During the week of April 12th Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) was honoured to host Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, one of the founders of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) and a renowned author, development practitioner, and intellectual.
During his visit, Mr. Khan met with development practitioners from a host of organizations including the Canadian International Development Agency, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, as well as the broader Canadian public. He shared his years of accumulated wisdom through presentations, roundtable discussions and informal conversations.
Book launch Mr. Khan recently published his latest book, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme: A Journey Through Grassroots Development.
AKRSP, a pioneering rural development initiative in northern Pakistan, was established in 1982. Built on the premise that communities can take the lead in managing their own development, the program helped organize people into village organizations that assisted them in defining their needs and working towards solutions – creating the capacity for self-development. Over three decades, the program has brought about positive, lasting change to approximately one million women and men in the region and provided valuable insight for development practice around the world.
Through Mr. Khan’s words, we see AKRSP as a replicable model of rural development, but at the same time, this book is the memoir of an individual. As Mr. Khan leads the reader through the parallel journey of both AKRSP and his own life story, he shares with gripping personal detail some of the triumphs and tragedies that bring him to where he is today.
Biography For his lifetime of work, Mr. Khan has been the beneficiary of unsought international acclaim and recognition for his dedication to improving the lives of the poor. In 1990 the President of Pakistan presented Mr. Khan with one of the country’s highest awards, the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, and in 1992 the President of the Philippines presented him with the prestigious Magasaysay Award, considered to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was also recently honoured with a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for ‘unleashing the power and potential of the poor.’