IN BEELD. Kenia is klaar voor Obama

A man takes a photo with his smartphone of painted artwork depicting US President Barack Obama (L) and his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta on July 23, 2015 at the Pre-Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, on the eve of Obama's visit to Kenya. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA

Vandaag komt Barack Obama – Amerikaanse president met Keniaanse roots – aan in Kenia, en het Afrikaanse land is er helemaal klaar voor. 

Van T-shirts tot dvd’s, kunstwerken en hoedjes: de Obama-gekte in Kenia kent geen grenzen en niemand wordt ervan bespaard. De Kenianen kunnen zelfs ringtones aankopen met fragmenten uit de speeches van de Amerikaanse president.

Obama komt naar Kenia naar aanleiding van de zesde Global Entrepreneurship Summit in de hoofdstad Nairobi. Honderdduizenden dollars heeft de Keniaanse regering besteed aan het opkalefateren van de stad. Voetpaden werden vernieuwd, veiligheidscamera’s vervangen en snelwegen hersteld. Vooral de wegen die ‘The Beast’, zoals de gepantserde auto van de president heet, zal aandoen, kregen een opknapbeurt.

Het dorp van Obama senior

Kenia heeft nog nooit een zittend Amerikaans staatshoofd op bezoek gehad. Wat de doortocht van Obama nog net dat tikje specialer maakt, zijn zijn Keniaanse roots. Zijn vader Barack Obama senior was immers een geitenherder en econoom uit West-Kenia.

Het is echter niet de eerste keer dat Obama het Afrikaanse land aandoet. In 2006 bezocht hij Kogelo, het dorp waar zijn vader begraven ligt en zijn stiefgrootmoeder Sarah Obama woont. Toen was Obama nog gewoon senator, en was er van presidentiële ambities nog geen sprake. Een bezoek aan Kogelo staat nu niet op het programma.

TOPSHOTS Kenyan women pose for a photograph in front of a painted artwork depicting US President Barack Obama, on July 23, 2015 at the Pre-Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi, on the eve of Obama's visit to Kenya. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
TOPSHOTS Minibus driver Solomon Murimia calls on clients next to his "matatu" minibus with a painting depicting US Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama and US civil rights activist Martin Luther King on July 22, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama will make his first presidential pilgrimage to his father's homeland of Kenya later this month, the cap to a week-long trip to three key African nations.  AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
Solomon Murimia, a "matatu" minibus driver, gestures as he calls on clients beside his minibus with a painting depicting US President Barack Obama on a July 22, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama will make a first presidential pilgrimage to his father's homeland of Kenya later this month, the capstone of a weeklong overture to Africa taking in three key nations.  AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
Men walk past a billboard welcoming US President Barack Obama on July 22, 2015 in Nairobi, ahead of his visit. Obama will make his first presidential pilgrimage to his father's homeland of Kenya later this month, the cap to his week-long trip to three key African nations. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
People sit in a "matatu" minibus with a painting depicting US Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama and US scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin on July 22, 2015 in Nairobi. Obama will make his first presidential pilgrimage to his father's homeland of Kenya later this month, the cap to his week-long trip to three key African nations. AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
AFP PHOTO / SIMON MAINA
A Kenyan woman touches a painting depicting a dove between US President Barack Obama and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kenyatta  International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi on July 22, 2015, during the official opening of the Pre-Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2015 Expo. Kenya's innovative products and services are on display ahead of US President Barrack Obama's visit to Kenya in this week on a historic trip to his father’s homeland since becoming the President of the USA. The US president will be in Nairobi for the sixth annual gathering of entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, business leaders, mentors, and high-level government officials. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MUCHUCHA
AFP PHOTO / JOHN MUCHUCHA
A man sets out T-shirts bearing an image of US President Barack Obama in Kibera on July  22, 2015.  President Barack Obama's family tree reaches from his father's tiny Kenyan village to the White House in a single generation. The president's grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama was born in Kendu Bay, western Kenya, in 1895 (the family grave in the village of Kogelo says 1870). AFP PHOTO / KEVIN MIDIGO
AFP PHOTO / KEVIN MIDIGO