Kofi Annan Biography

Kofi Annan Biography

Kofi Annan (born 8th April 1938) – A prominent Ghanaian Diplomat  

The seventh Secretary General of United Nations, Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian Diplomat. He received Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2001 for his exemplary work in the field of AIDS.

Birth Details

Kofi Annan was born in the Kofandros section of Kumasi, Ghana on 8 April 1938, in an aristocratic family.

Born: April 8, 1938 (age 76), Kumasi, Ghana
Nationality: Ghanaian
Spouse: Nane Maria Annan (m. 1984), Titi Alakija (m. 1965–1970)
Children: Kojo Annan, Ama Annan, Nina Cronstedt de Groot
Awards: Nobel Peace Prize, Indira Gandhi Prize

Personal Biography

Kofi Annan went to an elite school to start his education. This was Mfantsipim School which was a Methodist Boarding School in Cape Coast. 1957 was a historical year as in this year Ghana gained independence from Britain and Kofi Annan finished his schooling.

At the Kumasi College of Science and Technology, Kofi started studying economics in 1958. He completed his undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota, US in 1961 with the help of Ford Foundation Grant. Annan also studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the year 1971-72 and earned a Master of Science Degree.

Achievements

Kofi Annan started his career working as a budget officer for the World Health Organization. He later worked as Tourism Director in Ghana from 1974 to 1976. Amman again worked for UN as an Assistant Secretary General in the late 1980s where he worked on three consecutive positions namely Human Resources, Management Coordinator and Security coordinator from 1987 to 1990, Program Planning, Budget and Finance and Controller (1990-1992) and Peacekeeping Operations from March 1993 to February 1994.

Kofi Annan directed Peacekeeping Operations during Rwanda Genocide in 1994. From March 1994 to October 1995, Kofi served as Under Secretary General, UN.

The United Nations Security Council recommended Kofi to replace the previous Secretary General Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali of Egypt. Kofi Annan started his first term as Secretary General, United Nations on 1 January 1997.

To address the pandemic of AIDS/HIV, Kofi issued a five point “Call to Action”. He also proposed a fund namely Global AIDS and Health Fund to support countries facing the menace of AIDS and also to motivate international community to stimulate increased spending to deal with the crisis.

Annan called on to US and UK not to invade without the support of UN during the build up to the invasion of Iraq in the year 2003.

He also supported peacekeeping operations in Darfur, Sudan where he sent peacekeeping mission to resolve the problem.

Kofi Annan also worked on various contemporary issues such as Women Rights with several Arab and Muslim countries.

Kofi Annan gave a farewell address to the leaders of the world gathered at UN Headquarters in New York on September 2006 in anticipation of his retirement on December 31.

Awards

Annan and UN were jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize in December, 2001 for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.

Quotes

“Business, labor and civil society organizations have skills and resources that are vital in helping to build a more robust global community.”
- Kofi Annan

“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”
- Kofi Annan

“Globalization is a fact of life. But I believe we have underestimated its fragility.”
- Kofi Annan

“If information and knowledge are central to democracy, they are the conditions for development.”
- Kofi Annan

“If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom.”
- Kofi Annan

“If the United Nations does not attempt to chart a course for the world's people in the first decades of the new millennium, who will?”
- Kofi Annan

“In the rush for justice it is important not to lose sight of principles the country holds dear.”
- Kofi Annan

“In their greatest hour of need, the world failed the people of Rwanda.”
- Kofi Annan

“Iraq has a new opportunity to comply with all these relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”
- Kofi Annan

“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.”
- Kofi Annan

“Justice has taken its course and the authority and legitimacy of the legal process must be respected.”
- Kofi Annan

“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
- Kofi Annan

“More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development.”
- Kofi Annan

“The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.”
- Kofi Annan

“The United Nations, whose membership comprises almost all the states in the world, is founded on the principle of the equal worth of every human being.”
- Kofi Annan

“There is no development strategy more beneficial to society as a whole - women and men alike - than the one which involves women as central players.”
- Kofi Annan

“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”
- Kofi Annan

“We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will.”
- Kofi Annan

“We have to choose between a global market driven only by calculations of short-term profit, and one which has a human face.”
- Kofi Annan

“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.”
- Kofi Annan

“We need to keep hope alive and strive to do better.”
- Kofi Annan

“We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children.”


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