Dar es Salaam. The founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), His Highness the Aga Khan, is expected in the country today for a two-day official visit.
The visit follows an invitation by President John Magufuli.
The Aga Khan, who is also the Imam (spiritual leader) of Shia Ismaili Muslims, will visit Tanzania on the second leg of his East Africa tour.
According to a statement issued by the Aga Khan Council communication coordinator, Mr Aly Ramji, His Highness the Aga Khan is expected to arrive at Julius Nyerere International Airport at around 10.30am, and will be received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga.
The visit is part of a series of tours that coincide with the commemoration of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee commemorating 60 years as the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslim community. Jubilees in the Shia Ismaili Muslim tradition have traditionally served as opportunities to launch or advance social, cultural and economic development projects.
“The projects include hospitals, schools, universities and financial institutions that serve people of all backgrounds and faiths,” said the statement.
His Highness the Aga Khan is the founder and chairman of the AKDN, a global network dedicated to improving the quality of life of all.
It has made substantive contributions all over the world, including in Tanzania where it has a long-standing history.
The AKDN’s institutions are among Tanzania’s largest socio-economic agencies and impact the lives of all Tanzanians. Some of these examples include the Aga Khan Foundation.
“The AKDN has the country’s state-of-the-art hospital in Dar es Salaam as well as five primary medical centres and eight outreach centres across the country that have provided increased access to health for communities in rural and urban areas,” the statement further said.
The Aga Khan University, through the Graduate School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Institution of Educational Development, has awarded over 250 Master’s Degrees and provided education to over 3,000 trainers in the country.
In Zanzibar, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture restored the seafront Forodhani Park and engaged in conservation planning for the Old Dispensary, amongst others, as AKDN promotes culture as a “trampoline for change” for development.