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Photos: Obama’s trip to East Africa is prime time for Obamabilia sales

Spoted in Dar es Salaam.
Spoted in Dar es Salaam.
Image: AP Photo/Ben Curtis
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Barack Obama arrives in Kenya today, July 24, before making his way on to Ethiopia. It is his first trip to his father’s homeland as president of the United States, and the first visit to either country by a sitting American president.

He will be warmly received: According to the Guardian, 10,000 Kenyan police officers have been assigned to Obama’s security detail, while the Daily Nation reports that Nairobi officials have had to remind citizens that his arrival does not make Friday a state holiday. Themed merchandise and “Obama hairdos” are in hot demand in Kogelu, his father’s native village, and beyond.

Despite personal ties to Kenya, the cult of Obama doesn’t stop at the border. Since his election in 2008, Obama has captured the imagination of people across Africa. From Guinea to Tanzania, the US president’s likeness can now be spotted on everything from printed scarves to hotel signs. Below, a brief tour of Obamabilia across the continent:

Inside a hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Inside a hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Image: AP Photo/Christian Thompson
Scarfs in downtown Nairobi.
Scarfs in downtown Nairobi.
Image: Reuters/Antony Njuguna
A Rwandan man wears a shirt showing the face of Barack Obama, at a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
A Rwandan man wears a shirt showing the face of Barack Obama, at a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
Image: AP Photo/Ben Curtis, file
Obama restaurant in Conakry, Guinea.
Obama restaurant in Conakry, Guinea.
Image: AP Photo/Youssouf Bah
“Obama grocery and retail shop” in Nairobi’s Kibera slums.
“Obama grocery and retail shop” in Nairobi’s Kibera slums.
Image: Reuters/Noor Khamis
A hotel in Accra, Ghana.
A hotel in Accra, Ghana.
Image: AP Photo/Christian Thompson
A portrait is displayed with other famous people in the National Cafe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
A portrait is displayed with other famous people in the National Cafe in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Image: AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene
A police officer keeping watch on demonstrators in Bujumbura, Burundi, carries a bag with the portrait of U.S. President Barak Obama.
A police officer keeping watch on demonstrators in Bujumbura, Burundi, carries a bag with the portrait of U.S. President Barak Obama.
Image: AP Photo/Jerome Delay
Youths attending a protest wear a t-shirt with the face of US President Barack Obama reading “My president is black, the dream comes true”, in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic.
Youths attending a protest wear a t-shirt with the face of US President Barack Obama reading “My president is black, the dream comes true”, in downtown Bangui, Central African Republic.
Image: AP Photo/Ben Curtis, file
A man rides his bicycle wearing a T-shirt with the portrait of U.S. President Barak Obama in Bujumbura, Burundi.
A man rides his bicycle wearing a T-shirt with the portrait of U.S. President Barak Obama in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Image: AP Photo/Jerome Delay

 

A boy pushes his bicycle past a sign for the Senator Obama secondary school in Kogelo, Kenya.
A boy pushes his bicycle past a sign for the Senator Obama secondary school in Kogelo, Kenya.
Image: (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, file)
Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Wycliff Madegwa prepares to display a t-shirt in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Image: REUTERS/Noor Khamis
A printing screen in Nairobi’s Kibera slums.
A printing screen in Nairobi’s Kibera slums.
Image: Reuters/Noor Khamis