Obama touches down in Nairobi, visits State House

July 15, 2018 4:19 pm
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President Uhuru Kenyatta with the 44th US President Barack Obama when he paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi./PSCU

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15 – The former US President Barack Obama has arrived in Kenya for a two-day visit.

Obama’s main agenda is a visit to Siaya County, where he is expected to launch the Sauti Kuu Vocational Training Centre founded by his half-sister Auma Obama.

Obama, who is accompanied by a delegation of about 400 people will be in the country until Monday, and started off his trip with a brief chit-chat with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House. He is expected to head to his ancestral village in K’Ogelo, Siaya, on Monday morning.

While welcoming the 44th US President into Kenya, President Kenyatta thanked Obama for keeping his promise to visit the country after his service as US President.

Further, President Kenyatta congratulated Obama for establishing the Obama Foundation, which seeks to empower the youth to become the agents of change – something the African continent needs.

The two leaders agreed that the youth in Africa could become the continent’s most valuable asset if their energy and creativity were effectively harnessed.

Obama will travel to South Africa on Monday, where he will give the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture and also meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This is the first visit the former president is making to Africa since leaving office in January, 2017 after serving two terms.

His visit this weekend bears a stark contrast to the last visit he made to Kenya in July 2015, when he was a sitting President and the leader of the world’s biggest super power.

When he jetted in on Friday, July 24, 2015, Nairobi was on a complete shutdown both on air and on land but, on Sunday, those who do not follow news keenly may not have noticed that he was in town.

This is not the first visit to Kenya by a former US president as both Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton visited the east African country after they left office.

Despite having left office, the former president still enjoys Secret Service protection albeit low-key, compared to when he was president.

When he jetted in on Friday, July 24, 2016, Nairobi was on a complete shutdown both on air and on land but, today, those who do not follow news keenly may not have noticed that he is in town.

This is not the first visit to Kenya by a former US president as both Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton visited the east African country after they left office.

Despite having left office, the former president still enjoys Secret Service protection albeit low-key, compared to when he was president.

Meanwhile, Nyanza Regional Police Coordinator Leonard Katana has said that several roads will be closed in Kogelo village and movement of the people restricted when Obama arrives at his ancestral home.

“Local residents who reside in between Ng’iya, Kogelo and Ndori will be allowed to walk along the road but after a thorough check up. However, some roads will be closed,” Katana said.

He added that only invited guests would be allowed to attend the launch.

The plane carrying Obama is expected to land at the Kisumu International Airport before another connecting flight takes him to Ngiya Girls High School.

Security has been beefed up both in Kisumu and Siaya County.

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