All you need to know about the Nobel Peace Prize

In Summary

•The quote is from the will of Swedish businessman - and inventor of dynamite - Alfred Nobel. He left most of his fortune in a fund to launch the awards, which were first presented in 1901.

•The awards are given to people 'who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind' in the previous 12 months.

Abiy Ahmed became Ethiopia's prime minister in April 2018
Abiy Ahmed became Ethiopia's prime minister in April 2018
Image: REUTERS

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was on Friday announced the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

But what exactly is this Nobel Peace Prize?

This is  a series of annual awards given in the fields of chemistry, physics, peace medicine and literature.

The awards are given to people 'who have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind' in the previous 12 months.

The quote is from the will of Swedish businessman - and inventor of dynamite - Alfred Nobel. He left most of his fortune in a fund to launch the awards, which was first presented in 1901.

In 1968, an economic sciences prize was added by Sweden's central bank, although it does not count as a Nobel Prize.

Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
Image: COURTESY

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

Alfred Nobel's will further specified that the prize be awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Parliament.

Famous Nobel winners  include former US President Barack Obama who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples".

Other notable Nobel Peace Prize winners include former US President Jimmy Carter (2002), child education activist Malala Yousafzai (shared 2014), the European Union (2012), the United Nations and its then-general-secretary, Kofi Annan, (shared 2001) and Mother Teresa (1979).

How does the Nobel prize work?

Different organisations award the prize in each category every year. Five of the six are chosen in Sweden, while the Nobel Peace Prize is selected in Norway.

Academics, university professors, scientists, previous winners and others all submit nominations. Under the Nobel Foundation's rules, the shortlists are not allowed to be published for 50 years.

Prize winners are called laureates, to signify the laurel wreath given to victors of contests in ancient Greece.

More than one, but no more than three, people can win each prize.

There have been some years when the prize has not been awarded - mostly during the two world wars.

And Nobel Foundation rules state if nobody deserves the prize in a particular category, it is not awarded and its prize money is kept for the following year.

What do winners receive ?

The recipient of the Nobel prize receives three things:  Nobel diploma, which is a unique work of art; a Nobel medal, which has differing designs and a cash prize of 9m Swedish krona (Sh95.1 million)- which is split between winners when there is more than one. They have to deliver a lecture to receive the money.

The prizes are presented at ceremonies on December 10 in Stockholm.