By Addis Getachew and Seleshi Tessema
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AA) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize as the result of gains that will radiate beyond Ethiopia across the region, said Ahmed’s press office on Friday.
Ahmed learned of his winning the prestigious prize with delight, Billene Seyoum Woldeyes told a press briefing.
The significance of the prize will reverberate across the wider region, she said.
Announcing the winner, Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the Nobel Committee, said Abiy had initiated a peace process with neighboring Eritrea and forged outstanding regional cooperation.
"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,” she said.
Billene said Ethiopia still faces economic and political problems, but the government is resolved to tackle those problems through a democratic, peaceful approach and wisdom.
Abiy is credited by many for initiating an ideology called “Medemer,” an outlook that champions the synergizing and synchronization of efforts – local and regional – for achieving the common good.
Reactions to the Nobel Peace Prize win in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa Friday were largely positive.
Chane Kebede, deputy chair of Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, an opposition party, told Anadolu Agency on Friday that his party received the news with “delight."
“We are happy because Prime Minister Abiy has shown a great determination and action to bring about peace, unity and collaboration in the volatile Horn of Africa, and the peace he made with neighboring Eritrea constitutes a landmark deal,” he said.
“We believe that the prize will energize Abiy in unifying and democratizing Ethiopia."
Kumelachew Abebe, a veteran journalist and writer, said that the prize is a global recognition of Abiy's contributions at home and in the region.
"In a year or so, Abiy has moved the country and region to a path of lasting peace," he said. "He deserves it, and it is Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia that won the prize."
Abiy came into office in April 2018.