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Africa :: Kenya
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Kenya
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Location of Kenya
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Introduction ::Kenya
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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.
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Geography ::Kenya
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Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
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1 00 N, 38 00 E
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total: 580,367 sq km
country comparison to the world: 48
land: 569,140 sq km
water: 11,227 sq km
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slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
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total: 3,477 km
border countries: Ethiopia 861 km, Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km
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536 km
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territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
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varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
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low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
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lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m
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limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
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arable land: 8.01%
permanent crops: 0.97%
other: 91.02% (2005)
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1,030 sq km (2003)
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30.2 cu km (1990)
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total: 1.58 cu km/yr (30%/6%/64%)
per capita: 46 cu m/yr (2000)
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recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons
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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
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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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
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People ::Kenya
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39,002,772
country comparison to the world: 33
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 42.3% (male 8,300,393/female 8,181,898)
15-64 years: 55.1% (male 10,784,119/female 10,702,999)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 470,218/female 563,145) (2009 est.)
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total: 18.7 years
male: 18.6 years
female: 18.8 years (2009 est.)
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2.691% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
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36.64 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
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9.72 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
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0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
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urban population: 22% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 54.7 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 44
male: 57.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 57.86 years
country comparison to the world: 188
male: 57.49 years
female: 58.24 years (2009 est.)
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4.56 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
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6.7% (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 10
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1.2 million (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
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150,000 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
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degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and Rift Valley fever
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
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noun: Kenyan(s)
adjective: Kenyan
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Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
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Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 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
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English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.1%
male: 90.6%
female: 79.7% (2003 est.)
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total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2004)
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6.9% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 27
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Government ::Kenya
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conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
conventional short form: Kenya
local long form: Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya
local short form: Kenya
former: British East Africa
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republic
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name: Nairobi
geographic coordinates: 1 17 S, 36 49 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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7 provinces and 1 area*; Central, Coast, Eastern, Nairobi Area*, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western
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12 December 1963 (from the UK)
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Independence Day, 12 December (1963)
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12 December 1963; amended as a republic 1964; reissued with amendments 1979, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001; note - a new draft constitution was defeated by popular referendum in 2005
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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
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18 years of age; universal
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chief of state: President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephene Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008);
head of government: President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephene Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008); note - the roles of the president and prime minister are not well defined at this juncture; constitutionally, the president remains chief of state and head of government, but the prime minister is charged with coordinating government business
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and headed by the prime minister, who is the leader of the largest party in parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second 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 27 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2012); vice president appointed by the president
election results: President Mwai KIBAKI reelected; percent of vote - Mwai KIBAKI 46%, Raila ODINGA 44%, Kalonzo MUSYOKA 9%
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unicameral National Assembly or Bunge usually referred to as Parliament (224 seats; 210 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, 12 nominated members who are appointed by the president but selected by the parties in proportion to their parliamentary vote totals, 2 ex-officio members)
elections: last held 27 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ODM 99, PNU 46, ODM-K 16, KANU 14 other 35; ex-officio 2; seats appointed by the president - ODM 6, PNU 3, ODM-K 2, KANU 1
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Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court
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Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya or FORD-Kenya [Musikari KOMBO]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People or FORD-People [Reuben OYONDI]; Kenya African National Union or KANU [Uhuru KENYATTA]; National Rainbow Coalition-Kenya or NARC-Kenya [Martha KARUA]; Orange Democratic Movement or ODM [Raila ODINGA]; Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya or ODM-K [Kalonzo MUSYOKA]; Party of National Unity or PNU [Mwai KIBAKI]; Shirikisho Party of Kenya or SPK [Chirau Ali MWAKWERE]
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Council of Islamic Preachers of Kenya or CIPK [Sheikh Idris MOHAMMED]; Kenya Human Rights Commission [L. Muthoni WANYEKI]; Muslim Human Rights Forum [Ali-Amin KIMATHI]; National Convention Executive Council or NCEC, a proreform coalition of political parties and nongovernment organizations [Ndung'u WAINANA]; National Muslim Leaders Forum or NAMLEF [Abdullahi ABDI]; Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya or NCCK [Canon Peter Karanja MWANGI]; Roman Catholic and other Christian churches; Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims or SUPKEM [Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY]
other: labor unions
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ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Peter Rateng Oginga OGEGO
chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
consulate(s): New York
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chief of mission: Ambassador Michael RANNEBERGER
embassy: US Embassy, United Nations Avenue, Nairobi; P. O. Box 606 Village Market, Nairobi 00621
mailing address: Box 21A, Unit 64100, APO AE 09831
telephone: [254] (20) 363-6000
FAX: [254] (20) 363-410
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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
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Economy ::Kenya
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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. Post-election violence in early 2008, coupled with the effects of the global financial crisis on remittance and exports, reduced GDP growth to 2.2% in 2008, down from 7% the previous year.
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$61.51 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$60.48 billion (2007 est.)
$56.54 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$30.24 billion (2008 est.)
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1.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
7% (2007 est.)
6.4% (2006 est.)
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$1,600 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
$1,600 (2007 est.)
$1,600 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 23.8%
industry: 16.7%
services: 59.5% (2007 est.)
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17.37 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
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agriculture: 75%
industry and services: 25% (2003 est.)
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40% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
40% (2001 est.)
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50% (2000 est.)
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lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 37.8% (2005)
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42.5 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
44.9 (1997)
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21.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
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revenues: $6.648 billion
expenditures: $8.167 billion (2008 est.)
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58.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
74.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
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26.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216
9.7% (2007 est.)
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14.8% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 56
13.34% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 64
$5.912 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 72
$6.464 billion (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 84
$10.67 billion (31 December 2007)
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$10.92 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 71
$13.39 billion (31 December 2007)
$11.38 billion (31 December 2006)
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tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs
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small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism
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4.8% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
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5.223 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
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4.863 billion kWh (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
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58.3 million kWh (2007 est.)
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22.5 million kWh (2007 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150
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75,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 86
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7,270 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
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80,530 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 163
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164
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$-2.745 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$-1.102 billion (2007 est.)
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$4.958 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.123 billion (2007 est.)
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tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement
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Uganda 16.4%, UK 9.1%, Netherlands 8.3%, Tanzania 7.9%, US 5.8%, Pakistan 5.1% (2008)
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$11.07 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
$8.381 billion (2007 est.)
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machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
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UAE 12.5%, China 10.5%, Saudi Arabia 8.7%, India 8.3%, South Africa 6.6%, Japan 5.6%, US 4.2% (2008)
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$2.879 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
$3.355 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$7.084 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
$6.713 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$2.541 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
$1.891 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
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$47 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
$31.4 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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Kenyan shillings (KES) per US dollar - 68.358 (2008 est.), 68.309 (2007), 72.101 (2006), 75.554 (2005), 79.174 (2004)
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Communications ::Kenya
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252,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
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16.234 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 41
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general assessment: inadequate; fixed-line telephone system is small and inefficient; trunks are primarily microwave radio relay; business data commonly transferred by a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system
domestic: no recent growth in fixed-line infrastructure and the sole provider, Telkom Kenya, is slated for privatization; multiple providers in the mobile-cellular segment of the market fostering a boom in mobile-cellular telephone usage
international: country code - 254; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat
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AM 24, FM 82, shortwave 6 (2008)
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8 (2008)
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.ke
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32,913 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 90
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3.36 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 56
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Transportation ::Kenya
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181 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 33
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total: 16
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2009)
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total: 165
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 105
under 914 m: 50 (2009)
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oil 4 km; refined products 928 km (2008)
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total: 2,778 km
country comparison to the world: 59
narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
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total: 63,574 km (interurban roads)
country comparison to the world: 70
paved: 9,273 km
unpaved: 54,301 km
note: there also are 114,226 km of unclassified roads, 2,000 km paved and 112,226 unpaved, for a national total of 177,800 km (2008)
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part of Lake Victoria system is within boundaries of Kenya (2007)
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total: 1
country comparison to the world: 160
by type: petroleum tanker 1
registered in other countries: 6 (Bahamas 1, Comoros 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Tuvalu 1, unknown 1) (2008)
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Mombasa
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Military ::Kenya
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Kenyan Armed Forces: Kenyan Army, Kenyan Navy, Kenyan Air Force (2008)
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18 years of age (est.) for voluntary service, with a 9-year obligation (2007)
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males age 16-49: 9,044,685
females age 16-49: 8,805,736 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 5,935,480
females age 16-49: 5,662,755 (2009 est.)
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male: 412,656
female: 408,657 (2009 est.)
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2.8% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 56
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Transnational Issues ::Kenya
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Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan's north-south separation in February 2005; Kenya provides shelter to almost a quarter of a million refugees, including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protection from Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels; Kenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists; the boundary that separates Kenya's and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
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refugees (country of origin): 173,702 (Somalia); 73,004 (Sudan); 16,428 (Ethiopia)
IDPs: 250,000-400,000 (2007 post-election violence; KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2007)
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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
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The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
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