Tuesday 11 March, 1997 -- The newspaper that serves the nation

Moi, Aga Khan for press launch

By NATION Reporterand Correspondent

His Highness the Aga Khan, Spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, arrived in Kenya last evening for an official visit during which time he will witness the inauguration of the Nation Printers and Publishers printing plant tomorrow by President Moi.

The Aga Khan, who arrived from Uganda, was met by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, and and Vice-Chairman of the Aga Khan Council for Kenya, Mr Moez Jamal.

He was accompanied by his brother Prince Amyn Aga Khan and Dr Nizar Verjee, the Chairman of the Aga Khan Council for Kenya.

Hundreds of Ismailis gathered at the Presidential pavilion to receive him.

The Aga Khan said he was happy to be in Kenya again and hoped that the visit would enhance ``initiative and understanding''.

He was last in Kenya in June last year.

The highlight of his visit will be the inauguration of the press. The Aga Khan, in his individual capacity, is the principal shareholder of the Nation Group.

The plant erected on a 10-acre plot on along Mombasa road represents an investment by Nation Newspapers Limited of Sh750 million (US$13.5 million) in the future of the media in Kenya.

The inauguration ceremony will be held at the site located 19 kilometres from the City centre.

The new plant is the most advanced newspaper printing facility in Africa incorporating the latest state-of-the art facilities. Among its salient features are:

  • It prints up to 60,000 copies an hour.

  • It prints up to 56 pages in a single run.

  • It prints up to eight pages of full colour.

  • It can simultaneously print a 56-page and a 16-page paper and is fully computer-controlled.

    The Nation Group has five titles in its stable, the flagship Daily Nation (which outsells its nearest competitor by almost four to one), the Sunday Nation, The EastAfrican, Taifa Leo and Taifa Jumapili.

    Meanwhile, the Aga Khan, yesterday held talks with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Nakasero in Kampala.

    No details of the talks were immediately disclosed but government officials said the focus was on development issues, especially a number of projects funded by the Aga Khan Development Network in Uganda.

    The Aga Khan is reviving the educational institutions in Uganda as part of the network's contribution to the country's overall development.

    Through its network of more than 300 educational institutions located in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uganda, the network strives to improve its programmes by sharing experiences and staff technical assistance among academic units inside individual countries and within contiguous geographical regions such as East Africa.

    In East Africa, the Aga Khan school of Kampala benefits from the experiences and technical capabilities of staff from the network of 23 schools in Kenya and Tanzania. Through the regional coordination office in Nairobi, the Aga Khan schools improvement programme works with governments and other private schools to provide on-going teacher training, materials development and the introduction of modern technologies. It is estimated that more than 100,000 students from public and private schools in East Africa have benefited from these educational enhancement programmes.

    The Aga Khan later left for Kenya. He was seen off at Entebbe Airport by members of the Ismaili community in Uganda and other high-ranking government officials.

    In a different function, the newly-rehabilitated Aga Khan school complex in Kampala was inaugurated by Prince Amyn Aga Khan.

    The institution, refurbished at a cost of about US$800,000 (Uganda Sh800 million), was jointly inaugurated with the Minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Mr John Nasasira.

    In his address to more than 100 guests, Prince Amyn Aga Khan said the institution was a symbol of the commitment of the Aga Khan Development Network to Uganda.

    He was optimistic that the network's Kampala school would soon regain its place as an institution of academic excellence in the country.

    Mr Nasasira said ``the return of the Aga Khan properties had greatly benefited Uganda''. He assured Prince Amyn of future investment opportunities.

    The Aga Khan school complex includes a kindergarten, primary and secondary school. The primary school section also runs a schools' improvement project which caters for 16 other schools in and around Kampala through the provision of teaching aids. The complex is one of the properties returned to their original owners after the regime of dictator Idi Amin expropriated them in 1972.

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