Rupiah Banda was the UNIP’s representative in Northern Europe in the early 1960s,and in 1965 he was appointed as Zambia’s Ambassador to Egypt (the United Arab Republic). While there, he became friends with UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, and the decision to allow UNITA to open offices in Lusaka at that time has been attributed to Banda’s influence. Banda became Ambassador to the United States on 7 April 1967.
He served as Ambassador to the U.S. for about two years, then returned to Zambia to serve as Chief Executive of the Rural Development Corporation for about two years and subsequently as General Manager of the National Agriculture Marketing Board for a similar length of time.
He was then appointed as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and while in this position he also headed the U.N. Council for Namibia. After about a year at the U.N., he was appointed to the Zambian Cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
During his brief stint as Foreign Minister (1975–1976, President Banda was occupied by the task of attempting to broker a cease-fire in Angola.
May his Soul Rest in Peace.
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