Land grant and initiation ceremony for the Aga Khan University hospital
Mr President, Prime Minister, Guests, This is an important day for me because it represents an opportunity to contribute to Uganda’s development, to my community’s integration within the institutions of Uganda and in East Africa more widely. Higher education and science are two of the most important factors in development. And Africa requires having institutions that will assist in the development of those resources. It isn’t only sufficient to create the resources but we have to be able to measure them against global standards, so that the institutions of Africa – whether they be in healthcare or in other areas – come up to global standards and indeed will, I hope, meet global standards in time. So the creation of the Aga Khan University Hospital in Uganda has a purpose not only in serving Uganda, but has the purpose of serving East Africa, and bringing knowledge and competence of sophisticated science on an ongoing basis. I underline the issue of ongoing knowledge, because healthcare and medicine are moving very quickly and it is essential that the institutions of healthcare in Eastern Africa should keep up to date with modern science. So the faculty of medicine at the Aga Khan University is not only going to provide service, it is also going to provide research, it is going to provide continuing education to the nursing and medical communities in East Africa. I want to thank the President for making this site available. Because when all is said and done, the institutions also depend on their location. And this location is one of the best locations we could have asked for in this wonderful city of Kampala. Your President is a man of action – he likes results! I have to tell you Sir, I don’t have a magic wand, but I will move as quickly as I can! And we will build this institution quickly but we will not compromise on quality; we will not short-cut difficult decisions and we will prepare our work with great intensity using knowledge from here and knowledge from other areas of the world. And I hope that in due course, our Ugandan graduates will stay in Uganda. You know the expression “golden handcuffs”? Well the one thing I don’t know how to make is golden handcuffs! But I hope that the institution which will come up here will be so important that our graduates will actually choose to be here, because that is the best form of loyalty that we could expect. President thank you for the land, thank you for the support of your government and I hope that we will have a long long ongoing partnership so that the private sector higher education in Africa can work in absolute intense empathy with national goals. Thank you.