Founding President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda Dies at Age 97

A hero for Zambia and a founding president who believed in tourism as a driver of world peace, passed away in Lusaka today. Kuanda was President of Zambia from 1964 to 1991.

In May 2011, the first President of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, addressed the opening ceremony of the IIPT (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism) conference in Lusaka. He presented his vision for Zambia and for Peace Through Tourism in a song.

Kenneth Kaunda with Bea Broda in Lusaka, February 28, 2015


I attended that IIPT conference, but it was a few years later, in 2015, when I found myself back in Zambia to help train young Zambian students in the skill of travel journalism. Another part of my visit was to visit KK to interview him about human rights. I was deeply touched that this "singing president" sange happy birthday to me when he discovered it was my birthday!


Kenneth Kaunda has managed to instill his courage and strength into the DNA of Zambia, and he was beloved by the people, who are now beginning a 21 day period of mourning. I join them in mourning this country's loss and celebrate his peaceful legacy.


Cuthbert Ncube, the Chairman of the African Tourism Board, posted a message saying, “Africa has lost a great statesman, a Pan-Africanist – Dr. Kenneth Kaunda – the father of Zambia. May he rest in Peace. And we continue to fight for a United Africa through Tourism as a unifying sector.”


“Former President Kaunda was a staunch supporter of tourism for Zambia and the whole of Africa. He was an advocate on the issue of climate change, as well as for Peace Through Tourism,” said World Tourism Network Chairman Juergen Steinmetz, who also took the video of the late president singing at the IIPT conference in 2011.


Alain St. Ange, minister Tourism Seychelles, and First President Kaunda, Zambia

“I have had the pleasure and the honor of meeting with President Kaunda on many occasions on my different working missions as the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism. He was a man of the people, and as he waved his white handkerchief as his trademark sign, he ran into conferences to the speakers podium always with the same grace and humility. Our discussions about Africa and the Pan-Africanism spirit were always enlightening and personally rewarding,” said Alain St.Ange. the President of the African Tourism Board.


President Kaunda met with ATB President St. Ange at the International Peace Park in Livingstone during the IIPT tree planting event to mark the UNWTO 20th General Assembly which was being organized jointly by Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Louis D’Amore, Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) told eTurboNews today: “IIPT deeply regrets the passing of a good friend of IIPT and the father of Zambia.” IIPT presented President Kaunda with the Peace Price in 2008 in Zambia and again in 2013 on the opening day of the 20th UNWTO General Assembly in Zambia and ZImbabwe.


Thanks to the late President, it was the third time Zambia was in the Center of Peace Through Tourism in 2013. After hosting two international events for the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), and after dedicating Victoria Falls as a Peace Park 3 years prior, Zambia is firm in its commitment to support peace and tourism.


Walter Mzembi, former Minister of Tourism for Zimbabwe, tweeted: “Portraits of a Patriarch, Founding Father, Statesman, Liberator, Humanist & Philanthropist! We were rooting for 100, but we thank God Almighty for the blessing you were for 97 years. Heaven has gained our irreplaceable loss.”


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