Aga Khan network pledges to support local projects

Saturday Nation, June 22, 2002

The Aga Khan Development Network has pledged continued investment in the country's social and economic projects.

The network's resident representative, Mr Anil Ishani, said the support would not be affected by the political or economic situation as the organisation was confident that the people of Kenya would manage their affairs well.

Mr Ishani was speaking to diplomats and heads of international organisations during a reception the network held for them in Nairobi. He said last year, the Aga Khan Development Network spent Sh218 million on social development agencies in the country.

The organisations under the network are the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Education Service, the Aga Khan Health Service, the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. It operates in 20 countries and works with more than 50 partners, including governments and non-governmental organisations.

Among the international organisations that support programmes in Kenya are the European Union, the Canadian International Development Agency, USAid, the Ford Foundation and the British Department for International Development.

In education, Mr Ishan said the Aga Khan Education Service operated 13 schools in Kenya with an enrolment of about 6,000. It plans to build new schools in Mombasa and Nairobi.

He said the Aga Khan Health Services had recently completed a new private wing at the Nairobi Aga Khan Hospital and renovations at the Kisumu and Mombasa hospitals, all at a cost of more than Sh1 billion.

Mr Ishani said the strength of the network lay in increased partnership with the private and public sectors and several decades of experience in East Africa. "With collaboration in the network agencies in the developing world and links with donor and international agencies, we can harness human and financial resources, expertise and help bring them meet specific development needs," said the representative.