Kenyans will assemble at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park sometimes next week to attend a prayer session to celebrate US president-elect Barack Obama’s victory, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang, said Friday.
He said an interim committee to organise the event had been set up and was finalising plans for the occasion. He congratulated Obama for his victory, which he described as a great inspiration to people all over the world.
President-elect Obama is an African American of Kenyan ancestry. His father, the late Barack Obama Snr, was a Kenyan who hailed from Kogelo village, Nyanza Province, western Kenya.
“This tremendous achievement is an inspiration to all the people of the word especially those in the struggling economies. He has shown us that that with a clear vision and effort we can lift ourselves from the shame of poverty to the pedestal of growth and prosperity,” the Minister said.
Kajwang said the decision by Americans to elect an African American president was a sign of change across the world. “By a single popular decision, American people have changed the world irreversibly for the better. America has given true meaning of universal suffrage and democracy,” he said.
“We in Africa want to feel that we will no longer be a forgotten continent, that the world will make efforts to visit Africa. That we will get the necessary goodwill to do business. The international goodwill that this choice has generated is tremendous and ought to be harnessed for the prosperity of the world,” he said.
Turning to the post-election violence which hit the country at the start of the year, Kajwang asked Kenyans to draw a lesson or two on democracy from the American elections.
“In Kenya we have learnt one lesson, if Americans can elect a black president by a popular vote, then there is absolutely no reason why a brother should rise against a brother because of ethnic prejudice and bigotry. America made history today, Africa must make history tomorrow,” he said.