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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel peace prize

11 October 2019

Besides political peaceful efforts, The 43-year-old Prime Minister, who assumed office in April 2018, has launched Initiative "Green Legacy", which resulted in cultivating more than 350 million trees in only 12 hours in August 2019 to to combat climate change and its impact, and deforestation.

"When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries", the statement said.

Announcing the prize in Oslo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Ahmed's "efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement". The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

"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". On July 9, 2018, Abiy flew to Eritrea's capital and embraced the country's president, Isaias Afwerki, to usher in a new era of peace and friendship.

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Since 1901, 99 Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out to individuals and 24 organisations.

It quoted Abiy as saying: "We are proud as a nation".

The Norwegian Nobel Institute could also choose to acknowledge United Nations' World Food Program, or the joint leadership of two prime ministers - Greece's Alexis Tsipras and North Macedonia's Zoran Zaev - who brought an end to 30 years of acrimony between their nations.

Last year, the award - consisting of a gold medal, a diploma, and nine million Swedish kronor (S$1.4 million) - was given to two champions fighting sexual violence, Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad.

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The deadline for nominations for the awards was in February, but the Nobel committee can add names to its list after its closing.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.

All Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is presented in Oslo, Norway.

The announcement of Abiy as this year's Peace laureate was made in Oslo on Friday morning.

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With the exception of the prize for economics, which is to be awarded next week, all the Nobel prizes were established by the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel (1833-96), the inventor of dynamite.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wins Nobel peace prize