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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed: 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

by Kanchi Batra - 25 December, 2019, 12:00 1452 Views 0 Comment

This recognition is a timeless testimony to the MEDEMER ideals of unity, cooperation and mutual coexistence that the Prime Minister has been consistently championing.

Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed political leadership in April 2018, he has made peace, forgiveness and reconciliation key policy components of his administration. At the national level, the release of tens of thousands of political prisoners, granting of amnesty for media entities and political parties charged under the anti-terrorism law to return from exile and engage peacefully; widening the space for political parties; facilitating reconciliation between rival groups, including religious groups and setting up of the peace and reconciliation commission, are some notable milestones.

At the regional level, ending the two-decade stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea has opened up a new dimension of possibilities for cooperation between the two countries. The ceasing of political hostilities has enabled families and friends long divided across a border to take advantage of the peace dividends. The steps taken to mend the broken relations between the two countries has been critical to regional stability, permeating relations among Horn region countries with the potential for growth through cooperation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been championing regional stability and integration in the spirit of MEDEMER. These efforts are bearing fruit and have manifested in stable transitions of power in the Sudan. Furthermore, the Prime Minister has also been making efforts to reconcile differences among Horn region countries with a commitment to a shared future.

Today, as the world takes note and celebrates his achievements through bestowing the Nobel Peace Prize, we invite all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia to continue standing on the side of peace. This victory and recognition is a collective win for Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the New Horizon of Hope – a prosperous nation for all.

Profile

H.E. Abiy Ahmed Ali (PhD) is the fourth Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He was born on August 15, 1976 in the small town of Beshasha, located near Agaro, Oromia. Raised by a Muslim father and a Christian mother, the values of tolerance and understanding across divides were instilled in him at an early age.

H.E. Abiy Ahmed was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia on April 2, 2018. Inheriting a divided society, in all his speeches and actions Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made national unity, peaceful co-existence, shared growth and regional integration a central theme of his administration. His inaugural speech inspired hope and renewed collective sense of purpose in Ethiopia.

He has rich and wide-ranging experiences serving government in different roles, offering a unique blend of leadership, vision and knowledge in professional and organization skills. Determined to resist the oppression of the Ethiopian people, as a young man, H.E. Abiy Ahmed first joined the armed struggle against the Dergue Socialist regime. While serving at the Ethiopian National Defense Force, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Among his various roles in government, he has served as the Head of the OPDO Secretariat; Vice President of the Oromia Regional Government; Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology; founding Director of the Information Network Security Agency and founder and Head of the government research institute, Science and Technology Information Center.

Since being sworn into office as Prime Minister, he broke with tradition – launching deeper political and economic reforms that swept across the country. An original change agent and a blunt reformer, breaking the walls of division and building bridges of reconciliation and peace constituted the defining themes of his reform efforts. Under his leadership, thousands of prisoners were released; open discussions and consultations held with opposition political parties – some of whom were previously dubbed as “terrorists”; a historic rapprochement and peace agreement was concluded with neighbouring Eritrea; a transformational agenda for legal and justice sector reform has been set in motion; and some of the largest public enterprises are to be partially privatized as part of a broader market liberalization and economic reform agenda. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed holds an MA in Transformational Leadership, a Master’s in Business Administration and a PhD from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies of Addis Ababa University. He and his wife—First Lady Zinash Tayachew–are proud parents of three daughters and a recently adopted son.

Kanchi Batra
Kanchi Batra
Kanchi Batra is the Business Editor of The Diplomatist.
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