Obama speaks on corruption in Kenya


Obama speaks on corruption in Kenya
Former US President Barack Obama speaking during the launch of the Sauti Kuu Foundation in Siaya. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Obama termed the development in the country as extraordinary and remarkable, but noted that much more could be achieved if challenges such as corruption and inequality were to be addressed.
  • The former US president noted that the country needs to ensure economic growth reaches all citizens and not just the few at the top as well as guaranteeing education opportunities for everyone regardless of gender.
  • After inaugurating the Sauti Kuu Foundation Obama heads to South Africa where he is scheduled to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg.

Former US President Barack Obama on Monday commended Kenya for the progress that has been realised in the country since 1991 when he toured Kenya for the first time.

Obama termed the development in the country as extraordinary and remarkable, but noted that much more could be achieved if challenges such as corruption and inequality were to be addressed.

“Kenya has made extraordinary strides in recent decades. The barriers of progress that young Kenyans face today are not as rigid as the ones that might have faced previous generations. There has been real progress in this amazing country and it should inspire today’s young Kenyans to demand even more progress,” said Obama.

“But we know real progress lies in addressing the challenges that remain. It means rooting out the corruption to make a civic life. It means not seeing different ethnicities as enemies but rather as allies and seeing the diversity of tribes not as a weakness, but as a strength.”

Obama noted that the country needs to ensure economic growth is felt by all citizens, and not just the few at the top, as well as availing education opportunities to everyone without discrimination.

He praised the Building Bridges initiative of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga noting that it was a step in the right path for the country.

“Despite some of the tumultuous times seen after elections, we now have a President and Opposition leader who have pledged to build bridges and have made specific commitments to work together.

“What we see here in Kenya is all part of an emergent, more confident ansd self-reliant Africa,” he said.

Obama was speaking during the launch of the Sauti Kuu Foundation centre in his ancestral home of K’Ogelo in Siaya County.

The Sauti Kuu Foundation, a project by his half sister Dr. Auma Obama, comprises of a Sports Centre as well as a Resource and Vocational Training Centre.

The former US president said the foundation will empower the youth to become self-reliant – mentally, socially and financially.

“Sauti Kuu Foundation will not only help the youth not only find gainful employment but will also help them be potential job creators and dream makers. Here we are going to help achieve sustainable economic growth,” said Obama.

After inaugurating the Sauti Kuu Foundation Obama heads to South Africa where he is scheduled to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg.

Here is Barack Obama’s speech during the Sauti Kuu Foundation launch:

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