President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One for a trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, Thursday, July 23, 2015, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP/Cliff Owen)
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Obama, making his first visit as president to his father's birthplace, will address an entrepreneurship summit and hold talks on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, and democracy and human rights.Excitement has been building in Kenya for weeks, with the visit painted as a major boost for the country's position as an African hub -- something that has taken a battering in recent years due to Shabab attacks and political violence that landed Kenyan leaders in the International Criminal Court.A presidential visit to Kenya had been put on ice while Kenyatta faced charges of crimes against humanity for his role in 2007-2008 post-election violence.Kenyatta, however, has signalled that his controversial Deputy President William Ruto -- who is still on trial at the ICC and is outspokenly homophobic, describing gays as "dirty" -- would be present when government officials meet Obama. In a press conference in Washington this month Obama bemoaned the heavy security restrictions.
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