Issue No. 352
Date: July 22 - July 28, 2004
Minister for Education and Culture, Joseph Mungai being congratulated by the President of Aga Khan
University, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha shortly after he delivered a speech at a dinner party organised by
the University held at the Royal Palm Hotel on Tuesday. (Photo by Express Photographer).
By Lina Lorentz
Aga Khan University (AKU) is planning to increase its presence in East Africa; most probably, a second Institution for Educational Development will be based in Dar es Salaam. This was revealed on Tuesday when members AKU Board of Trustees, including academics and administrators from North America, Europe and Pakistan, met Tanzanian and Zanzibar ministers in Dar es Salaam. AKU forms part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), which is a conglomerate of development agencies aiming at empowering communities and individuals. Projects undertaken serve to fit with the government’s development goals.
Speaking at the gathering on Tuesday, the president of AKU, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha expressed the following: “With programmes already begun in health and education, the University will work with the government to expand its operations in these sectors and pursue academic disciplines that are relevant to the local needs of the population.” Joseph Mungai, Minister of Education and Culture on his part underlined the importance of having an educated population serving as the backbone of the Tanzanian community and economy. He praised the AKU’s professionalism and hoped that AKU together with AKDN would increase and consolidate their presence and projects in Tanzania. Commenting on the overall work done by AKU and AKDN, he said: “I particularly wish to acknowledge the work that has been done in the preparation of educational administrators and leaders, as well as nurses and doctors”. Following the government’s approval, AKU was established in the country two years ago. It teaches subjects such as nursing and medicine as well as education.
Since 2000 AKU through its Institute for Education Development has been running a Professional Development Centre Lead-In project. Thanks to its success, the AKU now hopes it can extend the project and open a second Institute for Educational Development in Dar es Salaam.
The education projects aims first and foremost to increase the educational standards of primary and secondary schools. Mungai expressed his hope that an Institute for Education Development would substantially improve education in Tanzania.
Zahir Jivani, Chairman of Aga Khan Council of Tanzania gave credit to the AKU by stressing the “commitment and perseverance of the management of the University”.