Africa has lost one of its greatest sons, Kofi Annan, a great diplomat, who became the first Sub-Saharan African to lead the United Nations, who passed away on Saturday 18 August 2018. The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) mourns this outstanding son of Africa and sends its condolences to his family. His diplomatic skills and affable attitude attracted admiration from the day he became a public face as Head of the UN Peace-Keeping Department in 1991 up to his election as UN Secretary-General in 1997. That recognition never faded even when he left the UN in 2007. His contribution was constantly sought for resolving the world’s most complex diplomatic challenges such as the 2007 post- election crisis in Kenya and his recent support to addressing the plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar. Kofi Annan’s legacy is also visible on the development front with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and his call for a uniquely African green revolution to ensure that Africa can feed itself which led to the creation of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2006.
On the capacity development front, Kofi Annan will be remembered for his Ten-Year Capacity Building Program (TYCBP) for the African Union (AU), the result of a Declaration he signed with the then Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Alpha Oumar Konare in 2006. The Declaration was subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly (Resolution 63/310) and the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government. The main objectives of the TYCBP-AU were to enhance institutional and technical capacities and cooperation between the UN and AU and RECs. In this respect, the program expanded and strengthened consultations and cooperation between the UN System and the AU and RECs. It reflected a broad range of UN efforts in support of the African Union in areas such as Institution building, Human resources development and financial management, Peace and security, human rights, political, legal and electoral matters, Social, economic, cultural and human development, and Food security as well as environmental protection.
Kofi Annan actions had an immense impact in Africa and the world in many ways. He will be remembered as a great selfless leader who not only inspired and cared for others but also recognized failure when it occurs like in Rwanda in 1994 and Syria in 2012. His ideas will continue to inspire Africa’s struggles for true democracy and his ideal of development, which is through empowering Africans at all levels to take their destiny in their own hands, as well as guide the work of ACBF.
May his soul rest in perfect peace