Former President Barack Obama arrived in Kenya on Sunday for the first time since leaving office.

Obama paid a visit to his father’s country in East Africa to help launch a sports and training center that was founded by his half-sister, Auma Obama’s, foundation Sauti Kuu.

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“Given that his own mission under the Obama Foundation is to inspire and empower people to change the world, his attendance at this event at our ancestral home, where our father was laid to rest, is of great significance to me,” his half-sister said last month when the news came out about Obama’s visit.

Obama met with Kenyan President Uhuru Keyatta in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. He is also planned to meet with Raila Odinga, the opposition leader who is now working with Kenyatta’s government.


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His visit to Kenya is significantly more toned down compared to his previous visits. Thousands of Kenyans lined the streets to see him in 2006 when he was a senator and again in 2015 when he was president.

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Even though he never lived in Africa, many Kenyans consider Obama a native to the country. He was raised in Hawaii with his mother who was from Kansas. Obama barely knew his father, of the same name, who was a Kenyan economist.

After his Kenyan trip, Obama has plans to head to South Africa. He will be meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg and speak at in an event in honor of the late Nelson Mandela’s birthday.

While in South Africa, he will also meet with 200 new leaders of the Obama Foundation in Africa. “President Obama looks forward to meeting these emerging leaders for the first time, hearing about the extraordinary work they are doing across Africa, and discussing how the Obama Foundation can support their civic leadership development,” said Katie Hill, the spokeswoman for the former President.

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