The White House has dismissed calls by Kenyan religious and political leaders for US president Barack Obama to avoid discussing homosexuality during his visit to the country
“Gay rights are human rights whether we are in Washington, or somewhere in Asia or Africa…this is not something we shy away from underscoring. This is not a topic that we reserve for certain parts of the world and not others,’ US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said.
Giving further details of the trip, Rice said Obama will meet members of his family privately in his tour to the country tomorrow but will not travel to his father’s ancestral home in K’ogelo.
At the White House press briefing yesterday, Rice confirmed that Obama will have a private moment with some of his extended family members who are still living in Kenya.
She said a combination of logistical constraints and time could not allow Mr Obama to travel to his father’s home.
“I do believe he will have some time to spend privately with his family and will be with them in public events,” Rice said.
While releasing the president’s itinerary of his Kenya and Ethiopia’s visit, Rice said Mr Obama will not be accompanied by his family due to summer engagements especially with Malia and Sasha Obama.
Rice added that trade and investments will be the central focus of the Obama’s visit.
On Saturday morning, Rice said President Obama will officially open this year’s Global entrepreneurship summit and then pay tribute to victims and survivors of 1998 Nairobi embassy bombing by the Al Qaeda.
Obama will then hold bilateral talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta including a joint press conference and then have a state dinner.
On Sunday President Obama will speak to the Kenyans people on the relationship between the US and Kenya.
He will also engage with civil societies on wildlife trafficking, girls education and countering violent extremism.
President Obama is expected to leave the country on Sunday evening for Ethiopia.
By Samwel Born Maina