South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday paid tribute to former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, saying he was an “outstanding diplomat, outstanding leader and a role model for many people” in Africa.
Ramaphosa also praised Annan for his role on the Elders, a global organization set up by the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
‘‘To hear that he has passed away after a short illness is really sad for us, it’s a great loss, he was an outstanding diplomat, outstanding leader and he was a role model for many people on the continent, he was a diplomat extraordinaire and as Secretary General of the United Nations, he flew the flag of peace, he flew the flag of collaboration throughout the world as he dealt with very difficult and challenging problems. We were filled with pride to see an African leader dealing with world problems and finding solutions for them, so we dip our heads to him in great memory of him and we will remember him fondly but he had left a legacy, a legacy of peacemaking in the world, a legacy of collaboration and a legacy of building economies particularly on the African continent and we will sorely miss him”, Ramaphosa said.
South Africans also paid their tribute.
“We lost a great legend, freedom fighter, the world won’t be the same without him, may his soul rest in peace”, said South African resident Leonel Kabash.
“I think he was a leader in the mould of Nelson Mandela and I think that he, that yeah, as I said earlier that he’d be sorely missed leading and bringing peace to Africa, good statesman and reconciler”, Mark Williams said.
Annan’s foundation confirmed his death on Saturday morning, after decades of championing efforts to try to end protracted conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The Nobel Peace laureate, who was a Ghanaian national, died at the age of 80 in hospital in Bern, Switzerland.