“To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” – Kofi Annan
These wise words were spoken by a great leader and influencer, Kofi Annan. Kofi Annan was born in Kumasi, Ghana, on 8 April 1938. He was a Noble peace prize winner for his humanitarian work and United Nations Secretary. He used to describe himself as a ‘stubborn optimist’. Kofi Annan, who has died aged 80, brought strong moral convictions and careful judgment.
Annan was a firm believer in multilateral solutions, but also recognised that the UN had to be revitalised and streamlined, and its purposes redefined to respond to the challenges of globalisation. He had his focus on eliminating poverty in the developing world. His personality was a combination of self-assurance, self-control and unpretentiousness. Unlike the previous holders of the secretary general’s office, Annan was a classic insider who had spent his entire working life within the UN system.
Annan worked in the areas of development and the maintenance of international peace and security; advocating human rights, the rule of law and the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity. Mr Annan’s efforts to strengthen the Organisation’s management, coherence and accountability involved major investments in training and technology, the introduction of a new whistleblower policy and financial disclosure requirements, and steps to improve co-ordination at country level. In the end I would like to say that he was a great leader and a teacher that we’ve lost.
He spoke some very wise words, some of them being;
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”