July 18, 1991

Mawlana Hazir Imam on East African visit

International team acompanies Hazar Imam to study possible Aga Khan University collaboration

Mawlana Hazir Imam visited Kenya, Tanzania, Uganada and Zanzibar for two weeks in July 1991, during which he met with President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, President Hassan Ali Mwinyi of Tanzania, President Salmin Amour of Zanzibar and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

As Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, Mawlana Hazir Imam was accompanied to Kenya and Tanzania by the Board of Trustees of the Aga Khan University. The Board is made up of a group of prominent international academicians, medical practitioners and professionals. The group visited institutions of the Aga Khan Health and Education Services, as well as other similar Government and private institutions in both Kenya and Tanzania, with a view to examining areas of possible collaboration between the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Aga Khan University and the Aga Khan Health and Education institutions in both countries. President Daniel Arap Moi hosted a banquet at State House, Nairobi, in honour of Hazar Imam and the Board of Trustees. Hazar Imam hosted a reciprocal banquet in President Moi's honour the next day.

The eleven members of the University's Board of Trustees who accompanied Hazar Imam were Sahabzada Yaqub Khan, Chairman of the Board and Pakistan's Foreign Minister from 1981 to earlier this year; Professor David Bell, Professor Emeritus of Population Services and International Health at Harvard School of Public Health; Dr. Nabil Kronfol. Deputy Vice-President for Health and Project Director of the College of Health Sciences in the United Arab Emirates of the American University of Beirut; Dr. Robert Buchanan, General Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachussets General Hospital in Boston, Mr. Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid, a judge of the Sindh High Court, Pakistan; Mr. Guillaume de Spoelberch, Executive Director of the Aga Khan Foundation; Dr. FRaser Mustard, Vice-President of Health Sciences at the University of Toronto; Dr. Abdul Qadir Ansari, Chairman of the University of Grants Commission in Pakistan; Mr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Chairman of the Board of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi; Dr. John Bartlett, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the Aga Khan University, Karachi; and Mr. Aziz Currimbhoy, Chairman of the Aga Khan Health Services, Pakistan.

The Board visited various projects and programs run by the Aga Khan Health Service and the Aga Khan Education Service, Kenya and Tanzania, where they heard presentations on primary health care and early childhood education. In Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar, they visited madressahs and got a first hand impression of the early childhood program funded by the Aga Khan Foundation and implemented by the Aga Khan Education Service. The programs have an outreach component with a number of Muslim Schools.

In Kisumu and Mombasa, the Board went on field trips to primary health care projects, where Mawlana Hzaar Imam and the Board received a tumultuous welcome. Tjousands of inhabitants - participants in and beneficiaries of the projects established by Hazar Imam - came to the meetings to express their gratitude for the enormous work done for their benefit.

In Dar-es-Salaam, on Friday 12th July, Mawlana Hazar Imam and President Ali Mwinyi signed and Accord of Cooperation for Development, followed by a luncheon at State House in Hazar Imam's honour hosted by the Tanzania President. On the same day, Prince Amyn Mohamed who had accompanied Hazar Imam for part of the visit, signed a Protocol of Cooperation between the Aga Khan Development Network, and the Government of Tanzania, represented by the Minister of Finance, the Hon. Steven Kibona.

The Accord stated Tanzania's recognition of the Aga Khan Development Network's "long contribution to the development of Tanzania". The government agreed to promote "an enabling status to facilitate more effective functioning and optimum utilization of human and financial resources of the Development Network, in an effort to accelerate the economic, social and cultural development of Tanzania".

Hazar Imam at the same time announced the formal establishment of a Tanzanian unit of the Aga Khan Foundation, underlining a significant increase in the Foundation's commitment to East Africa. In welcoming the agreements reached with the Tanzanian Government, Hazar Imam paid particular tribute to the government's initiatives to enhance the environment for development, contributing to a strengthened sense of confidence in the country's future.

The Tanzanian Government has agreed to provide to the non-profit charitable institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network - the new Tanzanian unit of the Aga Khan Foundation of the Aga Khan Health and Education Services - certain privleges that are accorded to similar non-government and international institutions contributing to the development of the country.

The Aga Khan Foundation, the Imamat's principal agency for social development in the Third World, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and branches and affiliates in Europe, North America and Asia, is already supporting the School Improvement and Early Childhood Education Programmes in Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar. With the incorporation of the Tanzanian unit, the Foundation's activities in the country will be expanded.

Following these field visits and a meeting with the Board of Trustees in Kenya on 14th July, Mawlana Hazar Imam visited Kampala at the invitation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. Accompanied by senior representatives of the Aga Khan Development Network, Hazar Imam met with President Yoweri Museveni, the Prime Minister and Government Ministers.

Discussions revolved around the implementation of the Protocol of Agreement relating to the restitution and reutilization of the Imamat's properties in Uganda. The Protocol was signed in Kampala by President Museveni and Hazar Imam in July 1989. Discussions also covered possible development initiatives to be undertaken by the Aga Khan Network.

The 1989 Protocol of Agreement has been implemented with certain properties - including religious buildings, schools and commercial properties - being returned in recent months.

These institutional properties were taken over in 1972 under the expropriation decisions of the Idi Amin regime and the 1989 Protocol recognizes that this step was illegal and that the properties remained vested in the Ismaili Imamat.

Following his visit to Uganda, Hazar Imam visited Zanzibar as a guest of President Salmin Amour where he visited and early childhood education project sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation and the Stone Town to review progress on restoration being undertaken jointly by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.

The visit to East Africa was especially joyous for members of the jamat because Mawlana Hazar Imam was present with them on Imamat Day. Thousands of members of the jamat assembled at the Parkland's Complex in Nairobi and the Diamond Jubilee Complex in Dar-es-Salaam, respectively, on 11th July for a mulaqaat with Hazar Imam.

Hazar Imam was in a very happy mood and spoke about the progress and the institutions had made for the well-being of the jamat and the people among whom they lived. He emphasized the role that these institutions were playing both nationally and internationally and the tremendous recognition they had received fron international development aid agencies. Exhorting the jamat to work with wisdom and integrity, Hazar Imam emphasized how our institutions had benefitted from the voluntary service rendered by members of the jamat. Hazar Imam also spoke of the role of the Aga Khan University and the new Endowment Program of the Aga Khan Foundation in Kenya and how it will enhance the AFK's capability to fulfil its mandate. He also mentioned that the Board of Trustees were impressed by what they saw in the field of development - particularly the work done by the Aga Khan Network on insitutions in East Africa.

Mawlana Hazar Imam left for Europe from Nairobi on Friday 19th July, 1991.

Gary Otte

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