Former US President Barack Obama arrived in western Kenya on Monday as he inaugurated a new sports and vocational centre started by his half-sister Auma Obama.
The centre, located in his late father’s birthplace Kogelo in Siaya County, is aimed at helping local youth aged 14 to 25.
During a traditional dance performance by the children from Kogelo, Obama said: “It’s good to be back home,” referring to his roots in Kenya where his father was from.
“Today we open this vocational center. It has a computer laboratory, a library and a basketball court among other sports facilities. As I looked around I saw the possibility, the hope that young people here can become something bigger, the young people learn here and grow here, a young Kenyan doesn’t have to do what my grandfather did and serve a foreign master.”
Obama said that the Sauti Kuu Foundation, which currently reaches 800 young people in a week will arm the youth with skills like carpentry, farming, metalwork, and engineering to help them earn their own livelihood.
“Here we will be able to strengthen their education; we are going to help them achieve sustainable economic growth.”
Obama’s sister Auma Obama said: “We want to give young people options so that they can improve their lives, we are here to find realistic solutions to develop our community, we will also do this across the country and all over Africa.”
Obama is set to travel to South Africa on Tuesday for talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.