Kofi Atta Annan was born on 8 April 1938 in Kumasi, in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006.
He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He is the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation, as well as chairman of The Elders, an international organization founded by Nelson Mandela.
After receiving his early education, Annan attended the College of Science and Technology in Kumasi and went on to study economics at Macalester College, international relations from the Graduate Institute Geneva and management at MIT. Annan joined the UN in 1962, working for the World Health Organization’s Geneva office.
He went on to work in several capacities at the UN Headquarters including serving as the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping between March 1992 and December 1996.
As the Secretary-General, Annan reformed the UN bureaucracy; worked to combat HIV, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact. He has been criticized for not expanding the Security Council and faced calls for resignation after an investigation into the Oil-for-Food Programme.
After leaving the UN, he founded the Kofi Annan Foundation in 2007 to work on international development. In 2012, Annan was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, to help find a resolution to the ongoing conflict there.
Annan quit after becoming frustrated with the UN’s lack of progress with regard to conflict resolution. In September 2016,
Until his death, Annan was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis.
He is married to Nane Maria Annan, a Swedish. He has three children [ kojo Annan, Ama Annan and Nina Cronstedt de Groot ].
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah