President Barak Obama appeared with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for a joint press conference in Nairobi on Saturday. Obama's visit to Kenya is focused on boosting business ties and improving security in the face of terrorist threats. (July 25)
1. SOUNDBITE (English) President Barack Obama, NO SUPER
"My work with President Kenyatta today has been rooted today in our shared recognition that our interests of both our nations and the lives of both our peoples can be advanced if both our countries deepen and expand our cooperation, and that's what we've agreed to today."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) President Barack Obama, NO SUPER
"We will extend student and business visas for up to five years for Kenyans traveling to the U.S. and for Americans traveling to Kenya. This will make it easier for university students to complete their studies and make it easier for businesses to make long term plans. Our governments are also working to launch direct flights between Kenya and the United States as soon as possible. As part of our Young African Leaders initiative, we'll also continue to support promising Kenyan youth as they work to become leaders future in usiness, civil society and government. Now that we have renewed the African Growth and Opportunity Act for another ten years, I discussed how we can expand our economic cooperation, and we're especially focused on infrastructure and energy."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) President Barack Obama, NO SUPER
"Today, we discussed deepening our security cooperation as part of our Security Governance Initiative, our governments signed an action plan yesterday in which we'll support Kenya's efforts to strenghten its judiciary, police and border security. We also discussed efforts to combat violent extremism in Kenya and around the world...efforts that are advanced when there is rule of law, respect for human rights, a space for civil society and peaceful dissent, and when we welcome all communities as our partners."
President Barack Obama is warning that corruption may be the biggest impediment to Kenya's growth and opportunities in the future.
Obama spoke in a joint news conference in Nairobi with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. He said he believes Kenyatta is serious about going after corruption.
Obama said it's a basic issue of math for international businesses that are concerned about their profit margins. He said companies will be concerned about doing business in Kenya if 5 percent or 10 percent of the cost of investing is being diverted due to corruption.
Obama said the U.S. has seen "all kinds of corruption" in the past. But he said the U.S. over time has showed that when people decide it's a priority to stop it, corruption can be stopped.
He said it's critical to go after corruption at the highest level of government and not just at lower levels.
A number of Kenyan politicians and religious leaders had warned Obama in outspoken terms that any overtures on gay rights would not be welcomed in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Obama's visit to Kenya - the first by a sitting U.S. president - has been long sought by this East African nation where he is widely considered a local son.
Acknowledging that some Kenyans have been frustrated that it took him until the seventh year of his presidency to visit, Obama joked that he didn't want the rest of Africa to think he was "playing favorites."
Still, he noted the U.S. had concerns about violence that erupted in Kenya after its 2007 election.
Kenyatta faced charges related to that violence in the International Criminal Court, though those charges were later dropped.