Lets do it ourselves – Kaunda
Lusaka – Zambia’s Founding President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, has continued his wise counsel with a call on African leaders to rise to the challenge of developing the continent with less dependence on external assistance.
Dr Kaunda (88) ‑ revered as independence hero in his country and a staunch advocate of the HIV/AIDS fight ‑ has challenged the leadership in Africa to devise ways of developing the continent endowed with natural and human resources.
He made the remarks when he received an award of excellence for his contribution to peace and Africa’s liberation in general from Voice Magazine.
In a statement issued by the Zambian High Commission in Brussels, Belgium, the former President challenged Africans to rise up and develop the continent themselves to ensure security of tenure on their investment and the peace needed in the “trouble-torn” continent.
In accepting the 2012 Voice Magazine Achievers award in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, recently Dr Kaunda contended that outsiders would not develop Africa, but Africans themselves.
“We need to do everything possible to link our continent into the global economy. I have repeatedly stated before that Africa will not be developed by people from outside our continent, but by ourselves taking the lead to liberate ourselves from the malaise of poverty to underdevelopment,” Dr Kaunda said in a speech read on his behalf by Zambia's Ambassador to Belgium, Grace Kabwe.
“I am delighted to mention that efforts to this end are already under way. We have so far established the necessary forums for achieving our desired goals through encouraging economic growth through regional integration.
“As an old freedom fighter, I am happy that as a continent, we are taking meaningful steps to achieve economic and social development for our people not only for this generation but more so, for our succeeding generations in years to come.”
Dr Kaunda added that: “Africans are creative people who deserved every opportunity for advancement in their standard of living.
“And I know that we do have many worthy people for this award than my humble self.
“It is therefore with a deep sense of humility and appreciation that I accept this award in the name of the weak and vulnerable among us ‑ those for whom we must work tirelessly in order that they too achieve better living standards in this our one world”. Dr Kaunda relinquished power to his successor, Frederick Chiluba, after ruling Zambia for 27 years following Zambia independence in 1964. But he remained the country’s prominent icon and ambassador for many that look up to him for wisdom and good governance.
Through Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation, Kaunda has been advocating for the interests of vulnerable children including orphans and the underprivileged. He has maintained his desire for mankind to “love one another” to accelerate the dignity of humanity.
During his tenure as Zambia’s President, Dr Kaunda was instrumental in the attainment of independence of various SADC countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Zambia was host to various liberation movements in Southern Africa like SWAPO (Namibia), ANC (South Africa) and ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe). Renowned freedom fighters, including former South African President, Nelson Mandela; Namibia Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma; as well as Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe have sought sanctuary in Zambia.