Former US President Barack Obama set to visit Kenya in July

Former US President Barack Obama is set to visit Kenya, the country of his father’s birth, on 16 July. The one-day visit will see him hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, before travelling to his ancestral home of K’Ogelo to visit with his relatives, according to Daily Nation.

According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Obama Foundation, the former president will be in the country on July 16 before he heads to South Africa where he will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. This will be the first visit to Kenya after he left office on 20 January, last year. 

Residents take photos next to the statues of Barack Obama, Mama Sarah Obama and Raila Odinga at White House Hotel in K’Ogelo village on June 2, 2018. The village is preparing for his grand welcome. Photo Credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

On his visit to Kenya during his second term as president in 2015, Obama said, “I know that there are still places in this beautiful nation that I have not discovered. I am going to make sure that I get back and it is not just Kenya, there is an ecosystem that is connected from Uganda to Tanzania. Climbing Kilimanjaro seems like something that should be on my list of things to do once I get out of here.

“The Secret Service does not like me climbing mountains but as a private citizen hopefully I can get away with something like that.”

Obama will also speak on what would have been the 100th birthday of the late South African president and civil rights icon who died in 2013 at the age of 95.

“It gives him an opportunity to lift up a message of tolerance, inclusivity, and democracy at a time when there are obviously challenges to Mandela’s legacy around the world,” Benjamin Rhodes, a former Obama speechwriter, told The New York Times.

This will be the fifth visit Obama will be making to Kenya. He has visited Kenya three other times in 1987, 1992 and the high profile visit in 2015 when serving his second term as president.