barack obama
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at an indoor stadium in Nairobi. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

US President Barack Obama inspired millions as he concluded his first presidential visit to Kenya with a special broadcast from a sports stadium in the capital Nairobi.

The President spoke movingly about his father's homeland in which he believes is now ready to take the global stage – forgetting the "shadows of the past".

"Kenya is on the move, poised to play a big role, with the shadows of the past replaced by a light of opportunity," he said.

He said since the country claimed independence and experienced political stability its economy was now emerging, but "we also know problems that shadow Kenyans and affect livelihoods. As with America economic growth, it is not always broadly shared."

He later spoke of the importance of investing in younger generations through the President's Young African Leaders Initiative to push "Africa to new heights" and build entrepreneurship but warned its future was up to individual citizens themselves – adding equipping women were key to the success of its economy too.

"We are each responsible for our own destiny. Kenya is an important partner. I want Kenya to succeed, to develop great lives and opportunity for everyone."

He also called for transparent democracy and said corruption was not "unique" to Kenya and warned "politics based on tribe and corruption is a politics determined to tear a country apart".

He paid tribute to lives lost through acts of terrorism in the country including the massacre of 150 students at Garissa University College in April and during the 1998 US embassy bombing in Nairobi and said it would cause nations to stand together against the on-going threat of terror groups like Al-Shabaab.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder against terrorism. Violent extremists want us to turn against each other and to target societies to explore divisions."

But he added: "In light of the new day we should see ourselves in one another – our faiths bound together. At the end of the day we are all part of one tribe – the human tribe."