Nobel Prize to Abiy Ahmed is a boost to his reformist movement

The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last week is a boost to reformist African leaders across the continent. It amplifies the voices of progress and reconciliation at a critical juncture for Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa region.

The award should inspire political leaders to work towards economic progress and a collective determination to transition from repression and conflict to peace and sustainable development.

Abiy, 43, still faces many daunting challenges, especially on the domestic front. But he has achieved more in a year than many African leaders have managed in decades. His Nobel is recognition of his commitment to regional peace and crucial national reforms since taking office in April 2018.

He won the prestigious peace prize for his work both at home and abroad, with the Nobel committee notably saying it recognized all stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and the region.

Abiy’s new status should inspire other African leaders. It tips the scales in favor of progressive peacemakers over aging autocrats and rewards reconciliation and non-violent dispute resolution over festering conflicts that drain resources and block development and pan-African cooperation. Abiy represents a new type of African leader whose ambition and innovation can help the continent deliver on its economic potential and human security promise for its people. […]