Raila Odinga - Former Prime Minister of Kenya, Facts and Family

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Raila Odinga's Personal Details

A businessman turned politician, Raila Odinga is known for his pro-democracy efforts which resulted in modification of the Kenyan constitution

InformationDetail
BirthdayJanuary 7, 1945
NationalityKenyan
FamousFormer Prime Minister of Kenya, Millionaires, Democrats, Leaders, Political Leaders
IdeologiesDemocrats
SpousesIda Odinga
SiblingsOburu Odinga
Known asRaila Amollo Odinga, Agwambo
Childrens Fidel Odinga, Raila Odinga Jr., Rosemary Odinga, Winnie Odinga
Universities
  • Leipzig University
  • 1970 - Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg
Birth PlaceMaseno
GenderMale
FatherJaramogi Oginga Odinga
MotherMary Juma Odinga
Net Worth$250 Million as of Nov 18,2015
Sun SignCapricorn
Born inMaseno
Famous asFormer Prime Minister of Kenya

// Famous Former Prime Minister of Kenya

Raila Odinga's photo

Who is Raila Odinga?

Raila Odinga is a Kenyan businessman and politician often regarded as the father of democracy in the country. Raila was born into a politically active family; his father served as Kenya's first Vice President. After completing his education in Germany, he returned to Kenya, where he began a teaching career, while at the same time participating in various business ventures related to his field of mechanical engineering. Later he would become involved in politics himself. He was one of the most prominent supporters of the movement for political reform in Kenya, particularly for multi-party democracy, rather than the traditional single-party politics in the country. He would serve time in prison for these activities on several different occasions, including one stint lasting six years, and would receive numerous threats of death. After his last imprisonment he would go on to work his way up the Kenyan political ladder, forming and combining numerous political parties, and running for president multiple times. Although he lost each of the presidential elections he ran in, he would eventually become the country’s second-ever Prime Minister, and was able to effect political change in his country through this position.

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Childhood & Early Life

Raila Amolo Odinga was born January 7, 1945 in Maseno, Kenya to Mary Ajuma Odinga and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

He received his primary education at 'Kisumu Union Primary School', 'Maranda Primary' and later attended the 'Maranda High School'.

Starting in 1962, he spent two years at the 'Herder Institut', part of the 'University of Leipzig' in East Germany. He then earned a scholarship to the 'Technical School' in Magdeburg, East Germany, where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Mechanical engineering.

Career

After completing his graduate studies in 1970, Raila returned to Kenya, where he became a lecturer at the 'University of Nairobi.'

In 1971, while still teaching at the 'University of Nairobi' he established what would become 'East African Spectre Ltd.' a company manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinder.

In 1974 he left the 'University of Nairobi' and began working at the 'Kenya Bureau of Standards' as a group standards manager. Four years later he was promoted to Deputy Director of the 'Kenya Bureau of Standards.'

In 1982, he was accused of collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against the President. He was charged with treason and imprisoned, without trial, for six years.

Shortly after his release, he was rearrested for involvement with activists pushing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, in September 1988.

He was released from prison on June 12, 1989, but a year later was arrested again.

He was released from prison on June 21, 1991, and in October left Kenya for Norway. His decision to leave his motherland was probably because of the assassination threats he claimed to have received from the Kenyan government.

In 1992 he returned to Kenya and joined 'FORD', the 'Forum for the Restoration of Democracy.' He was elected Vice Chairman of the ‘General Purposes Committee of FORD'.

In 1992, 'FORD' split into two factions, 'FORD-Kenya' led by Raila's father, and 'FORD-Asili' led by Kenneth Matiba. Raila was appointed Deputy Director of Elections of 'FORD-Kenya. The same year, he won a seat in Parliament and began to be known as one of the fathers of multi-party democracy in the country.

He ran for President in the 1997 General Election, finishing third but keeping his seat in Parliament. After the election he began to support President Moi's government, leading a merger between his party and Moi's 'KANU' party.

From June 2001 to 2002, he served on the Cabinet of President Moi as Energy Minister. This same year, he was also elected the 'KANU' party's secretary general.

In 2002, in opposition of President Moi's choice of presidential candidate, Raila left 'KANU' to form the 'Liberal Democratic Party.' This party then joined with the 'National Alliance of Kenya' to form the 'National Rainbow Coalition'. In the later part of the year, he was appointed minister of roads, public works and housing in the new President's cabinet.

In 2005, following a political controversy the President dismissed his entire cabinet and reassembled it, without Odinga and his allies, leading him to form a new coalition, the 'Orange Democratic Movement.'

In 2007, Raila ran for president again, narrowly losing. He disputed the result, and widespread violence and rioting broke out.

As a result of the violence following the 2007 election, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stepped in and helped reach an agreement between Odinga and the President to form a coalition government, with Odinga being sworn in on April 17, 2008 as Prime Minister.

In 2013, he ran again for president again narrowly losing. At first challenging the results, when the Supreme Court upheld them, he conceded the election.

Major Works

The Flame of Freedom', an autobiography detailing his life and struggles, was launched in October 2013. It is his only published work.

Awards & Achievements

In 2008, Raila was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the ‘University of Nairobi’ in Kenya.

He was awarded an honorary degree from ‘Florida A&M University’ in the United States, in 2012.

Personal Life & Legacy

He exchanged wedding vows with Ida in 1973 and the family resides in Karen, Nairobi. They have four children: Fidel, Rosemary, Raila Jr. and Winnie.

He was appointed to mediate the Ivorian crisis in 2010-2011, which involved widespread violence following elections in Ivory Coast.

He worked closely with President Kibaki in 2010, to pass a new constitution for Kenya, which moved some of the power of the presidency back to the local government level.

Net Worth

Raila is among the richest men in Kenya. His net worth, estimated from business ventures he has stakes in, including 'Pan African Petroleum Ltd.' and 'East Africa Spectre Ltd.' is estimated to be roughly $30,000,000.

Trivia

This famous politician has several nicknames, including 'Agwambo', which means ‘the Mysterious One’.

U.S. President Barack Obama's father was from the same Kenyan village as Odinga.

// Famous Leaders

Raila Odinga biography timelines

  • // 7th Jan 1945
    Raila Amolo Odinga was born January 7, 1945 in Maseno, Kenya to Mary Ajuma Odinga and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
  • // 1962 To 1970
    Starting in 1962, he spent two years at the 'Herder Institut', part of the 'University of Leipzig' in East Germany. He then earned a scholarship to the 'Technical School' in Magdeburg, East Germany, where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Mechanical engineering.
  • // 1970
    After completing his graduate studies in 1970, Raila returned to Kenya, where he became a lecturer at the 'University of Nairobi.'
  • // 1971
    In 1971, while still teaching at the 'University of Nairobi' he established what would become 'East African Spectre Ltd.' a company manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinder.
  • // 1973
    He exchanged wedding vows with Ida in 1973 and the family resides in Karen, Nairobi. They have four children: Fidel, Rosemary, Raila Jr. and Winnie.
  • // 1974
    In 1974 he left the 'University of Nairobi' and began working at the 'Kenya Bureau of Standards' as a group standards manager. Four years later he was promoted to Deputy Director of the 'Kenya Bureau of Standards.'
  • // 1982
    In 1982, he was accused of collaborating with the plotters of a failed coup attempt against the President. He was charged with treason and imprisoned, without trial, for six years.
  • // Sep 1988
    Shortly after his release, he was rearrested for involvement with activists pushing for multi-party democracy in Kenya, in September 1988.
  • // 12th Jun 1989
    He was released from prison on June 12, 1989, but a year later was arrested again.
  • // 21st Jun 1991
    He was released from prison on June 21, 1991, and in October left Kenya for Norway. His decision to leave his motherland was probably because of the assassination threats he claimed to have received from the Kenyan government.
  • // 1992
    In 1992 he returned to Kenya and joined 'FORD', the 'Forum for the Restoration of Democracy.' He was elected Vice Chairman of the ‘General Purposes Committee of FORD'.
  • // 1992
    In 1992, 'FORD' split into two factions, 'FORD-Kenya' led by Raila's father, and 'FORD-Asili' led by Kenneth Matiba. Raila was appointed Deputy Director of Elections of 'FORD-Kenya. The same year, he won a seat in Parliament and began to be known as one of the fathers of multi-party democracy in the country.
  • // 1997
    He ran for President in the 1997 General Election, finishing third but keeping his seat in Parliament. After the election he began to support President Moi's government, leading a merger between his party and Moi's 'KANU' party.
  • // Jun 2001 To 2002
    From June 2001 to 2002, he served on the Cabinet of President Moi as Energy Minister. This same year, he was also elected the 'KANU' party's secretary general.
  • // 2002
    In 2002, in opposition of President Moi's choice of presidential candidate, Raila left 'KANU' to form the 'Liberal Democratic Party.' This party then joined with the 'National Alliance of Kenya' to form the 'National Rainbow Coalition'. In the later part of the year, he was appointed minister of roads, public works and housing in the new President's cabinet.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, following a political controversy the President dismissed his entire cabinet and reassembled it, without Odinga and his allies, leading him to form a new coalition, the 'Orange Democratic Movement.'
  • // 2007
    In 2007, Raila ran for president again, narrowly losing. He disputed the result, and widespread violence and rioting broke out.
  • // 2007 To 17th Apr 2008
    As a result of the violence following the 2007 election, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stepped in and helped reach an agreement between Odinga and the President to form a coalition government, with Odinga being sworn in on April 17, 2008 as Prime Minister.
  • // 2008
    In 2008, Raila was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the ‘University of Nairobi’ in Kenya.
  • // 2010 To 2011
    He was appointed to mediate the Ivorian crisis in 2010-2011, which involved widespread violence following elections in Ivory Coast.
  • // 2010
    He worked closely with President Kibaki in 2010, to pass a new constitution for Kenya, which moved some of the power of the presidency back to the local government level.
  • // 2012
    He was awarded an honorary degree from ‘Florida A&M University’ in the United States, in 2012.
  • // 2013
    In 2013, he ran again for president again narrowly losing. At first challenging the results, when the Supreme Court upheld them, he conceded the election.
  • // Oct 2013
    The Flame of Freedom', an autobiography detailing his life and struggles, was launched in October 2013. It is his only published work.

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Raila Odinga's FAQ

  • What is Raila Odinga birthday?

    Raila Odinga was born at 1945-01-07

  • Where is Raila Odinga's birth place?

    Raila Odinga was born in Maseno

  • What is Raila Odinga nationalities?

    Raila Odinga's nationalities is Kenyan

  • What is Raila Odinga ideologies?

    Raila Odinga's ideologies is Democrats

  • Who is Raila Odinga spouses?

    Raila Odinga's spouses is Ida Odinga

  • Who is Raila Odinga siblings?

    Raila Odinga's siblings is Oburu Odinga

  • Who is Raila Odinga childrens?

    Raila Odinga's childrens is Fidel Odinga, Raila Odinga Jr., Rosemary Odinga, Winnie Odinga

  • What was Raila Odinga universities?

    Raila Odinga studied at Leipzig University, 1970 - Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg

  • Who is Raila Odinga's father?

    Raila Odinga's father is Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

  • Who is Raila Odinga's mother?

    Raila Odinga's mother is Mary Juma Odinga

  • What is Raila Odinga's sun sign?

    Raila Odinga is Capricorn

  • How famous is Raila Odinga?

    Raila Odinga is famouse as Former Prime Minister of Kenya