The highs and lows of Zambia’s aviation industry have been chronicled in a new book launched in Lusaka today.
Stalwarts both past and present gathered to celebrate the publication of 50 Years of Zambian Aviation, published by Langmead & Baker with support from Proflight Zambia.
Guest of honour was Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Hon. Col. Panji Kaunda who contributed the foreword to the book.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by Director of Transport Nelson Nyangu, he said: “In reading this book, I am reminded that aviation is not only about aircraft, airports and routes. Above all, the aviation industry is about people. It is those people – some who are here today, and some who are sadly no longer with us – who have shaped Zambia’s aviation industry in the last quarter century. It is their expertise, professionalism and dedication that put Zambia on the world aviation map; It is their attention to service and hard work that created the most important transport hub in the region in its day; And above all, it is their patriotism that created a genuine sense of national pride that stays with us today.
Contributors to the book include Whiteson Chenge, Jacob Chisela, Chitalu Kabalika, Capt. Kenneth Kabungo, Capt. Philip Lemba, Captain Newton Mbazima, Sharon Mbazima, Major Charles Mutantabowa (Rtd), Kenneth Sunga Silavwe and Capt. Gerald Tembo.
The book takes Zambia’s Golden Jubilee as a timely vantage point from which to look back at the history of the sector. The aviation sector has been both a mirror of the highs and lows of the country, and a shaper of the economic growth, providing as it does a key gateway between Zambia and the rest of the world.
This book charts the evolution of the industry from the point of view of some of the stalwarts who have helped build the nation’s airlines, its infrastructure and its future.
It is intended as a celebration of the sector, its people, their memories, and how they touched the lives of everyone in Zambia by helping to drive economic growth and put the nation on the world map.
“The aviation sector is the backbone of the transport and communication links for any country, particularly a landlocked one such as ours. Thanks to aviation we can export our produce – flowers, vegetables and the like – and we can also welcome increasing numbers of tourists. All this has a direct impact on our foreign exchange earnings and an impact on the prosperity and well-being of everyone in the country,” said the Deputy Minister.
In 1952 the world’s first ever paying jet passenger service landed in Livingstone, en route from London to Cape Town. In 1989 the supersonic Concorde aircraft touched down at Lusaka International Airport with Pope John Paul II on board. These are just two examples of the momentous events in Zambia’s aviation history that are mentioned in this book.
50 Years of Zambian Aviation chronicles these milestones – complete with pictures – and also records the industry’s golden years, when Zambia Airways flew people around the world, with Lusaka as the main hub for the region in the days when the residents of Kenya and South Africa travelled to Zambia to use direct services to London, Frankfurt, Rome, Mauritius and New York.
The book is available from Planet Books in Arcades, and in the UK through www.amazon.co.uk. 50 Years of Zambian Aviation is published by Langmead & Baker Ltd. ISBN 978-9982-896-08-5. Price: K100.
Gillian Langmead at Langmead & Baker Ltd;
+260 979 060705;