Kibaki salutes new US leader

Tuesday January 20 2009

Local musician Jua Cali urges Vice president

Local musician Jua Cali urges Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka for a dance to the podium during the launching of the Kenya Change Generation Campaign at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI  

By BENJAMIN MUINDI and KENNETH OGOSIA

President Kibaki on Tuesday said Mr Barack Obama’s inauguration as US President would inspire hope in millions of people around the world.

He said he was confident Mr Obama would succeed in making the world a better place.

In a congratulatory message to Mr Obama, who was sworn in as America’s 44th President, Mr Kibaki said: “Through that journey you have inspired many young and old people not only in America, but around the world, with a strong message of hope.”

Mr Kibaki praised President Obama for his journey of courage and message of the audacity of hope.

Bilateral ties

“In that message you outlined the values and principles of freedom, equality and change that you have always championed,” he added.

“As you commence your first term in office, I am confident that you will succeed in making the United States, and indeed the world, a better place for humanity,” he said.

“We, the people of Kenya, cherish the many years of bilateral ties with America and look forward to even stronger relations in areas that are mutually beneficial to our two countries.”

Mr Kibaki pledged support for Mr Obama as he embarked on the national and international obligations that come with the responsibilities of US President.

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday congratulated Mr Obama, urging him to support democracy across the world.

“My wish is for President Obama to support democracy, democratic institutions and democratic transfer of power across the world.

“I hope that President Obama will help strengthen civil society organisations that are involved in efforts to uplift their nations,” Mr Odinga said.

He said President Obama comes in after generations of civil rights activists pushed for fairness and equality among the races.

“I also have no doubt that President Obama will be equal to all the other tasks ahead,” the PM said.

He cited tasks that include uniting the polarised world, giving hope to the hopeless, encouraging diplomacy in conflicts and fair trade among nations.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka on Tuesday urged youths to draw lessons from the new US President and spearhead the campaign for change in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the “Kenya Change Generation Campaign” at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Mr Musyoka said the youth should learn from Mr Obama’s historic achievement and set the national agenda for the future.

Have a dream

“The most important thing is to have a dream, dare the dream and be determined to achieve it. Do not withhold your talents but instead exploit them to the fullest,” Mr Musyoka said.

The campaign seeks to train and motivate the youth so that they appreciate and celebrate the country’s diversity, values, natural endowments and heritage.

Additional reporting by VPPS