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AGA KHAN TRUST

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development
Network (AKDN), is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami
Ismaili Muslims. For His Highness the Aga Khan, one manifestation of his hereditary
responsibilities has been a deep engagement with development for almost 60 years.

The AKDN works in over 30 countries around the world. It employs approximately
80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries. The AKDN’s
annual budget for non-profit development activities is approximately US$ 925
million. The project companies of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
generate revenues of US$ 4.1 billion (all surpluses are reinvested in further
development activities).

AKDN AND ARCHITECTURE


The AKDN works to impact architecture and human habitats in a number of ways. It
works directly on projects that improve housing, particularly design and construction,
but also village planning, natural hazard mitigation, environmental sanitation, water
supplies, and other issues that affect living conditions. It undertakes urban
regeneration projects that include the restoration of historic structures, the creation
and rehabilitation of public spaces, parks and gardens and supports community based
planning and upgrading projects that spur social, economic and cultural development.

AKDN AND HABITAT


The improvement of human habitats has been a central concern for the Aga Khan
Development Network and its institutional predecessors for over 100 years. Central to
that concern has been the quality and safety of housing. Several agencies therefore
work to address different aspects of the habitat, from helping communities mitigate
the risk of natural disasters to the creation of filtration systems that ensure water is
safe to drink.

AKDN AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT


AKDN seeks to encourage entrepreneurial activity and the growth of the private
sector as part of efforts to create a critical mass of development activity that
eventually gathers its own momentum. Often in conjunction with its non-profit social
investments in health or education, it makes bold but calculated investments in parts
of the developing world that often lack sufficient direct investment -- in order to spur
private sector growth.

AKDN AND PARKS AND GARDENS


The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has been rehabilitating existing parks and creating
new spaces for over 20 years, with the objective of demonstrating that these green
spaces can be catalysts for positive economic, social and cultural change.

AKDN AND CIVIL SOCIETY


A vibrant and competent civil society is the cornerstone of a healthy and prosperous
nation. It is essential to improving the quality of human life because people
themselves know best how to drive progress. Yet, in many parts of the world, civil
society suffers from a dearth of technical knowledge, human resources and financial
means. To address these gaps, for over 50 years the AKDN has been carefully
building robust institutions that experiment, adapt and accommodate diversity.

AKDN AND HEALTH


The AKDN takes a broad, long-range approach to health that addresses some of the
chronic health issues in poor communities. It delivers services directly by operating
one of the largest non-profit, private healthcare systems in the developing world – and
has done so for over 60 years. It works to transform health care systems by training
thousands of nurses, midwives and doctors. It operates community health projects,
often in conjunction with rural development programmes, in some of the poorest and
remote areas of the planet.

AKDN AND MEDIA


Independent voices are critical to the wellbeing of any society. To that end, Kenya’s
Taifa and Nation newspapers were set up while His Highness the Aga Khan was still
a student at Harvard. The Aga Khan felt that honest and independent newspapers
would be a crucial contribution to East Africa's peaceful transition to democracy. In
2015, the Aga Khan University also launched the Graduate School of Media and
Communications to educate media leaders from across Africa

AKDN AND AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY


The model of participatory rural development the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)
pioneered combines a set of common development principles with the flexibility to
respond to specific contexts and needs. Programmes typically link elements such as
rural savings and credit, natural resource management, productive infrastructure
development, increased agricultural productivity and human skills development with
a central concern for community-level participation and decision-making. The
ultimate goal is to enable community members to make informed choices from a
range of appropriate options for sustainable and equitable development.

AKDN AND EDUCATION


For over 100 years the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has worked to
ensure that students of all ages have access to quality learning opportunities. The
Network operates programmes and institutions which span the educational ladder,
from early childhood programmes to primary and secondary schools, from vocational
studies for youth and adults to university degrees and continuing professional
development. Each year, the AKDN reaches 2 million students.
AKDN AND HISTORIC CITIES
The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP) has been involved in urban
regeneration projects in nine quite different settings in the Islamic world:
Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Egypt, India, Mali, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan and Zanzibar, including nearly twenty distinct but interconnected projects
that often are mutually reinforcing.

AKDN AND MUSEUMS


Museums are no longer merely repositories of culture, but vital educational
institutions that can have a profound effect on public discourse. Museums can testify
to the existence of other cultures and faiths in ways that go beyond the written or
spoken word. They provide evidence of other realities, other histories and other
influences beyond the ones we might have learned or perceived.

AKDN AND TOURISM PROMOTION


AKDN seeks to promote tourism in areas where natural beauty is one of the few
assets at the disposal of a community. It seeks to develop these activities in culturally
and environmentally sensitive ways that improve the quality of life for people in the
vicinity of these projects, whether in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Valley or Tanzania’s
natural reserves.

AKDN AND FINANCIAL INCLUSION


AKDN's goal is to deliver services along the continuum of financial needs in ways
that help local and national economies grow, and, ultimately, help create stable
financial institutions that contribute to the overall quality of life.

AKDN AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE


AKDN’s humanitarian assistance takes a long-term view of the response to disasters,
whether they are sudden- or slow-onset. This view has been shaped by AKDN’s
experience in many of the places where it works – often some of the most remote and
difficult to reach places in the world.

AKDN AND MUSIC


The Aga Khan Music Initiative is an interregional music and arts education
programme with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production
activities. The Initiative was launched by His Highness the Aga Khan to support
talented musicians and music educators working to preserve, transmit, and further
develop their musical heritage in contemporary forms.

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