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Obama urges Kenya to tackle corruption and tribalism

US President Barack Obama has stressed the urgent need for the Kenyan Government to tackle corruption and tribalism.

In his widely cheered address to the nation at a packed 5000 seater Kasarani indoor Arena, Obama also highlighted some “bad habits” such as treating women as second-class citizens and the practice of female genital mutilation.

“Corruption costs Kenyans 250,000 jobs every year. Every shilling that is paid as a bribe could be put in the pocket of someone who is doing a good day’s work,” Obama asserted.

The America President, who is son of a Kenyan father, was also critical of the challenges caused by tribalism in the country.


“All tribal divisions, politics that is based solely on tribe and ethnicity is doomed to fail. Whatever the challenge, you will be stronger if you face it as Kenyans, not as Christians or Muslims, Kikuyu, Maasai or other tribe,” Obama said.

Obama also pointed out the need to educate girls and women, and assured Kenyans that America will “stand shoulder to shoulder (with Kenya) in the fight against terrorism however long it takes.”

President Obama whose Kenyan trip ends later on Sunday, was introduced to the gathering by his elder sister Dr Auma Obama, and began his speech with a down memory lane narration of his first visit to the country some 27 years ago.