Ethiopian PM wins Nobel Peace Prize for setting country on path to stability

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has won the Nobel Peace Prize Credit: Francisco Seco/AP

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the five-member Norwegian Nobel Institute that awards the prize, said Mr Ahmed was recognised for his efforts to achieve peace and international co-operation, and in particular “for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.

She said said some people may consider it too early to give him the prize, but "it is now that Abiy Ahmed's efforts need recognition and deserve encouragement."

She said Mr Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens in his country “hope for a better life and a brighter future”.

His efforts deserve recognition, she said, and it is hoped the awarding of the peace prize will strengthen Mr Ahmed’s position “in his important work for peace and reconciliation”.

Abiy, 43, took office after widespread protests pressured the longtime ruling coalition and hurt one of the world's fastest growing economies. Africa's youngest leader quickly announced dramatic reforms and "Abiymania" began.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is welcomed by Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed. Credit: AP

In a move that caused surprise in the long-turbulent Horn of Africa region, he said Ethiopia would accept a peace agreement with Eritrea, ending one of Africa's longest-running conflicts.

Within weeks, Eritrea's longtime leader, visibly moved, visited Addis Ababa and communications and transport links were restored.

For the first time in two decades people could, long-divided families made tearful reunions.