Edna Adan Ismail
Edna Adan Ismail is a nurse, midwife, UN diplomat, French Legion of Honour recipient and former foreign minister of Somaliland – an unrecognised, self-declared state that has been going it alone for the past 20 years. She was also a founding member of the Somali Red Crescent back in 1963. New York Times columnist and best-selling author, Nicholas Kristof, recently described Edna as his 'personal hero'.
The tireless 74-year-old has poured everything she has, including her pension, into providing much-needed health care to a population with one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world – a situation that's been exasperated by Somalia's long civil war, which led to the death or departure of nearly all of the country's health care workers. In her talk at TEDxRC², Edna will share her vision for saving many more lives across the Horn of Africa, proving that "if it can happen in Somaliland, it can happen anywhere.