NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – Republican US candidate Ben Carson has announced that he will visit Kenya later this month as part of his Africa tour planned to cover three states.
Appearing on “The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show,” Carson said he plans to leave on December 27 for the week-long trip which will also see him visit Nigeria and Zambia in an effort to boost his foreign policy credentials.
“I will be making a trip to Africa. I think a lot of our policy in the future is going to affect Africa. My ancestors are from the Kenya-Tanzania region, the Turkana tribe,” Carson said.
The celebrated author and former neurosurgeon said he chose the three countries because of his preference to see things “firsthand” pointing to his trips over the past year to Baltimore, Ferguson and his recent trip to meet with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
“To Nigeria, I want to get an idea from the people what the effects of Boko Haram are, what people are thinking, to see what the economic situation is there, and also there’s a medical school there named after me which I want to visit,” the retired neurosurgeon continued.
“And Zambia, because the twins, the Banda twins are there. We separated them. They were joined at the top of the head facing in opposite directions almost 18 years ago, and this is the year they graduate from high school.”
Carson’s revelation is likely to spark excitement concerning the possibility that another leader with Kenyan roots could make it to the White House.
US President Barack Obama, whose father was born in Kenya, visited his homeland in July where he addressed the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and later addressed a youth rally which was attended by among others, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The visit will draw similarities to President Obama’s visit in 2004 where he visited his father’s home in Kogelo before addressing a town hall meeting at the University of Nairobi. He was later to announce that he will be seeking the nomination to be Democrat flag bearer for the 2008 US presidential election.
Although, the official itinerary has not been released it is not yet clear whether Carson will be visiting his ancestral land in Turkana.
The soft-spoken 63-year-old, an African-American who only officially became a Republican last year, has found an opening in the wide-open race in which 13 candidates are running for the White House.