Ghanaians gather to mourn former UN chief Kofi Annan

Kofi AnnanThe Associated Press
Members of the public pay their respects as the coffin of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan lies in state at the Accra International Conference Center in Ghana Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Ghanaians are paying their respects to Annan, who died in August in Switzerland at age 80, ahead of Thursday's state funeral. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Ghanaians are paying their respects to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan ahead of Thursday's state funeral.

Annan died in August in Switzerland at age 80. The grandson of tribal chiefs, he was the first black African to become the U.N. leader and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

Ghanaians have thronged at a conference center in Accra to remember him.

"God should have spared him a few more years to help improve the world," 75-year-old retired teacher Kwaku Atiemo tells The Associated Press. "He was a son Ghana is proud of and Africans felt good about him."

"God should keep him in a good place," 40-year-old Yawa Doe says.

Ghana has said several African heads of state from Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ivory Coast and elsewhere are expected to attend the funeral.

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