What makes Abiy Ahmed Ali a Global Shaker?
15th Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali took up office in 2018. His international impact was almost instant: within a year he had pipped Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg to the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Ahmed Ali was selected for his efforts “to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.”
The committee says that for a long time, there had been a “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries. This was in large part overcome by Abiy Ahmed Ali’s intervention, and a willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.
The prize committee went on to say that Ahmed’s work had initiated important reforms that give many citizens “hope for a better life and a brighter future.” In his first 100 days, he lifted the country’s state of emergency, granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, and discontinued media censorship. He also contributed to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti and helped with a transition agreement in the Republic of Sudan.
In coverage of the Prime Minister’s success, the term “Medemer” began buzzing around the country. It’s a word from the Amharic language which, as the BBC reports, translates as “coming together” and sums up what Abiy sees as a “uniquely Ethiopian approach” to dealing with challenges in the country.
“Medemer” is also the name of Abiy’s book, which sets out his vision and a belief that a compromise can be found even within contrary views.
The leader is the first Oromo chairman of the Ethopian people’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the ruling party and one of four coalition parties.
“The Norweigan Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation,” the judges concluded.Tags: Ethiopia, Foreign Policy, Government and Politics, Kenya