H.E. Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, first President of the Republic of Zambia, was presented the WANGO Universal Peace Award 2004 at an Award Luncheon during the 3rd International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) African Conference, being held at Hotel InterContinental Lusaka in Lusaka, Zambia, on February 5, 2005. H.E. Dr. Kaunda was bestowed the Universal Peace Award, WANGO’s highest award to individuals, because of his remarkable service to humanity, both in politics and in the non-governmental sector.
On behalf of WANGO, Taj Hamad, Secretary General, and Dr. Noel Brown, Award Committee Chairperson, were present to confer the Award. Mr. Hamad affirmed that the Association unanimously voted to bestow the Universal Peace Award to Dr. Kaunda, who is truly one of the great peace-loving sons of Africa.
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda has worked toward the goal of peace, freedom, and well being for the people of Zambia and Africa at great personal sacrifice. His long record of seeking solutions to the most difficult problems facing people in this region, and his bold and steadfast work to bring about non-violent social and political change makes him one of the world’s leading lights of our time.
As the Republic of Zambia’s Founding Father and first Head of State, and as a visionary leader in the forefront to liberate all of Africa, H.E. Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda has been one of the great figures of our time. Today, he continues to work for social and political change through the non-governmental sector.
Dr. Kaunda became Zambia’s first president when it gained its independence on October 24, 1964, and served as Zambia’s President until 1991. Deeply influenced by the philosophy of Mahatma Ghandi, Kaunda used non-violence and dialogue to win independence for his nation.
After his retirement from politics, Dr. Kaunda became very active in the NGO sector, gaining particular renown for his efforts to address the AIDS crisis. Dr. Kaunda has called on African governments to wage a relentless fight against HIV/AIDS with similar vigor and determination that characterized the struggle against colonialism and apartheid. In 1992, he set up the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation to lead an anti-AIDS crusade targeted at youth and centered on an awareness campaign and the support of vulnerable children. The foundation is dedicated to helping the people of southern Africa survive the AIDS epidemic especially the millions of children orphaned by the epidemic.
On the impact of HIV/AIDS on Africa's capacity to govern and the challenge of scaling up treatment, Dr. Kaunda has emphasized that governments need to work with NGOs, and with the participation of the people at national, district and local levels. Dr. Kaunda is also a patron of the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA), a body set up to track the long term impact of the pandemic in Africa.
Dr. Kaunda is the recipient of many honors and awards. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Law form the Universities of Fordham, Dublin, Wales, Windsor (Canada), Sussex, York and Chile. In addition, he received honorary degrees from a number of universities, and other awards such as Order of the Collar of the Nile.