President Hage Geingob has expressed sadness in the wake of the death of former Organisation of African Unity (OAU) secretary general and ex-Prime Minister of Togo Edem Kodjo (82) who died over the weekend in Paris.
Kodjo served as prime minister from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2006, under the leadership of former president Gnassingbe Eyadema.
Prior to his appointment as PM, he held numerous ministerial positions.
In Eyadema’s government, he also served as minister of finance from 1973 to 1976 and as minister of foreign affairs from 1976 to 1978.
At the OAU Summit in Khartoum in 1978, he was elected secretary-general.
Geingob lauded Kodjo as an illustrious son of Africa who contributed immensely to the development of the African continent.
“I don’t only remember him as a Togolese politician who served as prime minister - but as secretary general of the Organisation of African Unity, Edem Kodjo was instrumental in crafting the Lagos Plan of Action, Africa’s Blueprint for Economic Revival,” stated Geingob.
Geingob says as a strong advocate for independence and democracy, Kodjo took in 1982 a principled stance on the question of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) by enforcing the OAU decision to allow the SADR to take up its seat as a member.
“I express on behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of Namibia sympathies to his wife and family, and the Togolese people for the loss of an upstanding African. May his soul rest in peace,” Geingob said.
The current African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, described Kodjo as “a brilliant African intellectual” and “a distinguished statesman and tireless knight of peace.”
The AU chief continued that death was “painful” before extending on behalf the staff of the AUC, his most sincere and deep condolences to his family, the Togolese people and all the African peoples. May his soul rest in peace and may his example continue to inspire the continent,” the statement concluded.
Aside his work as OAU chief which ended in 1983 following which he returned to France to continue with academic pursuits at the prestigious University of Sorbonne; the AU named him envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo during the electoral crisis in the late years of Kabila’s mandate.
2020-04-14 10:47:02 | 1 months ago