Kofi Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who also served as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for nine years. He is well known and respected for founding the Global AIDS and Health Fund to help developing countries care for their citizens and he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for his efforts. EDUinReview will now take a look at the education background of this inspiring man.
Annan was born on April 8, 1938 in a small town in the Gold Coast section of Ghana. He had a twin sister, Eufa, who died in 1991. Twins in Ghana are very highly respected. Annan’s family was considered to be an elite family because they had tribal chiefs as ancestors.
Annan attended the Mfantsipim School, a Methodist boarding school on the Cape Coast from 1954 to 1957. While at Mfantsipim, he learned that “suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere.” This lesson followed him throughout his life.
After he graduated from Mfantsipim, Annan attended Kumasi College of Science and Technology, a local school. He then received a Ford Foundation grant, which allowed him to complete his education at Macalester College in 1961.
Annan still had not quenched his thirst for knowledge, so after Macalester, he attended the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, where he completed his DEA degree. He then took a break from his education to work as a budget officer for the World Health Organization. After a few years, he studied in the Sloan Fellows program, and then he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned his Master of Science degree.
In 1976, he became a member of the UN and was posted to UN headquarters in New York City. In 1997, he became Secretary General and held that title until 2006.
After his time as the Secretary General, he returned to his homeland. He was asked to run for president of Ghana, but declined in favor of living his life out of the limelight.