The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
In awarding the prestigious prize, the Nobel Committee noted Prime Minister Abiy Ahmeds contribution to peace and international cooperation, particularly for his decisive initiative to making peace with neighboring Eritrea, and also for liberalizing the political and economic conditions in Ethiopia.
The Nobel Committee noted his unconditional and decisive willingness to accept the border ruling with Eritrea and for taking the initiative to go to Eritrea and make peace, ending decades of no-peace and no-war situation.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was also commended for initiating important reforms in Ethiopia, granting amnesty to political prisoners, for discontinuing media censorship, and for dismissing civilian and military people suspected of corruption.
More importantly, the committee recognized Prime Minister Abiy Ahmeds effort to increase the participation of women in higher positions of government in Ethiopia.
The Nobel Prize Committee also noted that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has pledged to hold free and fair elections in Ethiopia, which the committee hopes and wishes to be realized.
The committee also mentioned Prime Minister Ahmed for brokering improved relations between Eritrea and Djibouti, between Kenya and Somalia, and for helping Sudan to have peaceful transition to a civilian government.
The Nobel Committee also recognized that Ethiopia is home to many ethnic groups, where ethnic strife has been flaring from time to time, and up to 3 million people displaced recently. The committee believes that there are many issues that still need to be resolved.
The committee underscored that some people may think it is too premature to award the Nobel Peace Prize this early in his tenure. However, the committee believes the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, needs support and encouragement at this very moment, so he continues with his reforms.
The committee believes Ethiopia is the second-most populous country in Africa and, therefore, a peaceful and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side effects and a huge contribution to itself and the region.
The committee was asked whether the decision was unanimous or if there were reservations on the part of some committee members. The presenter replied the Nobel Committee does not disclosed such information.
Also, asked whether the Ethiopian Prime Minister was notified of the award at the time of the announcement, the committee said they were not able to reach him so far. But the committee conveyed its congratulations to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.
The Nobel Peace Prize carries a cash award of about $930,000.