His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and Chancellor of the Aga Khan University (AKU), thanked and congratulated hundreds of graduates of the University who received their degrees during the first-ever global convocation ceremony of the university.
The Students received diplomas and degrees from AKU’s Medical Colleges, Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Institutes for Educational Development, Graduate School of Media and Communications and Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom
Expressing his pride in the University’s contributions to the fight against the pandemic and saluting the courage and resilience of its faculty, staff and students, Aga Khan said “The University has made a critical difference – advising national governments, training public-sector medical staff, working with teachers and schools, raising awareness through media and journalism, and doing everything possible to treat patients and to save lives.”
He also noted the role of AKU researchers in tracking new mutations of the coronavirus, assessing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and evaluating therapies for COVID-19.
Melinda French Gates, Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commended the University for its leadership in improving health and empowering women, and voiced confidence in the graduates.
“The Aga Khan University is not only a global resource – it is a transformative force for public health and women’s health,” Ms. French Gates said. “We’re proud of our partnership with AKU over the years.”
“As graduates of AKU, you join a remarkable group of women and men who are changing lives for the better all over the world,” she told the graduates. “And let me tell you: the world desperately needs your energy and leadership.”
The Gates Foundation and the Aga Khan Development Network – including AKU – are working together in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and East Africa to improve health, advance economic development and create opportunities for women and girls, according to a press release by Aga Khan Development Network.
The statement further added that to date, the Foundation has provided approximately $90 million in funding for research and other projects at AKU in areas including maternal and child health, infectious diseases, malnutrition and COVID-19.