Funeral services for Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, are set to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Accra International Conference Center, where visitors have gathered for two days to pay their final respects.
The 80-year-old Annan died on August 18 in Switzerland following a short illness. Thousands have mourned his death in Accra, where his body was greeted by President Nana Akufo Addo on Monday, as well as honoring him across the world.
Annan was the first black African to lead the UN, and heads of state including President Hage Geingob of Namibia will attend the state funeral. UN Secretary General António Guterres also will attend.
The Kofi Annan Foundation said other UN memorial events will follow in New York and Geneva. Career diplomat Jenö Staehelin has stepped into an interim role at the foundation where Annan served as chairman, and has vowed to continue his legacy in building a just and peaceful world.
“Kofi Annan will be our guiding star,” said Staehelin.
Annan, a Nobel Peace Laureate, also served as chairman of The Elders. The group of global leaders was founded by Nelson Mandela and launched in 2007, the same year Annan left his UN leadership role.
Annan will be buried at a new military cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.
He is survived by his wife, Nane, and his three children, Ama, Kojo and Nina.
Image: Kofi Annan Foundation