Mawlana Hazar Imam today arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for his Diamond Jubilee visit to Kenya.

Upon his arrival, Hazar Imam was received by Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as leaders from the Jamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). Driving into Nairobi from the airport, Hazar Imam was warmly welcomed by the Jamat who had lined the streets along Limuru road, outside the Aga Khan University Hospital and Darkhana Jamatkhana complex in Parklands.

Mawlana Hazar Imam is in Kenya at the invitation of the Government and is expected to meet with His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, at State House tomorrow. The meeting is an occasion to acknowledge the longstanding partnership between Kenya and the Ismaili Imamat, through the activities of AKDN agencies in the country. The AKDN has been engaged in the development of Kenya for over a century and has enjoyed a strong relationship with the government. An Agreement of Cooperation for Development was signed with the Government of Kenya in 1996 and recognises AKDN’s contributions to national development, while creating an enabling framework for its activities.

On Saturday, Mawlana Hazar Imam is expected to grace the Jamat with a Diamond Jubilee Darbar in Nairobi. In addition to the Kenyan jurisdiction Jamat, which includes Rwanda, Burundi, Namibia, and South Africa; the Jamat of the Malagasy Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also been invited to participate in this historic occasion.

Hazar Imam’s visit to Kenya continues the commemoration of his year-long Diamond Jubilee, the celebrations of which represent a recognition of the Imam’s work over the past 60 years, and an opportunity to launch new initiatives.

In Kenya, past Jubilee initiatives have included the Platinum Jubilee Hospital inaugurated in 1958, which is now the non-profit Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi; the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust, which started off as a community lending enterprise, and grew into a major retail financial institution – now called Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) – that helps promote small and medium enterprises across East Africa; and the Jubilee Insurance companies, the largest providers of life and medical insurance across East Africa and Asia.