The Aga Khan Academy in Maputo is part of a network of Academies established by Mawlana Hazar Imam. It is accredited as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, and features state-of-the-art facilities, a multicultural student body, and an experienced team of educators and staff.
Hosted at the school’s newly opened Commons building, the inauguration was attended by students and staff of the school; government and state officials; representatives of faith communities, businesses, and civil society; and leaders of the Jamat and AKDN.
In his remarks, Prince Rahim spoke of the vision of the Academy and the Aga Khan Curricular Strands which make the school unique.
“As a centre of excellence,” he said, “this Academy will equip its students with the tools needed to be competitive and to thrive, as they go on to their universities and then enter the arena of adult life. And it will teach them to push themselves to be the best they can possibly be.”
The Aga Khan Academies aim to develop future leaders with the skills and knowledge to support positive development in their societies. To achieve this, they recruit exceptional young people from all backgrounds regardless of socio-economic means, and provide them with the highest international standard of education.
“The wide geographic spread of the Academies is by design,” said Prince Rahim, “to allow students and staff to seamlessly travel to Academies in other countries, see different cultures, and build an appreciation and a love for them.”
Maputo’s Academy comprises 336 students, who represent 23 nationalities from across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America. All students are encouraged to become intellectually curious, globally-minded citizens of the world with strong ethical values to complement their academic ability.
“Ethics are taught here not just in theory, but put into practice in elements of service and of leadership in the student's daily lives,” Prince Rahim explained. “The Aga Khan Academies intend for their graduates not to be good at subjects only, but good as individuals.”
President Filipe Nyusi commended the presence of an Aga Khan Academy in Maputo, along with other ongoing AKDN initiatives in the country.
“We have been following the positive impact of various socio-economic projects undertaken by the Aga Khan Development Network, which greatly contribute to the progress of Mozambique, in line with our country's own development programme,” he said.
In his remarks, President Rebelo de Sousa commented on the long-term vision and work of Mawlana Hazar Imam to establish the Aga Khan Academies. He also commented on the historical strength of the Jamat in Mozambique.
“In Mozambique the Ismaili community is very strong, very dynamic, and very brave,” the President said. “This Academy is a recognition of the valuable presence of the community here.”
He also addressed the students in the audience. “Being part of this Academy is a unique opportunity and privilege in your lives,” he said.
Prince Rahim joined President Nyusi and President Rebelo de Sousa as they unveiled the inaugural plaque before taking a tour of the Academy campus.
The school’s buildings and grounds are purpose-built to provide world-class facilities for students and staff. These include classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, well-equipped libraries, extensive sports facilities, and spaces for arts, music, and performance.
The Academy in Maputo joins a network of existing and planned schools of excellence around the world. The first opened in Mombasa, Kenya in 2003, and the second in Hyderabad, India in 2011. The Academy in Dhaka, Bangladesh will open later this year.