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Aga Khan Attends Inauguration of Kyrgyz President, Discusses Development Activities 2011-12-02

Friday, 2011, December 2

Bishkek, 2 December 2011 -- His Highness the Aga Khan, Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, arrived in Bishkek yesterday to attend the inauguration of the President-elect of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambaev.

During the visit the Aga Khan met President Almazbek Atambaev as well as former President Roza Otunbaeva to discuss AKDN’s current and future partnerships with the Kyrgyz Republic. The meetings also focussed on AKDN’s expanding presence in the Kyrgyz Republic, including education and critical infrastructure development. The Aga Khan also met with Speaker Ahmatbek Keldibekov.

Since 2000, AKDN has supported social, economic and cultural programmes in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Network’s social activities range from early childhood development to university and adult education, support for the creation of civil society institutions and rural development and health projects in Alai and Chon Alai districts of the Osh Oblast, which are implemented through the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP).

Its economic development initiatives range from microfinance to corporate finance. Microfinance activities are largely focused on rural loans for agriculture and animal husbandry. The Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB) was set up to provide a wide range of products and services that had not existed in the planned economy of the Soviet era. The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is the principal shareholder.

The Aga Khan Music Initiative (AKMI) was created by the Aga Khan in 2000 to support the efforts of Central Asian musicians and communities to sustain, further develop and transmit these important musical traditions, many of which had faced decline. AKDN’s activities include support to music schools, instrument makers and for touring programmes within the region and abroad.

One of AKDN’s largest projects is the University of Central Asia (UCA) campus in Naryn. UCA’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia, particularly its mountain societies. UCA consists of the School of Professional and Continuing Education (the first operational division of the University); the School of Arts and Sciences (undergraduate) and the Graduate School of Development, both of which will be launched when the three campuses are built in Khorog, Tajikistan, Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic and Tekeli, Kazakhstan. Three other programmes build teaching and scholarship in the region: the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme, the Aga Khan Humanities Project, and Research Programme.

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