By Gifty Amofa
Accra, Sept. 10, GNA – Ghana is ready to receive the mortal remains of its illustrious son, Kofi Annan, who headed the United Nations (UN) from 1997 to 2006.
President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo is at the Kotoka International Airport to receive the body for a State Funeral, which would begin on Tuesday, September 11 and end with a private burial on Thursday, September 13.
Mrs Nane Maria Annan, his wife and children: Ama Annan, Kojo Annan and Nina Cronstedt De Groot, would accompany the body.
There would be a brief ceremony of military honours, led by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister-nominee, reiterated at a media briefing earlier today that the public would have their chance to show their last respect on Tuesday between 1000 hours and 1600hours.
The following day, Members of Parliament (MPs), Chiefs, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Ministers of State, among other dignitaries would be allowed to file past the body and finally given interment at the New Military Cemetery, on September 13.
Ambassador Annan A. Cato, a former Secretary to Cabinet and Chair of the Funeral Planning Committee, at a memorial service held for Kofi Annan by the University of Ghana, said “a very decent but subdued funeral and burial, would be accorded him in line with his wishes”.
Ghana News Agency observed that there were portraits of the Peace and humanitarian icon at vantage points within the city of the Greater Accra.
The frontage AICC, where he would be laid in state, is no different as portraits of him have been placed at strategic places.
The mourning colours of red and black, in fabrics, have also been used to decorate the corridor of the Conference Centre, with some black stars engraved on gravels to signify his recognition as a national star.
The national colours of Red, Gold, Green with a black star also adorn the inner chamber of the event centre, indicating the nation’s pride in his achievements.
Some dignitaries and envoys were seen by the GNA moving in and out of the AICC in readiness for the solemn occasion.
The security detail was visible (National Security, Police, Military) while the protocol team were positioned to welcome representatives of various countries who were arriving to pay homage to the former peace figure.
Mr Kofi Annan died at 80 years in Bern, Switzerland, after a short illness on Saturday, August 18, this year.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2001, was born in Kumasi on April 8, 1938 to Mr Henry Reginald Annan and Mrs Victoria Annan. He was a Protestant.
He attended Mfantsipim School, from 1954 to 1957. He joined the Kumasi College of Science and Technology in 1978 for Degree in Economics, pursued Undergraduate studies in Economics at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota des Hautes in Geneva-Switzerland from 1961 to 1962.
He began his career with the UN in 1962 when he joined as an Administrative and Budget Officer with the World Health Organisation in Geneva but took a break to work in Ghana as the Director of Tourism from 1974 to 1976.
He went back to the UN as Assistant Secretary-General in Human Resource Management and Security Coordinator (1987-1990), Programme Planning, budget and Finance and Controller (1990-1992) and Peace-Keeping Operations (1993-1996).
He became the seventh Secretary-General, serving from January 1997 to December 2006, after Boutros Boutros-Ghali.