NewsWest AfricaAfricans reflect on Annan's legacy ahead of state funeral in Ghana


Posted on Tuesday, 11 September 2018 15:29

Africans reflect on Annan's legacy ahead of state funeral in Ghana

By Reuters

Members of the public pay their respects as the coffin of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan lies in state at the Accra International Conference Center in Ghana Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.Photo: Sunday Alamba/AP/SIPAKofi Annan will be laid to rest in his home country Ghana after a long career that spanned continents, governance issues, conflicts and causes including efforts to revolutionize agriculture in Africa.

The body of the former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate arrived in Accra on Monday and is lying in state ahead a full state burial on Thursday (September 13).

After rising through the ranks of the United Nations, Annan served two terms as U.N. Secretary-General in New York from 1997-2006 and retired to live in a Swiss village in the Geneva countryside.

Praise and criticism

Across Africa, his reputation draws praise and criticism. While he will be remembered as a dedicated humanitarian, his career was tarnished by ugly conflicts that spun out of control.

David Ngatta Kouadio, a student, had this to say about Annan: "Kofi Annan deserves to be studied in schools, he should be used as an example or reference for generations to come. I know that Kofi Annan was the pride of Ghanaians but he was also the pride of Africa and for the rest of the world, because seeing an African in such prestigious positions in international organizations... it is not something that happens to everybody."

Annan was unable to bring peace to Syria and bring to rest the failures of diplomacy in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Cyprus, Somalia and Iraq, which are likely to drown out the plaudits for his softly spoken mediation and efforts to eradicate poverty and AIDS that won him the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Annan died in a Swiss hospital on August 18 at the age of 80.

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