The Chargé’s Goodwill Message for
Former President Kenneth Kaunda’s 96th Birthday
April 28, 2020
Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation
On behalf of the United States of America and the U.S. Embassy, it is my honor to wish His Excellency Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, the First President of the Republic of Zambia and Founding Father of the Nation, a Happy 96th Birthday! Today, we celebrate his remarkable life, and reflect on his service to his fellow countrymen and women and the lasting connections he has had with the American people.
In 1964, the United States was one of the first countries to recognize Zambia’s independence and Dr. Kaunda as Zambia’s first president. We immediately established our embassy, and since that time, relations between our two countries have been strong. During this period, President Kaunda met with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Americans who shared a common dream of service in the pursuit of and protection of civil liberties.
During the liberation struggle of southern Africa, President Kaunda met with President Reagan in March 1983 at the White House. Together, our two presidents sought a path to end apartheid in South Africa.
In retirement, President Kaunda worked side-by-side with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to build housing for the less privileged in Zambia. Dr. Kaunda established a firm foundation for U.S.-Zambia relations to continue to grow in trade, health, and cultural exchanges.
For decades, Dr. Kaunda has offered his leadership and joined the United States in supporting the HIV/AIDS response in Zambia, Africa, and globally. He is a UNAIDS Champion for an AIDS-Free Generation, and he continues to speak out against stigmatization of HIV and discrimination against people living with HIV. This year, Zambia is on schedule to achieve epidemic control—a significant milestone that only a few countries are able to reach.
President Kaunda’s love for a united Zambia helped the country emerge as one of Africa’s most peaceful and democratic countries. The United States applauds President Kaunda’s vision for “One Zambia, One Nation” and his legacy endures today.
Happy Birthday, President Kaunda!