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Kenneth Kaunda, the internationalist

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The often unsung legacy of Kenneth Kaunda was the pivotal role he played in establishing newly-independent Zambia as a central hub for pan-Africanist and internationalist activities and processes.

With an African kitenge crossed over his shoulder, beaming and tearful, the newly-elected President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda addressed the UN General Assembly in December 1964. In this speech, Kaunda shared his commitment to building an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist liberation front and decolonization processes. He also called for the recognition of China as a member state and declared that the “United Nations is as good as what we, the Member Nations, put into it in the way of service to humanity”. His final words called for recognition that “the true path to harmonious relations and world peace lies in focusing attention on human beings and in going out in a spirit of brotherhood to meet human needs.”

With his passing on June 17, we remember some of Kenneth Kaunda’s internationalist contributions in service of subjected and exploited peoples.

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*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.

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