Contents of the ‘Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM)’ category in chronological order.

‘A Life in the Service of Development’ published in Politique Internationale (Paris, France)

Practically no countries [sic] in Asia, Africa or the Middle East have a political landscape rooted in a strong two-party system as do many Western democracies. The probable consequence is that in many if not most countries of the developing world, coalition government will be omnipresent in the decades ahead. Yet few of these countries have any established experience with coalition governance (this is true of even the most powerful countries of the industrialised world). This critical challenge will become even more complex in countries where functioning compromises must be found between secular and theocratic forces.

A possible common ground could be found if all the political forces accepted over-arching responsibility to nourish a cosmopolitan ethic among their peoples. This would be an ethic for all peoples, one that offers equitable and measurable opportunities for the improvement of their lives, measured in terms of their own criteria for quality living. Clearly, different peoples will have different visions about a desirable quality of life, in urban versus rural areas, for example.

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Restored Forodhani Park Opening Ceremony (Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania)

The accomplishments we celebrate today, then, are a part of an ongoing story — and it is a story which has counterparts in many places around the world. In Cairo, in Damascus and Aleppo, in Delhi and Lahore, in Kabul and Bamako, in Mopti, Djenne and Timbuktu, and along the ancient Silk Route, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, through its Historic Cities Programme, has worked to restore a series of major cultural landmarks.

We undertake these projects, in part, because they can reinforce a sense of identity within proud communities, providing gateways to cultural understanding for local citizens and for visitors alike. But there is more to the matter than that. These cultural initiatives, in each case, have also been accompanied by a social and economic rationale, so that the entire project works to improve the well being of the people who live in these areas. How does this happen? It happens when many components come together — like pieces of a complex puzzle….

Our mandate is that no such project should require future support from government or any other institution, but should stand on its own, as an entirely independent engine of community progress.

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Syrian TV Interview, Reem Haddad (Aleppo, Syria)

Your Highness, is there a message that you would like to leave the Syrian people?

Well first of all, the respect and admiration that I have for Syria in its historic role within the Ummah. Secondly the notion that progress does not mean occidentalisation. Progress in the Ummah means moving forward in quality of life, but not giving up your identity, not giving up your value systems. Indeed our values systems are massively important for the future. [Emphasis original]

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Signing Ceremony for three agreements: 1) The First MicroFinance Institution the Central Bank of Portgual. 2) The Aga Khan University and Ministries of Health and Higher Education of the Government of Syria. 3) The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and City of Damascus (Damascus, Syria)

I believe that Islamic cultures have immense power and immense opportunity. It is up to us Muslims to illustrate those civilisations, those cultures of the past and the present. And one of the ways to do so is to revive the effectiveness of cultural assets in communicating to people. And historic buildings do not need to be thought of only as unproductive buildings.

Cultural assets can and should become contributors to cultural dialogue, cultural understanding, pride in one’s heritage and make an economic contribution to the country. And this is why it is so important to develop the leisure industry not only in terminology of modern buildings, but cultural assets speak to people. And if we want to bridge the gulf of misunderstanding between many countries in the Ummah and other countries outside the Ummah, one of the ways to do so, I believe, is to have our cultural assets speak for our history, speak for our traditions, speak for our values, speak for our ethics.

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Dinner hosted by President of Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) ·· incomplete

[Google translation] The Aga Khan Development Network has started its activities in West Africa, at the request of President Houphouet in the economic field but we do not want to stay only in the economic field we now want to engage in social in the cultural field and that is why our next major initiative will be the micro-credit because micro-credit is an absolutely exceptional to help the poorest in society to build a future.

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Various events during the April 2008 visit to West Africa (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal) ·· maybe missing

MAYBE MISSING: We regret that some (or many) of the speeches during this visit are not available in the Archive. Listed below are some events he attended where Mawlana Hazar Imam made or may have made a speech. We would be very grateful if any of our readers who may have these speeches, or others from the visit, would kindly share them with us. Please click here for information on making submissions to NanoWisdoms; we thank you for your assistance.

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Jeune Afrique Interview (2nd), Coumba Diop, ‘Ethics of Islam guides all my work’ (Mali or Côte d’Ivoire)

[Google translation] If you were to go on a desert island, what three things would you take?

[Google translation] [Laughs.] Oh my! I do not know what to say! I wish I could feed myself, dress and live as long as possible! And I’ll take what practice my faith.

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Aga Khan Development Network, The Ismaili Imamat and Government of Mali ‘Agreement of Co-operation’ Signing Ceremony (Bamako, Mali)

I would like to emphasise that economic initiatives are only one part of the AKDN initiatives in Mali. We firmly believe that our social and cultural activities are just as important, and intend to have them expand substantially in the future.

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Inauguration of First Microfinance Agency – Premiere Agence de Microfinance (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso)

We hope to bring to areas that are amongst the poorest and least served, our experience of strengthening communities living in other high mountain regions with similar economic and ecological environments. As in those other regions, we see this as a long-term initiative whose success will be determined by the commitment of the beneficiary population and the continued collaboration of the government.

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Inauguration of the Aga Khan Agency For Microfinance (Geneva, Switzerland)

It is my hope that through our micro-finance programmes we will eventually create a virtuous circle of income generation in which the poor — half of the world’s population — will break out of their economic and social exclusion and achieve a level of self-reliance that allows them, in turn, to help those less fortunate.

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The Aga Khan Agency For Microfinance 2005 Annual Report: Inaugural Statements (Geneva, Switzerland)

The Aga Khan Development Network agencies have been involved in micro-credit for more than 60 years. During that time, a variety of institutions offering a range of products tailored to specific needs have been established in many countries…. We have also extended loans for education and health care, which we believe can be important ways to break down the barriers to access to those services for the poor. It is important to note that the issue is not only the provision of services, but making them accessible to the poor….

We must be prepared to bank good character, good ideas and the willingness to work hard. If we do bank those attributes, micro-finance can be a formidable tool for poverty alleviation in large parts of the developing world. Its versatility allows it to be adapted to the needs and circumstances of the poor in urban and in rural environments. I am convinced we have only begun to tap into its potential.

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Inauguration Ceremony of First MicroFianance Bank (Dushanbe, Tajikistan) ·· incomplete

First and foremost, [First MicroFianance Bank] is an institution — not a project, not a programme, but a permanent establishment of one of the most important sectors in any nation’s economy — the banking sector….

Enabling underprivileged populations to have the opportunity to change their futures has always been a cornerstone of the Aga Khan Development Network’s endeavour … The provision of financial services is a powerful vehicle to combat exclusion and contribute to broad social and economic development.

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Pakistan Television Interview, Talat Hussain (Pakistan)

I think first of all, Pakistan should seek to diversify its economy further, because at a certain stage, whether it is Pakistan or any other country in the world, agricultural productivity as base of the economy is insufficient; you need to have other sources. So that’s the first issue. The second issue is the relation between the public sector and the private sector; both sectors have to work with each other instead of competing with each other or sometimes being in conflict. Thirdly, both have to be productive and they have to be effective and therefore, the measuring criteria in both have to be very clear, overt, and targets set.

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