As one of Africa’ strongest middle-class bases and with a pivotal role in maintaining good relations with the West, Kenya has been an attractive location for US and European investors over the past decade.
Al-Shabab attacks are dominating the political landscape and President Obama’s visit seems to be unifying the country in excitement to welcome their very own “son of the soil.” We will examine why Kenya is key to long-term US-Africa relations.
Recent attacks by al-Shabab militants did not make President Obama change his plans to visit Kenya. Kenya and the US are co-hosting the Sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
“His trip will build on the success of the August 2014 US-Africa Leader’s Summit and continue our efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security,” reads a White House statement.
Obama’s trip will be the fourth to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming president, and it will be his first to his father’s homeland since his 2008 election.
Kenya is relatively stable despite its vice-president still being under the shadow of an ICC indictment over violence during the 2007 elections.
Apart from economic matters, human rights and security concerns around Kenya’s support for the “war on terror,” some Kenyan press are reporting that Kenyan leaders are warning the US president not to bring his “gay agenda” during his visit, following the US Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the USA.
The show will be a review and update of Kenya-USA relations, the view of Obama as a “son of Africa” via his parental links to Kenya and the fact that Kenya’s stability and allegiance to the USA are critical to the latter country’s “war on terror” in Africa.