Former Zambian leader, Dr Kenneth Kaunda has pressed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to keep Africa’s lights shining, so as to bring the needed development and improvement in the lives of the people of the continent.
“Your contribution as President can make a huge difference not only for Ghana, but for Africa and the world as a whole. Your becoming President of Ghana has come at a very remarkable time for Ghana and Africa,” he said when President Akufo-Addo called on him at his residence in the outskirts of Lusaka, as part of his three-day official State Visit to Zambia.
Dr Kaunda, who was the first president of independent Zambia, recollected the role Ghana played through its first leader, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in helping Zambia gain independence from colonial rule, urging African leaders to emulate this example and be each other’s keeper.
“The Bible tells us to love your neighbour as yourself. That neighbour could come from another colour, origin or religion. They may even be from a different political party, but we are all brothers and sisters. We work together to do our part in God’s work. With love, we can overcome great challenges,” he said.
Dr Kaunda said President Akufo-Addo’s visit to Zambia “nourishes the deep relationship that had been between us for a long time. We have collaborated in various fields of human relations. This visit can enable the governments and peoples of Ghana and Zambia expand and deepen co-operation in various areas of human endeavour.”
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, explained that being in that country demanded that he paid his respect to and visited Dr Kaunda, because he represented the symbol of the relationship between Zambia and Ghana.
“It was you and Dr Nkrumah who forged that relationship between our two countries, and also worked to ensure the freedom of our continent. You are the icons of our proud generation – those who fought for our independence and freedom,” he said.
“So long as you are alive, and somebody like me comes to Zambia, I have to come and pay my respects, see how you are doing and thank God for your life and for the contribution you have made for the independence and development of our continent.”
President Akufo-Addo underscored the importance of African leaders working together to achieve the common goal of development and improvement in the living standards of the African peoples.
“Our circumstances are the same, and we have to continue to work together, across these colonial boundaries, to ensure that the welfare and progress of our people across the continent are the guiding considerations for those of us who have been blessed with the privilege of political leadership,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo assured Dr Kaunda that “we will continue to walk along the path of solidarity that you fashioned so many years ago. There is a lot that we can gain in the exchanges between our two countries, and I believe that, in the time of President Lungu and myself, we will work closely and assiduously to make sure that our peoples benefit from the relationship.”
The goals set by Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the President added, had not changed – “the need for all of us to work together and defend our interests and make sure that, within the comity of the world, our voice can be heard loud and clear, defending and promoting the interests of our people.”