Obama talks young people, women in final speech to Kenyans

Obama addressing 5000 Kenyans at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi

President Obama addressing 5,000 Kenyans at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi

In his final major address to Kenyans, the US President Barack Obama has said women and youths are bound to play a major role in the development of Kenya and the African continent.

Obama who was speaking to more than 5,000 Kenyans packed in Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium Sunday as he winded up his three-day visit to his father’s homeland.

He urged the government of Kenya to desist from past traditions of treating women and young girls differently lest the entire nation is doomed to fail.

“Treating women as second class citizens is a bad tradition, it holds you back,” Obama said drawing a thunderous applause.

Obama stressed Kenyans should shun old traditions of repressing women and young girls, denying them education and education. Underscored there is no excuse for, or place for things like sexual assaults, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and domestic violence in today’s Kenya.

“These traditions may date back centuries, they have no place in the 21st century,” Obama noted

The US President told Kenyans there country will not succeed if it continues to leave “half of the team behind.”

President Obama observed that any nation that fails to educate its women or employ them is doomed to fall behind in the global economy.

Obama said Saturday, his government and business partners have already helped establish 1,600 women entrepreneurs network across the African Continent and they are launching three women’s entrepreneurial centres in Africa; Zambia, Kenya and Mali.

In his final speech, Obama equally implored Kenyan young people to “cease the moment” and build a worthy future with unity that will allow them overcome a handful of barriers in their way.

He counselled the young generation “Kenya is on the move, Africa is on the move, you are poised to play a bigger role in this world as the shadows of the past are replaced by the light you offer; an increasingly interconnected world,”

Obama urged the government to invest in its young people in form of education and skills training.

The US leader was in Kenya, attending the Sixth Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi and to reunite with his Kenyan family.

He left Kenya today to address the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on his way back to Washington.