Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on 11 October 2019 for his peacemaking efforts with Eritrea. Ethiopia and Eritrea, longtime foes who fought a border war from 1998 to 2000, restored relations in July 2018 after years of hostility. The prize, worth nine million Swedish crowns, or around $900,000, will be presented in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who founded the awards in his 1895 will.
- Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chairperson of the five-member Norwegian Nobel Institute that awards the Nobel Peace Prize said Ahmed was named for his moves to end his country’s conflict with next door Eritrea within months of coming to office in 2018. He signed a “Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship,” with Eritrean Prime Minister Isaias Afwerki.
- Names flying around include 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and activists in Hong Kong.
- The Norwegian Nobel Institute could also choose to acknowledge United Nations’ World Food Program, or the joint leadership of two prime ministers Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and North Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev who brought an end to 30 years of acrimony between their nations.
- Since 1901, 99 Nobel Peace Prizes have been handed out, to individuals and 24 organizations. While the other prizes are announced in Stockholm, the peace prize is awarded in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. So far this week, 11 Nobel laureates have been named, of whom 10 are men.
- Two literature prizes were awarded on 10 October 2019- One for 2018 that went to Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk and one for 2019 that was given to Austrian author Peter Handke.
- The chemistry prize went to three scientists for their work leading to the development of lithium-ion batteries; the physics award was given to a Canadian-American and two Swiss for exploring the evolution of the universe and discovering a new kind of planet; and the physiology or medicine award went to two Americans and one British scientist for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels.
- In his will, Alfred Nobel, the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, decided the peace prize should be awarded in Oslo.
- His exact reasons for having an institution in Norway handing out that prize is unclear, but during his lifetime Sweden and Norway were joined in a union, which was dissolved in 1905.
- The economics prize wasn’t created by Nobel, but by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. It is awarded 14 October 2019.
- With the glory comes a 9-million kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. Even though the peace prize is awarded in Norway, the amount is denominated in Swedish kronor.
- The laureates receive them at elegant ceremonies on Dec. 10 the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896 in Stockholm and Oslo.