Impact & Relevance: The Aga Khan Development Network – Legacy in the Contemporary World

Dubbed as the second United Nations* (UN), the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has been improving the quality of life of millions of people around the world for over a century. And the legacy continues …

Watch the YouTube below to learn more on what the AKDN does and its impact beyond numbers.

About a dozen years ago, in a series of addresses made to the Canadian Government Leadership, the German Ambassadors Conference and the Nobel Institute, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan explained the genesis of the AKDN.

Below are excerpts from those addresses.

“Since succeeding to this office as the 49th Imam in 1957, I have been concerned with the development of the Ismailis and the broader societies in which they live.

The engagement of the Imamat in development is guided by Islamic ethics, which bridge faith and society. It is on this premise that I established the Aga Khan Development Network.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
Leadership and Diversity Conference, Government of Canada
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada – May 19th, 2004

‘The engagement of the Imamat in development is guided by the ethics of Islam which bridge faith and society, a premise on which I established the Aga Khan Development Network, known as the AKDN.

Its cultural social and economic development agencies seek to improve opportunities and living conditions of the weakest in society, without regard to their origin, gender or faith.’

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
Annual Conference of German Ambassadors,
Berlin, Germany – September 6th, 2004

His Highness the Aga Khan delivers his address entitled, "Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society", at the Norwegian Nobel Institute to an audience of academics, diplomats, civil society leaders, and representatives from the Norwegian government and the private sector. - Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte
His Highness the Aga Khan delivers his address entitled, “Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society”, at the Norwegian Nobel Institute to an audience of academics, diplomats, civil society leaders, and representatives from the Norwegian government and the private sector. – Photo: AKDN/Gary Otte

“My role in human development stems from my position as Imam or spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, as designated by my grandfather in 1957.

In all interpretations of Islam, Imams, whether they are Shia or Sunni, are required not only to lead in the interpretation of the faith, but equally to contribute to improving the quality of life of the people who refer to them.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan,
49th hereditary Imam of the Ismaili Muslims.
Nobel Institute: Democratic Development, Pluralism and Civil Society,
Oslo, Norway – April 7th, 2005

The AKDN brings together a number of agencies, institutions and programmes that have been built up over the past 50 years and, in some cases, date back to the early twentieth century.

AKDN - Map of Where AKDN works - Presence in 30 countries.

The AKDN works in 30 countries around the world. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s average annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 625 million. The project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) generated revenues of US$ 3.5 billion in 2013 and all surpluses are reinvested in further development activities.

The AKDN has agreements and protocols with the following countries and organisations:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, the East African Community, the European Commission, France, Germany, India, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mali, Mozambique, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.

Source: AKDN

Impact & Relevance: The Aga Khan Development Network- Legacy in the Contemporary World

* The Aga Khan’s Earthly Kingdom – Vanity Fair, February 2013

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

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One thought

  1. Wonderful research…especially as I am also in a training session hearing about AKDN and its mandate for the whole of humanity, not just for those who follow him for spiritual allegiance and guidances. Mashallah!

    Like

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