President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday cut the sod for the erection of a 20-feet memorial statue for the late Mr Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
The statue, which will be constructed by Stone Depot, a Ghanaian company will take six months to complete.
The design of the statue is unique as it portrays the gentle, quiet and soft-spoken subject (Mr Annan) in one of his many poses.
President Akufo-Addo said Mr Annan was a man of principles, a man who values important concepts in life and who lived his life according to those values.
“A very few of us can claim that. But he did that. And that is the reason why a grateful posterity has found it necessary to honour him,” he said.
“It is a lesson for all of us, that if you live and act in a commendable way, your peers will recognise and acknowledge your efforts”.
President Akufo-Addo said he was very happy that he had the opportunity to make his contribution to the perpetuation of this memory.
Mrs Nane Annan, the wife of the late Mr Annan, expressed gratitude to all who supported her and the family in their difficult year, which had just passed.
She said having spent many years with the late Mr Annan and for having being part of his vision for global peace; there is the need to preserve Mr Annan’s legacy.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence and the Chairman of the KAIPTC’s Governing Board, said the Centre was established 21 years ago by the government with the mandate to train military, police, and civilian personnel for multidimensional peacekeeping and peace support operations in Africa and across the globe.
He said the mandate of the KAIPTC was created within the context of the global iconic image of Mr Annan, the world statesman, who dedicated his life to global peace.
The statue to be erected will show the Mr Annan in a mobile pose with a simple gesture to signify the subject’s continuous desire for world peace.
The statue will portray Mr Annan as an astute gentleman, a peace diplomat and a global icon.
The 20-feet height was chosen to achieve the purpose of a towering statue at the entrance of the KAIPTC, and strategically placed close to the boundary fence and the road, for all to see and appreciate Ghana‘s international Peace Diplomat on a Giant scale.
The statue will be produced in grey ornamental stone marble known as Sierra Elvira.
This type of marble stone is original, hardwearing, durable, water resistant and has no weather coloration.
The statue will measure 18 feet with a pedestal of two-feet; it has a width of six feet, a thickness of five feet and weighs 21 tons.
Among the dignitaries who graced the sod-cutting were former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and African Union High Representative to Mali and Sahel (MISAHEL).
Others were Madam Catharine Samba-Panza, former President of Central African Republic; Mr Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, former President of Somalia; Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone and Professor Amos Claudius Sawyer, former President of Liberia.
The rest were Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and Mrs Mary Chinery-Hesse, Chairperson of the KAIPTC’s “Goodwill Ambassador”.
The sod-cutting event forms part of the Kofi Annan Peace and Security (KAPS) Forum this year in Accra (4 -5 September), which is the Centre’s flagship annual event designed to bring together political leaders, diplomats and experts to dialogue and share ideas on the most critical evolving peace and security trends on the African continent.
The forum was held under the theme: ‘Peace Operations in the Context of Violent Extremism in Africa.’
The forum also seeks to deepen the collaboration between KAIPTC and international organisations such as the United Nations, African Union, Regional Economic Communities, governments, development partners, civil society organisations and the business community.