SOUTH AFRICA 18 August 2018 – Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat and the first black African to lead the United Nations as Secretary-General, passed away in a Swiss hospital today at the age of 80 after succumbing to a “short illness,” according to his family.
“Kofi Annan, one of the great African diplomats of our time, brought a special commitment to the continent into the UN and worked tirelessly to bring stability to its nations,” said Stevens Mokgalapa MP – the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. “His absence will be keenly felt, and we offer our deepest condolences to his wife and family. He will be sorely missed and greatly celebrated.”
In his home country, Ghana, president Nana Akufo-Addo said that flags would fly at half-mast for a week in mourning to honour “one of our greatest compatriots”.
“He excelled in the various undertakings of his life, leaving in his trail most pleasant memories. His was a life well-lived,” said Akufo-Addo on Twitter.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has described Kofi Annan’s passing as a “devastating loss”. Annan was an “outstanding human being who represented our continent and the world with enormous graciousness‚ integrity and distinction”, said Tutu.
Born on 08 April 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana, Annan and the UN were 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.