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Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.58 cu km/yr (30%/6%/64%)
per capita: 46 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
30.2 cu km (1990)

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

Environment - international agreements:
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

Climate:
varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior

Map references:
Africa

Geographic coordinates:
1 00 N, 38 00 E

Natural resources:
limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower

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

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

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

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

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

Coastline:
536 km

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

Irrigated land:
1,030 sq km (2003)

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

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

Natural hazards:
recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons

Land use:
arable land: 8.01%
permanent crops: 0.97%
other: 91.02% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
4.7 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
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 (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
6.7% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.2 million (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 56.64 years
male: 56.42 years
female: 56.87 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.1%
male: 90.6%
female: 79.7% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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%

Median age:
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.8 years (2008 est.)

Population:
37,953,840
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 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
6.9% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
2.758% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 56.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
150,000 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2004)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.2% (male 8,065,789/female 7,953,077)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 10,498,468/female 10,434,764)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 457,886/female 543,854) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
37.89 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
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

Nationality:
noun: Kenyan(s)
adjective: Kenyan

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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

National holiday:
Independence Day, 12 December (1963)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
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

International organization participation:
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

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Bunge ususally referred to as Parliament(224 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, 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

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

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

Independence:
12 December 1963 (from UK)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
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]

Capital:
name: Nairobi
geographic coordinates: 1 17 S, 36 49 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
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

Executive branch:
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%

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

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

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Uganda 16.9%, UK 9.3%, Tanzania 8.2%, Netherlands 8.2%, US 6.4%, Pakistan 5.2% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
5.124 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
22.5 million kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$1.859 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$6.749 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
40% (2001 est.)

Oil - exports:
5,137 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,800 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
21.6% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$10.43 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$66.48 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$31.42 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44.5 (1997)

Exchange rates:
Kenyan shillings (KES) per US dollar - 68.358 (2008 est.), 68.309 (2007), 72.101 (2006), 75.554 (2005), 79.174 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
4.1% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$5.932 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
16.94 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
UAE 11.4%, China 9.9%, India 8.7%, Saudi Arabia 8%, South Africa 6.9%, US 6.2%, Japan 5.9%, UK 4.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
25.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 23.8%
industry: 16.7%
services: 59.5% (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:
72,780 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$4.729 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Kenyan shilling (KES)

Economy - overview:
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%.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

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

Industries:
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

Electricity - exports:
58.3 million kWh (2007 est.)

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

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
13.34% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$6.273 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
6.264 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$9.485 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 75%
industry and services: 25% (2003 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.116 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
65,530 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$47 million (2008 est.)

Public debt:
52.7% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$2.541 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$13.39 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:
KES

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

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

Economic aid - recipient:
$768.3 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 17.7%
hydro: 71%
nuclear: 0%
other: 11.3% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $6.617 billion
expenditures: $8.196 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
3 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
264,800 (2007)

Televisions:
730,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.ke

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

Radios:
3.07 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
11.44 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
8 (2001)

Telephone system:
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

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
65 (2001)

Internet hosts:
27,376 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Waterways:
part of Lake Victoria system is within boundaries of Kenya (2007)

Pipelines:
refined products 900 km (2007)

Railways:
total: 2,778 km
narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Mombasa

Merchant marine:
total: 1
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)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 63,265 km (interurban roads)
paved: 8,933 km
unpaved: 54,332 km
note: there also are 100,000 km of rural roads and 14,500 km of urban roads for a national total of 177,765 km (2004)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 210
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 113
under 914 m: 85 (2007)

Airports:
225 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) for voluntary service, with a 9-year obligation (2007)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 9,044,685
females age 16-49: 8,805,736 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,688,259
females age 16-49: 5,396,166 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Kenyan Army, Kenyan Navy, Kenyan Air Force (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 411,032
female: 406,794 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.8% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
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)

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; 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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