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President Obama in Kenya: ‘This is personal for me’

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
A homecoming.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

“Obviously, this is personal for me,” US president Barack Obama said in the opening speech of his official visit to Kenya. “There’s a reason why my name is Barack Hussein Obama.”

The two-day visit to Kenya takes on added weight given his connection to the country, through his Kenyan father. Obama is the first US president to visit the country, which he mentioned as a point of pride in his address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi. The president got a few extra cheers for speaking a few words in Sheng, a Swahili-based slang.

There’s an economic agenda to the visit as well, because, as Obama put it, “Africa is on the move.”

Kenya’s economy is the largest in East Africa. The president announced more than a billion dollars in public and private commitments to support startups in the region.

But the positive message came with encouragement to do a few things better. Obama called on Africa to support young people and women, to cut down on graft and corruption, and to increase transparency and the rule of law.

See the full speech here:

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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