The event, held in the gardens of the Polana Serena hotel, was attended by the Official Representative of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, Vice-Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Engineer Victor Tauacale.
Also in attendance were government dignitaries, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of international organisations, members of religious groups, and leaders of business, academia, and civil society. The event was also honoured by the presence of Her Excellency the Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Government of the Portuguese Republic, Dr Teresa Ribeiro.
Mr Tauacale took the opportunity to acknowledge the role played by AKDN in Mozambique, saying that “The Aga Khan [Development] Network has been an important partner for the development of Mozambique and we would like to reiterate our appreciation of intervention, whose contribution complements our Government's efforts in its primary objective of promoting the improvement of well-being and of the living conditions of our populations,” highlighting also “the actions developed in the education sector by the Aga Khan Foundation at the Agrarian Institute of Bilibiza in Cabo Delgado, the Aga Khan Academy in Matola, among others, which have contributed to the frank development of the country.”
He also took the opportunity to thank the support and solidarity provided by AKDN and Jamati institutions during and after the tragic passage of the tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth.
The AKDN Diplomatic Representative in the Republic of Mozambique, Mr Nazim Ahmad, also addressed guests, taking the opportunity to explain the work of the Ismaili Imamat and Aga Khan Development Network, stating that “AKDN Mozambique employs 1,243 people, of which 98% are Mozambican and 62% are female, and has invested since 2001 approximately 300 million US Dollars.”
Mr Ahmad also shared the progress achieved through the AKDN’s programmatic work in Mozambique. AKDN agencies have been present in Mozambique for many years, working towards achieving the considerable potential for progress and socio-economic development in the country, specifically in the areas of tourism, agriculture, education, health, civil society, and infrastructure.
The Aga Khan Foundation has been present in Mozambique since 2001, benefitting over 800,000 Mozambicans in the areas of agriculture and food security, health and nutrition, early childhood development, financial inclusion, education, and civil society.
The Moztex textile factory, under the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, has been operating since September 2008 at a free zone industrial park. Its operations started with a training school, and nearly 2,000 people have been trained since 2008. Today, Moztex employs 752 employees. In 2018, its production was approximately 2.4 million pieces of exported garments.
In addition, the Aga Khan Academy in the Province of Maputo has been operating in its fifth academic year since 2013 with the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The Academy includes a residential student programme and is currently comprised of 147 students. Linked to its academic programme, the guiding principles of the Aga Khan Academies involve five crucial strands: Ethics, Pluralism, Economy for Development, Cultures, and Governance and Civil Society. The Academy, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, will have capacity for 300 residential and 450 daytime students.