will soon be involved in similar ventures in other third world countries.

The Aga Khan Development Network's mandate in the developing world includes a particular emphasis on the well-being of rural populations In 1987, AKFED and other shareholders of HDFC joined the Government of Gujarat to establish the Gujarat Rural Housing Finance Corporation, which is providing finance for new housing as well as for he upgrading and extension of existing houses in Gujarat.

The Aga Khan Development Network has participated in the creation and development of cooperative financial institutions in India and Pakistan, including the Development Cooperative Bank, one of the largest cooperative banks in India.


The focus of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is the built environment in societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. Founded in 1988, its activities seek to reflect and respond to the aspirations of Muslim communities throughout the world. Its different programmes share the conviction that cultural renewal takes place when tradition, solidly grasped, is suffused with the creative, confident expression of modern ideas and techniques.

AKTC's broad purpose is to enhance awareness of the cultural importance of buildings and spaces in both historic and contemporary Muslim societies, and to encourage the pursuit of excellence in architecture and its related building arts. To do this, the Trust supports professional education and research in the architecture of Muslim societies. it promotes the conservation and re-use of historic buildings and spaces in ways that favour social, economic and cultural development. It encourages the international exchange of ideas on architecture in the Muslim world and related subjects. As an enabler and facilitator, the Trust supports initiatives of other organizations that are congruent with its own mission.


The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) coordinates the Network's cultural activities, which focus upon buildings and spaces in societies in which Muslims have significant presence. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, theirs are the Aga Khan Award for Architecture(AKAA) and the Historic Cities Support Program (HCSP). The Trust also supports the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) at Harvard University and the Massachusetts institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States.

Three programmes carry out the Trust's principal activities. The Trust's principal activities. The Trust conducts the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, established in 1977 to premiate examples of architectural excellence in Muslim societies. Through grants it supports the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the Program's parallel centres in the Muslim world. With its Historic Cities Support Program, the Trust supports revitalization projects that promote the conservation and re-use of historic sites in conjunction with related programmes of economic, social and cultural development. The Trust represents the cultural development.

The Trust represents the cultural dimension of the Aga Khan Development Network. Historically, the links between social welfare and cultural activity have been intense and complex, and improvements in the quality of life have been tied closely to the vitality of economic activity and enterprise. Through architecture and the built environment, the Trust's programmes are integral parts of he Network's in the developing world.


It was the Aga Khan's own involvement in construction in developing countries during the 1960s and 1970s that evoked his concern with deteriorating architectural heritage an in appropriate building practices in many Muslim societies. To sensitize those who build in the developing world to the unique heritage of Muslim history and architecture, the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) was founded in 1977.

The goal of the Award is to recognize outstanding architectural achievements in all the different cultures and communities of the Muslim world. It seeks to identify examples of excellence in all areas of building and design, including social housing, community development, restoration, re-use and area conservation, as well as landscaping and concern for the environment. Through its efforts, the Award hopes to encourage design concepts that successfully address the needs and hopes of Muslim communities today.

The Award is granted at the conclusion of a three cycles of nomination, project documentation, screening and technical review. Screening and the final selection of winners of the US $500,000 prize are carried out by an independent Master Jury. During the Award's first five cycles, the prize has been shared by projects ranging from social housing to restoration,and buildings as diverse as the mud brick mosque in Yaama, Niger and the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris. Since the establishment of the Award, a special

Chairman's Award has been conferred twice, in recognition of the lifetime achievements of noted Muslim architects Rifat Chadirji and the late Hassan Fathy.

The Award aims to reflect all the cultures of the Islamic world, and to stimulate dialogue concerning architecture and design. As part of the three year award cycle, it holds regional and international seminars that bring together architects, historians sociologist and planners to study trends in building throughout the Islamic world.

The Award's concern with research and scholarship is reflected in its documentation process. Reviewing architectural interventions in the Islamic world according to rigorous documentary and technical criteria, the Award cycles have created an archive to contemporary projects that is probably unique. Several private archives have been donated to the Award, including the papers of Michel Ecochard.


In 1979, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology established the Aga Khan Program of Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) with grants of some US $12 million from the Aga Khan. Its mandate is to educate architects, planners, teachers and researchers who can contribute to building and design that meet the needs of Muslim societies today. Harvard was chosen because it is a major centre of scholarship in Islamic art and architecture, and MIT because of its strengths in architecture, technology and design.

In 1985, MIT added a masters degree in Design for Islamic Societies to its curriculum. In 1987, the Aga Khan Unit for Housing and Urbanization, situated in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, was created to study ways to improve the quality of housing and urban structures in developing countries.

The long -term aim is to create regional centres in the Islamic world that meet the highest international standards of architectural education. In 1988, the Trust established two Aga Khan Visiting Professorships through grants to the University of Jordan in Amman and Dawood College of Engineering and Technology in Karachi, Pakistan.


The Trust's most recent initiative is the Historic Cities Support Program (HCSP). It was established to promote the conservation and re-use of buildings and public spaces in historic cities in ways that can catalyses social, economic and cultural development. In HCSP's approach, the restoration and rehabilitation of buildings and public spaces cannot be conceived apart from broader processes of community development. Its project briefs go beyond technical restoration to address the questions of re-use and community revitalization.

The first project to be completed under this program was the restoration of the fourteenth century Zafra House in the old Arab quarter of Granada, Spain now the home for the Centre for Historic Studies of Granada and its Kingdom. Currently the Historic Cities Support Program is involved in revitalization projects in four very different settings in the Islamic world:the Old Stone Town of Zanzibar, Karimabad in the Northern Areas of Pakistan and Cairo.

On the island of Zanzibar, a HCSP project aims to link the preservation of the Old stone Town's unique architectural heritage with the revival of the Zanzibar economy through tourism. The town of Karimabad, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, is the site of a similar attempt to combine conservation and economic development-there, the restoration of Baltit Fort is taking place within a frame work that includes both the re-use of the Fort and Karimabad's urban and economic development. As in Zanzibar, the creation of lasting partnerships is one of the goals of the project, which is bringing together the local community, national Government, and domestic and international non-governmental organization. HCSP is also concerned with the preservation, creation and upkeep of public spaces. In Cairo it is drawing together a coalition of partners for the creation of a new public space, the AL-Azhar park near Cairo's historic citadel.

The institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network work closely with many national and international development agencies, together with private voluntary agencies, universities and corporations. The include:


African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)

Alberta Aid

Apple Corporation

Appropriate Health Resources and Technical

Advisory Group (AHRTAG)

Assistance Medical International (AMI)


British Council

Caisse Central de Developpement Economique

Canadian International Developpement Agency (CIDA)

Canadian Office for Development through

Education (CODE)

Centre for Health Education Training and

Nutrition Awareness (CHETNA)

Charity projects

Child-to-Child Trust (Institute of Education, London)

Commission of the European Communities

Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC)

Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE)

Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and

Development (CGECCD)

DeutscheEntwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG)

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische

Zsusammenarbeit (GTZ)

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappig voor

Ontwikkelingslandenn.v. (FMO)

Ford Foundation

Getty Trust

Government of Gujarat

Government of India

Government of Kenya

Government of the Netherlands

Government of Pakistan

Government of Tanzania

Government of Uganda

Gulbenkian Foundation

Harvard University

Heifer International

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation

Institute of Child Health, University of London

Institute of Development Studies Sussex University

Inter-Church Coordination committee for


International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease

Research (ICDDR)

International Centre for Integrated Mountain

Development (ICIMOD)

International Child Health Foundation (ICHF)

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI)

International Union for the Conservation of

Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)

Investors in Industry

Konard Adenaurer Foundation

Luso Americano Foundation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

McGill University

McMaster University


National Institutes of Health, USA


Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD)

Overseas Development Administration (ODA), UK

Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London

Oxford University


Pew Charitable Trusts

PHC Operation Research (PRICOR)

Program for Appropriate Technologies in Health (PATH)

Rockefeller Foundation

South Asia Partnership



United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

United States Agency for International

Development (USAID)

University of Toronto

Voluntary Organization Liaison Council for

under Fives (VOLCUF)

Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA)

Winroack International


World Bank

World Health Organization (WHO)


Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)

AKF provides funding and technical assistance for many social development projects carried out by Network institutions and other agencies.

Aga Khan University (AKU)

Located in Karachi, Pakistan, AKU's faculty of Health Sciences and Institute for Educational Development are training professionals to deliver high quality health and education services in the developing world.

Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS)

AKHS provides both primary health care and hospital-based curative services in South Asia and East Africa.

Aga Khan Education Services (AKES)

AKES provides schooling and other educational services in day care centres, primary schools and secondary schools in South Asia and East Africa.

Aga Khan Housing Boards (AKHB)

AKHB give technical advice and construction management services to organizations that provide housing and other services to urban and rural communities in India and Pakistan.

Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED)

AKFED carries out the Network's economic development activities in 3 groups of companies specialized in industry (Industrial Promotion Services),tourism(Tourism Promotion Services) and financial services.

Tourism Promotion Services (TPS)

TPS is the AKFED institution that carries out projects in tourism development

Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

AKTC coordinates the Network's cultural programmes: the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture and the Historic Cities Support Program.

Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA)

Recognizing outstanding architectural achievement throughout the Muslim world, AKAA is a prize awarded at the conclusion of a three year cycle of nomination, project documentation and technical review.

Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA)

AKPIA is carried out jointly by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to train architects and related professionals to meet the needs of contemporary Muslim societies.

Historic Cities Support Program (HCSP)

HCSP approaches tasks of conservation and preservation in the Islamic world's historic cities in ways that aim to stimulate social, economic and cultural development.