A number of important projects in the fields of Social and Economic Development, which today have become significant National Institutions were established in the developing world, primarily in Asia and Africa, following the Jubilees of the late Aga Khan, Sir Sultan Mohamed Shah. During his 72 years as Imam of the Ismaili Muslims, his community celebrated his Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilees, demonstrating their devotion and loyalty with symbolic weighing ceremonies, a tradition in Asia at that time. The proceeds from these ceremonies were used for the establishment and development of a wide range of projects including primary health care centres, hospitals, housing cooperatives, schools, cooperative banks and insurance companies, which are open to all, regardless of race or religion.

The present Aga Khan, during his own Silver Jubilee year, is continuing this tradition of encouraging Social Welfare and Economic Development in the Third World by supporting a number of programs related to health, nutrition, education, housing and rural development. During the year, members of the Ismaili Community are contributing to special national funds to assist in the further development of existing Institutions, as well as the creation of new ones. In the course of Silver Jubilee visits to countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, the Aga Khan has personally inaugurated a number of these Silver Jubilee projects.



In Kenya last October, the Aga Khan performed the foundation ceremony for the expansion of the Aga Khan Medical Centre in Kisum, on the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya, Designed to strengthen the institution's ability to deliver high quality medical care and particulary primary health care in the region. The Centre is one of two hundred medical facilities which deal with one and a half million patients annually, throughout Africa and Asia, managed by the Aga Khan Health Services. During the same visit, the Begum Aga Khan launched an innovative pilot computer project at the Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi, involving the application of computer technology to education. The Aga Khan Academy is managed by the Aga Khan Education Services, which is responsible for some 300 schools, primarily in East Africa, India and Pakistan.



The following month, in Tanzania, the Aga Khan attended another ceremony marking the expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar-es-salaam. This will improve the Hospital's capability to provide increased and better quality out-patient services, as well as extending support provided to institutions in the existing network of Aga Khan Health Centres in the rural areas of Tanzania.



In Bangladesh where the Aga Khan Health Services has been active for many year, the Aga Khan during his visit there in January, announced the creation of two immunization clinics in Khaka and Chittagong. He also visited the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research (ICDDR) recipient of the An Aga Khan Foundation grant of $100,000 in support of field tests of an improved rice starch based formula for the treatment of diarrhoea, which responsible for more than half the deaths of children under five, and as much as one-third of all deaths in the general population in the developing world.



Later that month in India, the Aga Khan performed the foundation ceremony for a new rural medical centre in Jonpur in Gujarat which will provide primary health care links with other similar health centres managed by the Aga Khan Health Services. In the same area he visited a recently expanded and upgraded day care centre, one of twenty-five established since 1978 by the Aga Khan Education Services in Gujarat, which besides providing basic pre-primary school education, also looks to the health need of the children by administering inoculations, conducting regular health checks and serving nutritional snacks. In the field of housing, he inaugurated in the presence of India's President Zail Singh, the Versova Low-cost Housing Scheme for the urban poor on periphery of Bombay , formed as a result of the donation of the proceeds form the sale of properties owned by the Aga Khan and his family. he also announced plans for a major rural support program aimed to identifying development opportunities and mobilizing the human, financial and material resources required to make use of these opportunities.



In Portugal, during a visit in February, the Aga Khan announced the establishment of the Aga Khan Foundation (Portugal), the branch of the Aga Khan Foundation, the primary agency of the Imamat's humanitarian activities, which has nine branches and affiliates throughout the world, including Canada.



During a recent visit to Pakistan, various Jubilee projects were inaugurated, including one of the major projects of the year. On March 16th, the President of pakistan, Mohamed Zia UI-Haq, presented to the Aga Khan the charter of the new International Aga Khan University at a ceremony on the site of the new Aga Khan Hospital and Medical College in Karachi, where the University's first faculty, that of Health Sciences, will be located. The University will eventually have further faculties in other developing as well as industrialized countries. Close links exist between this new institution and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), as well as with McMaster and McGill Universities.

During a second visit to Pakistan scheduled for May, 1983, the Aga Khan will launch three additional Silver Jubilee projects in the remote mountainous areas in the north: The Aga Khan Academy Karimabad, a Girl's Academy and Hostel: The Aga Khan School, Sherqilla, a prototype primary school designed to permit expansion to a middle level school and high school: and the Aga Khan Medical Centre, Singal, which takes its place in the extensive network of 120 Aga Khan primary health care institutions throughout Pakistan.

Additional projects are still under consideration in various countries and some of these will be announced at the time of the Aga Khan's visits in the future. These will include a major religious and cultural centre in the United Kingdom and an educational institution in Syria.

April, 1983.