NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – US President Barack on Saturday opened the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Gigiri in Nairobi where he took time to explain his ancestral roots in Kenya, igniting excitement from participants.
He started with greetings in both English and Kiswahili spicing it up with some slang which warmed up the delegates as he sought to prove his roots in Kenya.
“Jambo…thank you very much President Kenyatta for your timely remarks, your warm welcome and the great works that has gone into hosting the summit in Kenya. Niaje wasee….hawayuni!…,” he began on a light note sparking laughter from the audience.
President Obama lauded Kenya for its innovative efforts which have spurred growth in the country and the region.
“There are no limits to the human imagination that ingenuity can overcome. Everywhere I go across the US and around the world I hear from people especially young [people who are ready to start something of their own to lift up people’s lives and shape their own destinies and that is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and businesses,”
He emphasised the need for Kenyans to seek opportunities for creating businesses opportunities and jobs for themselves.
“There is a reason why my name is Barack Hussein Obama. My father came from these parts. I have family and relatives here and in my visits over the years, walking the streets of Nairobi I have come to know the warmth and the spirit of the Kenyan people. Now what President Kenyatta and I want to really have is a conversation without people and we have some outstanding young people here today who represent the spirit of entrepreneurship not only in Africa but also the world,” he said.
Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta said his government was committed to re-ignite development to spur growth in the region, and has urged US President Barack Obama to fully support his efforts.
Speaking at the GES which he is co-hosting with President Obama, Kenyatta admitted security challenges Kenya is facing, and assured of his government’s resolve to solve the problem.
“We are a resilient and brave people. You are all aware that nearly two years ago, the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was the scene of a heartbreaking act of criminal brutality. To the world, it became and emblem of extremist violence and terrorism. I am proud to inform a week ago, this Mall reopened and its flagship store, proceeded to record more sales on the first day of opening than on any other day in the Mall’s history,” he stated.
President Kenyatta urged investors not to shy away from investing in Kenya, while assuring of his government’s commitment to protect them.
“In this new paradigm, we cannot afford the luxury of the old language of East verses West. As for Kenya, we are aligned to none. We are firmly and irreversibly aligned to progress. As large parts of the world age, Africa grows younger by the day. The youthful sons and daughters of Africa are our incredible resource,” he indicated.