Former US President Barack Obama on Monday called on young Kenyans to demand more as he commended Kenya for the progress that has been realised in the country since 1991 when he visited the country for the first time.
Obama described the development in the country as extraordinary and remarkable but noted that much more could be achieved if challenges such as corruption and inequality were addressed.
“Kenya has made extraordinary strides in recent decades. The barriers of progress that young Kenyans face today are not as rigid as the ones that might have faced previous generations. There has been real progress in this amazing country and it should inspire today’s young Kenyans to demand even more progress,” said Obama.
He added: “But we know real progress lies in addressing the challenges that remain. It means rooting out the corruption to make a civic life. It means not seeing different ethnicities as enemies but rather as allies and seeing the diversity of tribes not as a weakness, but as a strength.”
Obama also noted that the country’s economic growth should be felt by all citizens, and not just the few at the top.
He also lauded the Building Bridges initiative by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga noting that it was a step in the right direction.
“Despite some of the tumultuous times seen after elections, we now have a President and Opposition leader who have pledged to build bridges and have made specific commitments to work together.
“What we see here in Kenya is all part of an emergent, more confident and self-reliant Africa,” he said.
Obama was speaking during the launch of the Sauti Kuu Foundation centre, a project by his half-sister Dr. Auma Obama that comprises a Sports Centre as well as a Resource and Vocational Training Centre.
“Sauti Kuu Foundation will not only help the youth not only find gainful employment but will also help them be potential job creators and dream makers. Here we are going to help achieve sustainable economic growth,” said Obama.