US President Barack Obama, on Friday, left Washington for Kenya on a trip that will also include a stop in the Ethiopian capital and a visit to the home of the African Union.
The vestigial voyage to Obama’s ancestral homeland of Kenya, where his father was born, is his first as president, and is also the first time a sitting US president will visit Ethiopia and the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Obama, the first African-American president of the US is expected to address regional security issues and trade, and also touch on matters relating to democracy, poverty, and human rights in the region.
Enthusiasm built in Kenya before President Obama’s arrival Friday in the country of his father’s birth for a two-nation African tour.
Kenyan and American flags were hoisted along roads, cleaners scrubbed the asphalt clean, and police relocated homeless families from the routes Obama is likely to take. James Bwire, a Nairobi-based sculptor who designed several billboards to celebrate the president’s visit, said, he hopes to get close enough to deliver a small bust he crafted of Obama.
“I am happy Obama is coming to Kenya,” Bwire said. “He is our son, and I have requested an opportunity to meet him and hand him his sculpture.”