U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is joining President Barack Obama on his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he's honored to join Obama and other members of Congress on the trip. Markey is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health.

Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Kenya, his ancestral homeland, when he arrives Friday to attend a business summit and meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Obama also will become the first U.S. president to travel to Ethiopia when he lands there Sunday.

Markey said he has tremendous optimism for the African continent.

Markey said the trip will highlight the gains Africa is making, even as the U.S. continues to press issues like democracy and human rights. (Associated Press)