Contents of the ‘Mali’ category in chronological order.

‘His Royal Highness the Aga Khan National Park’ Opening Ceremony (Bamako, Mali)

Today, parks meet the needs of many city-dwellers wanting to relax in a natural environment. This explains the success among local communities of parks already created by AKTC. Experience shows that these urban parks are a vital public facility, frequented by city-dwellers in their hundreds of thousands. The Cairo park, for example, now receives more than 2 million visitors a year….

The National Park of Mali is also one of the largest urban parks on the African continent, and a remarkable achievement in several respects:

  • it preserves an ecosystem of priceless value with the arboretum dating from the 1930s, which includes the most beautiful species of trees and is today shown in its full glory once again;
  • it expresses a new landscape architecture, harmoniously combining the characteristics of a botanical garden that had fallen into disuse with a contemporary planning concept for public parks in major cities;
  • it includes a garden of medicinal plants, reflecting Mali’s ancestral knowledge in this field;
  • the architecture of the buildings and entrance gateways, of the restaurant and the sports centre, is distinctively contemporary, while displaying its African roots in the use of traditional materials combined with advanced technologies, especially in the roofs and the technical services. This is the work of Diébédo Francis Kéré, an Aga Khan Award for Architecture recipient in 2004 …

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Urban Park Announcement Ceremony (Bamako, Mali)

[Google translation] [W]hen one has a unique project like this, you have no right to be wrong. If it is unique, it must meet the needs of all segments of the population can not afford a kind of intellectual vanity, assuming we can know what all the needs of different users who will be attending this Park in the future. And so I want there to be, above all, an extremely broad consultation of all the people of Bamako, sports clubs, NGOs, diplomats, teachers, bankers, all those who may be interested in coming One day in the park. We want to know beforehand what they want to be offered, so we can build the programme for the park from a really deep understanding and consensus with the widest possible population of Bamako on what we must do.

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Acceptance Address – University of Sankoré Honorary Doctorate (Timbuktu, Mali)

I am also very happy to accept the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the prestigious University of Sankoré, the African continent’s most ancient higher education institution. Like Djingareyber and Sidi Yahya, this university has been the alma mater of the town’s 180 Qu’ranic schools and the birthplace of the many scholarly works which became uniquely influential in Africa during the Middle Ages. The sum of all that knowledge has been preserved in the richly-stocked libraries of Timbuktu which house thousands of manuscripts, most of them written by scholars born in the town. This tradition of learning and the transmission of knowledge is at the heart of Islam and the practise of the faith….

I shall always remember this honorary doctorate as proof of the harmony between intellect and faith which is Islam’s blessing to Muslims.

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Great Mosque of Mopti Opening Ceremony (Mopti, Mali)

This project has made it possible to combine modern heritage conservation techniques with the processes and materials traditionally employed in the construction of mud brick buildings. The participation in the project of the few stone masons who still practise banco pourri has meant that more than 30 young people have been trained in this traditional technique, thus ensuring that is handed down to the next generation.

This is especially relevant in Mali where there is a danger that traditional artisans will gradually disappear, taking with them the skills and knowledge accumulated by previous generations of builders. Hence, restoring this important monument has provided the opportunity to perpetuate a tradition and also to ensure the future conservation of built heritage with appropriate techniques, competently applied….

[M]y fear is that urban modernisation will lead to an increase in property speculation and the uncontrolled development of tourist infrastructures which will eventually swallow up the mosques within the urban fabric.

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Dinner hosted by the President of Mali (Bamako, Mali)

[Google translation] During my many trips to the region during the last forty years I have seen the importance of projects that contribute constructively to the development and this has reinforced some of my beliefs. Firstly, the development challenges also offer opportunities to create opportunities in a part of the world that has a rich cultural heritage. Then, as beneficial partnerships between the public and the private sector can enhance one’s ability to contribute to improving the quality of life and restore hope in resource-poor environments. Finally, by strengthening infrastructure, introducing innovations and facilitate synergy between the countries of the region, the fruits of development can have a wider impact and profound effect on people.

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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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Mali TV5 Interview, Armelle Charrier – Journal Afrique (Bamako, Mali) ·· incomplete

[Translation] [A]ny community which feels isolated, which feels forgotten, which has lost hope, is a community that will search by any mean to reposition itself. And we have seen this in the North of Pakistan, we have seen it in the east of Tajikistan, We have seen it in Afghanistan. And these situations can be identified and that is what is important for me. One can not tell me that these situations are unknown, they are known! But no one gives them enough attention … The fact that they have not been resolved is the reason that these frustrations explode and explode in the name of religion but also of other objectives, not only religion….

We are starting to understand today that the only true mean of ascertaining development is to invest in the human being. It is not the infrastructure, not the giant projects. It is to give to the human being, to human communities, the possibility to develop.

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Remarks to TV5 on arrival in Mali (Bamako, Mali)

[Translation] As you know I am coming from Burkina and this trip is a trip so see our activities in West Africa, to assess the situation at a time when Africa is in the process of taking very very important global dimensions, so I have come to look and listen…. the Aga Khan Network in Mali is involved in culture, in civil society, which will overtake the economical aspect. So it is the totality of means of development that we wish to bring to Mali.

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Various events during the July 2005 visit to the Mali (Mali) ·· 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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Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and Government of Mali ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ Signing Ceremony (Bamako, Mali)

[Google translation] All the commitments I have just signed, will have a significant impact not only on the Malian economy, but especially on the quality of life of people. (l’Essor, Mali, No. 15061, 14 Oct 2003)

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Public Address (Djenne, Mali) ·· incomplete

Today, we face a delicate situation in which all Muslims of peace need to unite to present to the world a face of an Islam of peace, unity, intelligence and conviction…. As a Muslim, I see the great mosques of the Ummah as symbols of the past but also as hopes for the future. We should not forget the great periods of Muslim history have always been marked by intelligence, by competence and by knowledge — of science, of astronomy — and of everything that was important, at the time, for the quality of life of men and women of the Ummah. We should draw great learning from the past and project it towards the future.

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Visit to Mali (Timbuktu, Djenne & Bamako, Mali)

The ingenuity and imagination of peoples of the developing world continue, unfortunately, to remain untapped resources…. Our experience from Aleppo to Zanzibar has taught us that private initiative, properly applied and encouraged, can help revitalise historic cities of the Islamic world, even in resource-poor environments. Through interventions ranging from micro-finance, skills development, healthcare and sanitation, to investment in high-end tourism and urban development, we have been able to catalyse a process of change which an empowered local population itself will have the capacity to sustain.

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