Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group, was born in al-Madinat al-Munawwarah in 1934. He received BA degrees in commerce and law from Cairo University, and a Master degree in public administration, and PhD in financial management from the USA. He held senior positions in the Saudi Government before being selected in 1975 as the first president of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). His leadership has been instrumental for the development of the bank and the realization of its mission, namely promoting economic and social progress of member states and Muslim communities at large, without compromising the principles of Islamic laws.
During Dr. Ali’s more than 30 years presidency of IDB, the bank flourished at an unprecedented rate, an ambitious infrastructure was completed and numerous financial institutions were established within the Bank. Recognizing the importance of science and technology in socio-economic development, the IDB also provided significant assistance in the form of scholarship programs, and collaboration with, or support of, science and technology institutions in member states and Muslim communities worldwide.
Meanwhile, the IDB expanded its objectives to include assistance of Muslims at times of destitute and alleviation of poverty in Muslim communities. One of the greatest accomplishments in this respect is Saudi Arabia’s Project for the Utilization of Sacrificial Slaughtering. A staggering figure of more than half a million sheep is slaughtered each year within few days during the Hajj season, and in the past this entire food was virtually wasted. Through collaboration between the Saudi Government and IDB – in which Dr. Ali plays a central role – all of these animals are now slaughtered in modern facilities near Makkah, packed according to the highest international standards and flown to poverty stricken areas throughout the Muslim world. This project not only sets a model of sustainable Islamic philanthropy but also helps maintain a healthy environment.
Dr. Ali set an example of successful Islamic banking in modern times. He is a Board member of the Saudi Fund for Development and member of Higher Education Councils of several Saudi universities. Despite his immense responsibilities, he regularly shares his unique experience with others through his articles, lectures and working papers on Islamic economics, Islamic banking and education.
Dr. Ali has been awarded the Prize in recognition of his achievements in the field of Islamic banking. As president of the Islamic Development Bank since its inception thirty years ago, he has not only consolidated the conformity of banking transactions with Islamic Laws but has also set an example of successful and modern Islamic banking. His endeavors to strengthen economic ties between Islamic countries coupled with his strong support of research and training in the field of Islamic economics bear witness to his unrelenting commitment to the Service of Islam and Muslims.