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Kenya Flag


Country Profile

Capital City: Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million)

Other Cities: Mombasa (665 000), Kisumu (504 000), Nakuru (1.2 million).

Local Time: UTC +3h

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania.
Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.)
Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.
Border countries: Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda

Climate: Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

Type: Republic.
Independence: December 12, 1963 (from British colonial rule).


Nationality: Noun and adjective--Kenyan(s).
Population (2002): 31.5 million.
Ethnic groups: African--Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African--Asian, European, Arab 1%.
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic 30%, Muslim 20%.
Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.
Literacy (in English): 59%.


Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)

Natural resources: Wildlife, land.

Agriculture Products: Tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products.

Industries: Small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products processing; oil refining, cement; tourism.

Exports partners:
Uganda 12.7%, UK 12.5%, USA 9.4%, Netherlands 8.5%, Pakistan 5%, Egypt 4.6%, Tanzania 4.3% (2003)

Imports partners: UAE 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 9.6%, South Africa 8.6%, UK 7.4%, China 6.3%, USA 5.1%, India 5.1%, Japan 4.9%, Germany 4.2% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Kenya

Kenya Government

State House

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kenya

Kenya Mission to the United Nations

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya

Kenya Government Index

Central Bureau of Statistics

Kenya Meteorological Department

Map of Kenya



Background:  Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo
KENYATTA led Kenya from independence until his death in 1978, when
current 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 are viewed as having
generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. The country faces a
period of political uncertainty because MOI is constitutionally required
to step down at the next election that has to be held by early 2003.

Geography Kenya

Location:  Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia
and Tanzania

Geographic coordinates:  1 00 N, 38 00 E

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 582,650 sq km water: 13,400 sq km land: 569,250 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

Land boundaries:  total: 3,477 km border countries: Ethiopia 861 km,
Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km

Coastline:  536 km

Maritime claims:  continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of
exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior

Terrain:  low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift
Valley; fertile plateau in west

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point:
Mount Kenya 5,199 m

Natural resources:  gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies,
fluorspar, garnets, wildlife, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 7% permanent crops: 1% other: 92% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  670 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons

Environment - current issues:  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

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of
the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban,
Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but
not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:  the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most
successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers are found
on Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak; unique physiography supports
abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value

People Kenya

Population:  31,138,735 note: estimates for this country explicitly take
into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result
in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 41.1% (male 6,462,430; female 6,327,457)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 8,769,546; female 8,694,329) 65 years and over:
2.8% (male 385,361; female 499,612) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.15% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  27.61 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  14.68 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population note: according
to UNHCR, by the end of 2001 Kenya was host to 220,000 refugees from
neighboring countries, including: Somalia 145,000 and Sudan 68,000
(2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.77 male(s)/female total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  67.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   47.85 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.34 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  13.5% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  2.2 million (2000 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  180,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Kenyan(s) adjective: Kenyan

Ethnic groups:  Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%,
Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European,
and Arab) 1%

Religions:  Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, indigenous beliefs 10%,
Muslim 10%, other 2% note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian,
but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam
or indigenous beliefs vary widely

Languages:  English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 78.1% male: 86.3% female: 70% (1995 est.)

Government Kenya

Country name:   Republic of Kenya conventional short form: Government
type:  republic

Capital:  Nairobi

Administrative divisions:  7 provinces and 1 area*; Central, Coast,
Eastern, Nairobi Area*, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western

Independence:  12 December 1963 (from UK)

National holiday:  Independence Day, 12 December (1963)

Constitution:  12 December 1963, amended as a republic 1964; reissued
with amendments 1979, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1997, and 2001

Legal system:  based on Kenyan statutory law, Kenyan and English common
law, tribal law, and Islamic law; judicial review in High Court; accepts
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; constitutional amendment
of 1982 making Kenya a de jure one-party state repealed in 1991

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI
(since 14 October 1978); note - the president is both the chief of state
and head of government head of government: President Daniel Toroitich
arap MOI (since 14 October 1978); note - the president is both the chief
of state and
 Cabinet appointed by the president elections:  Assembly for a five-year
 term; in addition to receiving the largest number
of votes in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25%
or more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven provinces and one
area to avoid a runoff; election last held 29 December 1997 (next to be
held by early 2003); vice president appointed by the president election
results: President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI reelected; percent of vote
- Daniel T. arap MOI (KANU) 40.6%, Mwai KIBAKI (DP) 31.5%, Raila ODINGA
(NDP) 11.1%, Michael WAMALWA (FORD-K) 8.4%, Charity NGILU (SDP) 7.8%

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (222 seats;
210 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, 12 so-called
"nominated" members who are appointed by the president, but selected by
the parties in proportion to their parliamentary vote totals) elections:
last held 29 December 1997 (next to be held by early 2003) election
results:  FORD-K 17, FORD-People 3, DP 39, NDP 21, SDP 15, SAFINA 5,
smaller parties 2; seats appointed by the president - KANU 6, FORD-K 1,
DP 2, SDP 1, NDP 1, SAFINA 1

Judicial branch:  Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the
president); High Court

Political parties and leaders:  Democratic Party of Kenya or DP [Mwai
KIBAKI]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Asili or FORD-A [Kenneth
MATIBA, chairman]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya or FORD-K
[Michael Kijana WAMALWA]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People
or FORD-People [Kimaniwa NYOIKE, chairman]; Kenya African National Union
or KANU [President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI] - the governing party;
National Development Party or NDP [Raila ODINGA]; SAFINA [Farah MAALIM,
chairman]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [James ORENGO, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  human rights groups; labor unions;
Muslim organizations; National Convention Executive Council or NCEC, a
proreform coalition of political parties and nongovernment organizations
[Kivutha KIBWANA]; Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya
or NCCK [Mutava MUSYIMI]; Roman Catholic and other Christian churches;
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims or SUPKEM [Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY,

International organization participation:  ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, EADB, ECA,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Yusuf Abdulraham
NZIBO consulate(s) general:   [1] (202) 387-6101 chancery: Diplomatic
representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Johnnie CARSON
embassy: US Embassy, Mombasa Road, Nairobi mailing address: Box 21A, Unit
64100, APO AE 09831 telephone: [254] (2) 537-800 FAX: [254] (2) 537-810

Flag description:  three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red,
and green; the red band is edged in white; a large warrior's shield
covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center

Economy Kenya

Economy - overview:  Kenya, the regional hub for trade and finance in East
Africa, is hampered by corruption and reliance upon several primary goods
whose prices continue to decline. Following strong economic growth in 1995
and 1996, Kenya's economy has stagnated, with GDP growth failing to keep
up with the rate of population growth. 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 0.3%
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%, and Kenya is unlikely
to see growth above 2% in 2002. Substantial IMF and other foreign support
is essential to prevent a further decline in real per capita output.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $31 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 24% industry: 13% services:
63% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  50% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 37.2% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  44.5 (1994)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  3.3% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  10 million (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 75%-80%

Unemployment rate:  40% (2001 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $2.91 billion expenditures: $2.97 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries,
textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products processing;
oil refining, cement; tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  -0.7% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  4.616 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 21.66% hydro: 70.4%
other: 7.94% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  4.433 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  140 million kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit,
vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs

Exports:  $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum
products, fish, cement

Exports - partners:  UK 13.5%, Tanzania 12.5%, Uganda 12.0%, Germany 5.5%

Imports:  $3.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum
products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics

Imports - partners:  UK 12%, UAE 9.8%, Japan 6.5%, India 4.4% (2000)

Debt - external:  $8 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $457 million (1997)

Currency:  Kenyan shilling (KES)

Currency code:  KES

Exchange rates:  Kenyan shillings per US dollar - 78.597 (January 2002),
78.563 (2001), 76.176 (2000), 70.326 (1999), 60.367 (1998), 58.732 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications Kenya

Telephones - main lines in use:  310,000 (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  540,000 (2001)

Telephone system:  general assessment: unreliable; little attempt to
modernize except for service to business domestic: trunks are primarily
microwave radio relay; business data commonly transferred by a very small
aperture terminal (VSAT) system international: satellite earth stations -
4 Intelsat

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 24, FM 18, shortwave 6 (2001)

Radios:  3.07 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  8 (2002)

Televisions:  730,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .ke

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  65 (2001)

Internet users:  250,000 (2001)

Transportation Kenya

Railways:  total: 2,778 km narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge note:
the line connecting Nairobi with the port of Mombasa is the most important
in the country

Highways:  total: 63,800 km paved: 8,932 km unpaved: 54,868 km (2001)

Waterways:  NA note: part of the Lake Victoria system is within the
boundaries of Kenya

Pipelines:  petroleum products 483 km

Ports and harbors:  Kisumu, Lamu, Mombasa

Merchant marine:  total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,893
GRT/6,320 DWT ships by type: petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
(2002 est.)

Airports:  231 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 20 over 3,047 m: 4 2,438 to 3,047
m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 11 under 914 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:   14 914 to 1,523 m: Military Kenya

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 7,938,865 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 4,915,090
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $179.2 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  1.8% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Kenya

Disputes - international:  since colonial times, Kenya's administrative
boundary has extended beyond its treaty boundary into Sudan creating the
"Ilemi Triangle"; arms smuggling and Oromo rebel activities prompt strict
border regime with Somalia

Illicit 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

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

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