Auma Obama (Semblanza)

Dr. Auma Obama was born in Kenya and grew up there. She studied in Germany and completed her master’s degree at the University of Heidelberg. Following this, she successfully completed another degree programme at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and received a doctoral degree from the University of Bayreuth at the same time.

For several years, Dr. Obama lived and worked in Germany and the UK before returning to Kenya, where she worked for the aid organization CARE International. An important part of her work there was the establishment and coordination of the network ‘Sport for Social Change’. This initiative brought together organisations from different countries of East Africa, from Egypt and Bangladesh, in order to familiarize girls in particular with sport as a means for improving their own social situation.

Alongside her work for the foundation, Dr. Auma Obama is a member of the World Future Council, an organization that works worldwide to promote responsible, sustainable thinking and action on behalf of future generations. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the ‘German Reading Foundation’ as well as a member of the Advisory Board of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies at the University of Bayreuth. She is Governing Council of the Kilimanjaro Initiative in Nairobi (Kenya), Since 2014, Dr. Obama has been the Patron of the international Storymoja Festivals in Kenya.

Dr. Obama is also the initiator of the Sauti Kuu Act Now Awards, which were launched in Berlin in 2015. The awards recognize children and young people between the ages of 12 and 25 who dedicate themselves to social, humanitarian and environmental projects.

Dr. Auma Obama is also a widely read author. Her book, And Then Life Happens: A Memoir (2010). In great demand as a speaker, she is active at numerous events worldwide on topics of socio-economic development. Her focus here is on the relationship between the so-called ‘developing countries’ and the ‘developed states’.

She has received several recognitions for her dedication to humanitarian efforts including the Prix Courage(2014); the B.A.U.M. Award (2015); the World Human Rights Award (2015); the Kiwanis Award (2016)); and the Deutscher Rednerpreis presented by the German Speakers Association (2015). Dr. Auma Obama is the sister of US President Barack Obama.