Former United Nations secretary general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan died Saturday after a short illness at the age of 80, his foundation announced. "It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations and Nobel Peace laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18 August after a short illness," the foundation said in a statement. "His wife Nane and their children Ama, Kojo and Nina were by his side during his last days," it said. Current UN chief Antonio Guterres voiced deep sadness at the news, describing his predecessor as "a guiding force for good". The Ghanaian national, who lived in Switzerland, was a career diplomat who projected quiet charisma and is widely credited for raising the world body's profile in global politics during his two terms as UN chief, from 1997 to 2006. He was the first secretary-general from sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that the national flag will fly at half-mast at home and in the country's diplomatic missions across the world for one week in honour of "one of greatest compatriots". Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world". Former UN chief and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan dies at 80 He was an icon.