Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Wreckage from missing Algerian plane reportedly found: Malian TV

    Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Kenya celebrates Obama win in US election

Text by FRANCE 24 , Thomas HUBERT

Latest update : 2008-11-06

Barack Obama's ancestral country of Kenya has been celebrating his winning the US presidential election. President Mwai Kibaki was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Obama, while declaring Thursday a public holiday.

 

In Kenya, where Barack Obama’s father was born, the victory of the man many consider a local was widely celebrated. Just a few minutes after hearing the news that the United States had elected its first ever black president, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki made this Thursday a public holiday.

 

The holiday’s aim is to “celebrate the historic achievement by Senator Obama and our country,” he said in a statement. “The victory of Senator Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya. As a country, we are full of pride for his success,” he added.

 

People in Kogelo, Western Kenya, where Obama’s grandmother lives, followed the election with special interest. The villagers were glued to a giant screen set up for the occasion. Screams of joy and victory hailed the results. “Young people started to go around the village and headed for Obama’s grandmother’s house”, said Stéphanie Braquehais, FRANCE 24 and RFI correspondent there.

 

Barack Obama regards Sarah Obama as his grandmother although they are not actually related. She is his grandfather’s third wife.

 

Obama’s other grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died aged 86 in Hawaii on Monday.

 

“Obama will build houses”

 

Can a black president initiate new relations between the US and Africa? Barack Obama did not focus on that issue during the campaign, and George W. Bush’s image is not all negative in Africa: in the last four years, US aid to the continent has increased.

 

In the field, Stéphanie Braquehais heard two types of reactions. “In the slums, where violence erupted at the beginning of the year, people say ‘Obama will build new homes, hospitals and roads’. But when you talk to Kenyan intellectuals, they are cautious about that. What they are saying is that Obama, who has roots in Africa, can establish a fair communication with African leaders. What you hear most here, however, is that Obama has put Kenya on the map.”

 

Stéphanie Braquehais reports that the Kenyan prime minister recently told her Obama was likely to take care of American farmers before African farmers. However, he was hopeful that Obama could help develop “commercial ties between the US and Africa”.

 

FRANCE 24 international editor Gauthier Rybinski agreed. “Obama may not consider Africa as a priority, unless the financial crisis makes it necessary to help that continent”, he said.

 

Festive night

 

In Kogelo, the priority is celebration rather than political analysis. “People were waiting all night for the result and you could see the anxiety on their faces, until Pastor Washington announced the good news,” said Stéphanie Braquehais. “Then people started singing, women began to cry and it was a big celebration.”

 

In Kogelo, Barack Obama’s rise has already yielded benefits: the government has hastily renovated the dirt track to the province’s capital, Kisumu.

 

 

Date created : 2008-11-05

COMMENT(S)