Knowledge Diplomacy: Aga Khan University expansion in East Africa to transform Arusha into a Regional Intellectual Epicenter

AKU’s ambitious 15 years plan includes a significant commitment of global resources to the East African region though the expansion of the University’s presence in Arusha, transforming the East African Community’s capital into a “regional intellectual epicenter“.

This grand vision was shared by the AKU Chancellor, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan; Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Head of the Social Welfare Department of the AKDN and an AKU Trustee; and several other AKU Trustees from five countries (spanning three continents) as they concluded deliberations on the next two decades of the University.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Head of the Social Welfare Department of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and a Trustee of the University also participated in the meetings in Tanzania. - Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji
Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Head of the Social Welfare Department of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and a Trustee of the University also participated in the meetings in Tanzania. – Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji

Ismailimail is proud to share the following highlights & summary:

  • USD 1.2 billion investment
  • 15 years development commitment
  • Faculties of Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences
  • Permanent facilities for Institute for Educational Development
  • 8 Graduate Professional Schools
  • Major hospital expansion in Dar es Salaam to support introduction of a regional Heart & Cancer Centre
  • 3 new hospitals – Arusha, Kampala and Mwanza.
  • Development of AKDN integrated health system via network of new and existing hospitals in Dar es Salaam, Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi

Other education initiatives underway:

  • 4 new Aga Khan Academies – Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Kampala & Nairobi further complementing the existing ones in Hyderabad, Maputo and Mombasa.

[…] The Aga Khan University’s ambitious plans in East Africa include adding a Faculty of Arts and Sciences, a Faculty of Health Sciences, a permanent facility for its Institute for Educational Development, and eight graduate professional schools, with the initial focus on Media and Communications; Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism; and Leadership and Management. The total investment over 15 years is estimated at USD 1.2 billion, of which approximately USD 1 billion will be spent in Tanzania.

[…] This major expansion of the hospital in Dar es Salaam is part of the growing AKDN integrated health system, which includes existing hospitals in Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi and new hospitals planned for Arusha, Mwanza, and Kampala. In Dar es Salaam alone, the capital investment will exceed USD 165 million for the hospital, a residential school – the Aga Khan Academy, and the Institute for Educational Development, providing graduate education for teachers.

The AKU Trustees also reviewed plans for the University’s expansion in East Africa with a focus on Tanzania. Beginning in Dar es Salaam, they visited the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development and met with faculty and students of the three academic programmes offered in Tanzania, including the Advanced Nursing Studies programme, Medical Master’s Degree in Family Medicine, and Master’s of Education.

His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, reviewing the master plan and design for a new 42-acre campus on Sam Nujoma Road which will house both the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development serving master’s level students and an Aga Khan Academy for middle and secondary school students. - Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji
His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of the Aga Khan University, reviewing the master plan and design for a new 42-acre campus on Sam Nujoma Road which will house both the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development serving master’s level students and an Aga Khan Academy for middle and secondary school students. – Photo: AKDN / Zahur Ramji

Background:

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the AKDN, is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. In Islam’s ethical tradition, religious leaders not only interpret the faith but also have a responsibility to help improve the quality of life in their community and in the societies amongst which they live. For His Highness the Aga Khan, this has meant a deep engagement with development for over 57 years through the agencies of the AKDN.

The Aga Khan has emphasised the view of Islam as a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance and that upholds the dignity of man, Allah’s noblest creation. In the Shia tradition of Islam, it is the mandate of the Imam of the time to safeguard the individual’s right to personal intellectual search and to give practical expression to the ethical vision of society that the Islamic message inspires.

Aga Khan University (AKU)

Vision: Educate a cadre of leaders who have a deep understanding of the issues and problems important to the region and the skills to creatively and effectively address these problems.
Mission: Educate exceptional individuals from across East Africa who have the potential to transform society.
Objective: Be on the frontiers of scientific and humanistic knowledge.
Goal: Develop its students’ critical thinking and analytical abilities, strong verbal and written communications skills, and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)

The agencies of the AKDN are private, international, non-denominational development organisations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in 30 countries in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa. Some programmes, such as specific research, education and cultural programmes, span both the developed and developing worlds. AKDN employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 600 million. The project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) generate revenues of US$ 2.3 billion (all surpluses are reinvested in further development activities). While each agency pursues its own mandate, all of them work together within the overarching framework of the Network so that their different pursuits interact and reinforce one another.

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