Definitely, all Africans ought to take pride and bask in the Nobel Peace Prize presented to Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed, especially, for a continent where transformational leadership has been quite as rare as a Russian Fabergé egg.
On that score – while congratulating the Prime Minister, he deserves our salute for dedicating the award to Ethiopia and Africa with a rallying message that: “Africa shall prosper in peace.”
We should, however, transcend beyond merely taken pride and resolve that Dr Ahmed’s prestigious recognition will inspire all Africans to pursue the kind of leadership that fundamentally changes the historical narrative.
It is particularly for the need to be inspired by the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s example that exactly a year ago, in this very month of October – I drew attention in a brief article to the refreshing transformation agenda of Dr Abiy Ahmed. And you can understand why I am on all force with the Norwegian Nobel Committee who couldn’t have settled on a more appropriate winner.
In celebrating the Ethiopian PM, may I reproduce below my article posted on Facebook, the 16th of October, 2018 at 19:48 GMT:
Ethiopian reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today named a progressive Cabinet of 20 Ministers for Africa's second most populous nation.
Refreshingly, half of the Cabinet Ministers are women. The female Ministers hold key positions such as Defence, Trade, Transport and Labour, Peace, Culture, Science and Revenue.
The PM told Ethiopia’s Parliament today that he believed women were less likely to be corrupt and hoped many young Ethiopian females will be inspired.
Apart from making history in his country by achieving gender parity in the Cabinet, he has reduced the Cabinet size down from the previous 28.
When you come to consider his other successes including a landmark peace agreement with Eritrea and releasing thousands of political prisoners; it is obvious that leadership does make a difference and that the African continent can still showcase great leaders if we are determined to find them.
Perhaps an opportune time to recall Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah’s poem titled “Ethiopia Shall Rise” which he recited personally at the adoption of the OAU Charter on May 25 1963:
Ethiopia shall rise
Ethiopia, Africa’s bright gem
Set high among the verdant hills
That gave birth to the unfailing
Waters of the Nile
Ethiopia shall rise
Ethiopia, land of the wise;
Ethiopia, bold cradle of Africa’s ancient rule
And fertile school
Of our African culture;
Ethiopia, the wise
And remould with us the full figure
Of Africa’s hopes
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
MP, North Tongu
Ranking Member, Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs.