Keeping you up to date with our ever changing industry.

Industry News, ZCCM-IH News

Francis Herbert Kaunda, renowned former ZCCM-IH CEO, has passed

Francis Kaunda can best be remembered as an industrialist who managed ZCCM at the height of its capabilities. He was known as one of the greatest minds of his generation. A softly spoken but confident leader who socialized with freedom fighters in his youth. He spent almost 30 years running one of the biggest mining companies in the world and in his later years dedicated his time to writing his memoirs.
Francis Kaunda
Having completed his initial studies at Munali Secondary School, he was admitted to the school of medicine at the University of Ghana (1961). He was then convinced by a young Kenneth Kaunda that he should transfer into social sciences as the young revolutionary needed more people with administrative skills for his first government. He was educated at Howard University in the United States and also regularly attended the summer school at Georgetown University. Georgetown was known for taking in promising young African leaders at the time. He graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Science in 1966.
His education instigated his relationship with various civil rights and independence movement leaders across the world. In his autobiography: ‘Things to remember Not to forget’, he recollects that his time in Ghana was spent socializing with the young intellectuals of the time who would go on to be great leaders with Nelson Mandela, Amilcar Cabral, Sam Nujoma and Eduardo Mondlane. During his time at Howard he was able to meet Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Stockley Carmicheal and James Meredith. He details how  his time as a young student was spent with hard study followed by walking everyday from Mount Makulu to Freedom House to seek the advice of his close friend and freedom fighter Dr Kenneth Kaunda. Dr Kaunda was always fond of the young and intelligent Mr Kaunda and was a mentor to him for much of his young career.
He was then employed as a secretary of cabinet under the pupilage of the late Valentine Musakanya. Shortly thereafter he joined Roan Selection Trust (RST), one of two privately owned mining companies at the time. During his time there the company revenues rose steadily from  around $140 million per year to $165 million with a profit of around $16 million. While he was still an employee at RST Kaunda announced the Nationalisation of the mining corporations. This catapulted him to be the head of the newly established Metal Marketing Cooperation (Momaco). Shortly after he took over from Wilson Chakulya as the head of Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (NCCM). David Phiri was at the time head of Roan Consolidated Mines (formerly RST) and the two companies merged in 1981 to create ZCCM.
According to the World Bank records, under his leadership ZCCM accounted for 85% of foreign exchange earnings ($1billion per year at the time), 15% of the country’s total GDP and 30% of the government’s revenue ($250 million at the time). The average production of copper was around 430,000 tonnes per year (based on 1975-1985 numbers). The company had 67,000 employees and the company was known for building schools, medical services and housing for the general public.
Quote on the Future of Zambian Mining 
Currently, the country is in a position where we are receiving 5 cents for every $1 of copper that is being produced in the country. While receiving a lifetime achievement  award for his career in 2017 he had this to say:
It should be realised that we, Zambians, are the owners of the resources and we should get a fair return for our people, while also taking into account that the mining investors should have a return on their investment because they have put in money and technical know-how. So, a lot  of responsibility is needed and that is where a win-win situation is expected.”
He serves as an inspiration to many young Zambians and his legacy throughout Africa will be remembered for a long time to come.
Previous ArticleNext Article