The Aga Khan Academy Maputo celebrates its first graduating cohort | Aga Khan Academies

The Aga Khan Academy Maputo celebrates its first graduating cohort

24 May 2023

On Saturday, 20 May, the Aga Khan Academy Maputo in Mozambique celebrated its first graduating class of 16 exceptionally talented students from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), a rigorous two-year journey accompanied by the Academy’s unique and comprehensive academic programme promoting their leadership skills and approaches to community service.  

To honour the graduates – who hail from Angola, Belgium, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Portugal and Rwanda – a ceremony was held at the Academy, which was attended by parents, extended family members, students, staff and invited guests. Additionally, the ceremony was live-streamed for additional family members, the Aga Khan Academies network and the wider community, reaching over 700 people from Mozambique, Syria, India, Portugal, the United States and many more countries.  

Prior to the ceremony, a special pinning ceremony was conducted for the graduating class with their teachers and residential parents. A tradition seen across the Academies in Hyderabad, India and Mombasa, Kenya, the graduates were awarded an Academies’ pin signifying the completion of the students’ time at the Academy as they join a growing legacy of over 1,700 alumni leaders across the Academies. Following the pinning ceremony, the graduates convened in the Academy’s Commons for the official graduation ceremony, which began with opening remarks from Head of Academy Ms Andrea Spinner, who acknowledged the graduates’ resilience over the past two years throughout the DP.  

“During your time at the Academy... [you have] dealt with unprecedented change,” Ms Spinner said. “Learning in a COVID world, dealing with new learning spaces, new routines, new timetables, in a new campus and becoming acquainted with many new faces amongst an ever-changing and growing Academy community. Your well-honed skills as change masters are the first step along the path to becoming change makers – achieving positive change for the greater good and fulfilling the mission and vision of the Aga Khan Academies.” 

The keynote speaker, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education and Human Development Mr Abel Assis, also spoke about the mission and vision of the Academies and how it resonates with Mozambique’s commitment to providing an inclusive education for all.  

“The Aga Khan Academy [Maputo]... is a reference institution not only by its nature, pursuing non-profit purposes,” Mr Assis said. “But also, by, based on meritocracy, providing learning opportunities of excellence to students regardless of their social and economic status, religion, origin or gender, embodying the principle of inclusion expressed in our constitution, in the five-year Government Programme, in Agenda 4 2030 of the United Nations and in Agenda 2063 of the African Union. The practical application of this principle means that economic or social status cannot and should not be an obstacle to access education of quality. It is, for sure, a right step towards mitigating inequalities, considering, above all, the transformative role of education.” 

Graduates of the Academies have gained admission to some of the world’s leading universities, with last year’s graduating class having been awarded scholarships of over $13 million. As students and alumni, they demonstrate a sustained commitment to community service and a desire to support the development of their countries, regions of origin and beyond.  

While as a student, Amisha Lakhani, a Class of 2023 graduate of the Academy in Maputo, exemplified this. Amisha was one of the recipients of the Award of Excellence, which is given to students at graduation who exhibit exemplary holistic development over the DP and personify the Aga Khan Academies Learner Profile. During the DP, she developed a proposal for the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka before it opened last year on the sustainable use of water, in which water from the sinks at the Academy could be used for the toilets.   

"The Aga Khan Academies aim to develop students who not only excel academically but in all aspects of their life,” Amisha said. “With the knowledge and values instilled in me by the Academy, I wanted to serve other communities and create innovative solutions that will support my peers at the Academy in Dhaka while also being environmentally conscious.” 

On behalf of the Aga Khan Academies network, we wish the graduating Class of 2023 all the best in their future endeavours. The Aga Khan Academy Maputo’s Class of 2023 graduation ceremony is available to watch online here.