Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has won the African Democracy Award for his efforts to grow democracy and good governance on the continent.
The National Stalwart of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was also awarded.
The award was conferred on them at the 4th Africa Political Summit and Diamond Awards in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, where the two political figures were hailed for their huge commitments to democracy, freedom of speech, and socioeconomic and political developments of their countries.
The award was the highlight of a three-day conference on Campaign Financing and Elections in Africa, an initiative of the Association of Political Consultants – (APC) Africa, a body peopled by top political consultants from across the continent.
“This award serves to recognize and encourage icons of democracy and good governance in Africa. It has been our culture to celebrate those political figures who have done a lot to promote democracy in their respective countries,” Kehinde Bamigbetan, president of APC Africa, said in a speech at the ceremony.
Bamigbetan described Abiy as an outstanding leader who has done a lot to strengthen democracy, human rights, press freedom and peace in East Africa, citing his leniency towards Ethiopian political dissidents, his respect for and an olive branch to the opposition, and his peace efforts with Eritrea and other neighbors.
“The Prime Minister won this award because of the tremendous works he has done in Ethiopia since he came on board. He opened up the political space and freed dissidents who were in jail. We also believe that a leader who has done so much to broker peace in Sudan deserves to be recognized,” Bamigbetan said.