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RIP Kofi Annan: Here Are 10 Fast Facts About Kofi Annan

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Here’s a look at the life of Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Kofi Annan: Here are 10 Fast Facts About Kofi Annan

1. Kofi Annan was born in the Kofandros section of Kumasi in Ghana on 8 April 1938 alongside his twin sister, Efua, who died in 1991.

2. Annan attended a Methodist boarding school in Cape Coast (elite Mfantsipim school,) founded in the 1870s. it was there he learnt that “that suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere”.

3. Annan studied economics at the Kumasi College of Science and Technology, now the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology of Ghana. during the course of his study, he received a Ford Foundation grant, enabling him to complete his undergraduate studies in economics at Macalester College in United States, in 1961.

4. After his Bsc. Annan went further and completed a DEA degree in International Relations at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1961–1962. After some years of work experience, he studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management (1971–72) in the Sloan Fellows program and earned a master’s degree in management.


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5. In 1962, Kofi Annan started working as a Budget Officer for the World Health Organization , an agency of the United Nations (UN). From 1974 to 1976, he worked as the Director of Tourism in Ghana.

6. Annan got his first job in the UN in 1980 when he became the head of personnel for the office of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. His next appointment was as director of administrative management services of the UN Secretariat in New York.

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7. In the late 1980s, Annan was appointed as an Assistant Secretary-General of the UN in three consecutive positions: Human Resources, Management and Security Coordinator (1987–1990); Program Planning, Budget and Finance, and Controller (1990–1992); and Peacekeeping Operations (March 1993 – December 1996). he also served as Under-Secretary-General from March 1994 to October 1995.

8. In 1996, Secretary-General of UN ‘Boutros’ was denied a second term. Annan replaced him by beating Amara Essy by one vote in the first round. He started his first term as Secretary-General on 1 January 1997.
becoming first black man to hold the post and the second African (after Boutros-Ghali). His second term began in 2002 and ran through the end of 2006.

9. A number of important changes took place within the organisation under Mr Annan’s leadership. He played a pivotal role in helping to create the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In 2005, he encouraged members to accept the Responsibility to Protect, which calls upon states to defend individuals from crimes against humanity. Mr Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2001, jointly with the UN.

In 2001 he and the United Nations were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world”.

10. Death: Annan died on 18 August 2018 in Bern,
Switzerland after a short-illness, aged 80.

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