Lisbon, Portugal, 12 May 2016 – The Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat today signed an Agreement of Cooperation to strengthen research capacity and to improve the quality of life in Portugal and in Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly in Africa. This endeavour will be supported by the Ismaili Imamat with a 10 million euro grant over 10 years.
The agreement emphasises research in the areas of poverty alleviation, food security and biodiversity, early childhood development, sustainable energy systems and urban development, resettlement of migrants, civil society and pluralism. It will also build research capacity to support the forthcoming establishment in Lisbon of the International Centre for Advanced Training of Researchers from Portuguese speaking Countries.
The Agreement, which was signed by His Excellency Professor Manuel Heitor, Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, and Nazim Ahmad, Representative of the Ismaili Imamat to the Portuguese Republic, exemplifies the deepening of diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat, following the establishment of the global Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal in June last year.
“The Agreement establishes a joint initiative aimed at fostering academic, scientific and technological cooperation with countries and regions in development, based on the experience of the Aga Khan Development Network in the improvement of the quality of life in Africa and in the world,” said Nazim Ahmad.
Professor Heitor described the agreement as a significant step in improving the quality of life in those parts of the world that have lacked access to scientific knowledge. “I believe this is a step forward in building the future and building certainly conditions for the improvement of life in parts of the world that have not been able to derive the opportunities to understand science and all the new opportunities that knowledge can drive us,” he noted.
His Highness the Aga Khan is on a two-day official visit to Lisbon. Yesterday (Wednesday) he attended a dinner hosted in his honour by the President of the Republic His Excellency Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and met with the Foreign Minister His Excellency Mr Augusto Santos Silva. Earlier today, the Aga Khan met with President of the Parliament His Excellency Mr Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues and parliamentary representatives, and attended a lunch hosted in his honour.
This is the first official visit of His Highness the Aga Khan to Portugal following the entry into force of the Agreement between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat for the establishment of the Seat of the Ismaili Imamat in Portugal in November 2015. The landmark agreement builds upon a series of earlier accords dating back to the first Protocol of Cooperation signed in 2005, and a longstanding relationship with the country that spans several decades.
Source: AKDN Press Release