Preparations are in high gear across Kenya and security measures particularly in the capital Nairobi is perhaps at its all-time high. All these in anticipation of the first visit by a sitting U.S. President since Kenya got its independence in 1963. However what makes this particular visit all the more special, is the fact that the current U.S. President Barack Obama is a son of Kenyan father.
President is expected to visit Kenya to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be hosted at the Nairobi UN headquarters in Gigiri starting July 24-16. His attendance at the summit will largely be interpreted as a follow-up or reinforcement to the resolutions reached at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit held in Washington back in August 2014.
Besides attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, President Obama is expected to meet Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi. The two are expected to delve into discussions touching on bilateral trade between the United States and Kenya.
While those are the two confirmed items on Obama’s to-do list during his visit in Kenya, the Kenyan government has yet to get his full itinerary. Kenyans especially those from his father’s homeland in K’Ogelo in Siaya County are hoping the U.S. President will visit his father’s home.
Obama’s grandmother Sarah Obama was at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi last week. Grandma Obama lobbied for President Obama also to include a trip to K’Ogelo, Siaya County (his father’s birthplace) on his to-do list while visiting Kenya this July.
While talking to the Daily Nation, Grandma Obama said, “Every grandmother is happy when a grandson visits. I am very delighted that President Obama is finally coming to Kenya after he promised to do so. If he gets time to come see me in K’Ogelo, I would really like that. But he is the U.S. President, and we would agree to work within his diary.”
Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga accompanied Grandma Obama to the US Embassy. The two were expected to attend the U.S. Independence Day celebrations held last Saturday July 4th.
“I will use this to discuss with the embassy officials to include K’Ogelo in President Obama’s schedule. We hope to get a positive response,” said Governor Rasanga.
The Governor also reiterated the words of students at the Senator Obama Secondary School who are requesting President Obama to visit their school during his July trip in the country. If President Obama decides to include his father’s homeland visit on his to-do-list, he may be glad to know that the people Siaya County have organized the Lake Kanyaboli Cultural event to coincide with the visit.
If the words of Kenya’s State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu are anything to go by, it seems President Obama will not visit K’Ogelo on his July trip. Even his address to the Kenyan parliament now seems uncertain. The only thing that the general public knows for sure is that President Obama will only address the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, meeting with the Kenyan President, and visit an exhibition at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre. There is a possibility he might visit the 1998 bomb blast site in Nairobi.