Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

Ethiopia_Abiy Ahmed
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Source: sa.breakingnews.co.za)

A year after the Congolese doctor, Denis Mukwege shared the  Nobel Peace Prize 2018, another African has won it again: Abiy Ahmed Ali, Ethiopia’s prime minister was awarded the  Nobel Peace Prize last week for his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Abiy Ahmed became prime minister of Ethiopia at a time of profound strife, and through a serious of deft political gestures, including the release of thousands of political prisoners and overturning highly repressive restrictions on civil society and political groups, he probably averted a civil war. Last year, he was the first Ethiopian leader to meet with his Eritrean counterpart in over 2 decades , and both countries signed a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship.”

Nobel prize
Nobel Prize medal (Wikipedia)

Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairwoman of the five-member committee that made the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize, credited Abiy with a peace initiative aimed at ending two decades of conflict between the two east-African neighbors that began over border disputes in 1998 only a few years after Eritrea gained independence.

When Abiy Ahmed became prime minster in April 2018, he made it clear he wishes to resume pace talks with Eritrea,” she said. “In close cooperation with the president of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles for a peace agreement to end the long no peace stalemate between the two countries.”

When Abiy took office, he freed political prisoners and managed in the same year to sign a peace deal with the Eritrean leader, Isaias Afwerki — agreeing in the process to cede disputed land to his country’s erstwhile enemy.

Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone,” Reiss-Andersen said. “When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalize the peace process between the two countries.

Map of Ethiopia
Map of Ethiopia

Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict,” she said.

In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement,” Reiss-Andersen added.

Ethiopia Eritrea
Map of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the two sisters

Although it is quite early in his career – after all, it has only been one year since he became prime minister – I think his is more justified than the one given to Obama for his speeches. Ever since I have grown to understand politics, I am always skeptical of these prizes anyway. However, this prize should encourage African and world leaders to work towards peace for their people at all times. We congratulate prime minister Abiy Ahmed, and wish him well in continuing to lead Ethiopia with a steady head.

9 thoughts on “Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

  1. I was just about to ask you if you knew about that story. That was huge and was certainly deserved. It’s certainly great that Ahmed got the Nobel Peace Prize, but is it weird that Afewerki didn’t get that award too for accepting the peace deal and opening the borders between both countries? It’s usually the case in similar situations when leaders of both countries achieve peace after wars or conflicts. It’s still a win for Africa though.


    1. Yes… me too… I was asking myself the same question: how come Afwerki of Eritrea did not get the award, given that it took him to agree to it and sign the peace deal? It took 2 to tango… so why was he not recognized too?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who had that thought in the back of their head. It would only make sense sine Afewerki did accept the deal and those hugs to Ahmed looked very genuine. I have a theory as to why he didn’t get an award. It might be because he isn’t bought like most leaders worldwide (I’m not saying Ahmed is, but it’s obvious with Eritrea’s president), people have made accusations of him funding or supporting terrorists which were proven to be lies where even the UN were forced to lift sanctions against Eritrea, or maybe they don’t feel comfortable giving a leader of a one-party state an award with that much prestige. I could be wrong about this, and I hope I didn’t come off as conspiratorial.


      2. Thank you, Dr. Y. I do hope this leads to better things in both countries. It is just weird how it wasn’t a two-person award when the situation is so obvious why it should be. It was amazing hearing music from both countries celebrating the peace deal when it happened or last year at the Ashenda Festival in Makele where people of both nations celebrated together for the first time in twenty-something years. Despite not being Ethiopian or Eritrean, I felt so much joy seeing them singing, dancing, and seeing each other as family instead of fighting.


      3. Yes… me too… it meant so much for us as Africans… like we could work things out ourselves, and brothers and sisters could finally lay down the axle of war, and move forward. I can still remember the first flight from Addis Ababa to Asmara… that was quite neat to see!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Of course and I don’t blame you for feeling that way. That peace deal was all on those two leaders by themselves without outside encouragement or interference. I was so happy for them. I remember that first flight from Addis Ababa to Asmara. That video was beautiful in addition to the other celebrations that happened afterwards. I also had a trip listening to the music from both countries like Sami Dan, Ablex 007, Yemane Barya, and Elsa Kidane to name a few.


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