Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Feel free to send Obama SMS

President Obama attending a press conference. He has invited Kenyans to send comments and questions via short message service on number 5683 ahead of his speech in Ghana on Saturday. Photo/ REUTERS

President Obama attending a press conference. He has invited Kenyans to send comments and questions via short message service on number 5683 ahead of his speech in Ghana on Saturday. Photo/ REUTERS 

By OLIVER MATHENGE

US President Barack Obama has invited Kenyans to send comments and questions via short message service (SMS) ahead of his speech in Ghana on Saturday.

Ghanaians, Nigerians and South Africans have also been invited to air their opinions on a broad range of issues.

Mr Obama will directly answer selected SMS questions through local radio broadcasts in Africa. Those who respond early will also receive SMS highlights of his Accra speech.

Criticised Kenya

The invitation comes less than a week after President Obama criticised Kenya’s leadership over the country’s political and economic direction.

According to the US embassy in Nairobi, to send a text message to President Obama from Kenya, one should text “English” or “French” to 5683.

Users will receive confirmation of enrolment within 10 minutes, and costs for a normal local SMS will be charged.

Mr Obama visits Ghana on Friday in what is being seen as a reward to Africa’s icon of democracy. The US President was scheduled to leave Russia last evening for Italy for the G8 meetings starting on Wednesday.

In Ghana, his first visit as president to the continent, Mr Obama’s plans outline his administration’s Africa policy.

Mr Obama skipped his father’s homeland, due to what he referred to as the government’s non-commitment to reforms.

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