Barack Obama In Kenya



Obama's 'homecoming' to Kenya highlights economic boom
Better stocktaking methods and new software have helped cut delivery times to supermarkets from two weeks to two days and sales have grown by 50 percent ..... Obama's visit reveals Washington's desire to fix ties with Kenya - East Africa's top economy and a partner in the fight against religious radicals - after they slumped while President Uhuru Kenyatta faced international charges of crimes against humanity. ....... Obama also faces pressure from rights organisations to use his popularity to address Kenya's problems with corruption, media freedom, and the battle against militants from Somalia's al-Shabab group, who have spilled blood in a shopping mall, a university campus among other targets. ...... bullish about Kenya's economy, which grew by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015. It is one of the world's fastest-growing markets and part of a long-term expansion across sub-Saharan Africa that is building a middle class of new consumers. ...... "The UN projects that over 1.8 billion children will be born in the next 35 years across Africa. That's a huge market that's available for anybody serving the baby industry, everything from diapers to baby food. There is lots of opportunity" ....... technology start-up firms in its western suburbs seek to build on such successes as the mobile phone money transfer system, M-Pesa. The innovation hub along Ngong Road has been dubbed Silicon Savannah. ...... "You can feel the confidence in Nairobi these days, a sense of swagger and bravado on the part of Kenyan elites" ........ "A sense that Kenya, for the first time since independence, really does have its destiny in its own hands and does have options in terms of who it chooses to partner with internationally" ...... The US president has an 80 percent approval rating there and is lauded as "our son" ..... he will not visit his ancestral village Kogelo, the site of his father's grave, amid al-Shabab security concerns. ....... Obama appears dismayed that he will be tied to his security detail and motorcade, rather than be free to meet with distant relatives, such as his step-grandmother Sarah Onyango Obama ...... visiting Kenya as a private citizen is probably more meaningful to me than visiting as president because I can actually get outside of a hotel room or a conference centre ....... Upon arrival, he will meet his Kenyan counterpart, Kenyatta, whose presidential bid Washington lobbied against because, at the time of the election in March 2013, he faced International Criminal Court charges over his role in the 2007-08 post-election violence. ........ The court dropped all charges against Kenyatta in December. ...... Kenya's economic boom is part of a wave of modernisation and entrepreneurship that is sweeping sub-Saharan Africa and challenging deep-rooted prejudices that the continent is forever blighted by poverty, war, disease, and corruption. ........ "The pundit's pendulum will not always swing from Afro-pocalpyse to Afro-optimism" ........ "There will essentially be a mixed bag of billionaires emerging at the same time as we see people risking their lives to reach Europe across the Mediterranean. They will exist side by side, in much the same way we as see the super-rich and a homeless population in Washington DC"
US holds summit with African heads of state
Afua Prempeh says she will never wash her frock again. She was hugged by Michelle Obama during a feel-good event for young African go-getters in Washington last week, and Prempeh does not want the US first lady's impressions to be rinsed away. ...... the allure that the Obamas retain in Africa, despite their waning approval ratings at home. The couple's charisma, together with President Barack Obama's Kenyan lineage, will be used to full effect at the first US-Africa Leaders Summit ...... "I'm still recovering from the excitement of hugging Michelle," says Prempeh, 28, a Ghanaian environmentalist who won a six-week study tour in Florida. ...... "The Obamas are a symbol of hope, that people can look beyond the colour of my skin or the fact that I'm a woman." .......... a continent where Europe and China are bigger traders. ...... Almost 50 African heads of state plan to attend Monday's three-day summit on business, security and governance. The four dozen presidential motorcades circling downtown Washington could cause traffic gridlock reminiscent of Nairobi, Lagos or Johannesburg. ...... European Union trade volumes with Africa hit $200bn in 2013. China's rocketed from $10bn in 2000 to more than $170bn in 2013. In recent years, US-Africa trade has stagnated at about $60bn. ........

Africa's population could eclipse China and India with two billion people in 2050, consisting of one quarter of the world's working-age population.

....... A bigger US footprint in Africa is far cheaper than pivoting to Asia ......... a small bit of effort now could mean better market access and closer economic ties in 25 years, when Africa will be better positioned to buy the goods and services that America is best at producing." ...... The US may lag in trade, but it has more African diplomatic posts than any other country and is stealthily expanding its military presence. Last month's revelations of US secret military advisers in Somalia added to the list of known hotspots where US trainers, spies, drones, and commandoes operate. ...... Visiting leaders cannot trumpet their feats in the plenary speeches of typical multi-lateral events. Worse still, they won't have one-on-one time with Obama, unlike the guaranteed presidential face time at Beijing's triennial Africa meets. ........ Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan were not invited. ...... Kenya's president Uhuru Kenyatta appeared on the guest list because he cooperated with the International Criminal Court over his role in the ethnic bloodletting of 2007-08. ...... Adebayo Alonge, 27, said it will be tough to use the skills he gained at Yale University to grow his business distributing low-cost drugs across Nigeria's countryside.

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