REFLECTIONS OF A SCHOLAR: A pearl for a monarch of faith and practicality

President Yoweri Museveni presents the Aga Khan with The Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa during Uganda’s Independence Day celebrations in Bushenyi, Western Uganda on October 9, 2017. PHOTO| CORRESPONDENT

What you need to know:

  • The Order of the Pearl of Africa is the country’s highest possible award and it derives its name from Winston Churchill’s 1908 unforgettable encomium of the land as the loveliest on the continent.
  • The Aga Khan has elucidated this in many of his lectures, including a landmark one, ‘The Cosmopolitan Ethic in a Fragmented World’, which he gave in November 2015 at Harvard, his alma mater.
  • The Aga Khan’s umbrella development arm, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a good example of this. All the services and enterprises under its portfolio — and they are a multitude, believe me — seem to operate on two basic principles.

The Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa was on Monday conferred upon the Aga Khan. This was at Uganda’s 55th Independence Day festivities in the Western region of the country, close to the world-famous Queen Elizabeth National Park.


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