Who is Abiy Ahmed? 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Ethiopian Prime Minister

ETHIOPIAN Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has scooped the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee say Ahmed has "initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future," but who is Abiy Ahmed, why did he win and when was he elected Ethiopia's PM?

Who is Abiy Ahmed?

Ahmed is known for introducing liberalising reforms into Ethiopia, making waves in what once was an extremely conservative nation.

He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. Most importantly, he signed a peace deal with Ethiopia's neighbour Eritrea, ending a two-decade conflict.

His moves as Prime Minister have been revolutionary in repairing Ethiopa-Eritrean tensions, but he also pioneered women's position in government.

He revolutionised his government by appointing over 50 per cent female ministerial positions, including the country's first female defence minister.

Why did he win the Nobel Peace Prize?

The Norweigen Nobel Committee cited several reasons in their statement on the winner.

Among them, Ahmed's "willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002."

They continued: "Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries.
"The Norwegian Nobel committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea."

The committee also pointed out Ahmed's first 100 days in office, in which he lifted Ethiopia's state of emergency "granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalising outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life."

When was he elected as Ethipian PM?

Abiy Ahmed was elected as PM of Ethiopia in 2018.

During his acceptance speech, he promised political reform, the promotion of  unity of Ethiopia and Eritrea, to reach out to the Eritrean officials to resolve the ongoing Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict following the pair's war, and to also reach out to the political opposition inside and outside of Ethiopia.

Following his speech, Ahmed's popularity and support across the country reached an all time high.

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