New Vision (Kampala)
December 22, 2003
John Kakande

Aga Khan Backs Regional Union

THE Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of Shia Ismaili Muslims and a prominent investor in the East African region, has backed the planned regional customs union. The Aga Khan, chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), said the planned East African customs union would not only widen the market and growth potential but also "refine and strengthen efficiencies" in the member countries. The Aga Khan said this at the opening of a US$7.2m Alltex apparel manufacturing plant in Kenya recently. The plant is meant to produce apparel for export to the United States under the African Growth and Opportun-ities Act (AGOA). The plant is a joint venture between Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) limited (IPS) and Global Readymade Garments Industry LLC of

IPS is an affiliate of AKFED.

He urged the three countries to widen the horizons of their regionalisation endeavours to include all the key development institutions and resources of civil society.