We have seen over the developing world in Africa and Asia, that when politics are fragile, what continues to sustain development is civil society. If you build a strong civil society, then you have a country that continues to progress even if governments are unstable.

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today signed an agreement of cooperation reaffirming their shared commitment to dedicate human and material resources to confront poverty — one of the greatest challenges facing the global economy.

Formalising and building upon past collaboration between California and the agencies of the AKDN, the agreement recognises the intention of both parties to further collaborate in areas of mutual interest….

Expressing gratitude to the Governor and the State of California for “agreeing to be one of our most privileged partners,” His Highness the Aga Khan pointed at the “multiplicity of civil society capacity” in the State of California as an asset that can be a stabilising factor in the developing world.

We have seen over the developing world in Africa and Asia, that when politics are fragile, what continues to sustain development is civil society. If you build a strong civil society, then you have a country that continues to progress even if governments are unstable.

theismaili.org

Governor Schwarzenegger and the Aga Khan then walked to Stanford Mansion, where the Governor hosted a luncheon in honour of Hazar Imam. In his remarks, the Governor recognised the tremendous work of the Ismaili Imamat in improving the living conditions of people throughout the world, and working to alleviate poverty.

In his address to the gathering, the Aga Khan underscored the important role that California can play “by bringing to our parts of the world the knowledge, the capacities, the generosity, of Californians who want to share their knowledge, their capacities.”

Thanking the State of California, the Aga Khan added:

This is an opportunity for which my community and I will always be grateful, not just this year but always. Because what we are hoping for is permanent institutional relations — relationships which exist between men and women who serve the same goals, the same purposes.

SOURCES

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