Kenya Poised for Post-Election Brand Explosion

Officials Hope Obama-Mania Translates Into Tourism Bucks

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To say that just about the entire world is eager for a Barack Obama victory in the U.S. presidential election is barely an understatement. But perhaps none are more excited than officials in Kenya, where Mr. Obama's father spent most of his life. Quite naturally, Obama-mania is in full swing in the East African nation, and leaders there can't be blamed for seeing big tourism opportunities during an Obama administration.

Here's Tourism Minister Najib Balala in the Nairobi Star, via AllAfrica.com: "His win will be good public relations for the country's image." Per the Star, Mr. Balala also pointed out the election is taking place on the eve of the the World Travel Exhibition and that Kenya won't be shy about using an Obama victory as a way to hawk its goods.

A mock election in Kisumu rather unsuprisingly saw Mr. Obama run away with the contest, though opponent John McCain did muster 124 votes, including one chap who was quoted thusly: "The whites helped us, they colonized us, brought us education and know-how. ... I support Obama but you can't vote for two people."

Of course, Obama-mania in Kenya also has its discontents, namely from the journos seeking out the candidate's ancestral roots.

Family spokesman Malick Abongo Obama is fed up with the reporter swarms, telling one, "We would like to brief the media as much as we can but we have other things to do. We will call you when we have something to say."

Here's a WSJ.com video on "Obama the Musical":

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