Kenneth Kaunda

His Excellency Dr Kenneth David Kaunda is a former President of Zambia and is Vice-Chairperson of the Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation.

Dr Kaunda led Zambia to independence and served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.

Formerly an educator, Dr Kaunda began his political career as the founder and Secretary of the Lubwa Branch of the African National Congress in 1950. He held various positions until 1953, when he became Secretary-General of the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress.

In 1958, Dr Kaunda formed the Zambian African National Congress, of which he became President. In 1960, Dr Kaunda became President of the United National Independence Party, a post he held until 1962, and again from 1995 to 2000.

In addition to his efforts in Zambia, Dr Kaunda was in the forefront of the efforts to liberate all of Africa, serving as the President of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa in 1962 and as Chairman of the Organization of African Unity from 1970 to 1973. Dr Kaunda also played key roles in the mitigation of territorial disputes between Kenya and Somalia and the liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In 1992, he founded the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation, dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution on the continent. Dr Kaunda is committed to ending the AIDS epidemic and poverty in Africa.

Dr Kaunda is the recipient of many honours and awards. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates of Law from the Universities of Fordham, Dublin, Wales, Windsor (Canada), Sussex, York and Chile. In addition, he has received honorary degrees from Humboldt State University, California, and the University of Zambia. Other awards include the Order of the Collar of the Nile.