Prince Rahim Aga Khan and President Japarov: Strengthening Cooperation for Development

24


Prince Rahim Aga Khan, representing the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), recently engaged in a
significant dialogue with Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov, underlining their shared commitment to
advancing sustainable development in the country. The meeting, held at the Ala Archa State Residence
in Bishkek on March 1, highlighted the importance of collaboration in addressing critical issues such as
climate change, education, economic opportunity, and cultural preservation.

President Japarov welcomed Prince Rahim’s visit, acknowledging the AKDN’s longstanding contributions
to Kyrgyzstan’s socio-economic progress. He expressed gratitude for the AKDN’s efforts in improving
living conditions, particularly in mountainous regions, and invited further partnership in combating
climate change, conserving biodiversity, and enhancing disaster resilience. The President’s words
reflected a deep appreciation for the AKDN’s international reputation and its proven track record in
developing mountainous areas.

In response, Prince Rahim reaffirmed the AKDN’s commitment to Kyrgyzstan, emphasizing the
importance of continued cooperation for a peaceful and prosperous future. He highlighted the ongoing
friendship between the AKDN and the Kyrgyz Republic, emphasizing the significance of their shared
goals in promoting development and well-being.

The AKDN’s presence in Kyrgyzstan spans over two decades, marked by collaborative efforts across
various sectors. The Agreement of Cooperation, ratified in 2001, has facilitated joint initiatives aimed at
sustainable human development. Institutions and programs established by the AKDN encompass
education, economic development, rural support, culture, health, and habitat conservation.

Education stands as a cornerstone of AKDN’s initiatives, with institutions like the Aga Khan School in Osh
and the University of Central Asia providing quality education to thousands of students. The Aga Khan
Foundation’s diverse programs, including support for rural economies, early childhood education, e-
health, and youth skills development, have significantly contributed to community empowerment.
Cultural revitalization is another focal point, as evidenced by the Aga Khan Music Program’s
collaboration with educational institutions to preserve and promote national musical traditions.

Additionally, economic growth initiatives spearheaded by the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB),
in which the Aga Khan Fund has increased its stake, have played a vital role in driving progress,
especially in remote and underserved areas.

The recent acquisition of shares in KICB by the Aga Khan Economic Development Fund reflects a
strategic investment aimed at bolstering financial stability and fostering economic resilience. This move
underscores the AKDN’s commitment to sustainable development and its confidence in Kyrgyzstan’s
economic prospects.

Looking ahead, the AKDN’s flagship education program, Schools2030, will convene a Global Forum in
Bishkek in June 2024, further cementing the organization’s dedication to advancing educational
excellence and innovation.

The dialogue between Prince Rahim Aga Khan and President Japarov exemplifies a shared vision for
inclusive and sustainable development. By leveraging expertise, resources, and partnerships, they aim to
create a brighter future for the Kyrgyz Republic, grounded in resilience, prosperity, and cultural heritage
preservation.

Source: Asia Plus