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The Kofi Annan effect [1]: African presidents hail 'man of peace'

The Kofi Annan effect [1]: African presidents hail 'man of peace'


Kofi Annan, the former United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General died over the weekend in Switzerland aged 80. The news of his demise was greeted largely with shock and praise across the world for a man who stood for peace and social justice.

From presidents to prime ministers, sportsmen and women to entertainment stars, top global civil servants across the UN and beyond have all shared fond memories of Annan’s impact on global diplomacy and peace efforts.

Africanews begins a series on ‘The Kofi Annan effect’ looking at how he impacted on different sections of everyday life during his years in the diplomatic limelight.

To start off, we look at reactions of African presidents over a dozen of who shared kind words about the impact Annan had on diplomacy and his role in positioning Africa on the global diplomatic map.

The Kofi Annan effect [2]: Football world awards gold to its ‘friend’

Key dates in the life of Kofi Attah Annan

1 – 1938: Born in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, seat of the Ashanti kingdom
2 – 1962: Starts working at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland
3 – 1965: Weds Titi Alakija. They have two children, a boy and a girl
4 – 1984: Marries Nane Lagergren, having divorced a year earlier
5 – 1991: Twin sister Efua dies
6 – 1993: Becomes head of U.N. peacekeeping operations
7 – 1997: Appointed seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations
8 – 2001: Wins Nobel Peace Prize
9 – 2006: Steps down as secretary-general after 10 years
10 – 2012: Becomes UN/Arab League Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis
11- 2013: Made chair of The Elders, a peace and human rights advocacy group
12 – 2016: Leads the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, Myanmar

Ramaphosa added: “A diplomat extraordinaire, we will remember Mr Kofi Annan for his commitment, his leadership and his tireless efforts to advance the African agenda. Our thoughts are with his wife, Nane, his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

“In the face of much difficulty and conflict, we looked up to him for inspiration and hope. He’s demonstrated utmost commitment to peace, and firm belief in Africa and African unity, stability and prosperity. He stood by The Gambian people during difficult times in 2016/17,” Gambian president Adama Barrow added.

Over in Kenya, even president Uhuru Kenyatta has yet to tweet about the event, former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga who was a party to a political struggle that Annan mediated eulogized Annan as a man that saved Kenya from implosion.

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