President Barack Obama has urged Kenya to hold “visible” trials to tackle corruption, which he said could be the “biggest impediment” to further growth.
After talks in Nairobi, Presidents Barack Obama and Uhuru Kenyatta said they were “united against terrorism” and efforts to deal with it.
However, the two leaders differed sharply in their positions on gay rights.
While Barack Obama spoke strongly against discrimination, Uhuru Kenyatta said Kenya did not share the same values.
There were “some things that we must admit we don’t share – our culture, our societies don’t accept,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.
“It’s very difficult for us to be able to impose on people that which they themselves do not accept.”
Earlier President Barack Obama praised Africa’s economic and business potential in a speech.
“Africa is on the move… People are being lifted out of poverty, incomes are up (and) the middle class is growing,” he told a business summit.
He also visited a memorial for those killed in the 1998 US embassy bombing.
The trip, which began on July 24, is Barack Obama’s first visit as president to Kenya, where his father was born.
Barack Obama said he was encouraged by statements President Uhuru Kenyatta had made about the need to root out corruption.
People were being “consistently sapped by corruption at a high level and at a low level” and there was a need for “visible prosecutions,” Barack Obama said, to show Kenyans that action was being taken.
“They don’t have to be a forensic accountant to know what is going on.”
Police officers and civil servants had to be paid properly to help curb corruption, but sometimes it just required “breaking the habit”.
President Barack Obama also said the US is providing additional funding and assistance to Kenya’s security forces for counter-terrorism.
The US and Kenya are working to establish direct flights.
The Obama administration will also propose a federal rule banning the sale of almost all ivory across state lines as part of efforts to fight poaching in Africa.
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