President Obama has promised to visit his father's homeland, Kenya, by the end of his term, after skipping it on his current Africa tour.
Addressing a town hall meeting with young Africans in Soweto, South Africa, the president noted his term as president continues until January 2017.
He said, "If in three years and seven months I am not in Kenya, then you can fault me for not following through on my promise."
The president was responding to a question posed by a young Kenyan woman speaking via satellite.
Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan economist.
Many Kenyans have expressed disappointment that the U.S. president is not stopping in Kenya during his week of travels through Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, which borders Kenya.
Obama said the timing is not right for a visit while Kenya's new government, in his words, is working out issues with the international community.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was elected in March, and Deputy President William Ruto are both facing charges brought before the International Criminal Court, and are currently due to go on trial later this year. Both men are accused of orchestrating deadly ethnic violence that followed Kenya's 2007 election.