Kenya PM pleads for American aid

May 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NEW YORK, May 25 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has asked the United States to assist Kenya’s pursuit for democracy, good governance and quality education that will spur the country on in the path to economic development.

The Prime Minister, speaking in New York on Sunday, also lauded the election of President Barack Obama stating that it inspired the youth in Kenya.

He said that it provided a challenge to African nations to retrace their steps and establish where they went wrong in their political and economic development.

"The election of Obama is comparable only to the release of Nelson Mandela, who is an inspiration to Africans,” the PM said.

He pointed out that this was not only because of Mr Obama’s roots in Kenya but what he stands for and the change that he is spearheading.

"With the election of President Barack Obama, America is seen to have rediscovered its capacity to inspire and give hope," Mr Odinga said.

He was speaking at the 120th Graduation Ceremony at the University at Buffalo Law School, a college of the State University of New York.

Mr Odinga recalled that America stood with Kenya during the struggle for independence and played a significant role in helping to lay the foundation of the country.

"I believe very strongly that 40, 50 or even 60 years since many of the African nations attained independence, we cannot continue blaming the colonialists for Africa’s problems," the PM said.

Mr Odinga said time had come for Africans to accept blame and take responsibility for the continent’s problems.

With reference to the 2007 Kenyan election in which US had been accused of taking sides, the PM at the same time asked the US government to support the quest for change and not status quo in Africa.

"You have a duty to ensure America stands by nations that embrace democracy and to ensure that your great country accepts that democracy may at times mean nations charting new directions, instead of preserving the status quo," the PM said before law graduates at the ceremony.


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