Ghana flags fly at half-mast for Kofi Annan; newspapers eulogise him

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Flags are flying at half-mast in Ghana and the country's missions abroad for former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, as the West African country begins a one-week morning period for their illustrious son who passed away last Saturday at a Swiss hospital.

Newspapers, which are hitting the newsstands for the first time since the sad news was announced, are eologising him with stories about his passing and articles on his exemplary leadership skills and character that propelled the first black person to the top UN post. There are also photographs of the man who passed away aged 80.

Radio and TV stations have continued with discussion programmes on his life as a world statesman who achieved laurels for the world and himself.

Ghana's president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday directed that the national flag will fly at half-mast across the country and in all of Ghana’s diplomatic missions across the world, from Monday, 20 August, for one week in memory of Kofi Annan.

The state-owned Graphic newspaper has the headline, "Flags fly at half-mast as world mourns Kofi Annan." Another state-owned newspaper, Ghanaian Times, has the headline, "Kofi Annan: Former UN Secretary-General Dead!" The Ghanaian Times also has an Editorial with the headline "Ghana has lost a great son of the soil," while the Editorial of the Graphic says "Fare thee well, Kofi Annan, the leaders' leader."

The Finder, an independent newspaper has the headline, "World mourns a hero - Moving tributes from world leaders pour in for Kofi Annan," the Ghanaian Observer's main headline is "Ghana, world leaders mourn Kofi Annan" and the Daily Heritage puts it simply "Kofi Annan passes on."
The Graphic in its lead story said about 48 hours after the death of global icon, Kofi Annan, following a short illness, world leaders continue to celebrate his contribution to humanity.

It said his death has attracted comments on both traditional and social media platforms, adding "All the comments have something to say about the contribution of the former United Nations Secretary General to global peace and human development."

The Editorial of the Graphic says in part, "News of Kofi Annan's passing last Saturday swept across the world like world fire. The man who had always been in the news for many reasons, most of which were related to his desire to ensure global peace and security, was in the news this time for a sad reason. He bid farewell to the world after a short illness."

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings, John Dramani Mahama and, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres; the British Prime Minister, Theresa May; the Russian President, Vladimir Putin; the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, have all paid glowing tributes to Kofi Annan’s memory, the Graphic said.

It is in recognition of Mr Annan’s stature and to mourn him that President Akufo-Addo has directed that Ghana’s National Flag should fly at half-mast across the country and in all the country’s diplomatic missions across the world from Monday for one week in Mr Annan’s honour, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, tributes continue to pour in, extolling his virtues.

Former President Jerry John Rawlings, the man who was president in 1997 when Kofi Annan began his first term, tweeted: “Global diplomacy has lost a true gem. Kofi Annan was a fine diplomat who committed most of his professional life to world peace. He was one of the best, a born diplomat. He made Ghana and Africa proud and left a great legacy at the United Nations. Rest in Peace, Kofi Annan.”

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Ernest Aryeetey, said the name of Kofi Annan, who was Chancellor of the University from 2008-2018, opened major doors of opportunities for the university.

“His presence at the University made a big difference to what we achieved as a University. His name opened doors for us and opened doors for me. Many of the things that we were able to accomplish were mainly because of him,” he said

Kofi Annan's family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announced his death of Nobel Peace Laureat on Saturday.

They described him as a global statesman and a deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world. During his distinguished career and leadership of the United Nations he was an ardent champion of peace, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law.

After stepping down from the United Nations, he continued to work tirelessly in the cause of peace through his chairmanship of the Kofi Annan Foundation and as chair of The Elders, the group founded by Nelson Mandela. He was an inspiration to young and old alike.

They said in a statement that Kofi Annan was a son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa.  He was particularly committed to African development and deeply engaged in many initiatives, including his chairmanship of the Africa Progress Panel and his early leadership of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

"Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.  He will be greatly missed by so many around the world, as well as his staff at the Foundation and his many former colleagues in the United Nations system.  He will remain in our hearts forever."

Kofi Annan was the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations who served two terms from January 1997 to December 2006.
-0- PANA MA 20Aug2018

20 august 2018 09:40:28

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