The 7th UN Secretary-General, Kofi Atta Annan Took His Last Breathe Today @ 80

Kofi Atta Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006, is dead. He died at the age of 80.

He died in the early hours of August 18, 2018 and his death was confirmed by his family and foundation.

Annan was reported to fallen ill while on a trip to South Africa and had to be flown back to his Switzerland base for treatment. It was revealed that he died in his sleep after a brief unspecified illness.

The Foundation also confirmed in a statement issued via Facebook that Kofi Annan’s children, Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days. The statement reads:

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness.

Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy,” the foundation said.

Annan’s widow, Nane Maria Annan also disclosed to Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo, via a phone call that her husband died peacefully in his sleep.

The president’s Facebook page read:

“The Government and people of Ghana, First Lady Rebecca and I are deeply saddened by the news of the death, in Bern, Switzerland, of one of our greatest compatriots, Mr. Kofi Annan.

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.

I have 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.

Rest in perfect peace, Kofi. You have earned it. God bless.”

Kofi Atta Annan was born April 8, 1938; into an elite family in Kumasi, Ghana. He was the son of a provincial governor and grandson of two tribal chiefs.

He shared his middle name Atta — “twin” in Ghana’s Akan language — with a twin sister, Efua who passed on in 1991. He was fluent in English, French and several African languages, attending an elite boarding school and the University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.

He finished his undergraduate work in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1961. From there, he went to Geneva where he began his graduate studies in international affairs and launched his U.N. career.

Annan married Titi Alakija, a Nigerian woman, in 1965, and together, they have 2 children- a daughter, Ama, and a son, Kojo.

The couple divorced in 1983 after being separated for a while and, Annan; while working in Geneva, met his second wife, a Swedish lawyer, Nane Lagergren whom he married in 1984.

He returned to the U.S. in 1971 and earned a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

In 2001, its centennial year, the Nobel Committee decided that the Peace Prize was to be divided between the UN and Annan. He was awarded the Peace Prize for having revitalized the UN and for having given priority to human rights.

Annan was chief architect of what became known as the Millennium Development Goals, and played a central role in creating the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.N.’s first counter-terrorism strategy.

Read more Here.

He will be sorely missed.

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