Collaborate in projects, Aga Khan advises EAC
By Zephania Ubwani, The Citizen Bureau Chief
Arusha. His Highness the Aga Khan yesterday stressed the need to strengthen the capacity of the East African Community (EAC) member countries in managing development projects.
He added that the region could make significant strides if member states collaborated more in implementing joint projects and programmes. The spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims made the remarks in Arusha after signing a trilateral agreement between his Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), the German Development Bank (KFW) and the EAC for a health project.
Under the agreement, Germany will grant some 10 million euros in support of the Aga Khan University Health Programme in Arusha. EAC is the recipient of the funds while the Aga Khan University is the project executing agency.
His Highness said he was impressed by the project and thanked the German government for the partnership and assistance.
''This agreement and support to the EAC will strengthen regional capacity in managing the projects. It is an important day for us,” he said after the signing ceremony at the community’s headquarters here.
EAC Secretary-General Richard Sezibera signed on behalf of the regional organisation while Germany’s ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Klaus-Peter Brandes, signed on behalf of KFW, which was also represented.
The project comprises the construction and renovation of two university buildings and students' residential accommodation as well as the course material for nurses’ and midwives' education.
Furthermore, the project aims at supporting EAC in its objective to develop region-wide accreditation for curricula for health professionals.
According to a press release by the German Embassy in Tanzania, activities on the project will initially be focused on Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya and will then be expanded to Burundi and Rwanda.
Mr Brandes noted during his brief remarks that the financial cooperation, which he described as innovative, will improve medical services through better trained medical personnel in the EAC region.
''In future, inadequately supplied and disadvantaged regions in East Africa will benefit from more and better educated nurses and midwives'', he explained