The Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea.

The Norwegian Committee said, this year’s Peace Laureate Abiy Ahmed in close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea,  quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

“In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Peace Laureate Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice.”

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement. The committee hopes that the 2019 #NobelPeacePrize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.”

In the wake of the peace process with Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy has engaged in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa. In September 2018 he and his government contributed actively to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility. Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict. In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

Among contenders like teen climate activist from Sweden Greta Thunberg, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Brazilian environmentalist and chief of the indigenous Brazilian Kayapo people Raoni Metuktire, Ali’s win comes as no surprise.

Ali is the first Ethiopian to be awarded a Nobel Prize and this year’s prize is also the 100th Nobel Peace Prize.