Hamid Al-Ghabid was born in Tanon, Niger in 1941, and obtained a Doctorate degree from the Sorbonne (Paris) in 1988. He occupied senior political positions in the Government of Niger, and was the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (1979-1981), Minister of Commerce (1981- 1983) and Minister of Finance (1983), then Prime Minister of Niger from 1983 to 1988. In 1989, he was appointed Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a position he had held until 2005.
During his tenure as Secretary General of the OIC Dr. Al-Ghabid addressed some of the most important challenges facing the Islamic world. His role in supporting social, educational, cultural, political and economic cooperation between Islamic countries, and in mediating disputes within and between these countries is particularly noteworthy. He is also credited with successfully relocating some 250,000 Bulgarian Muslim refugees to Turkey, and with convincing richer Islamic countries to increase their support to the less previleged communities in the Islamic World. He has also been successful in restoring confidence in the Islamic Cooperation Fund which provides aid to Islamic countries during natural disasters. Dr. Al-Ghabid also founded the Islamic Establishment for Social Studies in Niami, which supports various philanthropic projects in Niger.
A respected African leader with long diplomatic experience, Dr. Al-Ghabid was chosen by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to represent it as mediator in the Darfur conflict in the Sudan.
H.E. DR. Hamed AL-Ghabid has been awarded the prize for:
- His role in establishing the Islamic Foundation for Social Sciences, Niami, Niger, for the purpose of financing projects of Islamic importance, such as mosques, schools, hospitals, publishing and the organization of symposia;
- His keen interest in building cooperation and mutual support among Islamic countries;
- His frequent visits to Bulgaria, Turkey and Albania to study the problems faced by Muslim minorities, to defend them, improve their conditions and to repatriate 250,000 Bulgarian Muslims to Turkey;
- His efforts in mediating internal disputes among Islamic states, during which he exhibited fairness and diligence in his activities to save lives, restore legitimacy and establish order.
- His appeals to rich nations to help poor Islamic states.