West Wing Week: 07/31/15 or, “Jambo Kenya”

Mr. Earnest: Welcome to West Wing Week Dispatches, your guide to the president's historic trip to East Africa. This week, the president became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Kenya, the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia, the first sitting president to address the African Union, and the first sitting U.S. President to visit with a 3.2 million year old Australopithecus. Along the way, the president met with the young people shaping Africa's bright future, and sat down with the men and women leading these nations today. That's July 24th to July 29th or Jambo Kenya. On Friday, the president landed in Nairobi, Kenya, greeted by his half-sister Auma Obama and President Kenyatta. POTUS first signed in, then dined in with members of his extended family. On Saturday, the president attended the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to speak with budding business leaders from across the world and to see innovations brought about through the Power Africa initiative.

The president then stopped by the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi to thank the staff and meet their families. The president then traveled across the city to visit a site where the embassy used to be and where, in 1998, 213 people were killed when terrorists detonated a massive car bomb. President Obama met survivors and family members of the fallen at the memorial site. Then, it was on to several meetings with President Kenyatta and his delegation capped off with both presidents addressing the gathered media in an outdoor news conference. That evening, the president attended a memorable state dinner. Crowds lined the streets Sunday morning to greet President Obama as he arrived in the outskirts of Nairobi to speak to a packed arena of predominately young Africans on their country and their future. The President: We have not inherited this land from our forbearers. We have borrowed it from our children.

So, now's the time for us to do the hard work of living up to that inheritance, of building a Kenya where the inherent dignity of every person is respected and protected. And there's no limit to what a child can achieve. I am here to tell you that the United States of America will be a partner for you every step of the way. God bless you. Thank you. Asante sana. Audience: Obama! Obama! Obama! Mr. Earnest: Later, the president met with a much smaller group of young leaders where they discussed their efforts to confront pressing issues in their country including civil rights and wildlife protection. The president then sat down for a radio interview with Kenya's own Capital FM before bidding a fond farewell to Kenya and the people who so warmly and enthusiastically welcomed him back to his father's homeland. Then, Air Force One went wheels up from Kenya and landed in Ethiopia for the very first time. There, the president visited with our embassy staff in Addis Ababa. On Monday, there was a ceremonial welcome and a series of bilateral discussions at the National Palace.

Later, the president and prime minister held a news conference, then attended a state dinner. En route to his seat, the president was introduced to a very special guest named Lucy. The discovery of this 3.2 million-year-old skeleton in Ethiopia more than 40 years ago represented a breakthrough in the study of human evolution. On Tuesday, hats and hairnets were required as the president toured Faffa Food, an example of the role that his Feed the Future initiative plays in leveraging private sector partnerships to improve food security and counter malnutrition in Ethiopia and all across Africa. Later, the president delivered remarks at the African Union, the first U.S. president to do so. The President: I believe Africa's rise is not just important for Africa.

It's important to the entire world. We will not be able to meet the challenges of our time from ensuring a strong global economy to facing non-violent extremism to combating climate change to ending hungry and extreme poverty without the voices and contributions of 1 billion Africans. (applause) Mr. Earnest: It was then on to the airport and the end of this historic journey. The President: All right, everybody. We're going to go home. Mr. Earnest: So, thank for tuning in. And for complete videos of all of these events, check out whitehouse.gov. Thanks again for checking out this edition of your West Wing Week. The President: What do you think? Maybe blue (laughs)? You got to — you got to work with them a little (laughs).

You got to look sharp in these things. Female Speaker: All right. The President: All right, how are you, sir? Sir, you didn't get the memo about the baseball cap (laughs)? Female Speaker: Nobody told us. (laughter) The President: (inaudible) Female Speaker: (affirmative) for sure..