Dec 16, 2010

Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration of the Restoration of the Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique

His Highness the Aga Khan

Your Excellency the President
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me begin by saying what an honour and joy it is to receive His Excellency the President of the Republic of Mozambique on this occasion.
What a great day this is as we mark the opening of a new landmark for the African hospitality industry - a new flagship for the Serena Hotel Group - and a new benchmark in the economic progress of Mozambique.

We have been looking forward to this celebration for some time - it marks the culmination of a complex process. And it is good to celebrate this moment with those who have devoted so much talent and energy to this process - and have made the moment possible.

It is a pleasure to welcome all of you.

That special word, “welcome”, is at the center of my thoughts today. After all, the purpose of this rebuilt Polana Serena hotel is to receive people from across the country, the continent and the planet and to help them to feel “welcome” in Mozambique.

I remember well the day- a little over twelve years ago - when President Chissano welcomed me to Maputo, for the purpose of signing a Development Co-operation Agreement between the Mozambique government and the Aga Khan Development Network. Our celebration today grows out of that initiative - and I thought I might say a word about how our cooperation has unfolded since that time. It is the longer story of which the Polana story is the latest part. 
Full Speech @>>> 


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