Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. Ahmed’s constant attempts to forge peaceful international relationships, especially with neighbouring country Eritrea, had made him a strong contender for the prize.

Key Highlights

  • Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The prize acknowledges the peace deal Ahmed signed with Eritrea.
  • Ahmed championed peaceful international relations.
  • Other candidates included Greta Thunberg and Hong Kong protestors.

The Ethiopian Prime Minister came to power in April of 2018. He is a 42-year-old former intelligence officer. Since his election, he has constantly strived for peace.

According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s chair, Berit Reiss-Anderson, the award recognizes Ahmed’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation.” Anderson also believes that Ahmed’s “decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea” was of most importance.

Who Is Abiy Ahmed Ali ?

The Ethiopian Prime Minister came to power in April of 2018. He is a 42-year-old former intelligence officer. Since his election, he has constantly strived for peace.  After coming to power following the resignation of his predecessor, Abiy Ahmed Ali has implemented several policies that changed the environment of the country.

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What Has He Done?

In July, Abiy Ahmed Ali met with the president of Eritrea and ended one of the longest-running African conflicts in history. Ahmed’s efforts ended a nearly 20-year-long stalemate between the two countries, following their 1998-2000 border war. This has been lauded in the international community.

In just a few months, he not only reshuffled his cabinet but also fired civil servants who were a part of controversies. Ahmed lifted bans on websites and media, attempting to build a greater, better democratic nation. He reached out to hostile neighbouring states to forge better international relations. His other massive area of victory was the freeing of hundreds of political prisoners. Ahmed promised to drive Ethiopia towards fair, free and multi-party elections in 2020.

Ahmed has also taken steps to bring about peace in Sudan and South Sudan, which are in the throes of civil conflict. He is said to have mediated talks between not only these two nations but also Kenya and Somalia.

In a move to support the cause of gender equality, Ahmed has also appointed several women to senior and authoritative positions in his government.

The Nobel Victory

Berit Reiss-Anderson believes that  Abiy Ahmed’s attempts to promote “reconciliation, solidarity, and social justice” are praise-worthy. However, the nation still faces several issues that must be resolved.

Reacting to his victory, Abiy said, “I am so humbled and thrilled … thank you very much.” He believes that it is “a prize given to Africa, to Ethiopia…” He has great hopes for the future of Africa and believes that the “rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on peace-building process in our continent.”

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee also mentions that the prize is meant to “recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”

The Nobel prize is worth 9 million Swedish crowns. The other candidates for the Nobel Peace prize included environmental activist Greta Thurberg. Also part of the list were Hong-Kong’s pro-democracy protestors and German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

READ ALSO: Meet Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Nobel Prize Nominee 

Image Credit: Economic Times

Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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