Facts about Kenya
|Time zone||UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)|
Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
General info about Kenya
Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 until 1982 when the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) made itself the sole legal party in Kenya. MOI acceded to internal and external pressure for political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 and 1997, which were marred by violence and fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. KIBAKI's NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over the constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement, which defeated the government's draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. KIBAKI's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate Raila ODINGA and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February produced a powersharing accord bringing ODINGA into the government in the restored position of prime minister.
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
What about drugs?
widespread harvesting of small plots of marijuana; transit country for South Asian heroin destined for Europe and North America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa; significant potential for money-laundering activity given the country's status as a regional financial center; massive corruption, and relatively high levels of narcotics-associated activities
Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
6.7% (2003 est.)
varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. In 1997, the IMF suspended Kenya's Enhanced Structural Adjustment Program due to the government's failure to maintain reforms and curb corruption. A severe drought from 1999 to 2000 compounded Kenya's problems, causing water and energy rationing and reducing agricultural output. As a result, GDP contracted by 0.2% in 2000. The IMF, which had resumed loans in 2000 to help Kenya through the drought, again halted lending in 2001 when the government failed to institute several anticorruption measures. Despite the return of strong rains in 2001, weak commodity prices, endemic corruption, and low investment limited Kenya's economic growth to 1.2%. Growth lagged at 1.1% in 2002 because of erratic rains, low investor confidence, meager donor support, and political infighting up to the elections. In the key December 2002 elections, Daniel Arap MOI's 24-year-old reign ended, and a new opposition government took on the formidable economic problems facing the nation. After some early progress in rooting out corruption and encouraging donor support, the KIBAKI government was rocked by high-level graft scandals in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 the World Bank and IMF delayed loans pending action by the government on corruption. The international financial institutions and donors have since resumed lending, despite little action on the government's part to deal with corruption. Election related riots may have hurt Kenya's 2008 performance. GDP grew an estimated 4.1%.
water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching
Cities in Kenyaahero baringo bomet bondo bungoma busia butere chepareria chuka eldama ravine eldoret embu garissa gazi gilgil homa bay isiolo kabarnet kajiado kakamega kandara kangema kangundo kapenguria kapsabet karuri kendu bay kericho keroka kerugoya kiambu kijabe kikuyu kilifi kinango kipini kisii kisumu kitale kitui konza kwale lamu limuru litein lodwar londiani luanda machakos magadi makueni makuyu malaba malakisi malindi mandera maragua maralal mariakani marsabit maua meru migori molo mombasa moyale muhoroni mumias mwingi nairobi naivasha nakuru namanga nambale nandi nandi hills nanyuki naro moru narok ngong nyahururu nyeri ogembo othaya oyugis port victoria rongai ruiru rumuruti sagana sawasawa shimoni siaya sirisia sotik takaungu taveta thika voi wajir webuye witu wote wundanyi yala