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Kaunda says AfCFTA will help fight poverty, hunger in Africa

The former Zambian president on Africa Day said the continent should now fight for its people’s dignity and freedom from poverty hunger and disease.

FILE: Zambia's former President Kenneth Kaunda. Picture: Kennethkaunda.org

JOHANNESBURG - Former Zambia President Kenneth Kaunda on Monday called on African Union (AU) chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa, to keep the dream of African unity alive, and to deliver the continent from poverty, hunger, and disease.

Kaunda delivered a virtual address to mark Africa Day - the 57th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Union (OAU), now known as the AU - on 25 May 1963.

He said the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was the way to achieve this.

The 96-year-old is the only remaining founding father of the OAU. He said the continent should now fight for its people’s dignity and freedom from poverty hunger and disease.

“Our colonial borders have long separated us. Now a united Africa should rise and reach its dreams and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a step in this direction,” Kaunda said.

The integration was led by AfCFTA secretary-general and South African Wamkele Mene.

“It is my mission to make sure the benefits reach all segments of our society, young Africans, women in trade, small and medium enterprises,” said Mene.

The AfCFTA went live on 1 April but remained dormant as the COVID-19 pandemic kept borders closed.