Legal luminary, Yoni Kulendi, has paid tribute to former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, calling his death a grave loss to the world.
Ghanaians awoke to news of the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana death on Saturday following a short illness.
Mr Annan, 80, was globally respected for his immense contribution towards enforcing peace in war torn countries, particularly in Africa for many years.
“It’s a very sad day and a great loss to the world and particularly to Ghanaians, ” Yoni Kulendi said on Joy FM.
He added: “Kofi Annan’s death is a reminder that whatever we do as a people we shall one day die. Death should always guide our actions. It is indeed a sad day, may his soul rest in peace”.
Kofi Annan is said to have died in Switzerland, Saturday morning after a short illness.
Kofi Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Kofi Atta Annan was born in Kumasi on April 8, 1938. Since 1960 Ghana has been a republic within the British Commonwealth, a group of nations dependent on Great Britain. Named for an African empire along the Niger River, Ghana was ruled by Great Britain for 113 years as the Gold Coast. Annan is descended from tribal chiefs on both sides of his family. His father was an educated man, and Annan became accustomed to both traditional and modern ways of life. He has described himself as being “atribal in a tribal world.”
After receiving his early education at a leading boarding school in Ghana, Annan attended the College of Science and Technology in the capital of Kumasi. At the age of twenty, he won a Ford Foundation scholarship for undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he studied economics. Even then he was showing signs of becoming a diplomat, or someone skilled in international relations. Annan received his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1961. Shortly after completing his studies at Macalester College, Annan headed for Geneva, Switzerland, where he attended graduate classes in economics at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales.
Following his graduate studies in Geneva, Annan joined the staff of the World Health Organization (WHO), a branch of the United Nations. He served as an administrative officer and as budget officer in Geneva. Later UN posts took him to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and New York City, New York. Annan always assumed that he would return to his native land after college, although he was disturbed by the unrest and numerous changes of government that occurred there during the 1970s.
Annan became the Alfred P. Sloan fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the end of his fellowship in 1972, he was awarded a master of science degree in management. Rather than return to Ghana upon graduation, he accepted a position at the UN headquarters in New York City.
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