It is almost a decade since Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (during his first term as the President of the United States) for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and foster greater cooperation between nation-states.
He joined the line of 15 black people to have received the honour – and the first black president – (with the exception of Anwar Sadat) who became a laureate in office. At the time, there was much discussion as to whether he was really deserving of the great accolade. Personally (at the time), I didn’t think he achieved a form of peace worthy of the Prize.
Since President Obama received the NPP, another black president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the newly out of office Liberian President (perhaps more worthy) received the award also. Indisputably, there have been some well deserving recipients of the award, especially the Peace Prize category, which has been awarded to black activists such as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, and Anwar Sadat (former Egyptian President) or Ellen Sirleaf (the first black female President) who all led or participated in nonviolent peace-building at a time of intense conflict in their individual states.
It is with these men and women in mind that I beg to differ that President Obama deserved the award at the time he was made a laureate. His peace-building efforts pale in comparison to the achievement of some of his counterparts.
That being said, the main issue here is why is it that of the 881 recipients of the award, only 15 black people (1.7% laureates) have been awarded the Nobel Prize?