Thursday July 12 2018

Name Ethiopia’s prime minister African Leader of the Year

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali

Abiy Ahmed Ali was on Friday received at State House Entebbe by President Yoweri Museveni. PHOTO MICHAEL KAKUMURIZI 

I think it is fair to say Africa now has a good candidate for Leader of the Year. The declaration of peace and friendship signed between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a major development for Africa, particularly for the Horn of Africa.
The new reformist Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Ahmed Abiy, has definitely infused renewed hope in the region through the new direction his country is taking. He is not only interested in solving Ethiopia’s internal political and economic problems, but also challenges faced with neighbouring countries.
Mr Abiy has also organised the first meeting between the warring leaders of South Sudan, who now have the big task of reining in their fighters and supporters so as to actually build the peace.
The biggest problem for the warring South Sudan sides is mass indiscipline within their ranks. Neighbouring Somalia, where for decades the mood has been mostly against Ethiopia, now experiences a clear change in the air in their sentiments of the Somali people and their leaders towards Ethiopia and its new prime minister.
As for the declaration of peace and friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the change is a completely new paradigm shift between the two countries. Better still, it is comforting to see the people of both nations celebrating the new friendship.
The Eritreans have suffered mainly because of the conflict with Ethiopia and the international isolation that ensued as a result. Now they have a chance for a brighter and open future of political stability and economic prosperity in their country with their neighbour and brother Ethiopia.
The international community now has to follow Mr Abiy’s cue and be part of the peace rather than agents of continued conflict. It is promising to see that the recent act of terrorism against the Ethiopian prime minister has only made him more committed to pacification and economic development.
I would definitely nominate Prime Minister Abiy for the 2018 African Leader of the Year slot.
Hussein Lumumba Amin husseinjuruga@gmail.com

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