Kenyans are anxiously waiting for the outcome of the United States presidential election as Americans head to the polls to choose a successor to outgoing President George W. Bush. The election pits Senator Barack Obama, whose father hails from Kenya, and Senator John McCain. The latest round of polls show an edge for Obama over McCain as nationwide voting begins Tuesday. Kenyans unanimously are waiting eagerly as they see Obama as a son of the country whose rise in US politics would serve as an encouragement to up and coming youth.
Professor Kabiru Kinyanjui is a Kenyan political analyst. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that Kenyans are cautiously optimistic about Obama's victory today.
"Kenyans are waiting with a bated breath to see the result, of which they are expecting that Senator Obama would be the elected president of the United States of America. So the mood here is that of expectancy and really waiting for the results to be declared so that they can break into celebration and thanksgiving," Kinyanjui said.
He said Obama's presidential aspiration is a significant unifying factor to all Kenyans no matter the ethnicity, especially after Kenya's recent general election led to violence and a loss of lives and property.
"This is one event which is uniting Kenya. And Kenyans have been looking for an event where they would feel good and they can be united. The election as the candidacy of Barak Obama is one event, which has really brought Kenyans together. They see him as a Kenyan, son of a Kenyan father, who is really doing good and is really making them proud to be able to identify with him," he said.
Kinyanjui said Kenyans see hope in senator Obama.
"They also see this as a great opportunity for an African American to rise to the highest position in United States something which breaks barriers of history and the back of racism, and ushers in a new era not, only for America, but for the whole world," Kinyanjui pointed out.
He said a possible Obama victory would not only be historic, but also inspirational.
"This is going to be inspirational to young people to stand for justice, to stand for economic progress, and also to appreciate that quality of leadership and to aspire to a different kind of leadership than we have experienced in the past. So this has got inspirational value to the young Kenyans who want to see quality leadership emerging in the country," he said.
Kinyanjui said Africans should draw inspiration from the US election to entrench democracy in the continent.
"One element is for Africa to strengthen democracy by focusing on issues focusing on leadership qualities, focusing on policies which can be able to move the continent ahead. This is a major lesson to see the way the American elections have moved focusing on economic welfare, focusing on the security of America, and focusing on the quality on the person who can lead and provide the leadership, which is required by the majority of the people," Kinyanjui noted.