Obama's Visit Spark More East African Trade And Also Stirs Luo Pride And Culture

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Obama with his sister Auma, in Kenya; Kenyatta looks on

Interview with Arthur Owor, former Don of Gulu University, M.A International Relations and Diplomatic Studies, MUK, M.Sc Development Management from London School of Economics and Political Science.

BSN: Talk about President Obama's visit in terms of regional security.

Arthur Owor: The Obama visit in terms of regional security brings Kenya into the spotlight and highlights, and it’s anticipated will bring new energies in the fight against insecurity and terrorism and on the attacks against the Al-Shabaab.

BSN: What will be the impact on trade?

Owor: On trade and development President Obama's visit is a vote of confidence and a huge boost to the Kenyan economy, especially since Kenya's economy has risen to be the 5th largest in sub-Saharan Africa, or the largest in the East African Community.

I highly believe [what] the American president Barack Obama's [visit] to Kenya will signal; because of his visit a host of American corporations and companies will follow suit.

Obama's visit coincides with Kenya's economic growth; the farming sectors will open up for investors in the USA to invest in Kenya.

Kenya is going to the market in the USA especially for textile; don’t forget that Obama's purpose for the visit ties in with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

BSN: What about in terms of Obama visiting his homeland --  what does that mean?

Owor: One of the major area analysts are looking at is between Obama and the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta; people will be interested on how his visit resonates with his origin, with the Luo.

The US president's visit will revamp the Luo culture and highlight Luo pride in term of it organizational skill and leaders; in term of it dishes; and the Bwola traditional dance.

The key Luo opposition figures like Raila Amollo Odinga may benefit from the visit in term of  cultural aspect.

BSN: What about the impact on Africa generally?

Owor: The president has not forgotten Africa; Africa ranks high on Obama's agenda. His visit will in short really support initiatives like Power Africa and intervention in the Agriculture sectors.Those will be a clear response to his critics who say that Africa is not on Obama's agenda.

What we want to see with 18 months [remaining in his presidency] is whether the president will expand the locus of the initiative in trade and Agriculture to countries that are being challenged with vagaries of poverty and insecurity.


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