Obama’s Big Family Reunion With Muslim Granny, Sister in Kenya

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US President Barack Obama sits alongside his step-grandmother, Mama Sarah (L) and half-sister Auma Obama (R), during a gathering of family at his hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, July 24, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
US President Barack Obama sits alongside his step-grandmother, Mama Sarah (L) and half-sister Auma Obama (R), during a gathering of family at his hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, July 24, 2015. AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK (MAMOSA Report/BE2C2) — US President Barack Obama had a big family reunion when he arrived in Kenya on Friday to address the sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit — the first to be held in sub-Saharan Africa which might become a turning point for African entrepreneurship.

Boosting family ties

Obama, who’s visiting his father’s homeland for the first time as president, met three-dozen members of his Kenyan family for dinner at his hotel and sat down with his half-sister Auma and step-grandmother Sarah Obama, who was the third wife of the president’s paternal grandfather, ABC News reported. Obama refers to her simply as Granny.

However, Obama won’t be able to visit Kogelo, the village where his father was born and buried, due to his busy schedule.

The U.S. president arrived in Nairobi — the Kenyan capital to address the sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the first to be held in sub-Saharan Africa.

PHOTO: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, watches as President Barack Obama, center, hugs his half-sister Auma Obama, left, after he arrived at Kenyatta International Airport on July 24, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, right, watches as President Barack Obama, center, hugs his half-sister Auma Obama, left, after he arrived at Kenyatta International Airport on July 24, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya

This gathering of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, nonprofits, and government officials, co-hosted by the governments of the United States and Kenya, will spotlight the growing importance of Africa as a center of business innovation and entrepreneurship. Likewise, it will put a spotlight on the importance of Africa’s innovators to job creation and sustainable and equitable economic development.

Over 122 million young Africans will enter the labor force by 2020, and tens of millions are already unemployed or underemployed, (therefore) we need to look at creative ways to generate the jobs for African youths, said CNN in a special report.

Ahead of Obama’s Kenya trip, hashtags #Obamacare, #ObamaInKenya and #Obamigration have become popular on the social media platform Twitter.

The hashtag #Obamigration, which first appeared last year when Obama unveiled new immigration policies, is not the only one currently re-purposed for the historic trip: the preparations in Nairobi are, in fact, being hailed as a new #Obamacare.

The President will spend two days in Kenya before travelling to Ethiopia on Sunday. This will be the first time a sitting US president would have visited either country.

Boosting ties

In an article published by Roll Call, Kenya’s Ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, has expressed the wish that the visit will strengthen the business links between the two countries, noting that “With deposit insurance covering 95 percent of bank accounts and more than half of Kenyans participating in mobile-phone banking, Kenya’s financial sector is an engine of economic growth.”

Young, creative and tech-savvy: Nigeria's Co-Creation Hub is an incubator for social technology ventures.

Young, creative and tech-savvy: Nigeria’s Co-Creation Hub is an incubator for social technology ventures.

He also requests that the U.S. allow nonstop flights to and from Kenya, promoting trade and tourism — a plea that will be renewed during the summit, in the hope that the FAA will grant Kenya the “category one” status required for U.S. airlines to offer direct flights, reported CNN.

In a video released ahead of the summit, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed Obama to a “land of opportunity,” stating that “Kenya is a country that epitomizes the transformational power of possibility, a land once know for its savannah, now earning international repute as a Silicon Savannah.”

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