What you should know about ex-UN boss Kofi Annan
4 months ago, 18 Aug 19:42
Former United Nations top diplomat Kofi Annan' death has come as a shock to many.
Mr Annan, who was the secretary-general from 1997 to 2006, died on Saturday in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, after a short illness; he was 80 years of age.
"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," his foundation said in a statement.
Leaders around the world have poured tributes, all praising him as a man who championed and endorsed better quality of live for all.
Below we highlight some of the notable events that shaped Mr Annan's life:
Mr Annan, the seventh secretary-general, had a twin sister called Efua Atta Annan who died in 1991.
The two were born in Kumasi, Ghana, in April 1938, into a wealthy family. Their father was a provincial governor when the country was still under British rule, and named Gold Coast.
The name changed to Ghana when it gained autonomy in 1957.
Education and family
He studied at Macalester College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Mr Annan has left a widow, Nane, and three children, Ama, Kojo and Nina, behind.
They were all by his side when he died.
He married Name Marie in 1984 after separating from Nigerian Titi Alakija, whom he was married to from 1965-1983.
Before being elected as top diplomat in 1997, Mr Annan first worked as a budget officer with the World Health Organization (WHO).
He succeeded the late Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, who led the agency from 1992 to 1996.
It was in 1993 during the Rwanda genocide that he came to understand the nature and complexities of his job.
Mr Annan was the under secretary when thousands of Tutsis and a modest Hutus were brutally murdered, earning his office severe criticism.
He said: "I realised after the genocide that there was more that I could, and should, have done to sound the alarm and rally support.
"This painful memory, along with that of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has influenced much of my thinking, and many of my actions, as secretary-general."
When he succeeded Mr Ghali, he made radical changes to revive the moribund institution, laying off thousands of workers and calling on countries to help end atrocities.
The activities he spearheaded did smooth the path for him to get the Nobel in 2001.
More importantly, he oversaw the creation of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015. In 2016, the MDG were improved into the Sustainable Development Goals that are aimed at improving life for future generations.
In 2004, he was hit by the "oil-for-food" scandal that also implicated his son Kojo.
The programme, started in 1996, was meant to assuage the effects and impact of the sanctions the UN had imposed on Iraq under the late Saddam Hussein.
The plan was for the country to sell adequate oil to feed its population.
But President Hussein exploited the scheme, earning close to two billion dollars to the detriment of ...
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