Tag: President Barack Obama in Africa

Homecoming: Obama Brings $1 Billion in Investments To Kenya, Reunites With Half-Sister Auma Obama

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(Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty)

In his first visit to his father’s country since he became president, Barack Obama made his rounds with extended family, addressed economic development and announced more than $1 billion in investments to promote entrepreneurship at Nairobi’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

He kicked off the two-day visit with the latter, making a point to announce that half of the $1 billion from government and private companies would benefit both young children and women entrepreneurs.

“If half of your team is not playing, you’ve got a problem,” he said. “This continent needs to be a future hub of global growth and not just African growth. Kenya is leading the way. Go out there and start something. We’re excited about it — we are expecting great things out of you,” Obama added.

The visit is not only historical for President Obama; the move is an important one that officially forges a relationship between America and the African nation.

“We have waited for Obama to visit the country since he became president — we want to thank God that he has finally arrived,” said Grace Wangeci, a vegetable seller in Nairobi told USA Today. “We thank him for fulfilling his promise to the country before he leaves the presidency.”

It’s also a special visit for the president, who remarked that the long-awaited journey was “personal” for him. Upon arriving to Kenya, Obama was greeted by his half-sister, Auma Obama, at Jomo Kenyatta Airport.

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The president, who was also greeted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, met with other top officials during the reunion, dined with his extended family — including a step-grandmother — and celebrated with the locals.

“I am proud to be the first U.S. president to visit Kenya,” he said. “Obviously, it is personal for me. It’s the reason why my name is Barack Hussein Obama. My father came from these parts, I have family and relatives here.”

During his trip, Obama is also expected to discuss human rights with civil society groups — this despite a warning from Kenyan leaders who have threatened to disrupt the president’s visit if he discusses gay marriage.

“We want to warn Obama to steer clear of any comments on same sex marriages during his visit,” Bishop Mark Kariuki in Nairobi told USA Today. “Any attempts will lead to a call for mass demonstrations across the country and disrupt his meeting.”

Other topics the president plans to tackle include the regions security threats.

article by Christina Coleman via newsone.com

Obama Travels to Africa to Foster Economic and Business Development

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Obama greets Malawi President Joyce Banda at White House summit in March. (Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
During a 2009 stopover in his ancestral Kenya, President Obama said, “I have the blood of Africa in me.” He is the first American president able to make such a declaration, but that’s not the only thing that will be different about his first major tour of the continent that begins today.

Unlike his immediate predecessors, his primary focus will not be human rights violations, AIDS or aid. This president will be taking care of business.  The weeklong trip with his family includes stops in SenegalSouth Africa and Tanzania, each representing a different region of the continent and chosen for very strategic reasons. The goal is for the “U.S. to significantly increase our engagement in the years to come,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told BET.com that Obama is developing the next phase of the nation’s relationship with Africa.

“The trip shows a new direction and attention, and instead of focusing on aid or hunger, which are important, he’ll be talking about business, economic development and how we can get the Export-Import Bank involved in Africa with American and African businesses,” Meeks said. “And he’s bringing along a number of business folks, including African-Americans, to make these kinds of contacts.”

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