A former President of the United States of America (USA), Barack Obama has paid a tribute to the late Ghanaian diplomat, Kofi Annan, describing him as someone who “never stopped his pursuit of a better world.”
In a post on his Facebook, Mr Obama said: “Kofi Annan was a diplomat and humanitarian who embodied the mission of the United Nations like few others.”
He added, “His integrity, persistence, optimism, and sense of our common humanity always informed his outreach to the community of nations.”
Kofi Annan passed away Saturday morning in Switzerland after a short illness.
“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness…” the Kofi Annan Foundation in a tweet said.
He was 80.
Tributes have poured in from different angles; institutions and personalities worldwide following his demise.
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.