Daily Nation
Wednesday, April 9, 2003
By NATION Correspondent - LONDON

Aga Khan Foundation work is praised in UK The Aga Khan Development Network has been praised in London for its "outstanding work" in Kenya.

In a debate in the House of Lords on Monday night, which discussed a whole range of development issues across East Africa, Baroness Rawlings said the Network was one of the "finest organisations" in the field of development assistance.

"The AKDN comprises private development agencies to improve living conditions and opportunities in East Africa and other specific regions of the developing world," Baroness Rawlings said.

"It has individual mandates that range from health, education and the built environment to rural development, infrastructure and the promotion of private sector enterprise.

"It works in close partnerships with NGOs, the Departmnent for International Development (DfID), governments, private sector institutions, communities and individuals, maintaining always the strictest neutrality and remaining independent of all political allegiances. Its education services provide schooling of quality to over 10,000 students in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda from the pre-primary to the secondary level."

In response, British minister of State for Africa, Ms Valerie Amos, acknowledged the work of a number of NGOs working across Kenya and East Africa. She also praised the change of attitude in Kenya brought about by the new government's election in December, leading to improved relations with the donor community.

"For many years Kenya has been a difficult environment in which to work effectively," the minister said. "The failure of the previous government to implement promised reforms gave the international financial institutions and ourselves no choice but to suspend budget support."

Now that support is being reconsidered and Britain has already provided an extra 10 million towards textbooks and essential materials for Kenyan schools, the minister said.