Kofi Annan dies at 80: First black African to take role of UN Secretary-General

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80 after a short illness.

In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations

The Ghanaian national was the first black African to be appointed as the world’s top diplomat and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work during his eight years in the role.

He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

His death was announced by his family and the Kofi Annan Foundation, which said he had “passed away peacefully” following a short illness.

In a statement, the foundation said: “Kofi Annan was a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.

“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”

Mr Annan spent virtually his entire career at the UN, where he served two terms as secretary-general between January 1997 and December 2006.

His tenure was capped by winning the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to Mr Annan and the UN in 2001 for “their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” said current UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, who described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good”.

“It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing,” Mr Guterres added.

As head of UN peacekeeping operations, Mr Annan was criticised for the world body’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

“The UN can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn’t exist you would have to create it,” he told the BBC’s Hard Talk during an interview for his 80th birthday last April, recorded at the Geneva Graduate Institute where he had studied.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
ndele
Guest
ndele

Awa ndiye timati amuna enieni olungamitsa cilungamo osati zinazi. ause mu ntendere woastha alandile ina noble prize yoyela.

Nagama
Guest

MHSRIP great son of Africa.

Cogito Ergo Sum
Guest
Cogito Ergo Sum

The 80 years age age bracket is not safe. Anything can happen anytime.

Cogito Ergo Sum
Guest
Cogito Ergo Sum

Thanks Ms. Ngonoonda for your corrections. You know History. Am a fan of History myself. Reporters should know History too through love of current affairs etc. RIP Khofi

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

To add @Aphiri. Kofi Annan served as UN Secretary General from January 1997 to 2006. The genocide in Rwanda occurred when Boutros Boutros-Ghali was the Secretary General whose famous quote is: ” … genocide was the gas chamber what happened in Germany. We were not able to realize that with the machete you can create a genocide. The failure of UN, my failure …in retrospective … I was not enough aggressive with the members of the Security Council”. Bourtos-Ghali’s tenure was from January 1992 to December 1996.

Lute
Guest
Lute

May His Soul Rest in Peace

Mlomwe original
Guest
Mlomwe original

Hevwas a true African hero.
RIP KOFI ANAN

Aphiri
Guest
Aphiri

Correction: Kofi Annan was the second African to become UN Secretary General. The first was Boutros Boutros Ghali.

Zangazanga Ncube
Guest

Catch word “Black”, his predecessor, Boutros Boutros Ghali was an Arab from Egypt.

Shaka
Guest
Shaka

Read the article. It says he was the first black African, not the first African. Late GHali was not black but Arab

Mmalawi
Guest
Mmalawi

Yes indeed

spell checker
Guest
spell checker

First African true, but also “First black African” as reported here also true bro

Mbava ibweza K145 mililion Party
Guest

You see now. When I say 75 above are vulnerable ages some of you nkumalimbikira za APM. Kalista knows that the old die like nkhuku ya chitopa. Now those of you who want Atupele for VP watch out. Chubu chopopa yekha Muluzi akulimbana nachobetu. It’s sad to lose a statesman like. Khofu but old age is celebrated when we reach and die there. Aretha Franklin died two days ago. Winnie Mandala in April. APM mwakalamba zisiyeni za kubazi inu. RIP my mentor Kofi Anan. Kwa nkhalamba days are numbered.

Mwananyanian
Guest
Mwananyanian

Comment on age and governance is clearly out of context apa.

Kalulu Wadwala
Guest
Kalulu Wadwala

Great son of Africa. Rest in peace

Lawrence Sitima
Guest
Lawrence Sitima

RIP Great son of Africa

The Stonex
Guest
The Stonex

On point of correction to Mr Ngonoonda, what the reporter is saying that Kofi Annani was criticised for the genocide in Rwanda it’s true, tha time he was the head of peace keeping operations and not Un Secretary General, mindyou, Anan served on different positions at UN before becoming the Secretary General. You must check the facts before you comment on things

Hlabezulu Ngonoonda
Guest
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

Thanks, Stonex. The mind was toast over the position of UN Secretary General. I remember vividly when head of peace keeping operations was being bombarded with questions about it by a news anchor working for BBC World News. The sheer blood letting that Hutus exhibited against Tutsis in April 1996 opened my eyes to “tribalism” that exist between or among ethnic groups in Africa and in the manner it is nurtured starting from the upbringing of children until they are grown ups. The scale of the genocide was underestimated. It was volunteers on the ground who filled reports about it… Read more »

More From Nyasatimes