The African Union (AU) says former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda was one of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity.

The OAU later became the AU.

Kaunda passed away earlier this week.

He was 97.

The African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has described the late Kenneth Kaunda as one of Africa’s finest sons.

As one of the fighters of the liberation of the continent from colonial rule, the AU says Kaunda represented the true sense of Pan-Africanism.

His speeches in different African meetings preached unity, integration and the need to fight challenges like poverty, hunger and diseases.

From 2002 he began championing the anti-HIV AIDS campaign.

Kaunda was involved in conflict resolution efforts in the continent.

These included mediating in the territorial dispute between Kenya and Somalia. He also mediated in the political crisis in Zimbabwe. In May this year the African Union gave him an award to recognize the role and contributions he made to the liberation of Africa and its people.