Princess Zahra and Her Excellency, Janet Museveni, First Lady of Uganda and Minister of Education and Sports, unveil a plaque commemorating the commencement of construction of the AKU Kampala campus. The Campus will feature in its first phase a seven-storey University Centre, a nine-storey student housing building and the Aga Khan University Hospital, Kampala. PHOTO / SHAMIM HUSSEIN

The Aga Khan University Starts Construction of its Kampala Campus

By Shamim Hussein

The Aga Khan University has officially

launched the construction of its new

campus in Kampala at a ceremony

attended by the First Lady of Uganda,

Her Excellency Janet Museveni, and

Princess Zahra Aga Khan.

AKU’s 60-acre campus is located in the

Nakawa area, at New Port Bell Road and

Jinja Road. It will feature in its

first phase a seven-storey University

Centre, a nine-storey student housing

building and the Aga Khan University

Hospital, Kampala. The hospital will

offer care in nearly two dozen

specialties, ranging from family

medicine to oncology.

The project represents one of AKU’s

largest investments in East Africa to

date. This will enable a significant

expansion of the University’s existing

School of Nursing and Midwifery in

Kampala and will also allow the

University to begin training medical

specialists in fields such as internal

medicine and surgery. Construction of

the University Centre and student

housing is currently underway.

Construction of the hospital will start

early next year. A four-story

ambulatory care building will offer

outpatient care in a wide range of

specialties in advance of the

hospital’s completion.

“We know that through this facility, a

new crop of exceptionally skilled and

equipped Nurses and Midwives will be

available to support the Health Sector

all over Uganda in years to come,” said

Her Excellency Janet Museveni,

Minister of Education and Sports. “We

look forward to witnessing this Project

succeed, as we experience

international quality health care and a

new generation of phenomenal leaders

in this Sector!”

“The Aga Khan Development Network’s

goal in East Africa is to build a

network of clinics and hospitals that

brings primary care as close to

people’s homes as possible, while also

linking them seamlessly to advanced

care,” Princess Zahra Aga Khan said.

“We aim for these facilities to be

staffed by highly trained clinicians,

equipped with the latest technologies,

and prepared to address the region’s

changing burden of disease.”

The land for the campus and hospital

was generously provided by the

Government of Uganda, and speakers

expressed their gratitude to His

Excellency President Yoweri Museveni

for his vision and his strong support

of the project. Funding for

construction was provided by His

Highness the Aga Khan, generous donors

and the Government of Germany’s BMZ and

KfW. Valuable support was also

provided by the East African Community.

Designed by the award-winning

architecture firm Legorreta, AKU’s

Kampala campus and hospital will form

an important part of the Aga Khan

Development Network’s extensive health

care system in East Africa. AKU and the

Aga Khan Health Services operate five

hospitals and almost 100 clinics that

care for more than 1.5 million patients

annually in Kenya, Tanzania and


“We look forward to seeing the

University train generations of future

leaders in nursing, medicine, and other

disciplines on this campus and to

seeing the hospital provide

international-quality health care in a

wide range of fields,” said Ms.

Cornelia Penzel, KFW Country Director

for Uganda. “We are positive that AKU

will continue to grow in scope, in

excellence, and in impact.”

AKU has been active in Uganda for 23

years. In Kampala, it has graduated

1,300 nurses and midwives who are

working in government and private-

sector institutions in urban and rural

communities across the country. Several

hundred Ugandan teachers and

journalists have graduated from or are

enrolled at AKU and more than 2,000

have completed short courses. The

University also operates three medical

centres in Kampala. In total, AKU has

graduated more than 4,500 nurses,

doctors, teachers and journalists

across East Africa.

“In the years and decades to come,

countless lives will be saved and

enriched on this site,” said AKU

President and Vice Chancellor Sulaiman

Shahabuddin. “We can’t wait to open our

doors and show you the new face of AKU

in Uganda.

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