Raila hosts Serena Williams

November 14, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 14 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said sports can be used as an avenue to forge unity and social development in the country.

He stated that the government will do all that it can to make sure that sports become part and parcel of the community.

“Promoting sports can be used to break down the social barriers that exist in our community,” said Raila while hosting tennis icon Serena Williams at his Treasury offices on Friday.

He commended the world number two for her noble crusade on the African continent saying that she is an inspiration to the youth.

“Education is the gateway to prosperity and what Serena has done will inspire young people to pursue quality education,” said Raila who also presented this year’s United States Open champion with a sculpture of a Maasai moran.

Raila also pointed out that Serena’s visit was a momentous occasion because it also came on the back of American President-elect Barrack Obama’s ascension to the most powerful seat on the planet.

“As you are aware Obama has Kenyan roots and his achievements and that of yourself (Serena) and your sister Venus will inspire not just young African-Americans but youths across the world,” said Raila.

Serena who earlier in the day opened the Serena Williams Secondary School at Makueni district expressed her delight with the reception she and her entourage received while in the country.

“My time here has been unbelievable. I’ve seen my face in all the newspapers and everyone has been good to me,” said the nine-time grand slam winner who opened the school under the Build African Schools and Hewlett Packard (HP) banners.

“Getting an education is the only way out of poverty. My parents always told Venus and myself that when we were growing up so building the goodwill here in Kenya is dear to me,” said Serena.

She also thanked the Prime Minister for welcoming her on behalf of the Kenyan government.

The school was fitted with a computer laboratory, printers, laptop and an internet connection.

The scheme is also mirrored in South Africa from where Serena jetted into Kenya on Thursday under the Starfishgreatheart Charity.

Patrick O’Sullivan, founder and CEO of Build African Schools said the involvement of Serena and HP in the scheme will go along way to ensuring that African children receive the education that they need.

“Providing education is our goal and there is no better place to start than with the continent that everyone has forgotten,” said O’Sullivan.


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