25 Kofi Annan Quotes On Leadership, Education and Rights

Our latest collection of Kofi Annan quotes on Everyday Power.

Kofi Annan passed away in the early hours of Saturday, August 18, 2018, living behind a glittering humanitarian legacy.

The former Secretary-General of the United Nations will be remembered as an advocate of the most vulnerable populations – one who helped improve millions of lives.

Born on 8 April 1938, in Kumasi, Ghana, Annan was appointed as the Secretary-General in December 1996, becoming the first U.N. Secretary-General from sub-Saharan Africa.

Under his leadership, the U.N. dealt with various issues, including political situations, labor, combating HIV, women empowerment and enhancing business relations.

In 2001, Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for “their work for a better organized and more peaceful world”.

In honor of one of Africa’s foremost sons, here are some beautiful Kofi Annan quotes that will inspire you to be a champion for peace and help improve the lives of others.

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Kofi Annan Quotes On Leadership, Education and Rights

1. We have the means and the capacity to deal with our problems, if only we can find the political will. – Kofi Annan

2. “Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.” ― Kofi Annan

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3. We can love what we are, without hating what, and who, we are not. – Kofi Annan

4. Literacy is at the heart of sustainable development – Kofi Annan

5. The future belongs to you, but it can only belong to you if you participate and take charge – Kofi Annan

6. We need to promote greater tolerance and understanding among the peoples of the world. Nothing can be more dangerous to our efforts to build peace and development than a world divided along religious, ethnic or cultural lines. In each nation, and among all nations, we must work to promote unity based on our shared humanity. – Kofi Annan

7. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right. – Kofi Annan

8. You are never too young to lead and you should never doubt your capacity to triumph where others have not. –
Kofi Annan

9. We need to create a world that is equitable, that is stable and a world where we bear in mind the needs of others, and not only what we need immediately. We are all in the same boat. – Kofi Annan

10. A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment – Kofi Annan

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Kofi Annan quotes on life, education and knowledge

11. Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. – Kofi Annan

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12. “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.” ― Kofi Annan

13. “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.” ― Kofi Annan

14. Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development. – Kofi Annan

15. “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” ― Kofi Annan

16. “The problem is not with the faith, but with the faithful” ― Kofi Annan

17. “Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name. It is the most effective form of defense spending there is.” ― Kofi Annan

18. Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship. – Kofi Annan

19. We need to think of the future and the planet we are going to leave to our children and their children. – Kofi Annan

20. No one is born a good citizen or a good democrat or a good leader; it takes time and education. – Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan quotes on globalization and good governance

21. National markets are held together by shared values and confidence in certain minimum standards. But in the new global market, people do not yet have that confidence. – Kofi Annan

22. “You can do a lot with diplomacy, but with diplomacy backed up by force you can get a lot more done.” ― Kofi Annan

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23. It has been said that arguing against globalisation is like arguing against the laws of gravity. ― Kofi Annan

24. In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion. ― Kofi Annan

25. “I am often asked what can people do to become a good global citizen. I reply that it begins in your own community.” ― Kofi Annan

Which of these Kofi Annan quotes was your favorite?

Kofi Annan will be remembered as a champion for peace who was committed to improving the lives of others.

He has left behind a strong legacy as a great diplomat and humanitarian who was a conscience keeper of international peace and security.

Annan was committed to combating poverty, promoting equality and fighting for human rights.

Hopefully, these quotes from the late former UN Sec-Gen have inspired you to make the world a better place.

Did you enjoy these Kofi Annan quotes?

Which of the quotes was your favorite?

Tell us in the comment section below.

We would love to hear all about it.

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  1. Judith

    March 11, 2019 at 11:03 AM

    It seems to me that all Kofi Annan’s Quotes interlink: literacy+peace; the borders that divide us; our responsibilities one to another; our having a dream that we follow up and so on.
    Understanding how society is divided by those that have material advantages versus those who do not, factors that create the borders in our county

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