ECO-CAMPAIGNER Greta Thunberg was tipped to receive the honour, the teenage activist has in little more than a year gone from anonymity in her native Sweden to leader of a global movement.
The 16-year-old activist has been credited for being the driving force to a global movement in the fight against climate change.
However, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose Abiy Ahmed, who at 43 is the youngest leader in Africa, to join the ranks of previous prize winners, such as Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee described in detail what the Ethiopian leader had achieved in his first 100 days in power. Feats including lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalisation of opposition groups, dismission of corrupt leaders, together with working to ‘significantly’ increase the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life and pledging to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.
The Nobel Committee said from the start the Prime Minister had made his intentions for peace clear on his agenda and praised Ahmed’s efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for the Prime Minister’s decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea,
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.