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Tanzania: Aga Khan Varsity Gets Charter 2015-02-24

Tuesday, 2015, February 24
2015-02-24 Aga Khan University (AKU) Dar es Salaam Convocation
Christopher Majali

PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete yesterday granted a charter to the Aga Khan University (AKU) that will allow it to fully operate in the country after conforming to the Tanzania Commission for Universities' (TCU) preconditions.

During the charter granting ceremony held at the State House in Dar es Salaam, President Kikwete pointed out that the move will help Tanzania bridge out human resource gap in science, technology and medical sectors.

The document, received by the Spiritual Leader of the world Ismaili sect and Head of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), Prince Shah Karim Al-Husseini Aga Khan, is according to Mr Kikwete, the first document in Tanzania's history to be offered to an international-based university.

"AKU turns another chapter and page of collaboration between Tanzania and AKF. It is the first time for a foreign-based university to be granted the charter in Tanzania," he observed.

The president noted that offering the certificate was a clear indication of trust the country extended to AKF, thus it was yet another milestone in cementing cooperation between the two sides.

"Tanzania has a long-time established association with the Foundation in so many areas and as a country we have benefited in so many ways. We are sure that much of our expectation will be met," he stressed.

The AKF leader thanked President Kikwete for consenting the university's operation in the country. He said that after operating in Asian countries, they saw it wise to establish the higher learning institution in Tanzania to help produce human resource in education and health sector.

The 49th Imam of Nizari Ismailis noted that African countries' development among other things depended on the investment in education and healthcare, thus having AKU in Tanzania was a credible step for the country's development.

"This is a credible move towards the growth of knowledge and competencies. Offering courses that are relevant and significant to Africa and Tanzania in particular is vital," he affirmed, adding that the ball is now on their court and will go all-out to register praiseworthy achievements.

Earlier, the TCU Executive Secretary, Professor Yunus Mgaya, said that the commission satisfied itself that AKU meets the standards as per acts that govern high learning institutions' operations in the country.

The Minister for Education and Vocation Training, Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, noted that to make Tanzanian education more competitive and with improved quality, having foreign-based universities in the country was significant.

AKU is an agency of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), founded by the Aga Khan. It was granted its charter in 1983 as Pakistan's first private, autonomous university.

Its objective is to be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge while inspiring students to be independent learners and researchers imbued with a spirit of service and respect for others.

In Tanzania, the university is set to operate in two campuses to be located in Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

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