Bamako, Mali, 1 August 2005 – His Excellency Moctar Ouane, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Mali and the Director of the Department of Diplomatic Affairs of the Ismaili Imamat, Dr.
Shafik Sachedina, today signed an agreement of cooperation between the Republic of Mali, the Ismaili Imamat and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV, is the spiritual leader of the world’s 15 million Ismailis, who follow a branch of Shia Islam.
He is also a philanthropist who runs one of the world largest private charities — the Aga Khan Development Network. Forbes magazine listed him as among the world’s 10 richest royals in 2010, with a fortune of 0 million.
In addition to pioneering investments in industrial enterprises in the packaging, agro processing, infrastructure and aviation sectors, the Network’s agencies have been active in recognising architectural excellence and in providing exemplary support services to both urban and rural populations.
The Network’s West African presence includes operations in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal.
Since 2004, the Canadian government has sponsored 16 global development initiatives in partnership with the foundation, worth a total of more than 0 million.
The foundation’s projects do everything from supporting craft producers in Mozambique to investing in childhood education in Bangladesh or working to improve women’s health in Afghanistan.
The agreement, which recognises the AKDN as an International Organisation, will expand cooperation in social, cultural and economic development in the country.
The Ismaili sect then broke with the Shia minority in the 8th century over further disagreement about which of the prophet’s descendents should lead.
An Ismaili dynasty controlled a large area of North Africa and Egypt for a period stretching into the 12th century, before declining.
It follows an accord for development signed in October 2003 by President Touré and His Highness the Aga Khan.
“I would like to emphasise that economic initiatives are only one part of the AKDN initiatives in Mali,” said the Aga Khan, at the ceremony which marked the signing of the agreement.