President Obama on busy Kenya schedule

President Obama on busy Kenya schedule

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US President Barack Obama is to open a major business summit on the first full day of his landmark visit to Kenya.
He has praised what he called the “dynamism” of Kenya’s business class and is expected to call for greater efforts to tackle corruption.
He will visit a memorial to the 1998 US embassy bombing, before talks on security with President Kenyatta.Mr Obama arrived in Nairobi on Friday, for his first presidential visit to his father’s homeland.
The trip has been described as a “homecoming” by Kenyan media and crowds cheered Mr Obama’s motorcade as it travelled from the airport.
In Nairobi on Saturday morning, the US president will preside over the opening of a Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Mr Obama will then visit the memorial park on the site of the US embassy attack.
More than 200 people, including 12 Americans and 34 local embassy staff, died in the blast which was blamed on al-Qaeda.
A simultaneous attack on the US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killed 11 people and wounded 70.
Later, Mr Obama is expected to hold bilateral talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
BBC East Africa correspondent Karen Allen says it is security and Kenya’s counter-terrorism efforts that are likely to dominate the talks.
Kenya has been targeted by the militant Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabab which killed at least 67 people in an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping complex in 2013.
The group also staged an attack on the university in Garissa, northern Kenya, earlier this year in which 148 people died.
Although trade and security are featuring strongly in Mr Obama’s visit, he has also pledged to deliver a “blunt message” to African leaders about gay rights and discrimination.
Security is tight for Mr Obama’s visit with about 10,000 police officers deployed in Nairobi, major roads closed and US military planes patrolling overhead.
On his arrival at Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, he was hugged by his half-sister Auma and later, at dinner, the president was joined by more relatives including “Mama Sarah”, who helped to raise his late father.
Our correspondent says Mr Obama’s visit would have been diplomatically impossible three years ago when President Kenyatta faced charges at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The case against Mr Kenyatta has since been dropped and the way seems clear for a restoration of ties, she adds.
After his visit to Kenya, Mr Obama will travel on to Ethiopia where he will become the first US leader to address the African Union.
•    US-Africa ties
“I’ll be the first US president to not only visit Kenya and Ethiopia, but also to address the continent as a whole, building off the African summit that we did here which was historic and has, I think, deepened the kinds of already strong relationships that we have across the continent.”
•    Giving the young opportunities
“A while back, when we started looking at strategies to reach out to the Muslim world, to reach out to developed countries, a common theme emerged, which was people are not interested in just being… patronised. And being given aid. They’re interested in building capacity.”
•    On China
“We welcome Chinese aid into Africa. I think we think that’s a good thing. We don’t want to discourage it. As I’ve said before, what I also want to make sure though is that trade is benefiting the ordinary Kenyan and the ordinary Ethiopian and the ordinary Guinean and not just a few elites.”
•    On discrimination
“As somebody who has family in Kenya and knows the history of how the country so often is held back because women and girls are not treated fairly, I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations.” – BBC News

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