Kenyan Officials Unhappy With Obama Snub

Barack Obama, Kenya's most famous son, may have a deep attachment to his ancestral homeland but he is not letting emotions rule his head. On his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa since his election, he has snubbed his father's birthplace by choosing to go to Ghana

The Kenyan government and its notoriously corrupt and quarrelsome ministers are not happy. On the other side of the continent in West Africa, however, Ghanaians are jubilant that America's first black president has chosen their country for what they see as his first real visit to Africa, dismissing his recent speech in Cairo as a staged event for the Middle East

When President Obama touches down in Accra, the capital, today the country will erupt in one party. Posters of the President and his wife, Michelle, hang from every lamppost and advertising hoarding, and street vendors are doing a brisk trade in wristbands, T-shirts, flags and posters. 

"Everyone is very proud," said Joseph Agyiri, an IT specialist. "The streets will be packed and our best drummers and dancing groups will be there. We will give him a welcome like nowhere else in the world has done." 

Kenya has been left to ponder what might have been. In the heady days of Mr Obama's ascent to the White House, politicians -- particularly those from the Luo tribe of his late father -- had envisioned an African-style "special relationship." 

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Kenya's elite whispered of preferential trade and investment deals, increased business opportunities and an image-boosting first visit to their country by an incumbent US president. 

Instead, relations have deteriorated, with Kenya receiving regular dressing-downs for its failure to follow reforms recommended by an international inquiry into a flawed poll in 2007, which led to the deaths of about 1,500 people in post-election violence. 

Click here to read the full story in The Times of London.