Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins a seven-nation trip to Africa today in Kenya where she is sure to receive a warm welcome from a country that has a very positive opinion of America. Fully 90% of Kenyans have a favorable opinion of the U.S., the highest favorability rating from any country polled in the 25-nation survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. Only 3% of Kenyans have a negative opinion of America. Unlike many countries, Kenya’s positive opinion of the U.S. predates the election of Barack Obama; in 2007 America was just as popular in Kenya (87% favorable), and as was the case in most other African nations polled, President George W. Bush also received high marks (72% had confidence in him to do the right thing in foreign affairs). That is not to say Kenya is not especially excited to have a son of a Kenyan as America’s president. An overwhelming 94% say they have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs and nearly everyone (96%) is aware that Obama’s father was Kenyan. Clinton will also stop in Nigeria on her trip to Africa, where the U.S. also enjoys a very high level of favorability — 79% express a positive view, up from 64% last year. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.