The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali(43 age) for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.
In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalising outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.
Ethiopia is a country of many different languages and peoples. Lately, old ethnic rivalries have flared up. According to international observers, up to three million Ethiopians may be internally displaced. That is in addition to the million or so refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries.
As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. However, many challenges remain unresolved. Ethnic strife continues to escalate.No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early. The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation. Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country (105 millions) and has East Africa’s largest economy. A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region.
With the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will firmly in mind, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sees Abiy Ahmed as the person who in the preceding year has done the most to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed becomes the 24th African to win the prestigious award and joins a growing Nobel Laureates roll of honour that includes Kenya’s Wangari Maathai (2004), Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee (2011), Egypt’s Mohamed ElBaradei (2005) and former UN Secretary General, the late Koffi Annan who won it in 2001 among others.
Dr Dennis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
Congratulatory messages from everywhere
Among the leaders of countries and international leaders who sent congratulatory is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who said ” … I have been deeply impressed by his (Abiy Ahmed’s) outstanding leadership in such efforts as the re-establishment of diplomatic relation with Eritrea after 20 years of severance, mediation in the processes in South Sudan and in Sudan, as well as his domestic reform efforts in Ethiopia.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, in his congratulatory statement said PM Ahmed deserves the international recognition noting that the Ethiopian leader is outstanding in his pursuit for peace, reconciliation and stability in Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa region and the entire continent.
“I am delighted for my brother Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Award. Prime Minister Ahmed fully deserves the recognition,” he pointed out.
“Prime Minister Ahmed stands out as a relentless champion for peace, stability and prosperity of his country, our region and the entire African continent,” Kenyatta stated.
Similarly, President George Weah of Liberia, Nigerian President Mohamed Buhari, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces Mohammed bin Zayed congratulated the Ethiopian Prime Minister.
Hope and happiness for all the country
President of Ethiopia ,Sahlework Zewdie, in her briefing to the media in connection with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to PM Abiy, said it shows the hope the international community places on Ethiopian.
The prize given to the prime minister demonstrates international recognition for his great achievements, she noted.
The president stated that the PM, above all, has made huge effort to end the more than two decades of stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea and put legacy of Ethiopia’s civilization that transcends generations.
According to her, Abiy has also exerted maximum efforts in resolving problems between neighboring countries in the east Africa region and encouraging mutual cooperation.
She further noted that Ethiopians can benefit a lot from unity and the premier has shown us that working devotedly can in a short period of time enable to get international recognition.