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Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 15:07 UK

Kenya to preserve Obama's village

President Barack Obama's father, Barack Obama senior. Undated photo
President Barack Obama's father died in Kenya in 1982

The village in Kenya where US President Barack Obama's father was born has been given the status of a protected area by the Kenyan government.

The move means the village of Kogelo, western Kenya, will be preserved in its current state and any development there must be approved by the government.

Mr Obama, the first African-American president in US history, has never lived in Kenya.

His father, Barack Obama senior, died in a road accident in Kenya in 1982.

The village of Kogelo in the Siaya district - alongside six other areas - was earmarked for preservation by Kenyan Heritage Minister William Ole Mtimama.

The decision was announced in a Kenya Gazette notice.

The move is seen as a step towards the proposed building of a government-funded Obama-themed Dero Kogelo Library and cultural centre in the village, according to Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper.

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Kenya is extremely proud that one of its sons has become the most powerful man in the world, correspondents say.

Mr Obama himself has reportedly referred to Kenya as his "second home".

Mr Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 to Stanley Ann Dunham, an American of European descent from Kansas, and Barack Obama senior, who was studying in the US at the time.

His parents separated in 1964. Mr Obama's father later returned to Kenya to work as a civil servant.

President Obama's grandmother, Sarah Obama, still lives in the village where she receives an endless stream of journalists and well-wishers.



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