As the presidential elections due in August 2022 draw ever closer, candidates continue their campaigning efforts. Raila Odinga, the long-time leader of the ODM, formerly in opposition and now instead running as a continuer of the policies of outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, is coming off weeks of intense campaigning outside the country’s borders. In the past week, he had chaired an African Union summit in Ethiopia in a bid to boost his campaign.
On Monday, the former Kenyan prime minister travelled to India to attend to his cancer-stricken daughter in 2017, who had lost her sight after undergoing surgery in Nairobi. Her sight had been restored to her in Kerala, India.
The trip turned into a chance to strengthen friendships across borders such as the one with Narendra Modi, the current Indian president and a long-time friend of Odinga. The two spoke at length about the possibilities of strengthening ties between the two countries in terms of academia and trade. Odinga’s ambition, brought forward in his election campaign, is to give his country a new and better welfare system inspired by that of the sub-continent. The Baba Care programme would draw on the Indian system and would aim to produce medicines locally for the country, thus making it possible to lower the price of medicines in Kenya. The meetings with the local authorities and visits to important medical centres in the country, including the one where his daughter was treated, should be read in this light.