Obama to Promote Entrepreneurship in Kenya

Obama to Promote Entrepreneurship in Kenya 

President Barack Obama will arrive Friday in Nairobi, Kenya, where he will attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit as he highlights growth in American economic links with sub-Saharan Africa.

Kenya is the homeland of the president's late father, and this is his first Kenyan trip as U.S. president, making his visit a highly anticipated one.

Obama's visit comes late in his presidency, likely delayed as President Uhuru Kenyatta faced charges of crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court has since dropped the case, saying there was a lack of evidence.  The two presidents plan to meet during Obama's visit to Kenya.

Security tightened 

 Security in the capital, Nairobi, is high. Kenya has been the scene of several terror attacks in recent years. The radical Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed the attacks as retribution for Kenya's involvement in anti-terrorist efforts in neighboring Somalia.

On Sunday, Obama will travel up the Rift Valley to become the first American president to visit Ethiopia. He is expected to meet with the prime minister and address the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Human rights groups have urged the president to use his trip to call for fundamental human rights reforms in both countries.

In a letter to Obama, a group of 14 nongovernmental organizations and individual experts said the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia "face real security threats, but we are concerned by the way in which each government has responded, often with abusive security measures and increased efforts to stifle civil society and independent media.”

White House Africa event 

 Earlier this week, Obama spoke about trade with Africa at a White House reception marking the signing of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.  He said despite Africa's challenges, the continent is a dynamic place with some of the fastest-growing markets in the world. He said it has the potential to be the next center of global economic opportunity.

The president said the trade law will continue to encourage good governance, labor rights and human rights in Africa.

Obama last month signed a 10-year extension of the country's main trade authority with Africa - a 15-year effort that boosted U.S.-Africa trade to $73 billion last year, with U.S. exports accounting for slightly more than half of that total.

More than 40 sub-Saharan countries are eligible for trade benefits under the law, through which most imports from Africa enter the United States duty free. Two of the main beneficiaries are oil exporters Angola and Nigeria.

Even as U.S. trade with Africa has grown rapidly, it trails resource hungry China, now with $200 billion in annual African trade, and the 28-nation European Union with $140 billion.


 Obama has made a concerted effort to increase U.S. ties with Africa. Last August, he staged the inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington.

The U.S. says the Africa trade measure supports an estimated 350,000 jobs.  As the trade extension advanced in Congress, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and National Security Advisor Susan Rice said it has "provided vital economic opportunities," helping African companies become more competitive and opening the path for more investments in them.

Obama to Promote Entrepreneurship in Kenya Obama to Promote Entrepreneurship in Kenya Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:16 PM Rating: 5

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