DAILY NEWS Reporter
Daily News; Monday, August 20, 2007
THE spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan, has lauded the government for its commitment to human development agenda, demonstrated by investing heavily in education and health.
“Tanzania is indeed committed to bring about development to its people and this is shown by the country’s exemplary social and economic gains,” the Aga Khan said in Dar es Salaam on Saturday night.
The Aga Khan, who was on a three-day visit of Tanzania, was speaking at a State Banquet hosted in his honour by President Jakaya Kikwete.
He said education and health were sectors in which his various foundations were involved and the goal was to improve the welfare of people, especially in the third world.
The Aga Khan who is on a 12-day tour of East Africa as part of 50th anniversary since he became the Imam of Ismaili Muslims in July 1957, arrived in Tanzania on Thursday, from Kenya.
He pledged continued support to Tanzania in various sectors including health and education through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
The Aga Khan said a new university which would focus on science and technology programmes to be built in Arusha would cost 450 million US dollars (about 576bn/-).
“Construction will take 15 years and will be the foundation’s second biggest education project after the one in Pakistan,” he said.
President Kikwete expressed gratitude to the Aga Khan, for his contribution and support to welfare of many Tanzanians through provision of education and health services “There are many Tanzanians who are what they are today because of your generous contribution.
“They got their education from schools you built or through your sponsorship. And, thousands have had their ailments treated in hospitals you built,” said Mr Kikwete.
“These are the major programmes that require huge investment which we sometimes do not have.
“We still need more support from you and other strategic partners to enable us successfully carry out these important programmes for our people,” he said.