The Aga Khan: Emerging democracies will require the intellectual support of nations like Canada | The Province

The Aga Khan: Emerging democracies will require the intellectual support of nations like Canada | The ProvinceHis Highness, The Aga Khan, was given an honourary doctorate Friday by the University of Ottawa. This is the speech he delivered at the ceremony.

There are many topics of mutual interest that I could talk about today. But I have picked just one. In my eyes it is important, and I understand that it is also high among your priorities. I refer to the field of governance and public policy, specifically to the difficulty of establishing workable constitutional systems, especially in countries with less experience in democratic governance.

As you know, my own interests in the last 50 years as Imam of the Ismaili community have been primarily focused on Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle-East and on improving the quality of life for the people who live there. The more I think about this matter, the more I am persuaded that one of the critical barriers to progress is the way in which governing processes occur.

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