Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia has won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize as announced by the awards committee in Norway.
Abiy Ahmed was recognised for starting peace talks with Eritrea and establishing a peace agreement to end the long stalemate between the two countries.
“When Abiy Ahmed reached out his hand, President Isaias Afwerki grasped it and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
“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.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.#NobelPrize #NobelPeacePrize pic.twitter.com/uGRpZJHk1B
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 civil leaders who were suspected of corruption and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life.”
In winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. Ahmed joins past winners such as Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev. The prize comes with a 9-million kronor, or $916,000, cash award.
In all, 301 candidates were nominated for the peace prize this year, the fourth-highest number on record.
The office of the Ethiopian prime minister said: “We are proud as a nation” for winning the prestigious award.