A section of Ghanaians will have a rare opportunity of meeting and listening to an astute international diplomat, Busumuru Dr. Kofi Atta Annan today.The astute diplomat would be the special guest speaker at his alma mater, Mfantsipim Old Boys Association’s (MOBA) fundraising ceremony at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel.
He would speak on the topic: “Leadership and Public Service”.
The MOBA annual fundraising event known as the “MOBA Ebusuapanyin’s Lunch” is aimed at creating a platform for discourse on issues of national interest.As part of the programme there would be an exhibition and auction of art pieces from Dr Annan’s personal collection.Dr Kofi Atta Annan was born on 8th April, 1938 to Mr Henry Reginald Annan and Victoria in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
He attended the elite Mfantsipim School, a Methodist boarding school from 1954 to 1957. It was where he learnt that “suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere."He graduated from the Mfantsipim School in 1957 the same time the country gained independence from the British colonial rule.
He joined the Kumasi College of Science and Technology in 1958 for a degree in economics. He received a Ford Foundation grant that enabled him to complete his undergraduate studies in economics at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1961.He then undertook graduate studies in economics at the Institut universitaire des hautes études internationales in Geneva, Switzerland from 1961 to 1962.
His grandfathers and uncle were tribal chiefs and he was raised in one of Ghana's aristocratic families.He was the first to emerge from the ranks of the United Nations (UN) staff to serve as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN for two terms from 1997 to 2006.The UN and Dr Annan were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".
While he was the Secretary-General, Dr Annan prioritised the establishment of a comprehensive reforms programme aimed at revitalising the UN.UN had traditionally been working in the areas of development and he worked for further strengthening this work.
He is a passionate advocate of human rights, and a strong believer in the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity.He wants to bring the UN closer to the people by reaching out to new partners, and thereby restore public confidence in the organisation.He had a major part to play in the establishment of two new intergovernmental bodies: the Peace-building Commission and the Human Rights Council in 2005.
He also played a pivotal role in the creation of the Global Funds to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.He strongly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iran's nuclear programme. After his retirement from the UN in 2006, he returned to Ghana where he is involved with a number of Africa and global organisations.
The people of Kenya fondly remember him for his intervention and mediating in the 2008 post-election conflict.Dr Annan in his own words said: "My role in mediating Kenya conflict was amongst the most intensive and enduring of all my interventions".