Who Is Kenneth Kaunda?


Who is Kenneth Kaunda? Information on Kenneth Kaunda biography, life story and political career.

Kenneth KaundaKenneth Kaunda;first president of Zambia: b. Chinsali, Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia), April 28, 1924. The son of an African missionary teacher, he worked his way through teacher-training college and began to teach in 1943. He later worked in Tanganyika and in the Copperbelt in Northern Rhodesia, where he was outraged by the racial discrimination he experienced.

In 1949 he helped organize the African National Congress (ANC), and he became its secretary-general in 1953. He was jailed briefly for possession of banned literature. In 1957 he visited Britain, West Africa, and India. In 1958 he broke with the Congress leadership and founded the Zambia African National Congress. This new organization was banned in 1959, and Kaunda was again jailed.

Released in January 1960, he was made president of the new United National Independence party (UNIP). Opposing any constitution based on racial groups, he allied his party with the minority ANC to win the elections of October 1962 and was named minister of local government and social welfare. The UNIP won the elections of January 1964, and Kaunda was named prime minister. In August he was elected president of the republic of Zambia.

After independence, Kaunda increased the rate of Zambia’s economic and social development and was a strong supporter of African unity. He also insisted on racial equality in southern Africa. He wrote Zambia Shall Be Free (1963).

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