Ghanaians Thursday bid farewell to former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan in a state funeral attended by African leaders and international statesmen who hailed his record as an advocate for humanity and world peace.
Annan, a Ghanaian national and Noble Laureate, died in a Swiss hospital last month at the age of 80.
His body was flown to Accra on Monday for burial in his homeland, where he is seen as a national hero.
Around 6,000 mourners attended theThursday’s official service – the climax of the funeral ceremony, which saw his coffin draped in the Ghanaian national colors, displayed for public viewing.
Current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres was among the dignitaries in attendance, alongside former Ghanaian presidents, the leaders of Ivory Coast, Liberia, Namibia and Niger, and the Crown Prince of Norway.
In an address, Guterres hailed Annan, who served as the seventh UN Secretary-General between 1997 and 2006, as an exceptional global leader with a deep faith in the role of the UN as a force for good.
“As we face the headwinds of our troubled and turbulent times, let us always be inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan,” Guterres said.
“Our world needs it now more than ever,” he said.
The ceremony was projected onto big screens outside the auditorium for the crowds of mourners that could not fit inside the venue.
Many commuters in the capital wore black as a sign of respect.
On Wednesday, Annan’s family and Ghanaian dignitaries were among hundreds to file past his casket amid traditional rites by local chiefs and clan leaders.