Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Obama invites Kenyans' comments on Ghana tour

United States President Barack Obama has invited Kenyans to send him text messages with advance comments and questions ahead of his visit to Ghana on Friday.

The invite comes less than a week after Mr Obama strongly criticised Kenya’s leadership, expressing concern about the country’s political and economic direction. According to the US embassy in Nairobi, Mr Obama will directly answer selected questions through local radio broadcasts in Africa. Those who respond early will receive SMS highlights from his speech in Accra on Saturday, July 11.

Mr Obama is scheduled to visit Ghana from Friday in what is seen as his reward to Africa’s icon of democracy. The US President was scheduled to leave Russia last evening for Italy for the G8 meeting that starts on Wednesday. In Ghana, Mr Obama is expected to outline his administration’s policy on Africa in a speech on his first visit as president to the continent. The US president skipped Kenya on his Africa tour, the homeland of his father, for what he singled out as the slow pace of reforms.

In his most pointed comments on the country of his father’s birth, the US President tore into Kenya’s leadership saying that “political parties do not seem to be moving into a permanent reconciliation that would allow the country to move forward.”

The service is available in both English and French.

To send a text message to President Obama from Kenya, one should text 'English’ or 'French’ to 5683. Users will receive a confirmation of their enrollment and costs in Kenya will be charged at the normal local SMS rate depending on the service provider.

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