Upon the invitation from the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Kampala Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees of the Jamaat, the Chairman of the Africa Federation Housing Board Alhaj Akil bhai Hirji paid an official visit to Kampala from 1st to 3rd November 2022.
The aim of this visit was primarily to discuss the ongoing projects of the Jamaat, discuss on matters pertaining to the Jamaat properties and also share the expertise and ideas for future development and investments of Kampala Jamaat. As always, the core mission and focus of the Jamaat and AFED is to ensure viability of the projects to benefit the Jamaat and the community in general, a long-term strategy.
Akil bhai together with Shabir bhai Najafi, the AFED Trustee from Uganda and the Jamaat officials visited various Jamaat properties during this visit.
A meeting was held with the Jamaat Managing Committee and Trustees on Wednesday 2nd November 2022, the meeting covered wide scope of issues like the rent to own scheme, Jamaat projects and optimization of the Jamaat’s properties for posterity etc..
During the visit, Akil bhai also had the opportunity to visit the Jamaat complex, Kabrastan, the ongoing project site on Wilson Road, The Mall and various other properties of the Jamaat. The well – maintained Jamaat Kabrastan is commendable, also observed was a big part of adjacent plot which is vacant and can be utilized for commercial projects, whilst ensuring that Kabrastan remains separate and protected.
During the site visit to the Wilson Road Project of the Jamaat which is progressing well as per plan, Akil bhai had the opportunity to meet and discuss the project with the stakeholders.
The Kampala Jamaat Complex is sitting on a three-acre property on Plot 108 William Street. It consists of the Mosque, Imambargha, nursery and primary school, multipurpose sports ground, volleyball court, tennis court, indoor games room, ghusal kafan facilities, kitchen and car park.
There are 15 two bedroom and one-bedroom apartments in the adjoining plot of the Mosque Complex with common boundary wall. The apartments are rented to members of the Jamaat. However, a big part of the adjoining plot is empty, which the Jamaat has earmarked to develop with the support of AFED.
The project shall include the extension of the current school so that secondary school can be established, a commercial floor and also reintroduce Rent to Own scheme for the currently growing community members in Kampala Jamaat. A feasibility survey will be carried jointly between Kampala Jamaat and AFED for the project in the near future providing the required infrastructure for the long-term benefits of our institutions for sustainability and also for our community members in Kampala.
It should be noted that Kampala Jamaat was the first Jamaat in the late 2004 under the tenure of Alhaj Shabir Najafi as its President to introduce the Rent to Own Scheme for apartments to our community members. These apartment blocks are few minutes walking distance from the Mosque named; the Abbas and Masumeen properties on 96-98 William Street.
Since 2003, Africa Federation and Kampala Jamaat developed a joint commercial property partnership, which is a shopping mall in the heart of central business district in Kampala situated on Plot 22 Luwum Street famously known as The Arcade. Kampala Jamaat has dedicated the income from this property towards the education sector of their Jamaat. Kampala Jamaat currently offers education fees rebate of up to 50% towards the needy children of our community.
Kampala Jamaat has recently embarked on a new ultra-modern project on one of its prime commercial properties which used to be the old Imambargha back in the 1950s in the central business district called The Mall which is situated on Plot 6 Wilson Road. The development will comprise of seven storey shopping mall complex with underground parking facilities.
The objective of this project is to be able facilitate the Jamaat in long-term to provide its members with free education, free medical and also, to support future housing project schemes, and income generating. The project is largely self-supported by the Kampala Jamaat through its own funds.
Uganda is one of the countries in East Africa which is fast growing economically and there are numerous opportunities for our community members to migrate and start businesses and other investments, especially in real estate, industries and manufacturing of commodities, details can be provided for interested members of our community.
There is also another property situated on Plot 18 Ben Kiwanuka Street, which is currently undergoing renovations on the rear end of the building which will see its income increase by about 50% to the Jamaat.
The Kampala Jamaat in collaboration with Africa Federation are looking into a new income generating investment project on the Jamaat’s property on 84-90 Nakivubo Road which is few minutes walking distance from the Mosque. Our Trustee from Uganda, Alhaj Shabir Najafi is working closely in collaboration with the Jamaat on behalf of AFED towards this project which will realize a good income to AFED for its various activities including education and economic development of our members in the Jamaats under AFED. Further details on this project will be shared in due course.
Message from the President of the Kampala Jamaat -Alhaj Sibtain Merchant
I take this opportunity to thank the Africa Federation Housing Board Chairman for accepting our invitation and visiting our Jamaat. We were impressed to see the vision plan of AFED and therefore Kampala Jamaat took their first step to invite the Housing Board. The meeting that we have had with Akil bhai Hirji and Shabir bhai Najafi were quite fruitful and we have exchanged several ideas and are confident that the vision plan of the Board will be implemented and achieved, insha’allah.
We look forward to the visits of AFED Chairman and office bearers to discuss further in the areas of education, tabligh, health and sports and to tap the available opportunities we have for investments, insha’allah.
Message from the Chairman of the Housing Board – Akil bhai Hirji
I wish first and foremost to take this opportunity to thank the Kampala Jamaat for their warm welcome and wonderful hospitality during my short visit to the Jamaat.
I was very pleased to see that the Jamaat decided to develop the Wilson Road commercial project that will benefit and facilitate their members in sectors of education and housing, this is highly commendable planning for the future. I am encouraged to see the investment opportunities that are available for Kampala Jamaat and would recommend AFED to tape into such opportunities, and also to further collaborate with Kampala Jamaat for the future projects. Joint projects that would benefit both institutions would be most ideal since these institutions are craving to support their members whilst also building a strong foundation of investments for posterity and future generations.
I wish the Jamaat all the best in their efforts to work towards the betterment of their members.
Hon. Secretary of the
Housing Development Board
Date: 25th November 2022