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Africa mourns Kofi Annan Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 25, 2021


From Ghana where he was born in 1938, to Africa’s most populous country of Nigeria, as well as from financial institutions, including the African Development Bank, condolence notes came from everywhere across the African continent for Kofi Annan.

Kofi Annan of Ghana, one of the most influential African voices in the 21st century who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006, died in Switzerland on Saturday morning after a brief illness. He was 80 years old.

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“The Government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Berne, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr. Kofi Annan,” President Akufo-Addo of Ghana said in a statement.

“I extend, on behalf of the entire Ghanaian nation, our sincere, heartfelt condolences to his beloved widow, Nane Maria, and to his devoted children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, on this great loss. I am, however, comforted by the information, after speaking to Nane Maria, that he died peacefully in his sleep.

“Consummate international diplomat and highly respected former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan was the first from sub-Saharan Africa to occupy this exalted position.

“He brought considerable renown to our country by this position and through his conduct and comportment in the global arena. He was an ardent believer in the capacity of the Ghanaian to chart his or her own course onto the path of progress and prosperity. Undoubtedly, he excelled in the various undertakings of his life, leaving in his trail most pleasant memories. His was a life well-lived,” Akufo-addo said.

He said he had directed that, in his honour, Ghana’s national flag will fly at half-mast across the country and in all of Ghana’s diplomatic missions across the world, from Monday, 20th August, 2018, for one week.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, commiserated with the government and people of Ghana over the passing of Kofi Annan.

President Buhari, who called President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana from London, said all Nigerians and ECOWAS member countries share in the deep loss, considering the strategic influence of the former scribe in global affairs and his vision for the repositioning of the West Coast and Africa.

As the first elected staff of the United Nations to lead the world organisation and first African to win the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the United Nations, the President noted that Annan’s humility, nobility and love for humanity set him apart for global greatness, achieving recognition and commendation for the reform of the United Nations’ bureaucracy and multiple interventions to bring peace to the world.

President Buhari said Annan’s origin and home will always be traced to Ghana, but his exceptional leadership roles, humanitarian spirit and contributions to global peace and development will remain indelible in the history of the entire world, especially the efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa and launch of the UN Global Compact.

The African Development Bank in a statement said it learned with deep sadness the news of the death of Kofi A. Annan.

“With Mr. Kofi Annan’s passing, Africa and the entire world has lost its finest diplomat, champion of world peace and development advocate, leaving a void which will be hard to fill,” President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina said.

“Today, the international community is mourning a man of great humility and righteousness; a formidable architect behind critical peace brokering agreements around the world. His leadership on spearheading the Millennium Development Goals, made poverty eradication an achievable global imperative. He touched the lives of everyone he met with his dignity and quiet resolve. We stand with his dear wife, Nane, family and friends at this time and express our heartfelt condolences”, Adesina added.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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