Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States of America, landed in Nairobi, Kenya (the land of his father) on Friday, 24 July 2015 on a state visit. He was welcomed by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and his sister Dr. Auma Obama, who rode with him in the presidential limousine, as Kenyans lined the route of the convoy, and cheered as Obama passed by.
Barack Obama then reunited with his Kenyan family members at a private dinner, which included his grandmother, Mama Sarah.
The American president later attended the opening of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, where he was welcomed by the ululation of an enthusiastic crowd. After being introduced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Obama proceeded with what he does best; inspiring and motivating through his gift of the gab.
He greeted the audience in KiSwahili, “Niaje Wasee? Hawayuni”, which brought excitement to an already enthusiastic crowd. He said his mission to encourage growth in Africa is a personal one, as his father is from Kenya. “Africa is on the move”, he said. “What happens in Africa is going to affect the world.” He urged African governments to invest capital in women and young entrepreneurs. He pledged that the USA will invest over $988 million to support women entrepreneurs. The USA will also fund three women entrepreneurship centres in Kenya, Mali and Zambia.
“Women are the powerhouse entrepreneurs”, he said. “When women succeed they invest more in their families and communities.”
Later that evening, Obama showed off his dancing skills at the State Dinner, hosted by President Uhuru, at the State House. He joined Kenya’s Afro- hip hop sensation Sauti Sol on the floor and got the routines to the song Sura Yako. President Obama known for his dance moves, out did other guests when he was beckoned by the group leader Bien-Aimé Baraza to join in the dance. He was joined by President Uhuru Kenyatta, his sister Dr Auma Obama, first Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Ambassaor Robert Godec as well as the rest of the band members. When the dance was done, there was a deafening applause from the guests. They also indulged in some tropical fruit, seasoned chicken, fish, Nyama Choma, Captain’s cocktails and some fine wine.
Obama concluded his visit to Kenya on Sunday, 26 July 2015 at Kasarami Stadium, where he emphasized the importance of democracy, good governance and fighting corruption. He had my undivided attention when he spoke about the importance of women and girls in our families and community.
“Women and girls are not second class citizens and must be treated with respect and given equal opportunities. The culture of denying women and girls equal opportunities in education, business and investments is long gone. Any state that fails to empower women and educate girls is doomed to fail. It is like having a team and saying only half the members should play. It is stupid, it makes no sense. There is a tradition of treating women differently. Just because something is part of a tradition, it doesn’t make it right, it holds you back. No country can reach its full potential unless it draws on the talents of all people including women and girls. Communities that give the same opportunities to men and women are more likely to succeed and are more peaceful. Give girls an education. She will grow up, become a mother and is more likely to produce educated children.”