25 January 2013

Zambia: African Union to Honour Kenneth Kaunda

Addis Ababa — ZAMBIA'S First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda will be honoured during the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU) for the role he played in the liberation struggles in the Southern African region.

The historical event is scheduled to take place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa in May.

Zambian Ambassador to Ethiopia Francis Simenda told journalists that Dr Kaunda was among great African leaders who immensely contributed to the liberation struggles in most African countries.

"I am happy to inform you that Dr Kaunda will be honoured this year here at the AU for his role he played in the liberation of Southern Africa.

"You know, Zambia sacrificed so much of its resources including manpower to liberate the southern African region; countries like Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and so on benefited from Zambia," he said.

Mr Simenda said it was surprising to note that even after the immense contribution to Africa's welfare by Dr Kaunda, his recognition was barely noticed.

"If you look around the conference here (AU headquarters), look at the pictures of those who contributed to this organisation, you don't see the picture of President Kaunda here," he said.

Meanwhile, President Michael Sata is today expected to arrive in Ethiopia for the two-day 20th Ordinary Session of the AU Summit which opens on January 27.

Mr Simenda said President Sata is scheduled to touch down at Bole International Airport at about 13:00 hours (12:00 Zambian time).

Mr Sata would be accompanied by First Lady Christine Kaseba, who would be attending the Organisation of African First Ladies (OAFLA) General Assembly on the sidelines of the AU Heads of State Summit.

He said the AU Summit would discuss prevailing conflicts on the continent among many other issues.

"So there are a number of conflict areas in Africa, the situation in Mali, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of Congo. Focus will be made to try and see how Heads of State can try and resolve these issues," he said.

Mr Simenda said the summit would tackle issues of poverty in Africa and youth unemployment.

Other issues to be discussed are maternal health care and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba is in the advance party leading the Zambian delegation.

Zambia would tomorrow be reviewed on the strides made under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

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