The new Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), in Afghanistan, Mrs. Nurjehan Mawani, presented her credentials to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Mrs. Mawani succeeds Mr. Aly Mawji who represented AKDN in Afghanistan for more than a decade.
For the past eight years, Mrs. Mawani has served as the AKDN Diplomatic Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic where she has guided the work of AKDN agencies during the country’s transition period, working in close partnership with the Government, Parliament and institutions of civil society. Mrs. Mawani will remain accredited to the Kyrgyz Republic at present.
Prior to her engagement with the AKDN, Nurjehan Mawani had a long and distinguished career with the Canadian Public Service. She served as the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s largest tribunal, the Immigration and Refugee Board. Subsequently, she served as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission of Canada, an independent institution responsible for safeguarding the integrity and non-partisanship of the public service on behalf of the Canadian Parliament.
In recognition of her contributions to public service and to her profession, Mrs. Mawani has received numerous awards, among them, the Order of Canada and the UNIFEM Canada Award for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of women. In 2012, in recognition of her contributions to Canada, Mrs. Mawani was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
The Aga Khan Development Network began working in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, providing food aid and a range of livelihood and support services to Afghans both in country as well as refugees who had fled their homes as a result of the on-going conflict. At the January 2002 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan, His Highness the Aga Khan made a pledge of USD $75 million to support international reconstruction efforts. This pledge marked the transition of AKDN’s intervention in Afghanistan from humanitarian relief to multi-sector integrated development, and the beginning of a formal partnership between AKDN and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In June 2008, at the Afghanistan Conference in France, His Highness the Aga Khan pledged a further USD $100 million in support of AKDN’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan.
Through partnerships with the Afghan government, significant investments into Afghan companies, and national and regional development programmes in partnership with other international organisations and donors, AKDN has channeled more than USD $900 million toward Afghanistan’s economic, social, and cultural reconstruction. AKDN programmes encompass large-scale rural development; health, education, governance and civil society programmes, including Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Programme; the rehabilitation of historic neighborhoods in Kabul and Herat; the management and operations of a pediatric hospital and two provincial hospitals; an extensive network of financial and micro finance services; a rapidly growing mobile phone network with innovative investments in corporate social responsibility; and, a five-star hotel in Kabul.