Tributes continue to flow in from all over the world for Kofi Annan’s family, who rose through the ranks of the UN to become its first Black African Secretary-General, after his death. Mr Annan, 80, passed away on 18th August 2018 in Switzerland after a short illness, according to a statement issued by his family. He had been living near Geneva for several years.
Kofi Atta Annan was a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, from January 1997 to December 2006. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan will be buried in his native Ghana on Thursday after a state funeral attended by world leaders past and present, traditional rulers and global royalty. The ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre, marks the end of three days of national mourning for the respected diplomat.
The current head of the world body, Antonio Guterres, is expected to attend the funeral, which will be followed by a private burial at the capital’s military ceremony. The president of neighbouring Ivory Coast and the leaders of Liberia, Namibia, Ethiopia, Niger and Zimbabwe have also confirmed their attendance at Thursday’s obsequies, according to Ghana’s information minister.
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo called the funeral “a major event for our country” and described Annan as “one of the most illustrious people of this generation”. Ordinary Ghanaians and dignitaries have paid their respects to Annan since his coffin was returned from Geneva and received with full honours on Monday.
Annan is survived by his wife Nane Maria, is children and grandchildren.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. It has been said that arguing against globalisation is like arguing against the laws of gravity. To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there” Kofi Annan.
May his soul Rest In Peace and his spirit of resilience continue to live in all of us!!
Images: Washington Post/ eNCA/AFP