In July, U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Kenya as president, the White House announced Monday.
Obama will travel to his father’s birthplace for bilateral meetings and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual conference that connects entrepreneurs with international organizations, business leaders, and governments, CNN reports.
The trip will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and continue U.S. efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security, said Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement.
This will be the President’s fourth trip to Sub-Saharan Africa. His last trip was in December 2013 for the funeral of Nelson Mandela. He also traveled to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania during summer 2013 for a series of events on the U.S. commitment to African democratic institutions, economic growth and young leadership development.
Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born and raised in Kenya. He lived in the U.S. in the 1950s and ’60s, eventually returning to Kenya where he died in a car accident in 1982, CNN reports. President Obama wrote about his family’s roots in a 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”
More details about the trip will be forthcoming, said Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz.
News of the trip will likely reignite controversy on the president’s birthplace and citizenship. A Google search of “Obama Kenya” produces countless conspiracy theories, CNN reports. Obama poked fun at these earlier this month at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner.
“If I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya,” he. President Obama was born in Hawaii.
It didn’t take long after the White House announcement for the “birther” question to pop up, Politico reports.
A top New Hampshire Republican, former Gov. John H. Sununu, is suggesting that Obama is making the trip to embarrass U.S. conservatives.
“His trip back to Kenya is going to create a lot of chatter and commentary amongst the hard right, who still don’t see him as having been born in the U.S.,” Sununu said Monday on Fox News, according to Politico.