Nairobi. Former US president Barack Obama will be in Kenya on July 16 for a one day visit to meet leading political leaders and later travel to the ancestral home of his father in K'Ogelo, Siaya County.
This is contrary to local expectations and his earlier promise when he last visited Kenya in 2015 that he was looking forward to a longer stay in the country as a civilian.
According to Katie Hill, the communications director at the Office of President Barack Obama, the former president will meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga separately in Nairobi before travelling to Alego in Nyanza to inaugurate the Sauti Kuu Foundation (Powerful Voices) Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre.
Sauti Kuu Foundation provides educational, economic and cultural opportunities to help young people change their lives and communities.
The day will be marked by festive ceremony, entertainment, and the unveiling of global standard sport facilities, a first in the region with world class athletes in attendance.
The founder and director of the foundation, Dr Auma Obama — who is the former president’s sister — said that the centre will serve as a safe physical space for children, youth and their families to meet and interact regularly while participating in different sports and learning activities.
“Given that his own mission under the Obama Foundation is to inspire and empower people to change the world, his attendance at this event at our ancestral home, where our father was laid to rest, is of great significance to me,” said Dr Obama.
The former president will then travel to South Africa where he will stay until July 19. In South Africa, he will meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa, deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture under the theme: Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World.
On July 18, he will participate in a town hall event with the 200 recently selected Obama Foundation Leaders in Africa.
“President Obama looks forward to meeting these emerging leaders for the first time, hearing about the extraordinary work they are doing across Africa, and discussing how the Obama Foundation can support their civic leadership development,” said Ms Hill. (NMG)