ZAMBIA first republican President Kenneth Kaunda will during the 50th anniversary of the African Union (AU) be honored for the role he played in the liberation struggles of various Southern African states.
The colorful and historical event is scheduled to take place here at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa in May.
Zambian Ambassador to Ethiopia Francis Simenda told journalists here that Dr Kaunda was among great African leaders who immensely contributed to the liberation struggles in most African countries.
‘I am happy to inform 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 region, countries like Angola, South Africa, Mozambique and so on benefited from Zambia,” he said.
He 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 organization, you didn’t see the picture of President Kaunda here,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Michael Sata is today expected to arrive here for the 20th ordinary session of the AU summit which takes place on January 27 to 28.
Mr Simenda said President Sata is today scheduled to touch down at Bole International Airport at about 12:00 hours Zambian time (13:00 hours local; time).
Mr Simenda said President Sata would be accompanied by the first lady Dr Christine Kaseba who will 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 among many other issues would discuss prevailing conflicts on the continent.
“There are a number of issues to be discussed and one of them is the issue of conflicts in Africa. For Africa to develop we need to have peace on the continent in the various member states.
“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.
He said there was also a surge in which some rebel groups in Africa wanted to overthrow legitimately elected governments hence the need to halt the trend.
Mr Simenda said the summit would also tackle issues of poverty in Africa and youth unemployment.
Mr Simenda said Africa was endowed with a lot of resources but unfortunately the continent was not managing these resources properly.
Other issues to be discussed are maternal health care and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
And Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba is in the advance party leading the Zambian delegation.
Zambia will tomorrow (January 26) be reviewed on the strides made under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).