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Sarah Obama, the grandmother of former US President Barack Obama, has died aged 99 in western Kenya, her daughter told AFP Monday.

“It is true she has gone to be with the Lord,” said an emotional Marsat Onyango, her daughter, “she passed on this morning.”

Sarah Obama, popularly known as Mama Sarah, had been admitted to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu.

Once a simple country woman, Sarah Obama was for a long time best known for the hot porridge and doughnuts she served at a local school.

But she rose to world fame with the 2008 election of her step-grandson Barack as the first black US president.

Already a national celebrity after the former Illinois senator Barack Obama visited Kenya in 2006, Sarah’s modest homestead became a tourist attraction with Obama’s November 2008 election triumph.

Born in 1922 in a village on the shores of the glittering waters of Lake Victoria, Sarah was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, President Obama’s grandfather, a herbalist and a village elder who fought for the British in Burma, now called Myanmar.

Onyango Obama, who died in 1975, is said to be the first man to swap goatskin clothing for trousers in his village. He returned from the war in Burma with a gramophone and a picture of a white woman he claimed to have married.

Although not a blood relation, President Obama often refered to Sarah as his grandmother, calling her “granny”.

On his trip back to Kenya as US president, he met with her among other family members in Nairobi.

After leaving office, he traveled to her home in the village of Kogelo in 2018, joking he had been unable to do so in 2015 as his jet was too big to land in Kisumu.

Obama is linked to his Kenyan family via his father Barack senior, a pipe-smoking economist who Obama has admitted he “never truly” knew.

He met Barack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, in Hawaii. But he walked out when Obama was just two and died in a car crash in Nairobi in 1982, aged 46.

Obama senior had worked in the government of Jomo Kenyatta, who led Kenya at independence from Britain until his death 14 years later in 1978.

The two men did not get on well, with Kenyatta — the father of Kenya’s current president Uhuru Kenyatta — sacking Obama senior, and blackballing him for further government jobs, an ostracisation that would help fuel alcoholism.

Sarah Obama, the grandmother of former US President Barack Obama, has died aged 99 in western Kenya, her daughter told AFP Monday. “It is true she has gone to be with the Lord,” said an emotional Marsat Onyango, her daughter, “she passed on this morning.” Sarah Obama, popularly known as Mama Sarah, had been admitted to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu. Once a simple country woman, Sarah Obama was for a long time best known for the hot porridge and doughnuts she served at a local school. But she rose to world fame with the 2008 election of her

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to supply up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the African Union (AU) from the third quarter of 2021, the drugmaker said on Monday, as the continent struggles to get shots into arms and tame infections. Johnson & Johnson has agreed to supply up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the African Union (AU) from the third quarter of 2021, the drugmaker said on Monday, as the continent struggles to get shots into arms and tame infections. J&J unit Janssen Pharmaceutica NV has entered into a deal with the African Vaccine

A slum in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown was destroyed in a fire late Wednesday, authorities said, adding that the toll was unclear but thousands may have been affected. "Earlier tonight, the Susan's Bay community was gutted by fire," Freetown City council said in a tweet overnight. "The extent of the damage is unknown but thousands are likely to have been affected. We will provide more details as we receive them. Keep affected residents in your thoughts and prayers!" Most homes in Susan's Bay are flimsy constructions of corrugated sheeting and recovered materials. The community is clustered on Freetown's seafront, close to the city's historic

After seeing its economy suffer a 13% contraction last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seychelles government says it is ready to reopen the country’s borders to tourists as part of efforts to bolster the economic activities in the country. Seychelles' Foreign Affairs and Tourism Minister, Sylvestre Radegonde made this known during an interview with Bloomberg Radio recently. Seychelles, a sunny Indian Ocean archipelago relies heavily on tourism, which was badly affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought about a 70% decline of tourist arrivals into the country. According to Radegonde, “For a small economy, this

Ivory Coast has been ranked the fourth largest rubber producer in the world. This is according to the country’s Association of Natural Rubber Professionals (Apromac). Their production is still far from the leader, Malaysia, which produces nearly ninety percent of the world’s rubber trees. Ivory Coast produced nearly one million tonnes of natural rubber in 2020 which represents 80% of the continent's latex. Ivory Coast rubber production has continued to rise since 2005 when they produced a paltry 170,000 tonnes of the product. The West African country was previously ranked 7th globally and is now aiming at increasing production to top the world in

Tuberculosis (TB) is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the first leading cause from a single infectious agent. TB is also the leading killer of HIV-positive people. According to data from the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10.4 million people fell ill with TB In 2016. A quarter of those people are from Africa (2.5 million people). In the same year, 1.7 million died from TB globally with 417,000 deaths (over 25 %) from the African region. The World Health Organisation also attests to the fact that tuberculosis continues to be one of the deadliest infectious diseases,

In a new report issued by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), acute hunger is set to soar in over 20 countries in the coming months and over 34 million people are at risk of starvation. Most of the hotspots identified in the report are in Africa, but some are in other regions, from Afghanistan in Asia, Syria, and Lebanon in the Middle East, and Haiti in Latin America and the Caribbean. Accordingly, the key drivers of food insecurity are climate shocks and economic risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, and, in some places, natural hazards. Also

With over 160,000 confirmed cases and 11,000+ deaths, Egypt has continued to battle the COVID-19 pandemic utilizing all resources at its disposal to sustain the health and wealth of the North African nation. Recently, the country received a 300,000-dose shipment of the Chinese Sinopharm shot as a donation from China and is in ongoing negotiations with the Chinese government to become a manufacturer of the vaccine to meet supply and home and in other African countries. Egypt is also facilitating development of digital healthcare alternatives, one of which is it's robot assistant reducing exposure to healthcare workers by assisting with

The Bank of Industry (BoI), under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has secured a N1 billion syndicated loan to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment disclosed this, on Monday, at the Quantum Mechanics Limited MSMEs Survival Fund capacity building programme in Abuja. Mr Adebayo in a statement by Ifedayo Sayo, his Special Assistant on Media, said the loan would improve the capacity of the bank to effectively support MSMEs across key sectors of the Nigerian economy. Mr Adebayo said the loan facility, being implemented in conjunction

The Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent committee overseeing the trial, has "expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data," the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said in a statement. The vaccine developed with Oxford University was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic illness in the large trial that also took place in Chile and Peru, according to the data. It was also 100% effective against severe or critical forms of the disease and hospitalization and posed no increased risk of

New Release: The African Economic Congress 2020 Report.