Sep 07, 2023

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, UNPO President has been awarded with 2023 Templeton Prize and the 26th Fervent Global Love of Lives awards from Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation.

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail has been honored as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Templeton Prize. She now stands alongside a distinguished list of 52 prize laureates, including St. Teresa of Kolkata, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Dr. Frank Wilczek

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail is also one of the distinguished recipients of the 26th Fervent Global Love of Lives Awards. This prestigious occasion was organized by the Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation, bringing together an illustrious group of awardees who have made remarkable contributions to humanity.

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail is one of Somaliland’s most important public figures. From 1954 to 1961 she was the first Somali woman to study in Britain to become a nurse and midwife. She was also the first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland from 2003 to 2006, as she previously served as Somaliland’s Minister of Family Welfare and Social Development. Among her many engagements, she served as an advisor to several councils in the World Health Organization and the United Nations. She continues her work as an advocate to raise awareness about Somaliland’s sovereignty, as well as human rights and humanitarian issues that are affecting the country.

Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, is a prominent nurse-midwife, hospital founder, and tireless advocate for healthcare reform. She has exhibited unwavering courage in challenging cultural, religious, and medical norms surrounding women’s health in East Africa. She has faced many political issues influenced by gender politics and her commitment to educating women to become nurses and midwives which has been used to eradicate female genital mutilation a tradition still practiced in Somaliland. But Dr. Edna Adan Ismail remains dedicated to gender equality, health, and well-being of families and communities in Somaliland, her tireless advocacy has extended globally as she advocates eradicating female genital mutilation.

Among her many remarkable achievements, she is celebrated for establishing both Edna Adan University and Edna Adan Hospital which have been dramatically reducing maternal mortality rates in Somaliland. Edna used her U.N. pension and other personal assets to build the hospital which since being opened in 2002, has taken more than 158,000 patients and has delivered more than 17,000 babies.

Her lifelong humanitarian work has earned her numerous international recognition. In 2002, she was honored with the AMANITARE Annual Award for her exceptional efforts in establishing a private maternity hospital in Somaliland back in 1998.

In March 2007, her remarkable contributions to the field of medicine led to her induction into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame at the University of Toledo, Ohio. In 2008, she received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Clark University in Massachusetts and was also titled an Honorary Fellow at Cardiff University in Wales. In 2018 she was granted an honorary fellowship by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and in the same year, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the London South Bank University.


The UNPO is immensely proud of Dr. Edna Adan Ismail’s outstanding contributions to humanity and her well-deserved recognition with the 2023 Templeton Prize and 26th Fervent Global Love of Lives Awards

Templeton prize:

Read more at:

Watch: A Beacon of Hope for Women’s Health & Dignity: Dr. Edna Adan Ismail, Winner of the 2023 Templeton Prize

Fervent Global of lives Awards:


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