Kofi A. Annan
Kofi A. Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations and is the founder and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. In 2001, he and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Kofi Annan was praised for being “pre-eminent in bringing new life to the organization.” (Norwegian Nobel Committee, October 2001)
Since leaving the United Nations, Kofi Annan has been active pressing for policies that will meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly in Africa. He continues to use his experience to mediate and resolve conflict.
In early 2008, he led the African Union’s Panel of Eminent African Personalities, which mediated a peaceful resolution to post-election violence in Kenya. From February to August 2012, he was the UN–Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria, mandated to seek a resolution to the conflict there.
In 2007, Kofi Annan set up the Kofi Annan Foundation to promote better global governance and strengthen the capacities of people and countries to achieve a fairer, more secure world. The Foundation works to identify new threats to peace and security and supports Mr. Annan’s preventive diplomacy and mediation activities. Kofi Annan chaired the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security (March 2011 to September 2012) and in January 2013, launched the West Africa Commission on Drugs, as a response to the surge in drug trafficking and consumption in West Africa and their impact on security, governance and public health.
The Foundation also works with select partner organizations to amplify Kofi Annan’s voice and catalyse effective action on the promotion of food and nutrition security, sustainable development, and support for good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Mr. Annan is the founding Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which works for a food secure and prosperous Africa by promoting rapid, sustainable agricultural growth based on smallholder farmers. AGRA’s programmes invest in soil regeneration and health, improved seeds, access to markets, and building capacity and investment throughout the agricultural value-chain.
He chairs the African Progress Panel, which advocates at the highest level for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. The Panel includes distinguished individuals from the public and private sector and publishes an annual Africa progress report.
He is an active member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights, and in 2013 was appointed its Chair.
Kofi Annan is currently Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and has held a number of positions at Universities around the world.
He is a board member, patron or honorary member of a number of organisations, including the United Nations Foundation. A complete list can be found here.
Kofi Annan’s widely acclaimed memoir: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace was published in 2012.