The very recent elections in Ethiopia threw light on their Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who assumed office in 2018. He has always been praised as a peacemaker and economic reformer in a country that had been otherwise known for repression and extreme poverty.
Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve the border conflict with Eritrea in 2019. On the other hand, he has also been criticized for the government actions in the conflict in the northern Tigray region, and for not sticking to his reform program.
The Prime Minister has been appraised by many thought leaders but at the same time looked down upon for simmering ethnic tensions to be brought to the fore.
At a rally in June 2018, a grenade was launched at the stage where Abiy was present; he escaped unscathed, but two people were killed and scores more injured. And the following year, several high-ranking officials were killed in the government-labeled coup attempt in the Amhara region.
Almost immediately Abiy made efforts to bring about dramatic changes regarding strengthening the democratic process, improving the economy, and resolving the country’s long-standing border conflict with Eritrea.
In his first year of governance, he took the center stage by releasing thousands of political prisoners and opposition groups were removed from the government’s list of organizations that it deemed to be terrorist groups.
During his later years, he also signed a peace agreement with one of the groups which were designed to end more than 30 years of conflict in the Ogaden region. To make the cabinet more gender-balanced, he also appointed small size of women. The most significant achievement during his ministership was that he made bold movements to find peace with Eritrea. His policy that was implemented in 2002, ruling that demarcated the border between the two countries, which Ethiopia had previously rejected.
Though according to several personal reports Abiy, was always very interested in his own education and later in his life also encouraged others to learn and to improve. With this leadership only he has empowered youth and millions of aspirants.