KOFI ANNAN DEATH: Earth loses a statesman, heaven gains

Annan was not the first person nor the only African to have headed the global body, but his ability to lead and inspire endeared him to the world. His 10-year leadership of the UN in the post-cold war era, saw him championing human rights like never before. His personality, style, and strength combined to reinvigorate the agency.

The UN, which Annan led from 1996-2007, was not without failings but his reign was successful in many areas. Little wonder the failure to act sufficiently during the Rwandan genocide and Bosnian crisis, were just the low moments that featured in most commentaries about his time as head of the UN. This explains the quality of the tributes pouring in for the late global statesman, whose works at the UN earned him the status of an international superstar. Some of the eulogies are even coming from quarters, that hardly espouse those things that endeared Annan to people. However, beyond these chanting of dirges, his legacies are timeless lessons for leaders, especially African rulers.

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