African Development Bank mourns passing of former UN Secretary General

Accra, Tributes continue to flow for the Mr Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, whose illustrious example won the admiration of many across the globe.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has described the Ghanaian born, world compatriot as staunch advocate of the Bank’s ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’, a partnership-driven effort which aimed to achieve universal access to energy in Africa by 2025.

A statement from the Bank said it learned with deep sadness the news of the death of Kofi Annan in Bern, Switzerland.

With Mr Kofi Annan’s passing, Africa and the entire world has lost its finest diplomat, champion of world peace and development advocate, leaving a void which will be hard to fill, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said.

He said, Today, the international community is mourning a man of great humility and righteousness; a formidable architect behind critical peace brokering agreements around the world.

His leadership on spearheading the Millennium Development Goals, made poverty eradication an achievable global imperative.

He touched the lives of everyone he met with his dignity and quiet resolve. We stand with his dear wife, Nane, family and friends at this time and express our heartfelt condolences, Adesina said.

The statement said Mr Kofi Annan held a special place on several of the Bank’s initiatives, adding he was appointed as the Champion of the New Deal on Energy for Africa.

It added that, In 2016, Mr Annan co-chaired the Special Panel on Accelerating the Implementation of the African Development Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, launched by President Adesina.

He spearheaded several initiatives on Africa, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the statement said.

In April 2001, in Abuja, Nigeria, at a summit of African leaders, the statement said celebrated icon made the first explicit public call for a new funding mechanism, proposing the creation of the Global Fund, to be dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

He made the first contribution to the Global Fund in 2001, it added.

Born in Kumasi, he joined the UN in 1962, working for the World health Organization’s (WHO) Office in Geneva.

He then went to serve in various capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as Under Secretary-General for peacekeeping from March 1992 to December 1996.

He was appointed the UN Chief in December 1996 by the Security Council and later confirmed by the General Assembly, becoming the first office holder to be elected from the UN staff itself.

The late Annan was re-elected for a second term in 2001 and was succeeded by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon on January 01, 2007.

As Secretary-General, he worked to reform the UN bureaucracy, combat the deadly HIV spread, especially in Africa and launched the UN Global Compact.

After serving out his term, he formed the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development.

He was also the Chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.

In 2012, the late Annan was the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to aid efforts at resolving the bloody conflict there but quit over his frustration with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution.

He was appointed to lead a UN Commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis in September 2016.

The late Annan studied economics at Macalester College � International Relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He is survived by his wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Anna, Kojo and Nina.

He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday with his wife, Nane, and three children Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side.

Source: Ghana News Agency