Tanzania: Aga Khan inspires hope in EA region – reflects former President Mkapa

“For over twenty years, I have had the opportunity of meeting His Highness in my capacity as minister, president and now former president. During my tenure as a trustee on the Board of the Aga Khan University, I closely got to know that his greatest gift to humanity is the recognition that we have to work together across national boundaries irrespective to gender, race, religion, or regions of the world,” he remarked.

via DailyNews Online Edition:

Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa at the Rays of Light Exhibition
Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa at the Rays of Light Exhibition

FORMER President Benjamin Mkapa has said that Tanzania is indepted to His Highness Prince  Aga Khan for his far sighted vision, commitment to human development and humility.

Mr Mkapa made the remarks Thursday evening, while visiting the ongoing Rays of Light exhibition held at Diamond Jubilee Hall in Dar es Salaam saying that the Aga Khan’s faith in the human spirit inspires hope in millions around the world.

“The people of this country, immensely value the past and present contributions of His Highness, I am aware of the enormous Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) future investment plans in the East Africa region and am truly grateful to him for his commitment and vision,” he said.

President Mkapa said that apart from the Aga Khan’s commitment to human development, he is also a firm believer in silent diplomacy and in 1961, The Aga Khan met with the late President Kennedy to seek assistance for the East African nations to come together as a federation.

He said that in 2012, fifty one years later, the East Africa Community and the AKDN signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster development in the region and to build a cohesive society irrespective of origin or faith.

For over twenty years, I have had the opportunity of meeting His Highness in my capacity as minister, president and now former president. During my tenure as a trustee on the Board of the Aga Khan University, I closely got to know that his greatest gift to humanity is the recognition that we have to work together across national boundaries irrespective to gender, race, religion, or regions of the world,” he remarked.

The former president cited that through his inspiration, there are currently 50,000 rice farmers in southern Tanzania are experiencing yields of two or three times more and where 120,000 community based savings programme rice growers are learning about free market economy.

“As regards to eduction, about 180 schools have been constructed since 1905 when the first girl’s school was  built in Zanzibar. I mention this because this exhibition ‘Rays of Light’, is only a very small portion of the works of the Ismaili Imamat.

If all the contributions made over the last century by the family of His Highness were to be exhibited, a much larger exhibition space would be required,” he said. AKDN Resident Representative, Mr Amin Kurji said that the “Rays of Light” exhibition was of paramount significant to the community because it was a testimony of their loyalty and activeness in the 150 years in the country.

Mr Kurji said that in those years, they have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are a vibrant and meaningful partner to government and its people. “The Ismaili Community is a minority Muslim community that has survived many threats. Today we are present in over 30 countries and work with over 300 development partners.

Read at source – Online Edition: Aga Khan inspires hope in EA region 

Earlier & Related: Online Edition – Ismaili community hailed over education, health contribution.

Rays of Light Exhibition Photographs showing Former Presidents Benjamin Mkapa  and Ali Hassan Mwinyi in attendance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s