Obama to bring Michelle and the girls in next visit
US President Barack Obama will be accompanied by his wife and two daughters in his next visit to Kenya.
During his speech at State House on Saturday, Mr Obama said his family was keen to visit the country.
Some Kenyans had expressed disappointment on learning that the American leader was travelling alone in spite of earlier reports that his family would accompany him.
Alluding to what he would do after leaving office, Mr Obama said he would return to Kenya alongside his wife and daughters.
“You can expect me not only being back, but probably more important for everybody, Michelle, Malia and Sasha will also be coming back because they have a great love for this country and its people. I am not going to stop being interested in the people of Kenya and Africa,” said President Obama.
The US First Lady has gained popularity through health programmes that have touched women across the world.
The last time Mrs Obama and her daughters were in Kenya was in 2005. Mr Obama, then Illinois senator, had come along with them on vacation. They also met their Kenyan relatives.
Mr Obama apologised for not visiting Kenya soon after taking office in 2009, saying he did not want to be accused of favouring the land of his father.
On the dinner he had with his extended family, Mr Obama said he was happy to meet some relatives he had not seen before.
“There is a more immediate family that I have known well from previous visits. There were members of the extended family I had not met before. My sister Auma, who I am very close to, helped to make sure everybody was represented. It was a wonderful time,” he said.
Mr Obama said he wished to help improve the lives of his relatives but had been restricted by the presidency.
“Part of the challenge I have had in the course of my presidency is that given the demands of the job and the (security) bubble, I can’t come here and just go upcountry, visit for a week and meet everybody. I was begging for forgiveness.
“When I am a private citizen, I will have more freedom to reconnect and be involved in some of the work that needs to be done,” he said.