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Obama visits father’s native Kenya to open youth center

Nine-year-old Barack Obama Omondi, who was named after former US president Barack Obama when he was first elected as President in 2008, looks on as he waits for Obama’s arrival with his father Daniel Omondi prior to an opening ceremony of the Sauti Kuu Sports, Vocational and Training Centre in his ancestral home Kogelo, some 400km west of the capital Nairobi, Kenya on July 16, 2018. Barack Obama visited his ancestral home in western Kenya to attend the opening ceremony of the centrer founded by his half-sister Auma Obama, after having met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition politician Raila Odinga in Nairobi the previous day. After Kenya, Obama is scheduled to travel to South Africa where he will deliver the annual Nelson Mandela lecture in Johannesuburg. (Photo: Dai Kurokawa/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Obama visits father's native Kenya to open youth center

Former US president Barack Obama paid a visit to his extended family in Kenya Monday, on his first trip to the country since 2015 during which he will open a youth center.

Obama arrived in his father’s native Kenya on Sunday, where he paid courtesy calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and main opposition leader Raila Odinga.

On Monday he flew to the west of the country, where under extremely tight security he paid a visit to the home of his step-grandmother Sarah Obama in the village of Kogelo, an AFP reporter said.

He was expected to meet a number of members of his extended family, before launching the Sauti Kuu (Swahili for “Strong Voices”) center set up by his half-sister Auma Obama.

Addressing the media last week, Auma said the state-of-the-art centre would give local youth access to books, internet and sporting activities.

They will also be able to benefit from classes on work ethics, civic education, environmental conservation and financial literacy.

The center includes an international standard size football pitch sponsored by the German ministry of development cooperation, a basketball court funded by the Giants of Africa Foundation, and a volleyball/netball court and other facilities, including a library and IT lab.

The center is set to also offer adult education.

When Obama visited Kenya in 2015, he was unable to visit his father’s village due to security concerns, and vowed to return when he was no longer “wearing a suit” and contribute to the development of young people.

After his visit to Kenya, Obama will fly to South Africa where he will deliver the annual Nelson Mandela lecture.  (AFP)
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