Co-Chairman: Kenneth David Kaunda- Former President of Zambia
President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991. Born on April 28, 1924 in Chinsali, Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.
In late 1949, Mr Kaunda joined the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress. In the early 1950s, he became Organizing Secretary of the Congress for Northern Province. He was elected President of the United National Independence Party in January 1960. Zambia’s independence movement gained popular support from 1960 with Mr Kaunda playing a dominant role.
Britain granted independence to Northern Rhodesia in 1964.Amid exuberance nationwide, Zambia became the 36th African country to gain independence. Mr Kaunda became the first president of an independent Zambia and pledged never to form an alliance with any superpower.
In 1965, Zambia sought help from the United States and Britain after neighboring countries blocked raw material exports by train. The United States and Britain provided minimal assistance. New China extended a helping hand, building the famous 1,800-km Zambia-Tanzania railway. Mr Kaunda declared Zambia-China relations all-weather and has since adhered to a friendly policy toward China.
Mr Kaunda is one of the greatest African leaders in the 20th century, and a gifted musician. His diplomatic and negotiation skills brought peace to Zimbabwe. He is author of several books, including “Black Government”, “Non-Alliance”.