Returning to his African roots, Obama fulfilled his promise to visit Kenya during his presidential years with his latest foreign diplomacy tour. On July 25th, President Obama delivered a moving speech on economic progress, anti terrorism efforts and most importantly gender equality at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi. President Obama opened his discussion on gender disparities by stating that ‘around the world, there is a tradition of repressing women, treating them differently, not giving them the same opportunities, and not sending children to school’. Obama remarked that these are out-dated beliefs that ‘need to change’ in order for Kenya to reach its full potential. As an organisation dedicated to community empowerment, accessible education and gender parity, we are excited to share the bold messages of Obama that so closely relate to the work Ace performs in Kenya and Tanzania.
Obama condemned the unjust and backward practices of gender-based violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation. While stating that ‘there is no place in civilised society for the early or forced marriage of children…no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence…no reason young girls should suffer FGM’ the President called on Kenyans to reject these harmful traditions and utilise the valuable talent of all its citizens. Obama further suggested that ‘any nation that fails to educate its girls or employ its women is doomed to fall behind in the global economy’. He further reflected that ‘one of the most successful development policies you can pursue is giving girls an education’ because communities that give daughters and sons the same opportunities are ‘more peaceful, prosperous, develop faster and are more likely to succeed’.
At the same time, Obama cited the impressive growth Kenya has achieved. The President stated that ‘there is much to be proud of and much progress to lift up’. Kenya is at a distinct crossroads, with exciting projects contributing to national growth moving forward. Ace Africa is proud to be an agent of change against the above barriers to development. We continue to serve as an excellent resource and support system to both young people and their wider communities.
To see the full video of President Obama’s address in Nairobi, please visit the White House Press Blog at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog