Compared with many African countries, Ethiopia is remarkably safe – most of the time. Serious or violent crime is rare; against travellers it’s extremely rare. Outside the capital, the risk of petty crime drops still further. The new Prime Minister was Abiy Ahmed, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, who made a historic visit to Eritrea in 2018, ending the state of conflict between the countries.
Ethiopia is a melting pot country, enriched in diverse cultures, peoples, and religions. However, such diversity sparked many conflicts in history, some of which are ongoing. These conflicts have stripped the country and people apart emotionally, and the Ethiopian government is actively working to peacefully resolve them for the better future of the country.
HWPL Peace Education in Ethiopia
In December, the professors and students at Kotebe Metropolitan University participated at the ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Peace Education’ sessions which are also joined by 214 schools in 36 countries.
To bring the peaceful reconciliation in the country, the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia and 9 other states had previously signed MOA with HWPL to implement HWPL’s Peace Education. The curriculum is designed to empower citizens to properly recognize the value of peace and take the pioneering role of spreading the culture of peace.
After signing MOA with HWPL, the Ministry of Higher Education in Ethiopia is currently reviewing the ‘HWPL Peace Education’ to incorporate and implement it as formal curriculum in all the universities. Addis Ababa School of Science and Technology (AASTU) also held the peace education sessions right after the Kotebe Metropolitan University.
A student who participated at the peace education said, “I learned why peace education is important for resolving conflicts in Ethiopia. It taught me to act as a messenger of peace. It is also important to present 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the DPCW to the UN to fundamentally eradicate war and conflicts. To this end, we must continue to participate in peace education.”
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.
After he heard the news of the award of Nobel Peace Prize, he said “I was so humbled and thrilled when I just heard the news. Peace is a very expensive commodity in my country.” (If you want to hear more)
When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries.
Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future.
In line with this joyful news, there are so many efforts to achieve peace in Ethiopia.
On the 19th of October, the 2019 Ethiopia Peace Press Forum was held at the meeting hall of IPSS in Ethiopia, and Ethiopian journalists were in attendance. The theme of the forum was the “Realization of Peace Journalism and Public Journalism.”
They emphasized the role of a journalist in spreading the news of peace. Attendees also discussed freedom of expression based on Article 19 of the Declaration of Human Rights.
In addition, the journalists who attended the forum wrote and signed the Pledge of Peace Initiative, in which they promised to deliver peace news through the platform called Peace Initiative (PI) (http://peaceinitiative.net) and participate in peace projects. HWPL is running a Peace Initiative platform with journalists all over the world. This platform raises awareness of peace based on social atmosphere and the freedom of speech and press, and aims to ensure that the news of peace, which contributes to conflict resolution, can be delivered to people from all over the world.
Mr. Zelalem Girma, the Senior Editor to the Ethiopian Herald and who has participated in the Peace Initiative, emphasized the importance of a peace news channel saying, “Peace Initiative (PI) is a global journalist network in efforts of facilitating a culture of peace as contribution to conflict resolution and peace building through press freedom and freedom of information stipulated in the UN resolutions and international agreements. Individual journalists and media agencies affiliated with PI dedicate to spreading news of peace to enhance human rights and protect democracy.”
2018 Addis Ababa Summit
On 9th of July, 2018, Ethiopia and Eritrea declared an end to the conflict that has been raging for 20 years, thus promoting further peace and prosperity within Africa. Immediately after that, the work of peace was done quickly. The 2018 Addis Ababa Summit was held in Medium CR, African Union Commission and co-hosted by international organizations including the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC), the International Law Association (ILA) and HWPL. Politicians from Africa and the Middle East discussed the need for an international law for peace to bring out stability in the region and promote peace-related projects at all levels of society.
Mrs. Dagmawit Moges, Deputy Mayor of Addis Ababa’s municipal government, gave a speech at the event and addressed the participants saying, “Addis Ababa city administration has a deep conviction that the launching of peace education in the universities could help promote harmony among students regardless of their nationalities, cultural background and religions.” She emphasized the necessity of the integration of peace education and also stated that the City Administration will pledge to extend every support necessary to institutions engaged in the implementation of this peace education project. An MOU agreeing to implement HWPL’s peace education curriculum was also signed by the university representatives in attendance laying the foundation for peace education in Ethiopia.