U.S. President Barack Obama talks with entrepreneurs who have developed applications using solar and biotechnology energy sources in Nairobi, Kenya. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama took part in a tour of alternate energy technologies on display at the Kenyatta International Convention Center on Saturday (July 25) in Nairobi, Kenya. The exhibits were part of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit which Obama addressed earlier in the day, where he told African entrepreneurs they could help counter violent ideologies and drive growth in Africa. Obama participation at the summit was his first presidential visit to Kenya, his father's homeland and the biggest economy in east Africa, which has been hit by a spate of attacks by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab. At the convention center, Obama talked with entrepreneurs who had developed practical and affordable applications using solar and biotechnology energy sources. An array of technology and other companies have started up in recent years in Africa in a bid to shift the continent away from a traditional focus of commodity exports, but entrepreneurs often complain they cannot find affordable capital. One of Obama's initiatives, launched in 2013, was to boost electricity supplies across a continent where many are not on the grid. The goal is to add 30,000 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Deals to add 4,100 MW have been agreed so far, the White House said. Security was expected to top the agenda in talks later on Saturday with President Uhuru Kenyatta but Obama is keen to increase business ties with Africa, where China overtook the United States as the continent's biggest trade partner in 2009. Kenya's economy is expected to grow by about 6 percent this year. The economy of Ethiopia, Obama's next stop, is forecast to expand by more than 10 percent, although right groups say Addis Ababa's economic achievements are at the expense of free speech. The annual U.S.-sponsored conference was being held for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa at a U.N. compound in Nairobi. The U.S. president was to hold talks later with Kenyatta before attending a state dinner in the evening. Discussions were expected to focus on security and counter-terrorism cooperation. Some Africans complain that Obama, whose father is buried in western Kenya, has not paid enough attention to the continent in his presidency. Obama has sought to change that perception, in part by hosting African leaders in Washington last year.