Abiy Ahmed Ali. File photo: Nobel Prize website.

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday congratulated Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on being awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Prime Minister Ahmed was earlier on Friday recognised by the Nobel Committee “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”.

In a statement, Ramaphosa said: “South Africa offers its warmest congratulations to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on being awarded this prestigious prize. This award focuses global attention on our continent’s relentless progress towards peace and stability.

“We pay tribute to the governments and peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea for making this achievement possible and for opening up new possibilities for cooperation, integration and development, not just on the east coast of our continent but across our continent.”

The president added that the peace achieved between the neighbouring states is an important enabler of the African Continental Free Trade Area and of the many objectives of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Video: Kim Kay/African News Agency

“We all share in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s achievement and in the future of cooperation and good neighbourliness on which the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea have embarked,” said Ramaphosa.

In a statement posted on its website, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it hoped that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation.

"A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region. With the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will firmly in mind, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sees Abiy Ahmed as the person who in the preceding year has done the most to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019."

African News Agency (ANA)