President Obama’s Speech At Safaricom Indoor Arena, Nairobi, Kenya


Excerpt: Kenya holds within it all that diversity.  And with diversity, sometimes comes difficulty.  But I look to Kenya’s future filled with hope.  And I’m hopeful because of you, the people of Kenya, especially the young people.

There are some amazing examples of what’s going on right now with young people.  I’m hopeful because of a young man named Richard Ruto Todosia.  Richard helped build Yes Youth Can — I like the phrase, Yes Youth Can — It became one of the most prominent civil society organizations in Kenya, with over one million members.  And after the violence of 2007, 2008, Yes Youth Can stood up to incitement, helped bring opportunity to young people in places that were scarred by conflict.  That’s the kind of young leadership that we need. 

I’m hopeful because of a young woman named Josephine Kulea.  So Josephine founded Samburu Girls Foundation.  And she’s already helped to rescue over 1,000 girls from abuse and forced marriage, and helped place them in schools.   A member of the Samburu tribe herself, she’s personally planned rescue missions to help girls as young as 6 years old.  And she explains that, “The longer a girl is in school, everything for her — for her income, for her family, for this country — everything changes.”  She gives me hope. 

I’m hopeful because of a young woman named Jamila Abass.  So Jamila founded Mfarm, which is a mobile platform that is already used by over 14,000 people across Kenya.  Mfarm makes it easy for farmers to get information that lets them match their crops with what the market demands.  And studies show that it can help farmers double their sales.  So here’s what Jamila said:  “I love Kenya because you feel you are home anywhere you go.”

Home anywhere you go — that’s the Kenya that welcomed me nearly 30 years ago as a young man.  You helped make me feel at home.  And standing here today as President of the United States, when I think about those young people and all the young people in attendance here, you still make me feel at home.  And I’m confident that your future is going to be written across this country and across this continent by young people like you  — young men and women who don’t have to struggle under a colonial power; who don’t have to look overseas to realize your  dreams.  Yes, you can realize your dreams right here, right now. 

See Entire Speech