Earlier today, Mawlana Hazar Imam was conferred with the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa by His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni, as part of Uganda’s 55th Independence Day celebration.

Held in Bushenyi Municipal Grounds, Uganda’s Independence Day consisted of jovial celebrations, various cultural performances and renditions of the Ugandan and East African national anthems. President Museveni welcomed Mawlana Hazar Imam as the guest of honour, and acknowledged the Ismaili community’s contribution to the ongoing development of Uganda.

The Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa award is the most esteemed civilian decoration of the Ugandan Honour System, and has been presented to only five other individuals in the history of the country. The distinction was granted to Hazar Imam in recognition of exceptional contributions made by Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) institutions to the economic and social development of Uganda. AKDN agencies in the region operate in a number of industry sectors including energy, banking, health, tourism, education, and media.

Upon receiving the award, Hazar Imam expressed his gratitude to President Museveni, and noted about the progress of the country “Your national pathway has been exciting and inspiring to watch and all your friends, including of course myself, look to the future of Uganda in hope, in aspiration, for a better quality of life for all the people of Uganda and of this region of Africa.” He went on to outline his wish for the future, “Our institutions have been here for many decades, [and] it is my hope today that they will participate in improving the quality of life of all the people of Eastern Africa as they build for future generations.”