Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, the 14th and the current Ruler of the oil-rich country of Kuwait, passed away at the age of 86 on 29th September 2020. The cause of death is said to be a cardiac arrest.
The reign of Sheikh Nawaf spanned almost two and a half years, during which time he emerged as a compassionate and progressive ruler. He ascended to the throne as the sixth ruler of the al-Sabah dynasty, after the passing of his half-brother, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah in September 2019.
After Sheikh Nawaf was announced as ruler, he immediately made it his priority to address the numerous and grave issues facing Kuwait. Most prominently, he undertook important economic reforms that aimed to diversify the oil-dependent economy of Kuwait and invest in non-oil sectors such as finance, tourism, infrastructure and renewable energy.
The popular ruler also was an important figure in regional and international diplomacy. He was instrumental in making Kuwait a hub of Middle Eastern regional relations. He was greatly respected by the Kuwaiti people, and his death has been received with great sorrow among the citizens of Kuwait. In a statement, the Kuwaiti cabinet described his passing as “a big loss for Kuwait and its people.”
He will be remembered as a ruler who reformed Kuwait’s economy and greatly improved the lives of Kuwaitis. It is expected that his half-brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, will now succeed him as ruler. Sheikh Nawaf will be greatly missed by the people of Kuwait, as well as the world.