Kenneth David Kaunda

kaunda_0069President Kenneth David Kaunda is currently the Balfour African President in Residence at Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center. Dr. Kaunda led Zambia to independence and served as the first President of the Republic of Zambia. He served as the 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 (ANC) in 1950. He held various positions until 1953. Dr. Kaunda then 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 (UNIP), a post he held until 1962, and again from 1995 to 2000.

With the development of a new Constitution, and the advent of Zambia’s first black Government in 1962, Dr. Kaunda became Minister of Local Government and Social Welfare 1962 – 1964 and Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia from January – October 1964. In October 1964, Dr. Kaunda was elected President of the Republic of Zambia.

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 (Pafmesca) in 1962 and as Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) 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, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In 1991 Dr. Kaunda lost the Presidential election and in 1992 founded the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation, dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution on the continent. Dr. Kaunda is now devoting the best part of his life to fighting HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa.

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

He is the author of: Black Government, 1961; Zambia Shall Be Free, 1962; A Humanist in Africa (with Colin Morris), 1966; Humanism in Zambia and its Implementation, 1967; Human in Zambia Part II; Letter to My Children, 1977; Kaunda on Violence, 1980.

Married to Betty Banda in 1946, Dr. Kaunda is the father of ten children, seven of whom are living.