Austin, Texas, 30 October 2009 — Governor Rick Perry of Texas and His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, today signed a historic agreement to expand collaboration in the areas of education, health sciences, natural disaster preparedness and recovery, culture and the environment.
“Working together we can address poverty, disaster preparedness and response, the spread of disease, and access to education,” said Governor Perry. He made the remarks during a signing ceremony at the State Capitol, attended by representatives of the Government of Texas, the University of Texas and Texas A&M University.
“I think our experience has been that it is civil society which is the greatest underwriter of development in the developing world. The political constructs are essential but civil society has demonstrated itself to be able to continue to sustain development of poor people in complex situations in Asia and in Africa,” said the Aga Khan, who is the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) — a global system of development agencies.