President Akufo-Addo has on behalf of Ghanaians and government extended condolences to the people of Zambia over the loss of their first President, Kenneth Kaunda.
“On behalf of the Govt & people of Ghana & on my own behalf, I extend sincere condolences to the President, Govt & people of Zambia on the loss of their first President & one of the icons of Africa’s independence movement, Kenneth David Kaunda. May his soul rest in perfect peace,” President Akufo-Addo posted on Twitter.
Leaders across Africa have paid tribute to Zambia’s founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, who died on Thursday at the age of 97, declaring several days of mourning in their respective countries.
While in power, Kaunda hosted many of the movements fighting for independence or Black equality in other countries around the continent, standing up to white minority rule in countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
President Hage Geingob of Namibia said in a statement Africa lost “a giant of a man”.
“Kenneth Kaunda was a generous, affable, and a resolute leader who freed our region from colonialism.”
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said in a tweet Kaunda’s “commitment to Africa’s liberation will never be forgotten”.
“His leadership on the continent and legacy of Pan-Africanism will live on for generations to come,” he said.
Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine said Kaunda was one of Africa’s “few surviving independence heroes”.
Kaunda ruled Zambia for 27 years, taking the helm after the country gained independence from Britain in October 1964.
“For our founding father, it was not enough for his country Zambia to be liberated when the region and the African continent remained bonded in the shackles of colonialism and apartheid,” President Edgar Lungu told mourners at Kaunda’s house in Lusaka on Friday.
“He soldiered on to seek freedom for humanity,” Lungu said.
Funeral plans are still to be announced, but his native country is observing 21 days of national mourning, with flags flying at half-mast and all entertainment banned.
In retirement, Kaunda became a respected voice of experience on the continent, from mediating in conflicts to his anti-AIDS campaign after the disease had killed one of his own sons.
“He was brave, compassionate and tireless in confronting HIV-related stigma and discrimination,” said UNAIDS executive director, Winnie Byanyima. – Additional files from aljazeera.com