The Honourable Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda;
Honourable members of the Uganda Government;
Princess Zahra Aga Khan;
Dr Shahabuddin, President, Aga Khan University;
Distinguished guests of the Aga Khan Development Network;
All protocols observed;
Good afternoon and greetings from the German Government and the German Development Bank, who I represent today.
I am very happy and it is truly a pleasure for me to join you on this occasion. Today, I am very proud to say that the bilateral cooperation between the German Government, represented by KfW and the Aga Khan University, is fully developed and is a demonstration of impactful and transformative collaboration for the health and education sectors in Uganda and also in the whole East African Community.
Allow me now to highlight a few examples of this wide-ranging cooperation. The first one is scholarships. The German Development Bank is funding Scholarships for needy East African students, including Ugandans, at the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and the Graduate School of Media and Communications. We have provided grants to the magnitude of €4.7m to that effect.
The second example I would like to highlight is the support to the Covid response that the Aga Khan University Hospital has provided.
At the height of the Covid pandemic in Uganda in 2020, our German Ambassador Matthias Schauer and the Trustee Amin Mawji were present to hand over donations of COVID-19 supplies and consumables including PCR tests and PPE to the Ministry of Health, valued at €500,000.
And finally the best one — why I am here today — is the starting of the construction of the AKU Kampala campus. Through this cooperation, the Aga Khan University in Uganda has now commenced, and we can see it here, the construction of the University Centre and student residences to create greater access to quality education for Uganda and the greater East African Community. The €17m grant that the German Government is providing will make it possible for the Aga Khan University in Uganda to expand its capacity to enroll more nursing and midwifery students and also to broaden its academic offering here in Uganda.
On this occasion, we are most delighted to further witness this great cooperation with the unveiling of the construction of the University Centre and the student residences.
It is clear to us that the University’s new campus and hospital will do much to deliver quality health care and education. We have seen what AKU has already accomplished here in Uganda through its School of Midwifery and Nursing. The record of the University, and the Aga Khan Development Network as a whole, gives us confidence in its ability to achieve its goals here in Kampala, both in the short term but also in the long term.
We look forward to seeing the University train generations of future leaders in nursing, medicine, but also in other disciplines on this campus and to seeing the hospital provide international-quality health care in a wide range of fields. We are positive that AKU will continue to grow in scope, in excellence, and in impact.
Once again, on behalf of the German Development Bank please accept our assurances and best wishes for a successful completion of this project.