Kandifo Institute a youth-oriented think tank acknowledges the philosophies of Kofi Annan, most especially the one that states that “You are never too young to lead and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not.” This describes clearly, the Head of States Awards Scheme (HoSA) which Kandifo Institute happens to be a licensed operating office and the Let’s go lower initiative by Kandifo Institute, which is designed to engage the younger generation between the ages of 13years to 30years, intended to equip, train and educate young people in their understanding of leadership, Economy and Governance.
Kofi Annan was born into an aristocratic family in Ghana in 1939 and his exposure motivated his experience with advocacy at quite a young age. His education taught him that, suffering anywhere was an issue of global concern. Kofi Annan’s passion for international relations was ignited upon Ghana’s achievement of independence from Britain when he graduated from school in 1957. This explains his lifetime of civil service which begun at the UN in 1962, where he served in a number of capacities including Peacekeeping Operations during the Rwandan genocide and he eventually took up the role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Security Council in 1997. As UN Secretary-General, his most difficult test was to handle American hubris and pursue the goal of a just world.
Through his leadership and diligence, Kofi Annan managed to reform the UN bureaucracy, worked to combat HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa; and launched the UN Global Compact. He faced quite a bit of challenge at a point but as usual, issues were resolved. After his tenure of office as UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan founded the Kofi Annan Foundation back in 2007 to work on international development. He further served as the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria in 2012 to help resolve an ongoing conflict and as usual, worked tirelessly to achieve his set goals. In 2016, he was appointed to lead a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya crisis.
His success or strengths in leadership would fall first of all on his diligence, his consultative planning nature, his organizational improvements as such as strengthening arrangements for collaboration between the organizational silos within the system. He had great concerns for the leadership of the UN staff which he compassionately handled at the time of the 11 September 2001 attacks. Kofi Annan was also dedicated to strengthening inclusive dialogue and was widely acknowledged as an effective policy leader through his book of collected speeches dubbed We The Peoples: A UN for the 21st Century demonstrates the breadth of his principled commitments and strength of his goal to such as increasing the effectiveness of the UN through inclusive development, gender equality, controlling greenhouse gas emissions, seeking security through peace; turning “swords into ploughshares; strengthening human rights as “the very heart of the UN’s mission, and building the concept of responsibility to protect.
Kofi Annan was a man of integrity, who was dedicated to human wellbeing and seeking peaceful conflict resolution. He almost always explained the leader-follower principle so easily with his brilliant quote that states: “I have always believed that on important issues, the leaders must lead. Where the leaders fail to lead, and people are really concerned about it, the people will take the lead and make the leaders follow.” Kofi Annan was naturally a gifted speaker who left an impression on many people worldwide. Till today, many grieve of his demise because of their concerns with global peace and justice.
In view of his many works on service, advocacy and policy, Kandifo Institute proudly acknowledges Kofi Annan As a Model for The Younger Generation and establishes a “KOFI ANNAN ANNUAL LECTURE.” This year’s lecture would fall on Wednesday, the 21st of April, 2021. Today, we at Kandifo Institute choose to remember a great statesman whose structured leadership principles aligns with that of Kandifo Institute. His vision still lives, which is the ultimate and that is IMPACT.
May you continue to rest well!
Source: Kandifo Institute