President Barack Obama told Kenyans today that their country is at a crossroads and urged them to "choose the path to progress" by continuing to root out corruption, eliminate income inequality, and be more inclusive of women and girls. Closing out a historic visit to the land of his father's birth, Obama said Kenya has come so far in just his lifetime, but can go even further. "You can choose the path to progress, but it requires making some important choices," Obama said in a speech to several thousand Kenyans packed into an indoor arena in Nairobi. Thousands more Kenyans lined Obama's motorcade route to the arena and the speech was broadcast live on local TV.
Obama traced the history of Kenya's evolution, from colonialism and isolation to independence and global engagement. But Obama said challenges remained and he urged Kenyans, particularly its future leaders, to deal with corruption and tribal conflict, create opportunity for all, improve education and health care, treat women better, and confront the threat of terrorism. "When it comes to the people of Kenya, particularly the youth, I believe there is no limit to what you can achieve," he said. "Because of Kenya's progress—because of your potential—you can build your future right here, right now. (Obama's message on gay rights yesterday wasn't exactly embraced by Kenya's president.)