Kampala. East African executives have commended the investments the Aga Khan has brought to the region.
The EAC executives, including the Assembly Speaker, Secretary General and the Chief Justice said this during a tour of the construction site of Aga Khan University (AKU) in Arusha, Tanzania on Friday, according to a statement issued by the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha.
The leaders said the university is viewed as a catalyst for transformation that will see the city expand as the intellectual, social and political hub for East Africa. The project is part of the planned $500m (Shs1.6 trillion) expansion in East Africa by the Aga Khan. It seeks to enrol health sciences and Arts students from across the region, notably Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
According to the statement, the East African Legislative Assembly Speaker, Mr Daniel Kidega, was impressed with the project plan and commended Aga Khan Development Network’s initiatives to not only invest for profit but also to support the population under what he termed ‘humanitarian capitalism’.
“The Assembly was keen to enact relevant piece(s) of legislation that would anchor the vision of the Aga Khan,” Mr Kidega is quoted as saying.
The statement quoted the deputy Secretary General, Ms Jessica Eriyo, as saying: “The community needs to know that the project is for their benefit, therefore raising awareness about the project and creating job opportunities for the youth….are key in order to build the capacity of the community.”
The EACJ Judge, President Justice Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, assured the Aga Khan of member states’ support to the investment projects.
In 2007, the Aga Khan announced plans to build a major new university campus in Arusha. The new development represents the biggest expansion for AKU since it opened its first campus in Karachi, Pakistan about 25 years ago.
AKU’s ambitious 15 year-plan includes a significant commitment of global resources to the East African region through the expansion of the university’s presence in Arusha, transforming EAC’s capital into a “regional intellectual epicenter.”
The director, Aga Khan University Campus Development in Tanzania, Mr Nizar Jaffer Somji, said the design plan for the construction of the project is at its final stages and execution of the design plan is expected to commence soon after its completion.
About the project
His Highness the Aga Khan through Aga Khan Development Network has several investments in the EAC countries especially in the hospitality industry, health sector, media and banking Industry.