Thunberg, fresh of her impassioned speech at a UN summit last month, was reportedly the bookies’ favourite to win the award, with Ladbrokes citing odds of 4/6 for her to win, per The Daily Mail.
However, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose Abiy Ahmed, who at 43 is the youngest leader in Africa, to join the list of previous prize winners, such as Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev.
In particular, he was lauded for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea, with the two countries being embroiled in a border war from 1998 to 2000, with relations only restored under Ahmed’s tenancy in July of 2018.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee went on to describe in detail what the Ethiopian leader had achieved in his first 100 days in power.
It said, in less than six months he had lifted the country’s state of emergency, granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinued media censorship, legalised opposition groups, dismissed corrupt leaders and worked to ‘significantly’ increase the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life and pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections, per Daily Mail.
“When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea,” the committee continued.
“In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long ‘no peace, no war’ stalemate between the two countries.
These principles are set out in the declarations that Prime Minister Abiy and President Afwerki signed in Asmara and Jeddah last July and September.”
An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.
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. “
Abiy today said he was ‘so humbled and thrilled’ by the award, adding: ‘It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia, and I can imagine how the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on peace building process in our continent.
‘I am so happy and I am so thrilled for the news … Thank you very much, it is a big recognition.’
Still, it’s not all doom and gloom for Greta.
Which, let’s face it, is infinitely cooler than a Nobel Peace Prize.
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Charismatic, witty, charming, engaging - four things Joshua Rogers will never be. Thankfully, he’s a semi-competent editor, who, after graduating university with two mostly pointless degrees, joined The Hook two years ago. He subsequently honed his writing skills over several features and investigative pieces, arguably letting The Hook audience in on way too much of his personal life.