A South African altruist, Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, has emerged as the 2023 Daily Trust African of the Year.
Dr. Sooliman, a medical doctor who gave up his career to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, which for him transcends the boundaries of race, religion, culture, class and geography, was chosen out of nine finalists drawn from a list of 736 nominations received at the end of the first phase of the selection process for the award in October, 2023.
The six-member Selection Board of the Daily Trust African of the Year, which was chaired by the Executive Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media Incorporated, Mr. Amadou Mahtar Ba, in acting capacity, announced the emergence of the medical doctor as the winner today, Friday, December 1, 2023, following a virtual meeting of the Board held on November 20, 2023.
A press release issued by the Secretariat of the Daily Trust African of the Year Award said, “after careful consideration of the works of the nine finalists, the Selection Board has unanimously decided that Dr. Imtiaz Sooliman, a South African medical doctor who gave up his career to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, is the deserving winner of the 2023 African of the Year Award”.
The release, signed by the Ag. Group Chief Executive Officer of the Media Trust Group, Ahmed I. Shekarau, described Dr Sooliman as “a worthy and exemplary humanitarian, characterised by his solid belief in the common humanity that unites people of the world.
“He has guided the Gift of the Givers Foundation for more than 30 years to respond to and dispatch humanitarian and medical supplies to disaster areas on the continent and abroad”, the statement added.
The statement explained further that Dr Sooliman and his relief workers have since 1992 identified with, and provided relief materials wherever disasters strike. “From the provision of food parcels in impoverished communities in South Africa to search and rescue teams and medical specialists in response to natural and man-made disasters, Gift of the Givers has shown commitment to alleviating human sufferings in varying contexts”.