SPEECH MADE BY H. H. The Aga Khan AT THE BANQUET HELD ON 15TH MARCH, 1981 - 1981-03-15
Mr. Provincial Commissioner, your Worship the Mayor, Councillor Dahya and Honourable Guests, I would like to begin by expressing to Mr. Provincial Commissioner, your Worship the Mayor and all the authorities and citizens of Kisumu my very warm and most grateful thanks for this particularly generous and particularly kind reception which they have offered to me on this visit to Kisumu.
It is some years since I have visited Kisumu and I would like to express my very great admiration for that I have seen this city achieve since some years. The Provincial Commissioner and the Mayor made some very kind and generous comments about members of my community and the work that they have been doing. But I think it important to point out that the work which you have commended us so generously for, can only be achieved in a country where there is peace, unity and a common purpose and common objective. Since many years, my community and I have been working in many countries of the developing world and I would like to say publicly that few if any, have had such a remarkable record as Kenya since independence.
Initiative, the desire to serve is something which can be destroyed very quickly by lack of confidence and lack of unity: lack of trust. It takes many many years to create a foundation on which all people in an newly independent country can come together and work towards a common purpose and this Mzee Kenyatta and President Moi have achieved for Kenya. In these circumstances, I would like to say that what we, in our small way have tried to achieve here in Kenya was due to Kenyans. The Provincial Commissioner, in a most elegant speech, has requested that we should continue to assist in the development of Kenya and I would like to tell him and everyone here that is our definite intention.
Some may be curious as to why so much effort has been devoted to the area of social developments: institutions for health, institutions for education, for housing, etc. Perhaps it is useful to explain that reason publicly. I am concerned about the pressures on the economies of the third world countries, and if my concern is well-founded then the corollary is that there would be pressures on social services. This means that private initiative, help through philantrophy has got to be more forthcoming, better organized and more efficient and more purposeful. This is the reason why in the years ahead I hope that here in Kisumu, our institutions will be able to set new objectives and new targets to serve the people of Kisumu and people of Nyanza.
I would like to finish by expressing to you all my very warm and renewed thanks for the most happy, the most enjoyable and inshaallah, a most constructive visit to Kisumu. Thank you.
Source: Darbar-E-Shah Karim