The rise of Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General to the high office in 1997 was the moment the glass ceiling was smashed for all Africans in the United Nations.
A Ghanaian serving officer in the United Nations told the Ghana News Agency in a telephone interview on Tuesday that, prior to his emergence in that high office, Africans could not rise to high positions no matter how hard working and dedicated they were.
The officer, who pleaded anonymity, said “It was clear Mr Annan’s nomination was approved in order to see him fail and make the point ‘we told you so… African can’t do it’ but Mr Annan excelled as Secretary General”.
To the youth, he said, Mr Annan’s story is enough assurance that hard work ultimately pays, adding that “the final reward may delay but when the time comes the end is sweet”
Professor Philip Kwashi Atiso Ahiaku, Lecturer University of Zululand, South Africa also eulogised Mr Annan for his integrity, selflessness and love for mankind.
He said in the hues of arm inspection in Iraq after the war, he stood his ground though newly appointed and waiting for his permanent appointment, he defies the US orders at the detriment of his own appointment as substantive UN Secretary General.
He said: “Had it not been his intervention there would be blood bath”.
“Whatever we do as young leaders let’s ask ourselves who benefits. If no one except us, it’s not a wise thing to do. As future leaders, let’s be guided by selflessness approach to leadership as exhibited by Mr Kofi Annan in his dealing with Iraq and United States.
“He could have sided with the US knowing very well his bid to becoming next substantive UN Secretary General depended largely on the support of the United States of America…his question was who benefits from my action,” he said and urged the youth to learn from this great son of the land.
Mr Reynolds Ofosu Tenkorang, General Secretary of Health Service Workers Union (HSWU), said besides Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Mr Annan was one Ghanaian who raised the image of Ghana high and called on the youth and all humanity to listen to his attributes in the tributes and emulate them.
Mr Annan passed away on August 18, 2018 in the Swiss city of Berne after a brief illness. He and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.
He is survived by his wife Nane Marie Lagergren and their Children, Ama, Kojo and Nina.