It seems as though the vibrant and youthful looking Prime Minister can do no wrong. From holding together a country that is ravaged by tribalism to promoting the rights of women, and easing tensions with neighbours over the Renaissance Dam, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, is keen on demonstrating that Africa can produce a decent crop of responsive leaders. A far off cry from the dictators who have held the continent's resources hostage having failed to distinguish private wealth from public wealth.
The Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has been named as laureate of the 2019 edition of the UNESCO Peace Prize more formally known as the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize for his actions in the region and, in particular, for having been the instigator of a peace agreement between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The Prize which was established in 1989, is intended to honor living individuals and active public or private institutions or bodies that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.
It, therefore, comes as no surprise as the Prime Minister has been hailed by different people across Africa and abroad for his relational and hands-on leadership style. Abiy Ahmed was selected as the laureate of the 2019 edition of the prize following a meeting of the selection jury on 29 April at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The jury noted that the Prime Minister was the best candidate because of the reforms that he has undertaken to not only consolidate social cohesion and democracy in Ethiopia but also his commitment to promoting peace within the region.
While there are some in Ethiopia who think that the Prime Minister should not have been selected as the Laureate for the 2019 edition of the Prize because of various reasons, they assert that he now needs to prove to them that he is the leader that the rest of the world believes him to be. Some of those that we spoke to not only question his credentials but also contend that while he has been keen on promoting the rights of women, they argue that appointments are not made on merit as most of the women given high offices are not qualified to hold their positions.
Be that as it may, the Prime Minister is by no means a perfect human being. He has flaws just like every other person and that said, it is important to learn to celebrate the little successes that he is able to achieve on the country's and continent's behalf. He has many developmental issues to address in Ethiopia and given the fact that he was handed the mandate to lead, we should afford him the opportunity to do so. If and when he does fail to execute his duties, then we can withdraw that mandate and source for a suitable person.
Header Image Credit: Addis Fortune