BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga will
make his first trip to the U.S. since the election of President
Barack Obama on Saturday, May 23, when he will make remarks and
answer questions from the media from 9-11 a.m. at the Top of the
Falls Restaurant on Goat Island in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and then
give the University at Buffalo Law School commencement address 3
p.m. that day.
Odinga, known for his candid views on human rights in Kenya and
other developing African nations, visits Western New York at a time
when Obama, -- whose father was Kenyan -- and his administration
are watching Kenya closely to see if the implementation of that
country's National Accord can bring about a lasting end to
2007-post election violence.
UB Law School Dean Makau Mutua, a fellow Kenyan native who has
worked closely with Odinga to promote the advancement of democracy
and human rights in the East African nation, has called the prime
minister, "the most electrifying politician in Kenya and regarded
as the center of gravity of that country's politics."
Odinga served six years as a political detainee -- the longest
anyone in Kenya has been imprisoned because of opposition to that
country's government. He will speak on governance and democratic
transition in Africa when he addresses graduating law school
students at 3 p.m. in UB's Center for the Arts on the university's
North (Amherst) Campus.
As the candidate of the new Orange Democratic Movement, Odinga
ran for president of Kenya for the second time in 2007. Following
the disputed general election, a coalition government was formed,
and Odinga became Kenya's second prime minister
The Law School also will confer honorary degrees on Irene Khan,
the first woman and Muslim to head Amnesty International, the
world's largest human rights organization, and J. Mason Davis Jr.,
a practicing attorney and UB Law School graduate who played a key
role in the desegregation of Alabama in the 1960s.
Press credentials for the morning press conference and afternoon
commencement can be obtained by calling Charles Anzalone in UB's
Office of University Communications at (716) 645-5000, ext 1412, or