Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate died after short illness on Saturday. He was 80. Annan, of Ghanaian nationality, died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday.
The Ghanaian was the seventh secretary general and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation in 2001.
Born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938, Annan joined the UN system in 1962 as an administrative officer with the World Health Organization in Geneva. He later served with the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the UN Emergency Force in Ismailia, the UN high commissioner for refugees in Geneva and in several senior posts at its headquarters in New York.
Before becoming secretary general, he was under-secretary general for peacekeeping and also served as special representative of the secretary general to the former Yugoslavia between 1995 and 1996.
He was the first black African to take up the role UN chief, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He and the UN were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his commitment towards human rights, fight against HIV in Africa and opposition to international terrorism.