Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has just won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.
Abiy emerged winner of the much-coveted Nobel Peace Prize after seeing off competition served up by a list that includes Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old vocal Swedish climate change activist.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister won the prestigious prize for his role in ending the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea; a war that dragged on for over two decades because of disputed border territory and caused huge human and economic losses on both sides.
The 43-year-old Abiy was also lauded recently for his role in helping to broker a power-sharing deal in neighboring Sudan, after a political crisis that led to the ousting and arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the country’s ruler for almost 30 years.
Abiy was installed as Ethiopia’s Prime Minister in 2018, the first person from the Oromo tribe to lead Africa’s second-most-populous country. He has been both lauded and criticized for his bold reforms in the culturally-diverse nation.
The early months of his premiership were marked with bold and progressive decision making; he released the country’s political prisoners, denouncing their torture and also freeing jailed journalists.
Abiy also met with the political opposition and civil society to discuss reform and invited previously exiled political parties to return to their country. He embarked on major institutional reforms, especially in the security and justice sectors.
Women were not left out of his progressive agenda. Abiy showed his commitment to gender equality by appointing women to half of his cabinet.
The international community has largely embraced his initiatives and reforms. Earlier this year, he championed an aggressive tree-planting campaign to save the environment and stem climate change. His effort saw Ethiopia make history by planting over 350 million trees in one day.
Featured Image Courtesy: chathamhouse.org