You might not like them for whatever reasons but, today, they are the African leaders. They are the African signifiers of the values which the world says it holds dear today. One of such values is reconciliation or peace making. That is what the Nobel Peace prize is all about and those who administer it have adjudged Dr Ahmed Abiy qualified to win it in 2019.
He could not but have won it in recognition of the negotiated accommodation he brought about between his country and Eritrea. It is not mutually exclusive from the internal efforts at reconciliation that he has been working on.
Although, senior African academics have warned him about the dangers of the ethnic federalism Ethiopia is experimenting, he has made personal efforts at opening up the space for talking and better understanding. So, he ends up with the image of the peace maker at home and abroad. Interestingly, he took his PhD in that field.
Paul Kagame of Rwanda pioneered that route – leading the country to overcome the trauma of genocide by reforming governance and mobilising nationalism. However he did it, Rwanda is today more identified with a transformative leap and order than the the hate and war that climaxed in the April 1994 genocide. Aside from well regarded reform in education and governance, Rwanda is now the story of the prospects of Africa rising, industrially at last.
Very surprisingly, both Abiy and Kagame have military backgrounds. And the question would be: why did military regimes and military men succeed in building Turkey, the United States, South Korea, Rwanda and Ethiopia, for examples, but not Nigeria?
Well, some people would say Nigeria is a much more complex entity than most of these countries because Nigeria is about 300 nations put under one government. Uhmmm! Critics would, however, counter by asking if complexity of Nigeria is the issue or accidental leadership recruitment practicum Nigeria is hooked unto?
Anyway, thanks to the guy who posted this picture of the twosome. It is now a picture with a very dense meaning!