Kenyan, adj., n.
/ken"yeuh, keen"-/, n.
1. a republic in E Africa: member of the Commonwealth of Nations; formerly a British crown colony and protectorate. 28,803,085; 223,478 sq. mi. (578,808 sq. km). Cap.: Nairobi.
2. Mount, an extinct volcano in central Kenya. 17,040 ft. (5194 m).

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Introduction 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: 7.03% permanent crops: 0.91% other: 92.06% (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 party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: 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: total population: 47.02 years female: 47.85 years (2002 est.) male: 46.2 years
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/ 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 languages
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: conventional long form: Republic of Kenya conventional short form: Kenya former: British East Africa
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 head of government cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president elections: president elected by popular vote from among the members of the National 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: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - KANU 107, FORD-A 1, 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 human rights groups; labor unions;
leaders: 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, chairman] International organization ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, EADB, ECA, FAO,
participation: G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Yusuf Abdulraham NZIBO consulate(s) general: offices in Los Angeles and New York are closed; mission to the UN remains open FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829 telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101 chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Johnnie
US: 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 lowest 10%: 2%
percentage share: highest 10%: 37.2% (2000) Distribution of family income - Gini 44.5 (1994)
index: 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% (2000)
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: total: 211 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 14 914 to 1,523 m: 111 under 914 m: 85 (2001) 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 males age 15-49: 4,915,090 (2002
service: est.) Military expenditures - dollar $179.2 million (FY01)
figure: Military expenditures - percent of 1.8% (FY01)
GDP: 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

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officially Republic of Kenya

Country, eastern Africa.

It is bounded by Ethiopia, The Sudan, Somalia, the Indian Ocean, Tanzania, and Uganda. Area: 224,961 sq mi (582,646 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 31,139,000. Capital: Nairobi. With a small group of European settlers' descendants, there are 30–40 ethnic groups, including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin, and Masai. Languages: Swahili, English (both official), Kikuyu, Masai, and others. Religions: Christianity, traditional religions, Islam, Hinduism. Currency: shilling. Kenya can be divided into five regions: the Lake Victoria basin in the southwestern corner; the vast plateau of eastern Kenya; the 250-mi (400-km) coastal belt along the Indian Ocean; the highlands of the Mau Escarpment on the western side of the Great Rift Valley in western Kenya; and the highlands and mountains of the Aberdare Range on the eastern side of the Rift Valley, including Mount Kenya. It is noted for such wildlife as lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, rhinoceroses, zebras, hippopotamuses, and crocodiles. Only a small fraction of the land is arable, and less than one-tenth is used for grazing cattle, goats, and sheep. Agriculture employs four-fifths of the workforce, and tea and coffee are the leading exports. Kenya is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president. The coastal region was dominated by Arabs until it was seized by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The Masai people held sway in the north and moved into central Kenya in the 18th century, while the Kikuyu expanded from their home region in south-central Kenya. The interior was explored by European missionaries in the 19th century. After the British took control, Kenya was established as a British protectorate (1890) and a crown colony (1920). The Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s was directed against European colonialism. In 1963 the country became fully independent, and a year later a republican government under Jomo Kenyatta was elected. In 1992 Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi allowed the country's first multiparty elections in three decades, though the elections were marred by violence and fraud.

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▪ 2009

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2008 est.): 37,954,000
Head of state and government:
President   Mwai Kibaki, from April 17, assisted by Prime Minister Raila Odinga

      The sporadic fighting that had occurred in 2007 in the Mt. Elgon region of the western Rift Valley province between Kalenjin ethnic groups and Kikuyu tenant farmers became politicized and much more violent in 2008 after the disputed presidential election in December 2007. The clashes occurred between Kalenjin ethnic groups who claimed traditional ownership of the land and the mainly Kikuyu tenant farmers who had settled in the area that was occupied by white farmers prior to independence. Although the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which had its stronghold in the west, gained the largest number of seats in the National Assembly, its leader, Raila Odinga (Odinga, Raila Amolo ), accused the government of having rigged the presidential election when incumbent Mwai Kibaki of the Party of National Unity (PNU) was hurriedly sworn in as president before an official result was announced. Odinga's call for a mass protest demonstration in Nairobi fueled the discontent still further, and violence by his supporters in the west and on the coast was countered by Kikuyu attacks on western ethnic-group settlers in more-central regions. More than 1,000 people were killed, and estimates of the number of displaced persons varied from 300,000 to 600,000. The transportation of goods from Mombasa to Nairobi and onward to Uganda and Rwanda was brought to a halt.

      Laborious negotiations between the contending parties—mediated by Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general; Jakaya Kikwete, president of Tanzania and chairman of the African Union; and other African dignitaries—eventually resulted on February 28 in an outline agreement to form a power-sharing government and to create the new post of prime minister. Kibaki remained president, and Odinga became prime minister.

      Bargaining continued over the distribution of offices, and the composition of the cabinet was not announced by Kibaki until April 13. In an effort to accommodate all the aspirations of the different groups, 42 cabinet ministers and 52 assistant ministers were named. Worries over footing the bill for the salaries of these new appointees led to an immediate outcry and a demonstration in Nairobi. Nevertheless, the cabinet was sworn in on April 17.

      Another feature of the agreement was the appointment of a commission, under the chairmanship of South African Judge Johann Kriegler, to inquire into the conduct of the presidential elections. The commission reported in September that the elections had been so badly affected by corruption on all sides that it was impossible to discover the victor and recommended that the Electoral Commission be fundamentally reformed or, preferably, replaced by a better-qualified body. An additional inquiry was launched in May to investigate how the postelectoral chaos came about.

      Economic recovery followed an uneven course. In August the giant mobile telephone company Zain established its headquarters in Nairobi. In September, however, the government was urgently requested to take action to reduce the cost of fuel to avoid large-scale unemployment. There were also lingering concerns over corruption. In July, Finance Minister Amos Kimunya resigned in the wake of an investigation into the sale of the state-owned Grand Regency Hotel in Nairobi, which was sold below market value. At the same time, an investigative journalist claimed that two cabinet ministers and a number of senior politicians and officials were among the beneficiaries of land set aside for the resettlement of displaced persons.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2008

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2007 est.): 36,914,000
Head of state and government:
President   Mwai Kibaki

 The violence that broke out in 2006 on Mt. Elgon on Kenya's western border following the Kenyan government's allocation of land to squatters continued into 2007 and resulted in a massive displacement of the population. The shortage of land, due to the immense growth in Kenya's population, meant that the country could no longer rely on pastoralism and subsistence farming to provide a livelihood for the bulk of the population. While the country's economy continued to grow steadily, the chief foreign currency earners— tourism with the attendant game parks and large-scale horticulture and vegetable production, both requiring considerable areas of land—could offer only limited employment opportunities. Even the government's generous financial assistance to farmers of other crops did not markedly improve the employment situation. As a result, vast, unplanned slums sprouted up around Nairobi, where, in the early part of the year, a sect calling itself Mungiki carried out acts of extreme violence. In June police launched a powerful crackdown on the dissidents, and by August 5,000 people had been arrested and more than 100 killed, but the fundamental problem remained unsolved. A bomb that exploded in a Nairobi hotel on June 11, killing two people and wounding several others, was, however, thought by many to have been the work of Islamist militants who had crossed the border from Somalia.

      Despite these problems, there were a number of promising developments. In May the U.S. agreed to provide $14 million for training and equipment to control terrorism, and in June the World Bank approved a credit of $80 million to assist in the campaign against HIV/AIDS. There was praise too from environmentalists for Kenya's conservation efforts.

      Though a team led by history professor Henry Mwanzi found during their tour of the country that there was considerable support for a proposal to fast-track a political federation between the members of the East African Community (comprising Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), the Law Society of Kenya demurred. It felt that the federation was bound to fail because Kenyans did not fully understand the implications.

      The main preoccupation of politicians remained the presidential and parliamentary elections that were held in late December. The last session of the parliament, which opened in March, provided Pres. Mwai Kibaki with the opportunity to emphasize the government's achievements in the field of primary education and in the allocation of funds to support regional projects. Opposition spokesmen concentrated most of their attention on the need for constitutional reform and the need to limit presidential powers. The elections were fiercely contested. Preelection polls had strongly favoured the opposition, led by presidential challenger Raila Odinga, and early voting returns appeared to show the opposition heading for a decisive victory. Amid widespread charges of vote rigging, the opposition's initial lead steadily diminished, however, and in the final count, Kibaki emerged the winner, claiming roughly 47% of the official vote to Odinga's 44%. Kibaki was immediately sworn in for a second term in office, while opposition leaders expressed outrage and deadly riots erupted, particularly in the shantytowns around Nairobi. The EU's chief observer declared the elections “flawed” and cited evidence of irregularities, though at year's end it was not clear whether the opposition would legally contest the outcome.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2007

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2006 est.): 34,059,000
Head of state and government:
President   Mwai Kibaki

 By the middle of January 2006, 3.5 million Kenyans were believed to be affected by the widespread drought that began in the latter part of 2005 and created acute food shortages. In the north, where the drought persisted until late in the year, there was considerable loss of livestock, which gave rise to cattle rustling and fighting between rival groups of pastoralists. Meanwhile, in coastal districts and in the region bordering on Lake Victoria, the drought was followed by heavy rains that caused serious flooding. Responding to accusations of inactivity from an official of the World Food Programme, the government said it would try to provide £225 million (about $400 million) to ease the situation but admitted it would have to rely on humanitarian agencies to meet any additional needs.

      The government also faced continuing allegations of corruption, fired by the circulation among Western donor countries of a damning report prepared by John Githongo, formerly head of Kenya's Anti-Corruption Commission. The report had been submitted to Pres. Mwai Kibaki late in 2005, but Githongo claimed that no action had been taken. In February, however, the situation began to change when Kibaki ordered the publication of a report on the long-running Goldenberg financial scandal, which had cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars. The report implicated former president Daniel arap Moi and six of his aides. A few days later Finance Minister David Mwiraria resigned, protesting that corruption allegations made against him were false. His resignation was followed by that of two other cabinet members—Kiraitu Murungi, the energy minister, and George Saitoti, the education minister. On February 17 Chris Murungaru, a former cabinet minister and close friend of the president, appeared before the Kenya court charged with involvement in corruption. At this point the IMF announced that promised aid of 23.5 billion Kenya shillings (about $325 million) had been withheld because of the ongoing corruption charges. Nevertheless, Kenya, unlike many other African countries, continued to service its foreign debts meticulously. Late in March, Andrew Mullei, head of Kenya's central bank, faced calls to resign, and there were demands for an investigation into claims that Vice Pres. Moody Awori had misled the parliament over a fraudulent tender.

      Kenya's reputation for press freedom was called into question in February when an article in the Saturday Standard newspaper claiming that Kibaki had secretly met Kalonzo Musyoka, an opposition leader, led to the arrest of three journalists. Then, at midnight on March 1, police raided the Standard offices and those of the associated KTN television company. The raid was condemned by the U.S. and U.K. embassies in Nairobi, while the World Bank added press freedom to the conditions the government would have to meet before the freeze on credits amounting to 19 billion Kenya shillings (about $260 million) was lifted. Later investigations revealed that the report of the president's meeting with Musyoka was false. So too was a later report of Kibaki's having secretly met two of the ministers who had resigned. Three members of the Standard's editorial staff were suspended by the directors of the company, who also refused to renew the contract of Tom Mshindi, the paper's chief executive officer and a leading critic of the government's action against the press.

      These developments took place against a background of power struggles, both within and between Kenya's political parties, vividly reflected in a May report that no fewer than eight members of the recently created Orange Democratic Movement, led by Raila Odinga, had announced their candidacies for the presidency in the 2007 elections. In June Kibaki himself launched a new party, the National Alliance of Kenya, which quickly won three out of five by-elections created by the deaths of five members of the parliament in a plane crash. In November fighting took place in a Nairobi slum between rival gangs, and hundreds of people fled their homes. The government was further embarrassed by new accusations of corruption and money laundering by some officials.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2006

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2005 est.): 34,830,000
Head of state and government:
President   Mwai Kibaki

      Clashes in Kenya in January 2005 between Masai pastoralists and Kikuyu farmers over access to water supplies resulted in several deaths and the displacement of hundreds of people. Mindful of the importance of agriculture and cattle ranching to Kenya's economy, Pres. Mwai Kibaki on February 23 announced plans to assist the country's farmers. He also said that the government had launched an economic-recovery program for the mainly pastoralist region in the north and northeast. Nevertheless, similar clashes took place in March, April, and July between rival groups of Borana and Gabra pastoralists in the semiarid region along the border with Ethiopia and Somalia. These skirmishes exacerbated the problems already caused by prolonged drought. In May, however, flash floods drove thousands of people from their homes in the west and the northeast.

      The government's alleged failure to fulfill its electoral promise to tackle corruption at the highest levels attracted the most attention both inside and outside the country. A survey by the World Bank and the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research claimed that the awarding of government contracts was still subject to bribery. Early in the year Sir Edward Clay, the U.K. high commissioner in Nairobi, renewed his verbal attacks on government corruption. His remarks resonated on February 7 when John Githongo, Kibaki's highly regarded adviser in the president's anticorruption campaign, resigned. Githongo complained that he was not getting adequate support.

      Following Clay's lead, the Canadian high commissioner announced that Canada could not continue to give aid that would only be pocketed by fraudulent businessmen or corrupt civil servants. The U.S. government in turn decided to suspend its $2.5 million in funding for Kenya's anticorruption campaign. Public opinion in Kenya also began to turn against Kibaki because of his apparent reluctance to act decisively against senior members of his government who were widely believed to be involved in fraud. The president was in a difficult position; he had come to power at the head of an unlikely coalition of political parties, the leaders of which had only two aims in common—to overthrow then president Daniel arap Moi and to take office themselves. To antagonize any one of them now might seriously damage an already fragile grouping.

 In July police dispersed demonstrators in Nairobi who were protesting that the government was assuming the right to amend a draft constitution that had been prepared by a constituent committee. The draft contained a number of contentious proposals, notably the suggestion that a strong prime minister be appointed who could act as a check on the powers of the president. The protesters' fears were compounded when the parliament voted against that measure on July 22. The opposition, which included several members of Kibaki's cabinet, showed its strength in November when the president put the draft constitution, as revised by the parliament, to a national referendum. The motion was defeated, with 57% of the voters opposing it. Kibaki then dismissed the entire cabinet and banned political demonstrations. Early in December he swore in a new cabinet but was immediately accused of appointing only timeservers or members of his own clan.

      In midyear Washington threatened to suspend payment of military aid if the government refused to sign a bilateral agreement granting U.S. soldiers serving in Kenya immunity from being handed over to the International Court of Justice. In September, however, UN agencies joined the Kenyan government in appealing to the U.S. for $29 million to feed the 1.2 million people who still needed food aid.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2005

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2004 est.): 32,022,000
Head of state and government:
President   Mwai Kibaki

      Three men accused of having conspired to shoot down an Israeli aircraft over Mombasa in November 2002 went on trial in Kenya in January 2004. Early in March a fire in the Nairobi city hall, which destroyed most of the records relating to the city council's activities over the previous 20 years, was widely linked in popular opinion to the inquiry recently begun by a special anticorruption squad into irregularities in the council's work. Transparency International, an international organization monitoring governmental corruption, had earlier concluded that bribes were demanded in almost 70% of dealings with Kenyan public officials—not least with the police—although there had been some improvement in that quarter as a result of the doubling of police salaries.

      On April 5 Pres. Mwai Kibaki dismissed Police Commissioner Edwin Nyasede after a series of complaints in the press about the rising incidence of crime, especially in Nairobi. Nyasede was succeeded by Brig. Mohammed Hussein Ali, who removed 57 senior police officers in May to sustain the campaign for greater efficiency. Eight days later the president himself continued his anticorruption campaign by suspending four senior officials in connection with scandals in the Immigration Department relating to the sale of passports.

      On March 15 a commission set up to draft a new constitution recommended the creation of a post of prime minister with strong executive powers, leaving the president with an essentially ceremonial role. The proposal had support from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which formed part of the ruling coalition and whose leader, Raila Odinga, was widely believed to be a strong candidate for the new post. The constitutional affairs minister responded by saying that the government intended to withdraw support from the Review Commission. The matter went to the High Court, which ruled that the draft constitution had to be approved by a public referendum and not solely by a vote by the members of the parliament.

      Early in the year the promising state of the country's economy had resulted in the recommencement of external aid. President Kibaki had sought to strengthen his position by introducing a number of opposition members into his cabinet. Some of the new cabinet members, however, were suspected of having committed financial malpractices when they were members of former president Daniel arap Moi's government, and in May external donors again withheld aid. The situation became still more serious in October when, apparently discounting the president's efforts at reform, a UN report claimed that Kenya was one of the most corrupt countries in Africa.

      Against this turbulent background, Kibaki's meeting with the presidents of Tanzania and Uganda to try once again to promote the economic integration of the three countries passed almost unnoticed. On March 15 an agreement was signed to accept a common tariff on imported goods and to remove duties from goods imported into Kenya from Tanzania and Uganda. The measures could not take immediate effect, however, because they required the approval of the parliaments of the countries involved and because there was a need to consider their possible impact on other African trading blocs with which the territories were variously linked.

      Kenyan Wangari Maathai, an environmental activist and feminist leader, was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize for Peace. (See Nobel Prizes .) Maathai, the first African woman and first environmentalist to be so honoured, had been a political thorn in the side of former president Moi; she was elected to the parliament and became an assistant environment minister after he retired from office.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2004

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2003 est.): 31,639,000
Head of state and government:
President  Mwai Kibaki

      The overwhelming victory of Mwai Kibaki (see Biographies (Kibaki, Mwai )) and the National Rainbow Coalition in the presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2002 encouraged aid agencies to renew their offers of assistance in 2003. The new government immediately implemented its election promise to offer free primary education to all (the cost would be paid from tax income). The gesture met with such an enthusiastic response, however, that classrooms were overcrowded and there were not enough teachers to cope with the influx of students. Nor was the government able to fulfill its promise to respond to the teachers' demand for higher salaries within the previously agreed-upon 100-day time frame.

      Kibaki was also determined to tackle the corruption that had ruined the country's economy and had resulted in the withdrawal of foreign aid. Early in January two anticorruption courts were established, and two anticorruption bills were prepared for parliamentary debate. In February Kibaki suspended Chief Justice Bernard Chunga and appointed a tribunal to investigate Chunga's conduct while in office, and on March 19 a committee was appointed to investigate the integrity of the judiciary as a whole.

      The government's good intentions were met with obstacles, however. The anticorruption bills had to be withdrawn when MPs threatened to vote against them. MPs also demanded a 20% increase in their salaries and substantial grants to enable them to purchase cars—as a disincentive, they maintained, to corruption and the taking of bribes. Many observers believed that the new minister of finance, David Mwiraria, would have become powerless in the face of the threat to block any further government legislation if he had failed to comply.

      In addition, there were complaints that measures proposed by a commission in 2002 to introduce the new constitution had been slow to materialize. There was also pressure to appoint an executive prime minister to serve as a check on the power of the president. Much of this discontent sprang from personal ambition and ethnic rivalry between members of the coalition, some of whom claimed that too many important offices were being awarded to the Kikuyu inhabitants of the Mount Kenya district, who were closely linked with President Kibaki.

      The problem of cabinet appointments was exacerbated when Vice Pres. Michael Kijana Wamalwa died in August. The appointment of Wamalwa, a Luhya from western Kenya, had symbolized the interethnic character of the government, and some feared that the balance might not be maintained. The murder in September of Crispin Odhiambo Mbai, a leading figure in the campaign for a new constitution, then gave rise to additional fears over the revival of the government practice of forcibly silencing critics, as had been witnessed during the presidency of Daniel arap Moi. In September Moi resigned as chairman of the Kenya African National Union.

      Despite these difficulties and criticism from opposition parties, Kibaki continued to pursue his anticorruption campaign. He suspended 6 of the 9 Appeal Court judges and 17 of the 36 High Court judges for alleged corruption, and in October two tribunals began investigating them.

      Political rivalries were not the government's only problem. The agricultural sector of the economy remained depressed; world prices for primary produce remained at a low level. At the same time, the euphoria that had greeted the early actions of the new government resulted in a marked appreciation in the value of the Kenya shilling, a development that added to the problems of exporters. Fears of terrorist action also seriously affected income from tourism when in May both the U.K. and the U.S. governments temporarily discouraged their citizens from traveling to Kenya. To this catalog of difficulties, nature added its quota when heavy rains in western Kenya in May caused flooding that killed more than 40 people and displaced 60,000.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2003

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2002 est.): 31,139,000
Head of state and government:
President  Daniel arap Moi and, from December 30, Mwai Kibaki

      With half of Kenya's population living below the poverty line, there was urgent need for action in 2002, but Parliament's decision to award its members a major increase in pay and benefits showed scant evidence of any concern about the crisis. Corruption and indifference were not the only problems, however. Climatic vagaries and a failure to appreciate the impact of human activities upon the environment were also at the root of some of the country's difficulties. On the one hand, floods and landslides in central and western districts early in the year forced 150,000 people to leave their homes, while in September it was reported that there were water shortages on Mt. Kenya that were affecting the lives of 7,000,000 people, a problem that had arisen for a variety of preventable reasons. The destruction of forests to make possible the illegal sale of timber, to make charcoal, and to create space to grow marijuana was a major factor. So too were overgrazing and the overextraction of water for irrigation purposes, though this latter development was in part the result of Kenya's success in having become the leading horticultural exporter to European markets.

      The announcement in March that the coalition between the ruling party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), and the hitherto prominent opposition National Development Party (NDP) had become a merger appeared at the time to have consolidated Pres. Daniel arap Moi's hold on power. Sharp divisions began to appear within the newly merged party, however, when Moi, without consulting any of his KANU associates, came out in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta, son of former president Jomo Kenyatta, as his candidate to succeed him upon his resignation, which was due, under the terms of the constitution, on Jan. 4, 2003. Kenyatta had been appointed to the National Assembly as recently as October 2001 and was raised to cabinet rank only in November, and there were fears that Moi, who was continuing as president of KANU, would try to control events through his young protégé or at least ensure his own immunity from legal action by those who might wish to accuse him of corruption. At the same time, several of Moi's cabinet members, including long-serving Vice Pres. George Saitoti and Raila Odinga, a former leader of the NDP, were eager to promote their own claims to become KANU's candidate.

      Early in August a group of these disgruntled aspirants for office, together with their supporters, formed what became known as the KANU Rainbow Alliance to press for a democratic vote to choose the party's candidate for the presidency. Moi countered by dismissing Saitoti from the vice presidency; in turn the Rainbow Alliance threatened to form an independent party if KANU did not hold a secret ballot to select a candidate. Kenyatta was duly chosen in mid-October, and KANU was split in two.

      Meanwhile, the numerous opposition parties had not been inactive. Twelve of the parties, including three of the most powerful, agreed on September 18 to combine to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) and put forward one presidential candidate, Mwai Kibaki, to challenge KANU's official nominee. The KANU dissidents agreed to support Kibaki, but the situation became complicated when two other men put themselves forward as candidates. In September too the Constitutional Review Commission made known its draft recommendations, which included the creation of the post of executive prime minister to be elected by a national assembly consisting of two chambers. The president would then be left with responsibility for safeguarding the constitution and for promoting national unity.

      In the December presidential elections, Kibaki won in a landslide, with 62.3% of the vote, while KANU candidate Kenyatta garnered just 31.2%. Kibaki, the first opposition leader to take power since Kenya gained independence in 1963, was sworn in on December 30. In parliamentary elections NARC won 125 of the 210 seats, KANU took 64, and the remaining seats were split among five smaller parties. Voter turnout was about 56%, down from the 68% registered in the 1997 elections.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2002

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2001 est.): 30,766,000
Head of state and government:
President  Daniel arap Moi

      In January 2001 Kenyan Pres. Daniel arap Moi joined with the presidents of Tanzania and Uganda to launch a new East African Economic Community. Conditions at home were far from propitious for such a venture, however. The economy was shrinking; the value of the Kenyan shilling (K Sh) had declined and now stood at about 79 to the U.S. dollar; and the price of petroleum had risen to K Sh 56 per litre (about $2.68 per gallon). Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank continued to withhold aid because of the government's failure to control corruption.

      Early in February hopes were raised when the government selected a consortium led by South Africa-based Econet Wireless to buy 49% of the state-owned telecommunications company, Telkom, which the IMF had insisted should be privatized. To the disgust of the World Bank, which blamed the Kenyan government, the deal fell through, but other donors had already warned that, even if the plan had materialized, aid would not be forthcoming until an effective anticorruption policy was in place.

      The resignation as head of the Kenyan Civil Service on March 26 of Richard Leakey, who had been appointed to lead the campaign against corruption, was seen at first to have been another serious setback to the reform program. Leakey's campaign, however, had been faltering for some months because of the opposition of senior officials and other members of the government who feared for their own reputations.

      Leakey's own reputation was threatened when it became known that his resignation followed upon allegations by a British-born businessman that Leakey had written a letter to the attorney general of Kenya urging him to halt proceedings on a charge of fraud that the businessman had brought against a Dutch bank. Leakey, who was known to have close links with the Dutch royal family, had argued that the case would put a strain on Kenya's relations with The Netherlands. He was replaced as head of the civil service by Sally Kosgei, a highly respected civil servant and former high commissioner in London.

      On June 17, in a clever maneuver that strengthened his position against his political opponents, President Moi began engineering a merger between the ruling Kenya African National Union and the National Development Party (NDP), Kenya's second largest opposition party. He then appointed Raila Odinga, the leader of the NDP, together with Adhu Owiti, another prominent figure in the party, to a reshuffled cabinet. Since 1997 the NDP had supported the government on most issues.

      Opponents of the government were not slow to respond. On June 24 Charity Kaluki Ngilu, the Social Democratic Party's candidate in the 1997 presidential election, launched a new party, the National Party of Kenya, claiming that gender equality would feature prominently in the party's manifesto. More significantly, on August 14 opposition members in the National Assembly prevented the government from achieving the two-thirds majority needed to enact a bill ostensibly aimed at combating corruption. The opposition claimed that the bill was a sham, intended to deceive the IMF into renewing aid. The following day the IMF announced that it would remain in dialogue with the government but would be unable to resume aid payments. This meant that help from other sources would not be forthcoming. A few days later the government joined with six other eastern African countries to launch an African Trade Insurance Agency, to be based in Nairobi and intended to undercut the high premiums demanded from African companies by foreign insurance agencies, which regarded Africa as a high-risk area.

      Early in December disturbances broke out in the most deprived locality in Nairobi, ostensibly in support of a demand for reduced rents, though there were suggestions that the violence had political undertones. Later that month the government agreed that U.S. and U.K. troops might use Kenya as a base for operations against alleged terrorist cells in Somalia.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2001

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(2000 est.): 30,340,000
Head of state and government:
President Daniel arap Moi

      Corruption in high places remained a dominant theme in Kenya throughout 2000. In January the government responded to the damning report on the Coffee Board of Kenya (CBK) contained in the audit ordered by Richard Leakey as head of the Public Service by replacing almost every one of the board's members. There was, however, stiff resistance from some of the large-scale coffee farmers, who had benefited from the corrupt practices of the board. Small farmers, on the other hand, stepped up their campaign to end the CBK's monopoly on marketing, which they hoped would attract government support. An additional report, made public on February 24, indicated that the Kenya Tea Development Authority had been guilty of similar corrupt practices, claiming that for 10 years the authority had been systematically plundering the farmers' earnings.

      Leakey's team was not uniformly successful in its campaign. Although it was able to curtail the powers of senior civil servants, bringing about the retirement of several of them, a proposal by the permanent secretary in the president's office responsible for provincial administration that chiefs and subchiefs be abolished was blocked by the president himself under pressure from Leakey's opponents. Similarly, an announcement by Leakey that there would be a reduction in the size of the army and police was declared null and void by an anonymous army officer.

      The budget presented in June by the finance minister, Chris Okemo—based upon a stern analysis of the economic and social crisis—nevertheless appeared to confirm the government's intention to crack down on corruption and to stimulate growth in the economy. Observers remained skeptical of the government's ability to achieve its objectives, but late in July the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seemed to have been sufficiently impressed by Leakey's endeavours and the government's response to resume its aid program to Kenya, though subject to more rigorous conditions than had been imposed on any other country. Among its stipulations was the requirement that government ministers, including the president himself, MPs, senior civil servants, and the spouses of all, declare their assets and liabilities every year. In addition, the IMF declared that there had to be a law to ensure that public figures suspected of corruption were prosecuted and that IMF officials conducted a weekly inspection of Kenya's central bank's balance sheet.

      The regulations were unpopular among the country's elite but were recognized as essential if additional aid from bilateral donors was to be forthcoming. Opposition critics, however, believed they did not go far enough and called for a check upon the assets of other members of leaders' families and on companies owned under other names.

      Almost immediately, the IMF felt it necessary to review its restrictions because of the crisis resulting from the worst drought in many years. Kenya as a result had to import a large proportion of its food and also suffered curtailed power supplies throughout the country. In addition, fighting broke out among some of the pastoralists in the north over scarce water supplies for their animals.

      In May, echoing events in Zimbabwe, an MP, Stephen Ndichu, caused consternation in the government and among white landowners by calling for the redistribution of idle land to landless Africans. This coincided with the occupation of a few white-owned farms by squatters. Moi, himself a large-scale landowner, responded firmly, stating that the government would defend private property.

      Kenyan athletes turned in stellar performances during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Kenyan runners continued their dominance in the long-distance events. Noah Kiprono Ngenyi won a gold medal in the men's 1,500-m race, defeating heavily favoured Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. In the 3,000-m steeplechase, Kenyan runners placed first and second, with Rueben Kosgei taking the gold and Wilson Boit Kipketer claiming the silver. Eric Wainaina won the silver in the men's marathon, and Paul Tergat won the silver in the 10,000-m race. Joyce Chepchumba earned a bronze medal in the women's marathon event.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 2000

582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)
(1999 est.): 28,809,000
Head of state and government:
President Daniel arap Moi

      At a meeting of East African heads of state in Arusha, Tanz., in January 1999, Kenya Pres. Daniel arap Moi joined with the presidents of Tanzania and Uganda to confirm their intention to sign a treaty that would reestablish an East African Community on July 30. The aim was to set up a regional court and an assembly together with a customs union that would make possible the elimination of all internal tariffs except in cases where their retention would protect newly established industries or deal with shortfalls in public revenue. Some doubts were expressed by Tanzania and Uganda about the feasibility of such a community without more decisive political leadership, and the project was postponed.

      Internal constitutional issues also gave rise to concern during the year. After political parties had failed early in the year to agree on the allocation of the seats reserved for them on the Constitutional Review Commission, Moi's announcement in June that the review would be carried out solely by the National Assembly aroused vigorous objections from civil and religious groups that had previously been promised a role. Church leaders and opposition members of the Assembly were attacked by riot police when they protested outside the Assembly building in Nairobi on June 10 prior to the budget speech by the finance minister, Francis Masakhalia. In November, in a historic action, parliament voted to amend a key provision of the constitution by withdrawing the president's right to choose the clerk of the house. The move was seen as an embarrassing setback for Moi.

      Masakhalia's appointment to replace Simeon Nyachae in February had aroused doubts among donors and businessmen regarding Moi's commitment to reforming the economy and rooting out corruption. The new minister, they feared, might lack the political strength to implement unpopular policies. Their concern was reinforced by the lack of emphasis on measures to end corruption or to increase security contained in his budget speech and by his forecast of a deficit of 2.6% of gross domestic product when 1% had been anticipated. In August Masakhalia was replaced by the former minister of energy, Chris Okemo.

      The reinstatement of George Saitoti as vice president in April provided further grounds for criticism of Moi's leadership. Opposition leaders had accused the president of flouting the constitution by keeping the office vacant for 15 months, and several ethnic groups within Moi's own party had hoped to see one of their own number appointed. Their dismay at Saitoti's return was echoed among foreign donors, because as finance minister he had sanctioned the payment of more than $100 million to a businessman for nonexistent gold and diamond exports.

      In July the International Monetary Fund repeated its call for stronger measures to curb corruption before consideration could be given to resuming talks on the $205 million loan agreement suspended in 1997. The almost immediate reshuffle of senior civil servants, followed by the appointment of paleontologist Richard Leakey to head the civil service, was seen as Moi's response to criticism.

      In contrast to the widespread sluggishness in the rest of the economy, the horticulture industry maintained the 15–20% annual growth that had been a feature of the previous 10 years, which caused it to be one of the country's main foreign currency earners. This was a significant factor in promoting the plan, announced by African Cargo Handling in the middle of the year, to double the cargo capacity of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as part of the growing trend toward switching to air freight.

      At a two-day summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa held in Nairobi in May, President Moi made a powerful appeal for peace in Africa, pointing out that the only beneficiaries of the widespread conflict were foreign suppliers of arms. In August President Moi ordered the border with Somalia closed in an effort to stop the smuggling of illegal arms into Kenya.

Kenneth Ingham

▪ 1999

      Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)

      Population (1998 est.): 28,337,000

      Capital: Nairobi

      Head of state and government: President Daniel arap Moi

      Pres. Daniel arap Moi's victory in the presidential elections at the end of 1997 once again owed more to the disunity of his opponents than to his own popularity. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Moi, Daniel Toroitich arap ).) With 13 opposition candidates contesting the election, Moi's success in capturing a little more than 40% of the votes meant that his challengers were easily eliminated. A similar picture emerged in the legislative elections, held at the same time. Although not all the followers of Kenneth Matiba, leader of one of the strongest opposition parties, followed his call to abstain from voting, their disarray allowed the Kenya African National Union to have little difficulty in returning to office. Widespread criticism of the conduct of the elections appeared well-founded, but independent observers concluded that the irregularities did not seriously distort the result.

      At his inauguration ceremony on January 5, Moi committed himself to the elimination of the corruption that in July 1997 had caused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors to decide to withhold financial assistance. Three days after the inauguration, however, the announcement that veteran politician Simeon Nyachae was to replace the widely respected Musalia Mudavadi as finance minister cast doubt on the president's dedication to change. This appeared particularly damaging because the country's finances had already suffered heavily as a result of violence in 1997 that had led to a decline in tourism, the source of 20% of foreign exchange income. Still worse were the effects of flooding early in the year in eastern Kenya, which created a desperate demand for food and medical aid while seriously disrupting the already-undermaintained transport system upon which that aid depended.

      Although the IMF continued to stand firmly by its resolution to suspend aid, the World Bank offered in March to provide an emergency loan of $100 million to assist in the rehabilitation of the road system from Mombasa to Nairobi. This would help the flood-stricken areas and also facilitate the transport of goods between the Kenyan coast and Uganda and Rwanda. Shortly afterward, the U.S. provided two C-130 Hercules aircraft to assist the World Food Programme in supplying aid to the flooded areas.

      Early in March Nyachae confounded his critics by announcing a series of strict measures to be implemented immediately and aimed at curbing the budget deficit, which was expected to rise to 3.9% of gross domestic product, as opposed to earlier estimates of 1.7%. These measures included a cut in government spending, higher taxes on fuel, an increase in value-added tax rates, and the collection of income tax arrears. The minister took his rigorous policy several steps farther in his budget on June 11. The government, he said, could no longer afford to implement the agreement made just before the elections to increase teachers' salaries by 200% over a five-year period. Salary increases for civil servants also were to be restricted to a maximum of 4% per year, and there would be cuts in some of their benefits.

      In making these announcements, Nyachae was taking a grave risk, because the teachers' union was powerful and the civil servants could disrupt many public services. He won admiration in many other quarters, however, and even his political opponents were sympathetic to his aims.

      A meeting in May, sponsored by the recently appointed Inter-Parties Parliamentary Committee to make plans for constitutional reform, was canceled because of disagreements between the participants. After a stormy start, however, a second forum, held in Nairobi in June, made useful progress, thanks to the efforts of church leaders who took part in the discussions and the willingness of political leaders to moderate their disagreements. It was agreed that a committee consisting of 10 members should be formed to redraft the Kenya Review Commission Act.

      Other issues were temporarily submerged by the bombing by terrorists of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi on August 7; about 260 people, including 247 Kenyans, were killed in the embassy and adjacent streets and buildings, and more than 5,000 were injured. Two men were later arrested and charged with having planned the attack.


▪ 1998

      Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi)

      Population (1997 est.): 28,803,000

      Capital: Nairobi

      Head of state and government: President Daniel arap Moi

      The attention of both Kenyan and foreign observers was mainly focused upon two issues throughout 1997, both arising from Pres. Daniel arap Moi's mostly uncompromising attitude toward his critics. First, the president's fierce opposition to demands for reform of the constitution before the next elections—scheduled to be held before the end of the year—caused recurrent protests that increasingly led to outbreaks of violence. Second, the president's failure to take effective action to combat high-level corruption caused donor agencies to have grave doubts about Kenya's future, even though they readily acknowledged the government's success in introducing economic reforms that had cut inflation and reduced the budget deficit.

      Donor concern was sharpened on January 15 when the president reappointed to his Cabinet the former energy and industry minister, Nicholas Biwott. Biwott had been deeply involved in allegations of corruption in connection with the award of contracts for building the Turkwell Gorge dam in northern Kenya in 1986. In March two additional controversial contracts, awarded by the state-owned Kenya Power and Lighting Company in 1996, led both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to demand clarification regarding the process of bidding for contracts.

      In late May Moi rejected demands from church leaders and opposition parties for constitutional reforms aimed at increasing civil liberties and eliminating the ruling party's unfair advantage in elections. Criminal gangs not directly involved in politics then took advantage of an unlicensed opposition rally in Nairobi to indulge in violence and looting. On July 7, amid clashes between security forces and protesters taking part in pro-reform rallies across the nation, police took violent action against worshippers in Nairobi's All Saints Anglican Cathedral; this incident led to further confrontation between security forces and protesters demanding constitutional reform. It also encouraged donor nations to urge the president to agree to repeal laws that appeared to weigh the polls in his favour.

      When a court case in which leading government officials were accused of involvement in serious fraud was dismissed in June on a technicality, the IMF threatened to suspend its loan agreement, and donor countries canceled a meeting scheduled for late July. Faced with such pressure, the president appeared to give way, offering to help pass legislation through the current legislature to enact reform. His proposal contributed to the existing divisions among his opponents. Some were prepared to take the offer of reform legislation at its face value, but the majority insisted on continuing their protest. These divisions had been reinforced in June by the decision of Kenneth Matiba, chairman of the opposition Forum for Restoration of Democracy-Asili party, to resign from the legislature and to boycott any elections, a course of action that other opponents of the government declined to follow.

      Late in July, to the consternation of donor agencies, Moi dismissed his most senior customs officer, Samuel Chebii, who had been playing a vital role in campaigning against corruption. A few days later the finance minister, Musalia Madavadi, wrote an official letter to the managing director of the IMF agreeing to reinstate Chebii and suggesting other measures that the government might take to check corruption and improve the economy. On July 31, however, the letter was withdrawn on the order of Moi himself, and at that point the IMF suspended its loan program. The immediate result was a sharp drop in the value of the Kenyan shilling, which caused grave concern in Kenyan financial circles. The IMF relented on August 23, offering to recommend payment of the second part of the loan if the government took steps to secure the independence of the Revenue and Anti-Corruption Authorities, to improve the management of its energy sector, and to ensure accountability for past financial infractions.

      On September 11 the legislature agreed to measures repealing laws allowing detention without trial and the regulation of political gatherings. Moi gave his own assent on November 7, and on November 12 it was announced that presidential and legislative elections would take place on December 29. Because of logistic problems, the election was extended to December 30. On the last day of the year, amid charges of fraud from all sides, it appeared that President Moi would be reelected.


      This article updates Kenya, history of (Kenya).

▪ 1997

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Kenya is in eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi). Pop. (1996 est.): 29,137,000. Cap.: Nairobi. Monetary unit: Kenya shilling, with (Oct. 11, 1996) a free rate of 55.98 shillings to U.S. $1 (88.19 shillings = £1 sterling). President in 1996, Daniel arap Moi.

      The mutual mistrust between Pres. Daniel arap Moi and Pres. Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, which had held back progress toward East African cooperation, was set aside when they and Pres. Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania met in Uganda in January 1996 and agreed to press ahead with joint action on both economic and social fronts.

      The appointment of Robert Breneissen, a respected businessman, as chairman of the Kenya Ports Authority after the managing director and 17 senior civil servants had been placed on leave pending investigations into the disappearance of 1,200 vehicles worth £85.5 million indicated that Kenya was making an attempt to satisfy the requirement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the government commit itself to reform. Before the end of January, President Moi also shelved two bills that would have severely restricted the press.

      Early in February the government published a minibudget aimed at cutting the 1995-96 deficit to 1.9% of gross domestic product. Proposals included increasing customs duties on petroleum products and strengthening the operations of the country's revenue authority. It was hoped that these measures would restrain the resurgence of inflationary pressures and help to improve the nation's balance of payments. The operations and financial control of the privatized Kenya Airways continued to improve, which induced KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to purchase a 26% stake in the company in January.

      The first sign of a change in the attitude of donor institutions toward Kenya came early in February, when the World Bank approved a loan of $115 million that would be used to help rehabilitate the country's roads. A decision by the British government in March to release £5 million in aid encouraged other countries to follow suit, and a few days later they pledged an additional £ 500 million. But it was not until late in April that the IMF agreed to release a loan of $216 million that had been blocked since 1994.

      Though a number of donors privately doubted that the government's reforms were anything more than token gestures, the government considered that with elections scheduled for 1997, it was important to encourage stability in Kenya. Whatever doubts may have been felt about President Moi's government, prospects for a viable alternative were not immediately obvious. Competition between rival leaders resulted in the breakup, barely two months after its formation, of the alliance between leading opposition parties created at the end of November 1995. One of those parties, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya, itself split in April, while the chairman of another party, Kenneth Matiba of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Asili, alienated foreign donors by his virulent verbal attacks on the Asian community.

      Moi himself continued to stress Kenya's sovereign status by holding talks in May with Pres. Jiang Zemin of China, which resulted in an agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries. Similarly, in September a visit to Nairobi by Pres. Hojatolislam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani of Iran was followed by offers of assistance by Iran for Kenya's energy, industry, and farming sectors.


      This article updates Kenya, history of (Kenya).

▪ 1996

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Kenya is in eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi), including 11,230 sq km of inland water. Pop. (1995 est.): 28,626,000. Cap.: Nairobi. Monetary unit: Kenya shilling, with (Oct. 6, 1995) a free rate of 55.58 shillings to U.S. $1 (87.86 shillings = £1 sterling). President in 1995, Daniel arap Moi.

      The government faced 1995 with cautious optimism after donor countries, meeting on Dec. 8, 1994, had praised its economic reforms, its introduction of multiparty democracy, and its promotion of human rights. A promise of financial assistance amounting to $800 million demonstrated their goodwill. Pres. Daniel arap Moi's new year address echoed this progressive note with the announcement that he would invite experts from the West to help him in assessing the views of the people regarding a new constitution. The Finance Ministry also declared that the sale of the government's share in a number of unprofitable companies was among its main priorities. At the same time, the Nairobi stock exchange was opened to foreign investors for the first time in 30 years. The chief executives of the railway corporations of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda further announced that in pursuance of the agreements reached at a meeting of the heads of state of their three countries in Kampala, Uganda, in 1994, they would adopt common fares and harmonize staff training.

      The optimism generated by these policies soon began to fade. Foreign investors did not pour their money into the country, because they were permitted to invest only in Kenyan-owned companies and even there only to a maximum of 20% of share capital. Tribal clashes again threatened the peace of the country after 2,000 Kikuyu farmers were forcibly relocated from the Rift Valley at the end of 1994, and in January scores of people were injured when police broke up a meeting to mark the first anniversary of the death of the longtime critic of the government Oginga Odinga. Riots broke out between Nubian and Luo tribesmen in Kibera, a large Nairobi slum, in October. There was loud protest, too, in March when the public accounts committee announced the result of its inquiries into the scandal surrounding the payment by the government of vast sums of compensation to a jewelry export company to encourage what had proved to be nonexistent exports. Far from owing money to the government, they had concluded, the company's owner was actually owed 2.1 billion shillings in arrears of compensation. As a result, the chairman of the committee, Kijana Wamalwa, leader of the Forum for Restoration of Democracy-Kenya opposition party, found his party deeply divided and himself challenged for the leadership by Raila Odinga, son of Oginga Odinga, who had undertaken private suits against some of those he believed responsible for the scandal. Would-be foreign importers were also disturbed by a six-month ban imposed on imported cereals that were deemed to threaten home production.

      Dismayed by what they saw as a resurgence of corruption and human rights abuse and a reluctance on the part of the government to implement promised economic reforms, donor countries called an emergency meeting for July 24. In an attempt to calm their fears, the finance minister, Musalia Mudavadi, published conciliatory proposals in his budget on June 15. They included the immediate rescinding of the ban on foreign cereal imports, the raising of the ceiling on the purchase of shares by foreign investors to 40%, the privatization of Kenya Airways by the end of the year, and the targeting of other important companies for privatization in the near future. His efforts proved successful. The donor countries commended his endeavour to stabilize the economy. They were less pleased by reports of delays in the implementation of multiparty government, reflected in President Moi's attacks upon Richard Leakey for trying to set up a new opposition party. These events, together with Amnesty International's attack upon the government's recent human rights record, delivered on the eve of the donors meeting, led the donor countries to express their particular concern.

      The government did not relish these criticisms, regarding them as an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of a sovereign state. The adverse comments of a British minister, Baroness Chalker, during a visit to Kenya in July brought a brusque rejoinder from the Kenyan authorities.


      This updates the article Kenya, history of (Kenya).

▪ 1995

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Kenya is in eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi), including 11,230 sq km of inland water. Pop. (1994 est.): 27,450,000. Cap.: Nairobi. Monetary unit: Kenya shilling, with (Oct. 7, 1994) a free rate of 44.47 shillings to U.S. $1 (70.72 shillings = £1 sterling). President in 1994, Daniel arap Moi.

      In November 1993 leading donor organizations lifted the boycott on aid to Kenya that they had imposed in order to force Pres. Daniel arap Moi to introduce a more democratic form of government. Their action was taken primarily in response to the efforts of Kenya's finance minister, Musalia Mudavadi, and the governor of the nation's central bank, Micah Cheserem, to root out corruption and to free trade from stultifying restrictions. This expression of goodwill was threatened in January 1994, however, when some prominent members of the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) began a campaign of vilification against Richard Leakey (see BIOGRAPHIES (Leakey, Richard )), head of the national wildlife service, and called for his resignation.

      On a happier note, in January the government was able to reschedule $500 million of its debt to the Paris Club of creditor countries. This meant that Kenya's debt-servicing bill would be limited in 1994 to $240 million, equal to about 25% of the projected export earnings. In March Mudavadi also announced a further relaxation of exchange controls, which, he hoped, would encourage both local and overseas investors. Exporters were to be allowed to retain all export proceeds in foreign currency instead of only 50%, as had previously been the case. In May the currency was made fully convertible for nearly all transactions, the only area then remaining subject to controls being investment in stocks and government securities by foreigners.

      These measures were a singular triumph for Mudavadi, who had fought hard against the opposition of some senior party members who feared that the relaxation of controls would undermine their powers. Moreover, his policy had the backing of President Moi, who stated in a speech read on his behalf at a conference in May that frank consultation between the government and the private sector was essential to economic progress and that it was important that those two groups, as well as the donor agencies, look upon their activities as a cooperative enterprise. The conference, he added, was one of a series of steps being taken by the government to make Kenya a more attractive area for foreign investment.

      Mudavadi's path was not entirely smooth. On April 6 it was announced that the amount by which senior officials of the central bank and of the local exchange bank had successfully defrauded the central bank in 1993 was $210 million. Although action had already been taken in 1993 when the fraud was discovered, the report of the independent audit of the exchange bank was not made public, thereby encouraging the belief that senior politicians in KANU had benefited from the bank's dealings. The extent of the fraud only served to enhance the prevailing cynicism about the conduct of government. Donor agencies, while accepting the measures taken by the government, remained concerned that with inflation at 50% and with government expenditure scarcely under control, Mudavadi might be unable to maintain his objectives.

      The majority of Kenyans relied on more immediate criteria by which to judge the government's performance, and drought, accompanied by food shortages, did little to increase their confidence. In March the government said it intended to distribute 126,385 bags of famine-relief food. The Eastern and Rift Valley provinces would be the main beneficiaries, but other provinces would also receive help.

      With the death of Oginga Odinga (see OBITUARIES (Odinga, Oginga )) on January 20, Kenya lost not only its first vice president but also a courageous and outspoken statesman.


      This updates the article Kenya, history of (Kenya).

▪ 1994

      A republic and member of the Commonwealth, Kenya is in eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Area: 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq mi), including 11,230 sq km of inland water. Pop. (1993 est.): 28,113,000. Cap.: Nairobi. Monetary unit: Kenya shilling, with (Oct. 4, 1993) a free rate of 68.75 shillings to U.S. $1 (104.15 shillings = £1 sterling). President in 1993, Daniel arap Moi.

      No sooner did the results of the Kenyan presidential and legislative elections, held on Dec. 29, 1992—the first multiparty balloting in 26 years—begin to emerge than opposition groups launched an attack on the conduct of the elections. The report of a Commonwealth observer team acknowledged that there had been irregularities favouring Pres. Daniel arap Moi and his Kenya African National Union (KANU) party but concluded that the overall result largely reflected the views of the electorate. The results made it clear that although a considerable majority voted against Moi, his victory was due not to fraud but to the opposition's having nominated three candidates to challenge him.

      Having thus met one condition for the resumption of international financial aid—multiparty elections—Moi then addressed the second requirement. On February 12 the government agreed to drastic economic reforms, including the devaluation of the currency by 25%. When, however, a month later the government called upon its foreign creditors to resume payment of their monthly £ 27 million aid package, the request was turned down. Moi responded by scrapping the reform program on the grounds that it had already caused widespread hardship in the country. On the heels of devaluation, inflation had soared to 50%, and many businesses were threatened with bankruptcy or large-scale layoffs. Under pressure from donor countries, the International Monetary Fund reacted cautiously, while the same countries suggested that the UN or some other international agency try to persuade Moi to reconsider his decision.

      Japan, meanwhile, had signed an agreement worth 86 million shillings, the bulk of which would be used to increase food production and finance the purchase of fertilizers. Later Japan provided 23 million shillings to improve transport, education, and communications. In April the government closed the private Trade Bank, which had experienced recurring liquidity problems. At the beginning of May, a national strike calling for the release of detained union leaders led to rioting in Nairobi.

      Later in the month, in response to an offer of £ 57 million from the World Bank and an agreement with the IMF, the government announced a new set of economic reforms, including another devaluation of the currency and the lifting of import restrictions. In July, Finance Minister Musalia Mudavadi assured foreign donors that his country was committed to servicing its debt even though doing so took 30% of the GDP. A month later, against a background of financial scandals and following the resignation of the governor of the central bank, Mudavadi announced that there would be an inquiry into the operations of that bank and other financial institutions. Additional aid grants were announced by Germany and Japan in October, and the government announced that the shilling would be allowed to float against world currencies.

      Sporadic fighting continued in the western highland districts. The opposition claimed that Kalenjin warriors, men of Moi's own ethnic group, covertly encouraged by the government, were attacking Kikuyus and other groups. Raids continued through the autumn, with as many as 2,000 dead. In November, following a series of counterattacks, five Kikuyu leaders were arrested, further evidence, some charged, of a government-supported policy of "ethnic cleansing." (KENNETH INGHAM)

      This updates the article Kenya, history of (Kenya).

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Kenya, flag of  country in East Africa famed for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife preserves. Its Indian Ocean coast provided historically important ports by which goods from Arabian and Asian traders have entered the continent for many centuries. Along that coast, which holds some of the finest beaches in Africa, are predominantly Muslim Swahili cities such as Mombasa, a historic centre that has contributed much to the musical and culinary heritage of the country. Inland are populous highlands famed for both their tea plantations, an economic staple during the British colonial era, and their variety of animal species, including lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamuses. Kenya's western provinces, marked by lakes and rivers, are forested, while a small portion of the north is desert and semidesert. The country's diverse wildlife and panoramic geography draw large numbers of European and North American visitors, and tourism is an important contributor to Kenya's economy.

 The capital of Kenya is Nairobi, a sprawling city that, like many other African metropolises, is a study in contrasts, with modern skyscrapers looking out over vast shantytowns in the distance, many harbouring refugees fleeing civil wars in neighbouring countries. Older neighbourhoods, some of them prosperous, tend to be ethnically mixed and well served by utilities and other amenities, while the tents and hastily assembled shacks that ring the city tend to be organized tribally and even locally, inasmuch as in some instances whole rural villages have removed themselves to the more promising city.

      With a long history of musical and artistic expression, Kenya enjoys a rich tradition of oral and written literature, including many fables that speak to the virtues of determination and perseverance, important and widely shared values, given the country's experience during the struggle for independence. Kikuyu writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, one of the country's best-known authors internationally, addresses these concerns in his remarks on one folkloric figure:

Hare being small, weak, but full of innovative wit, was our hero. We identified with him as he struggled against the brutes of prey like lion, leopard, and hyena. His victories were our victories and we learnt that the apparently weak can outwit the strong.

      Kenya's many peoples are well known to outsiders, largely because of the British colonial administration's openness to study. Anthropologists and other social scientists have documented for generations the lives of the Maasai, Luhya, Luo, Kalenjin, and Kikuyu peoples, to name only some of the groups. Adding to the country's ethnic diversity are European and Asian immigrants from many nations. Kenyans proudly embrace their individual cultures and traditions, yet they are also cognizant of the importance of national solidarity; a motto of “Harambee” (Swahili: “Pulling together”) has been stressed by Kenya's government since independence.

 Bisected horizontally by the Equator and vertically by longitude 38° E, Kenya is bordered to the north by The Sudan (Sudan, The) and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, to the south by Tanzania, and to the west by Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake) and Uganda.

      The 38th meridian divides Kenya into two halves of striking contrast. While the eastern half slopes gently to the coral-backed seashore, the western portion rises more abruptly through a series of hills and plateaus to the Eastern rift valley, known in Kenya as the Central Rift. West of the Rift is a westward-sloping plateau, the lowest part of which is occupied by Lake Victoria. Within this basic framework, Kenya is divided into the following geographic regions: the Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake) basin, the Rift Valley and associated highlands, the eastern plateau forelands, the semiarid and arid areas of the north and south, and the coast.

      The Lake Victoria basin is part of a plateau rising eastward from the lakeshore to the Rift highlands. The lower part, forming the lake basin proper, is itself a plateau area lying between 3,000 and 4,000 feet (900 and 1,200 metres) above sea level. The rolling grassland of this plateau is cut almost in half by the Kano Plain, into which an arm of the lake known as Winam Gulf (Kavirondo Gulf) extends eastward for 50 miles (80 km). The floor of the Kano Plain merges north and south into highlands characterized by a number of extinct volcanoes. These include Mount Elgon (Elgon, Mount), rising to 14,178 feet (4,321 metres) at the Ugandan border on the extreme north of the basin.

      The Rift Valley splits the highland region into two sections: the Mau Escarpment to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east. The valley itself is 30 to 80 miles (50 to 130 km) wide, and its floor rises from about 1,500 feet (450 metres) in the north around Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf (Rudolf, Lake)) to over 7,000 feet (2,100 metres) at Lake Naivasha (Naivasha, Lake) but then drops to 2,000 feet (600 metres) at the Tanzanian border in the south. The floor of the Rift is occupied by a chain of shallow lakes separated by extinct volcanoes. Lake Naivasha is the largest of these; the others include Lakes Magadi (Magadi, Lake), Nakuru (Nakuru, Lake), Bogoria, and Baringo (Baringo, Lake). West of the valley the diverse highland area runs from the thick lava block of the Mau Escarpment–Mount Tinderet complex northward to the Uasin Gishu Plateau. East of the Rift the Aberdare Range rises to nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). The eastern highlands extend from the Ngong Hills and the uplands bordering Tanzania northward to the Laikipia Escarpment. Farther east they are linked by the Nyeri saddle to Mount Kenya (Kenya, Mount), the country's highest peak, at 17,058 feet (5,199 metres). The relief of both highlands is complex and includes plains, deep valleys, and mountains. Important in the historic and economic development of Kenya, the region was the focus of European settlement.

      The eastern plateau forelands, located just east of the Rift highlands, constitute a vast plateau of ancient rocks gently sloping to the coastal plain. They are a region of scattered hills and striking elevated formations, the most prominent being the hills of Taita, Kasigau, Machakos, and Kitui. These hills, containing the area of more favourable climate, are surrounded by regions historically prone to famine.

      The semiarid and arid areas in the north and northeast are part of a vast region extending from the Ugandan border through Lake Rudolf to the plateau area between the Ethiopian and Kenyan highlands. (The area from Lake Magadi southward, though not as arid, has the same characteristics.) Although tree and grass cover is scanty there, the areas of true desert are limited to the Chalbi Desert east of Lake Rudolf. The movement of people and livestock is strictly limited by the availability of water.

      The coastal plain proper, which runs for about 250 miles (400 km) along the Indian Ocean, is a narrow strip only about 10 miles (16 km) wide in the south, but in the Tana River lowlands to the north it broadens to about 100 miles (160 km). Farther northeast it merges into the lowlands of Somalia. The excellent natural harbours include that of Mombasa, which is one of the best in East Africa.

      Kenya's drainage pattern originated when a large oval dome of rock arose in the west-central part of the country and created the Central Rift. This dome produced a primeval watershed from which rivers once drained eastward to the Indian Ocean and westward to the Congo River system and the Atlantic Ocean. Still following this ancient pattern are the Tana (Tana River) and Galana rivers, which rise in the eastern highlands and flow roughly southeast to the Indian Ocean. West of the Central Rift, however, the major streams now drain into Lake Victoria. These include the Nzoia, Yala, Mara, and Nyando rivers. Between the eastern and western systems, the rifting of the dome's crust has created a complex pattern of internal streams that feed the major lakes.

      There are no major groundwater basins, and, apart from the Tana River, most of the rivers in Kenya are short and often disappear during the dry season. Lake Victoria, with a surface area of 26,828 square miles (69,484 square km), is the largest lake in Africa, the second largest freshwater body in the world, and a major reservoir of the Nile River. Lake Rudolf (Rudolf, Lake), some 150 miles (240 km) long and 20 miles (30 km) wide, is the largest of the country's Rift Valley lakes. Other lakes are rather small, and their surface areas fluctuate considerably.

      In the Lake Victoria basin, lava deposits have produced fertile and sandy loam soils in the plateaus north and south of Winam Bay, while the volcanic pile of Mount Elgon (Elgon, Mount) produces highly fertile volcanic soils well known for coffee and tea production. The Rift Valley and associated highlands are composed of fertile dark brown loams developed on younger volcanic deposits.

      The most widespread soils in Kenya, however, are the sandy soils of the semiarid regions between the coast and the Rift highlands. To the north of the Rift are vast areas covered by red desert soils, mainly sandy loams. Kenya's soils are subject to widespread erosion largely because of the lack of forest cover; overgrazing and cultivation, especially in the arid and semiarid regions, also contribute to soil loss.

      Seasonal climatic changes are controlled by the large-scale pressure systems of the western Indian Ocean and adjacent landmasses. From December to March, northeast winds predominate north of the Equator, while south to southeast winds dominate south of it. These months are fairly dry, although rain may occur locally. The rainy season extends from late March to May, with air flowing from the east in both hemispheres. From June to August there is little precipitation, and southwest winds prevail north of the Equator as southeast winds prevail in the south.

      In the Lake Victoria basin, annual precipitation varies from 40 inches (1,000 mm) around the lakeshore to more than 70 inches (1,800 mm) in the higher elevations in the eastern areas. The lakeshore has excellent agricultural potential because it can expect 20 to 35 inches (500 to 900 mm) in most years. Daily maximum temperatures range from 80 °F (27 °C) in July to 90 °F (32 °C) in October and February.

      In the Rift Valley, average temperatures decrease from about 84 °F (29 °C) in the north to just over 61 °F (16 °C) around Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha in the south. The adjacent highlands are generally moderate, with average temperatures ranging between 56 and 65 °F (13 and 18 °C). The floor of the Rift Valley is generally dry, while the highland areas receive more than 30 inches (760 mm) of rain per year. The reliable precipitation and fertile soils of the Mau Escarpment form the basis for a thriving agricultural sector.

      In the eastern plateau region, annual precipitation in most areas averages 20 to 30 inches (500 to 760 mm), although agriculture is hampered by extremely variable precipitation. The semiarid and arid regions of northern, northeastern, and southern Kenya have high temperatures but very erratic precipitation. Most places experience average temperatures of 85 °F (29 °C) or more, while annual precipitation is only about 10 inches (250 mm) in the north and less than 20 inches (500 mm) in the south.

      In most parts of the coast, average temperatures exceed 80 °F (27 °C) and relative humidity is high year-round. From the humid coast, where annual precipitation is between 30 and 50 inches (760 and 1,270 mm), precipitation decreases westward to about 20 inches (500 mm) per year. Only on the southern coast is precipitation reliable enough for prosperous agriculture.

Plant and animal life
      In the highlands between elevations of 7,000 and 9,000 feet (2,100 and 2,700 metres), the characteristic landscape consists of patches of evergreen forest separated by wide expanses of short grass. Where the forest has survived human encroachment, it includes economically valuable trees such as cedar (Juniperus procera) and varieties of podo. Above the forest, a zone of bamboo extends to about 10,000 feet (3,000 metres), beyond which there is mountain moorland bearing tree heaths, tree groundsel (a foundation timber of the genus Senecio), and giant lobelia (a widely distributed herbaceous plant). East and west of the highlands, forests give way to low trees scattered through an even cover of short grass.

 Semidesert regions below 3,000 feet (900 metres) give rise to baobab trees. In still drier areas of the north, desert scrub occurs, exposing the bare ground. The vegetation of the coastal region is basically savanna with patches of residual forests. While the northern coast still bears remnants of forests, centuries of human occupation have virtually destroyed them in the south. In an effort to slow the processes of deforestation and desertification, the Green Belt Movement, an organization founded in 1977 by environmentalist Wangari Maathai (Maathai, Wangari) (winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize), had planted some 30 million trees by the early 21st century.

      Almost one-third of Kenya, particularly the western regions and the coastal belt, is infested with tsetse flies (tsetse fly) and mosquitoes, which are responsible for the spread of, respectively, sleeping sickness ( trypanosomiasis) and malaria.

 Kenya's abundant wildlife population lives mostly outside the country's numerous national parks and game reserves. Baboons and zebras can be found, for instance, along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, close to human settlements and urban centres. This has created conflict between people and animals that sometimes has been resolved by relocating animals to areas where the human population is less dense. In an effort to ameliorate the problem, a “parks beyond parks” program was introduced in the mid-1990s by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The plan has attempted to draw local communities into the management and distribution of the income derived from wild animals in the vicinity, thus making people more tolerant of the animals' presence. The program has been somewhat successful, and, with community involvement, incidents of poaching in the national parks and game reserves have declined.

      There is a close link between the vegetation of each region and the differentiation and distribution of its wildlife. The highland rainforests support a variety of large mammals, dominated by elephants and rhinoceroses, although both species have been reduced significantly because of poaching and deforestation. Bushbuck, colobus monkeys, and, occasionally, galagos (bush babies) are also found. The bamboo zone contains varieties of duiker and some species of birds. Highland predators include lions, leopards, and wildcats.

 The most-prolific animal populations are found in the extensive grasslands between the forest zone and lower areas, principally varieties of ungulates, such as the hartebeest, wildebeest (gnu), zebra, and gazelle. Others include the waterbuck, impala, eland, warthog, and buffalo. These are preyed on by lions, spotted hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs. Without the interference of the forest, birdlife is much richer there, and lakes and rivers are inhabited by swarms of fish and occasionally by hippopotamuses and crocodiles.

      In the thornbushes and thickets of the arid regions are elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, giraffes, gerenuk, impalas, dik-diks, and various kinds of kudu; suni antelope, buffalo, and elephants are found in the coastal forest. Hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and many varieties of fish are found in the large rivers, while the coastal waters contain abundant marine life, including butterfly fish, angelfish, rock cod, barracuda, and spiny lobsters.


Ethnic groups and languages
      The African peoples of Kenya, who comprise virtually the entire population, are divided into three language groups: Bantu (Bantu languages), Nilo-Saharan (Nilo-Saharan languages), and Afro-Asiatic (Afro-Asiatic languages). Bantu is by far the largest, and its speakers are mainly concentrated in the southern third of the country. The Kikuyu, Kamba, Meru, and Nyika people occupy the fertile Central Rift highlands, while the Luhya and Gusii inhabit the Lake Victoria basin.

      Nilo-Saharan—represented by the languages of Kalenjin, Luo, Maasai, Samburu, and Turkana—is the next largest group. The rural Luo inhabit the lower parts of the western plateau, and the Kalenjin-speaking people occupy the higher parts of it. The Maasai are pastoral nomads in the southern region bordering Tanzania, and the related Samburu and Turkana pursue the same occupation in the arid northwest.

      The Afro-Asiatic peoples, who inhabit the arid and semiarid regions of the north and northeast, constitute only a tiny fraction of Kenya's population. They are divided between the Somali, bordering Somalia, and the Oromo, bordering Ethiopia; both groups pursue a pastoral livelihood in areas that are subject to famine, drought, and desertification. Another Afro-Asiatic people is the Burji, some of whom are descended from workers brought from Ethiopia in the 1930s to build roads in northern Kenya.

      In addition to the African population, Kenya is home to groups who immigrated there during British colonial rule. People from India and Pakistan began arriving in the 19th century, although many left after independence. A substantial number remain in urban areas such as Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi, where they engage in various business activities. European Kenyans, mostly British in origin, are the remnant of the colonial population. Their numbers were once much larger, but most emigrated at independence to Southern Africa, Europe, and elsewhere. Those who remain are found in the large urban centres of Mombasa and Nairobi.

      The Swahili (mostly the products of marriages between Arabs (Arab) and Africans) live along the coast. Arabs introduced Islam into Kenya when they entered the area from the Arabian Peninsula about the 8th century AD. Although a wide variety of languages are spoken in Kenya, the lingua franca is Swahili (Swahili language). This multipurpose language, which evolved along the coast from elements of local Bantu languages, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Hindi, and English, is the language of local trade and is also used (along with English) as an official language in the Kenyan legislative body, the National Assembly, and the courts.

 Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution. More than two-thirds of the people are Christian (Christianity), primarily attending Protestant or Roman Catholic churches. Christianity first came to Kenya in the 15th century through the Portuguese, but this contact ended in the 17th century. Christianity was revived at the end of the 19th century and expanded rapidly. African traditional religions have a concept of a supreme being who is known by various names. Many syncretic faiths have arisen in which the adherents borrow from Christian traditions and African religious practices. Independent churches are numerous; one such church, the Maria Legio of Africa, is dominated by the Luo people. Muslims (Islāmic world) constitute a sizable minority and include both Sunni and Shīʿites. There are also small populations of Jews, Jains, Sikhs, and Bahaʾis. In remote areas, Christian mission stations offer educational and medical facilities as well as religious ones.

Settlement patterns
      Most of Kenya's population is rural and lives in scattered settlements, the location and concentration of which depend largely on climatic and soil conditions. Before European colonization, virtually no villages or towns existed except along the coast, while urbanization was confined to fishing villages, Arab trading ports, and towns visited by dhows (dhow) from the Arabian Peninsula and Asia. The modern cities of Mombasa, Lamu, and Malindi were among the preexisting urban areas that were expanded during the colonial period. Nairobi, originally a Maasai watering hole, became important because of its connection to the railroad, which came through the area at the beginning of the 20th century. Other towns, such as Eldoret, Embu, Kisumu, and Nakuru, were established by Europeans as administrative centres, mission stations, and markets.

      The migration from rural to urban areas has accelerated since independence, spurred by greater economic development in urban areas. In the late 1960s about one-tenth of the national population lived in urban areas of 1,000 or more people; by the turn of the 21st century the figure had more than doubled. The largest coastal city is Mombasa, while the majority of Kenyans in the interior live in the capital city, Nairobi. The influx of people has placed a major burden on the provision of such services as education, health and sanitation, water, and electricity.

Demographic trends
      Kenya's accelerating population growth from the early 1960s to the early 1980s seriously constrained the country's social and economic development. During the first quarter of the 20th century, the total population was fewer than four million, largely because of famines, wars, and disease. By the late 1940s the population had risen to more than five million, and at independence in 1963 it was more than eight million and growing rapidly. The population exceeded 20 million by the mid-1980s, after which the growth rate began slowing dramatically. Nonetheless, in the early 21st century the rate of natural increase was still above the world average. The pressure of such a population explosion produced limited employment opportunities; rising costs for education, health services, and food imports; and an inability to generate the resources to build housing in both urban and rural areas.

      The most important causes of the country's explosive growth in population were a sharp fall in mortality rates—especially infant mortality—and the traditional preference for large families. The slower population growth of the late 20th and early 21st centuries occurred in part because fertility and birth rates were lower but also because the number of deaths from AIDS was increasing. In the early 21st century, life expectancy in Kenya was below the world average.

      Since independence was achieved in 1963, Kenya's economy has contained both privately owned and state-run enterprises. Most of the country's business is in private hands (with a large amount of foreign investment), but the government also shapes the country's economic development through various regulatory powers and “parastatals,” or enterprises that it partly or wholly owns. The aim of this policy is to achieve economic growth and stability, generate employment, and maximize foreign earnings by achieving high levels of agricultural exports while substituting domestically produced goods for those that have been imported. For a decade after independence this policy showed great promise as rising wages, employment, and government revenue provided the means for expanding health services, education, transportation, and communication. But problems that arose with the rise of global oil prices in 1973 have been aggravated by periodic drought and accelerating population growth, and Kenya's economy has been unable to maintain a favourable balance of trade while addressing the problems of chronic poverty and growing unemployment. The country's ability to industrialize has been hampered by, among other factors, limited domestic purchasing power, shrinking government budgets, increased external and internal debt, poor infrastructure, and massive governmental corruption and mismanagement.

      In an effort to decrease its dependence on volatile agricultural markets, Kenya attempted to diversify its exports in the last decade of the 20th century, adding horticultural products, clothing, cement, soda ash, and fluorspar. The country also made the export of manufactured goods such as paper and vehicles a priority. Domestic restrictions on imports have been removed slowly, however, and this policy has been only partially successful. Kenya's economy, which did not grow at a constant rate during the last two decades of the 20th century, continued to be dominated by the external market; tourism and agricultural exports were still the major source of foreign exchange for the country in the early 21st century.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
 Agriculture plays an important role in Kenya's economy. Although its share of gross domestic product (GDP) has declined—from more than two-fifths in 1964 to less than one-fifth in the early 21st century—agriculture supplies the manufacturing sector with raw materials and generates tax revenue and foreign exchange that support the rest of the economy. Moreover, it employs the majority of the population.

      In the first years after independence, the government sought to redistribute the land on which most of the agricultural exports were produced. Although there are now thousands of large farms, ranches, and plantations, the majority of the farms are smaller than five acres (two hectares). Tea and fresh flowers are the key foreign-exchange earners. Sisal, cotton, and fruits and vegetables also are important cash crops. Coffee, historically an important foreign exchange earner, still contributes to the economy but began declining in importance and earnings in the 1990s, owing in part to market instability and deregulation. Kenya supplies the majority of the pyrethrum (a flower used to create the nonsynthetic pesticide pyrethrin) to the world market; demand for this product fluctuates depending upon the level of interest in the United States, which is the largest consumer of this commodity. National boards that controlled key export crops such as coffee, tea, and cotton were deregulated beginning in the early 1990s.

      The major crops for domestic consumption are corn (maize) and wheat. Sugarcane was an export crop in the 1970s and '80s, but by the '90s domestic demand exceeded the supply, and it had to be imported. Livestock (including cattle and goats) is raised and dairy goods are produced primarily for domestic use, and the government maintains a reserve supply of such commodities as skim milk powder, cheese, and butter. Surplus animal and dairy products are exported.

      Despite the importance of agriculture to the economic well-being of the country, the lack of water, infrastructure, and arable land (less than one-tenth of Kenya can be used for agriculture) seriously constrains further expansion. Although the government has made efforts to increase irrigation, it is estimated that only one-fifth to one-fourth of potentially irrigable area has been developed.

      Forests occupy only a small portion of the land but are extremely important in the domestic economy. Most of the area of forest reserves is wooded bush, bamboo, and grass; the remainder consists of planted softwoods, which now support a domestic paper industry. Forests are vital for conserving Kenya's soil and water resources, but they are increasingly threatened by a fast-growing population that constantly demands more fuel and settlement areas. As fuel, wood is used primarily for domestic cooking, but deforestation threatens the supply. A tree-planting program has been initiated to grow quick-maturing indigenous and exotic species in ecologically suitable areas.

 Fish and marine products represent a small but growing portion of Kenya's economy and are locally important. Freshwater fish from Lakes Victoria and Rudolf constitute the bulk of the catch. The encroaching water hyacinth on the surface of Lake Victoria threatened this fishery in the 1990s, although this nuisance was countered by several strategies, including the introduction of weevils into the environment. Most of the weed has been successfully eliminated, although the potential for a resurgence remains.

Resources and power
      Soda ash (used in glassmaking) is Kenya's most valuable mineral export and is quarried at Lake Magadi (Magadi, Lake) in the Rift Valley. Limestone deposits at the coast and in the interior are exploited for cement manufacture and agriculture. Vermiculite, gold, rubies, topazes, and salt are also important, as is fluorite (also known as fluorspar and used in metallurgy), which is mined along the Kerio River in the north. Deposits of titanium- and zirconium-bearing sands were found in multiple locations northeast of Mombasa and to the south of the city. Exploration for petroleum has so far met with limited success.

      Kenya's economic development has been tied to its ability to improve energy resources. The emphasis since independence has been on producing hydroelectricity (hydroelectric power), but access to energy is limited in rural areas, since the bulk of electricity is consumed by the two major urban centres of Nairobi and Mombasa. There are hydroelectric plants located on the Tana and Turkwel rivers. Geothermal resources in the Rift Valley have been tapped since the early 1980s to generate electricity and have come to supply a significant amount of Nairobi's total needs. While the expansion of generating capacity continued through grants from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, a severe drought occurred in the northwest part of the country at the end of the 20th century. This led to blackouts that continued into the beginning of the 21st century.

      Kenya is the most industrially developed country in East Africa, but it has not yet produced results to match its potential. Manufacturing is based largely on processing imported goods, although the government supports the development of export-oriented industries. Major industries include agricultural processing, publishing and printing, and the manufacture of textiles and clothing, cement, tires, batteries, paper, ceramics, and leather goods. Assembly plants, which utilize imported parts, produce various kinds of commercial and passenger vehicles and even export a small quantity to other African countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

      Steel processing for reexport and for the construction industry is a growing sector, with about a dozen steel mills in operation. The petroleum industry, which was deregulated in 1994, produces diesel and jet fuel from imported crude oil at a refinery near Mombasa and provides a major source of foreign exchange.

Finance and trade
 The state-run Central Bank of Kenya, established by legislation in 1966, regulates the money supply (the monetary unit is the Kenyan shilling), assists in the development of the monetary, credit, and banking system, acts as banker and financial adviser to the government, and grants short-term or seasonal loans. There also are a large number of commercial, merchant, and foreign banks in Kenya. The Nairobi Stock Exchange, founded in 1954, is one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

      Agricultural products such as tea, fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, and coffee constitute the greatest proportion of Kenya's exports. The remainder of the exports consists of petroleum products, cement, hides and skins, and soda ash. Imports include machinery and transport equipment, chemical products, petroleum and petroleum products, and food and beverages. The chief trading partners are Uganda, the countries of the European Union (notably the United Kingdom), the United Arab Emirates, and Tanzania. Kenya is a member of the East African Community Customs Union.

      Kenya is home to some of the rarest and most interesting species of wildlife in the world. Because of this, tourism is one of the country's major sources of foreign exchange, with visitors coming largely from countries of the European Union. Tourism revolves around a basic framework of national parks, game reserves, and game sanctuaries, where a wide variety of animals and cultural attractions can be enjoyed. The number of tourists began to vary annually in the early 1990s, however, following a period of political unrest and attacks on tourists, and again in the early 2000s, owing partially to the threat of terrorism.

Labour and taxation
      Following agriculture, the next largest employment sectors are trade- and service-related industries. Women perform most of the agricultural work, but they participate largely in the informal sector of the economy. The Central Organization of Trade Unions was founded in 1965. Many professions are unionized, including metal workers, airline pilots, game hunting and safari workers, jockeys and betting workers, journalists, and textile workers. Government revenue is derived from taxes on income and profits and on goods and services, from excise duties, and from value-added taxes.

Transportation and telecommunications
      The transportation infrastructure that developed both before and after independence allowed Kenya to emerge as a viable state. Roads became the major link between the urban areas and the rural hinterlands, although they were developed in colonial times as a subsidiary to the railway line running from Mombasa to the western parts of the country. The heavily utilized trunk and primary roads were upgraded from dirt to bitumen and gravel after independence. As this network was expanded, freight traffic within Kenya as well as to Tanzania, Uganda, The Sudan, and Ethiopia increased rapidly. The heavy traffic has severely damaged Kenyan roads, requiring expensive repairs.

      Railways (railroad), the second most important mode of transport after roads, are operated by Kenya Railways. The main line runs northwest from Mombasa through Nairobi, Nakuru, and Eldoret to the Ugandan border. Major branchlines run from Nakuru to Kisumu on Lake Victoria and from Nairobi to Nanyuki near Mount Kenya, and another goes into Tanzania. Privatization of Kenya Railways began early in the 21st century, and efforts were undertaken to make the railways more competitive in the freight market. Passenger service constitutes a very small share of railway business.

      The strategic location of Kenya on the western shores of the Indian Ocean, with easy connections to different parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, has greatly enhanced the role of the international airports at Nairobi and Mombasa. Another international airport is located at Eldoret. There are domestic airports at Kisumu and Malindi and many smaller airfields throughout the country. Kenya Airways, established in 1977, privatized its operations and financial control in 1996.

      Mombasa, the country's principal port, handles the bulk of the import and export traffic not only of Kenya but of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ports of Lamu and Malindi serve mainly the coastal trade and fisheries.

      Telephone service has greatly expanded since the early 1980s, but, while the number of telephones more than doubled between 1984 and 1995, the great majority of the population still does not have access to local telephone lines. Cellular telephone service experienced rapid growth around the turn of the century, as did Internet access—by the mid-2000s, the country had one of the highest numbers of Internet users in sub-Saharan Africa. Like other industries in Kenya, telecommunications were being privatized at the start of the 21st century.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      Kenya became independent on Dec. 12, 1963, under a constitution that placed the prime minister at the head of a cabinet chosen by a bicameral National Assembly. Significant power was granted to assemblies elected in each of the country's regions, and multiparty contests were allowed. Beginning in the early 1960s, however, a series of amendments abolished the regional assemblies in favour of provincial commissions appointed by the national government, made the National Assembly a unicameral body, proclaimed the Kenya African National Union (KANU) the only legal political party, and replaced the prime minister with an executive president who has the power to dismiss at will the attorney general and senior judges. The effect of these changes was to establish the central government—in particular, the presidency—as the principal locus of political power in the country. Although the constitution guarantees a number of rights, such as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship, it also allows the president to detain without trial persons who have been deemed a threat to public security.

      Constitutional reforms allowed multiparty politics once again in 1991 and granted greater freedom to political parties before the December 1997 elections. In 2008, in the aftermath of the disputed December 2007 presidential election, legislation was passed that provided for the creation of a coalition government and amended the constitution to alter the structure of the executive branch, allowing for the re-creation of the prime minister post and the creation of two deputy minister posts.

      Those seeking election or appointment to public office must be members of a political party; presidential appointments are the only exception. Several candidates from a party may contest a single office, but any candidate who receives more than 70 percent of the vote in a nominating election enters the final election unopposed.

      The executive branch consists of the president, the prime minister, two deputy prime ministers, and other cabinet ministers. The president, who is elected by direct popular vote to a term of five years, must receive a minimum of one-fourth of the votes cast in five of the eight provinces and must be a member of the National Assembly. The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces, appoints the vice president, and, with the agreement of the prime minister, selects cabinet ministers from among the members of the National Assembly. Through the cabinet, the president exercises control over the passage of legislation as well as over the huge bureaucracies directing the economy and provincial affairs.

      Most members of the National Assembly are elected to five-year terms by universal adult suffrage; however, 12 members are appointed by the president, and there are 2 ex officio members—the speaker and the attorney general, of whom only the speaker has voting privileges.

Local government
      Kenya contains eight provinces: Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley, Central, Eastern, North Eastern, Coast, and Nairobi. All provinces, except for Nairobi, are divided into districts. Local government consists of appointed provincial and district commissioners, elected county, municipal, and town councils, and elected township or municipal authorities. The provincial commissioners are responsible for education, transport, and health in their provinces, while the councils are concerned with services and public works funded by local taxes and grants from the central government.

      The High Court, appointed by the president, consists of the chief justice and at least 11 puisne, or associate, justices. The High Court has full civil and criminal jurisdiction and rules on constitutional matters. The Kenya Court of Appeal, consisting of the chief justice and at least two associates, is the highest appeals court in the country. At lower levels are resident magistrates' and district magistrates' courts. Kenya's judicial system acknowledges the validity of Islamic law and indigenous African customs in many personal areas such as marriage, divorce, and matters affecting dependents. To that end, the Muslim community uses judicial venues known as Kadhis' (qadi) courts to resolve issues concerning Islamic law.

Political process
      The Kenya African National Union (KANU (Kenya African National Union)) has dominated Kenyan politics since its founding in 1960. Its principal opposition, the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), merged with KANU in 1964. Since Kenya's transformation from single-party KANU rule back into a multiparty state in the early 1990s, many political parties have been created, often reflecting ethnic alliances. The major parties are the Democratic Party, the National Development Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy–Kenya. In 1997 a woman, representing the SDP, ran for president—a first for Kenya—and received almost 8 percent of the vote. However, at the legislative level, women constituted less than 10 percent of the National Assembly in the early 21st century.

      Kenya's armed forces consist of air force, navy, and army contingents. Military service is voluntary. Kenyan troops have participated in several United Nations-sponsored peacekeeping missions.

Health and welfare
      Together with improved housing, education, sanitation, and nutrition, health care programs have drastically reduced mortality rates from preindependence levels, especially for infants. High rates of malaria, gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, trachoma, amebiasis, and schistosomiasis continue, however, and illustrate how difficult it is to eradicate mosquitoes and provide clean water, especially in the countryside. By the beginning of the 21st century, AIDS had become the major disease in Kenya and threatened to reverse the declining death rate. Kenya, like other countries in Africa suffering under the AIDS pandemic, has utilized a number of strategies to combat the disease, including drug therapy. Some drug companies lowered their prices in Kenya by more than half in the early 21st century, but this was not enough to make drugs available to all who needed them. Inadequate supply of drugs is also a problem.

      Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi is the country's chief referral and teaching institution, and there are also provincial and district hospitals. In rural areas, health centres and dispensaries offer diagnostic services, obstetric care, and outpatient treatment, although they often lack adequate facilities, trained personnel, and medications.

      In rural areas, the average home consists of a two-room dwelling made with wood siding and a roof of sheet iron; for the very poor, simple grass-thatched huts are typical. In urban areas, the representative middle-class home has two bedrooms, indoor plumbing, a kitchen, and a living area.

      Providing housing for the urban poor has been increasingly difficult since independence. Most of the urban population lives in informal housing areas not recognized by the government, which often razes slums without warning. In an effort to provide better-quality affordable housing, new building materials are being developed. One such product is brick made from a combination of water, soil, and a small amount of cement.

      The national educational system consists of three levels: eight years of compulsory primary education (beginning at age six), four years at the secondary level, and four years of higher education. The government provides free primary and secondary education. Entrance into secondary school is contingent upon obtaining the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education by passing a national exam.

      Education for the indigenous population was not a priority of the British colonial government. After independence, however, primary and secondary school enrollment expanded markedly. Jomo Kenyatta (Kenyatta, Jomo), Kenya's first president, promised free primary education to all citizens in 1963, a promise only partially fulfilled when fees for the first four years of primary school were abolished in 1974. One consequence of this educational expansion was that underemployment and unemployment increased as better-educated citizens entered the job market. The government responded by expanding the civil service beginning in the late 1970s, but by the early 1990s it could no longer absorb this population. The problem was compounded as the number of secondary schools grew. Because the government could not provide enough government-funded schools, community-built harambee secondary schools were developed. These schools were supposed to receive government assistance to provide for teachers and learning materials, but such support did not always materialize. The government simultaneously pursued a policy of “education for self-reliance,” whereby education was oriented toward preparing students for employment in agriculture as well as in business. Universal free education was introduced for all years of primary schooling in 2002. In the following years, primary schools were not able to accommodate the increased demand for services and faced such problems as overcrowding and a lack of resources.

      Education is still highly valued in Kenya, with many of the students pursuing strategies such as “shadow education” (after-school and weekend tutoring) and remaining in a grade more than one year in order to pass the Certificate of Primary Education exam. Because of the country's continuing economic problems, however, many of these students have not been able to attend school beyond the primary level; free secondary schooling was introduced in 2008 to help address this issue. Kenya's literacy rate, at more than four-fifths of the population, is high for sub-Saharan Africa.

      Public universities include the University of Nairobi (1956) and Kenyatta University (1972) in Nairobi, Moi University (1984) in Eldoret, and Egerton University (1939) in Njoro, as well as the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (1981) in Nairobi. Specialized colleges include Kenya Conservatoire of Music (1944), Kenya Medical Training College (1924), and Kenya Polytechnic (1961) in Nairobi and Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (1972) in Nakuru.

Cultural life

Daily life and social customs
      As is true of many developing African countries, there is a marked contrast between urban and rural culture in Kenya. Attracting people from all over the country, Kenya's cities are characterized by a more cosmopolitan population whose tastes reflect practices that combine the local with the global. Nairobi's nightlife, for instance, caters to youth interested in music that varies from American rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and rock to Congolese rumba. The city contains movie theatres and numerous nightclubs where patrons can dance or shoot pool; for children there are water parks and family amusement centres.

      For all the modernization and urbanization of Kenya, however, traditional practices remain important. Rituals and customs are very well documented, owing to the intense anthropological study of Kenya's peoples during the period of British colonial rule; oral literature is safeguarded, and several publishing houses publish traditional folktales and ethnographies.

      Kenyan cooking reflects British, Arab, and Indian influences. Foods common throughout Kenya include ugali, a mush made from corn (maize) and often served with such greens as spinach and kale. Chapati, a fried pitalike bread of Indian origin, is served with vegetables and stew; rice is also popular. Seafood and freshwater fish are eaten in most parts of the country and provide an important source of protein. Many vegetable stews are flavoured with coconut, spices, and chilies. Although meat traditionally is not eaten every day or is eaten only in small quantities, grilled meat and all-you-can-eat buffets specializing in game, or “bush meat,” are popular. Many people utilize shambas (vegetable gardens) to supplement purchased foods. In areas inhabited by the Kikuyu, irio, a stew of peas, corn, and potatoes, is common. The Maasai, known for their herds of livestock, avoid killing their cows and instead prefer to use products yielded by the animal while it is alive, including blood drained from nonlethal wounds. They generally drink milk, often mixed with cow's blood, and eat the meat of sheep or goats rather than cows.

      Urban life in Kenya is by no means uniform. For example, as a Muslim town, Mombasa stands in contrast to Nairobi. Although there are numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs in Mombasa, there are also many mosques, and women dressed in bui buis (loose-fitting garments that cover married Muslim women from head to toe) are common.

      Rural life is oriented in two directions—toward the lifestyles of rural inhabitants, who still constitute the majority of Kenya's population, and toward foreign tourists who come to visit the many national parks and reserves. Although agricultural duties occupy most of the time of rural dwellers, they still find occasion to visit markets and shopping centres, where some frequent beer halls. Mobile cinemas also provide entertainment for the rural population.

      Kenya observes most Christian holidays, as well as the Muslim festival ʿId al-Fitr (Īd al-Fiṭrʿ), which marks the end of Ramadan (Ramaḍān). Jamhuri, or Independence Day, is celebrated on December 12. Moi Day (recognizing Daniel arap Moi (Moi, Daniel arap)) and Kenyatta Day, both in October, honour two of the country's presidents, while Madaraka (Swahili: Government) Day (June 1) celebrates Kenya's attainment of self-governance in 1964.

The arts
      The Kenya National Theatre, a part of the Kenya Cultural Centre, is the country's premier venue for drama. The affiliated National Theatre School (founded 1968) provides professional training for Kenyan playwrights and performers of traditional music and dance. Independent art facilities, such as the GoDown Arts Centre in Nairobi, offer alternative spaces for artists to express themselves.

      Kenya's pop music is among the most varied in Africa, drawing on diverse sources, including African rumba, traditional Indian musical forms, and a wide range of European and American styles. Popular since the 1960s is an indigenous pop style that emerged in the area around Lake Victoria inhabited by the Luo; called benga, it is perhaps the most distinctly Kenyan form in the musical repertoire. Taarab, a popular music of the eastern coastal region heavily influenced by Arabic styles, is also played throughout the country.

      Kenyan literature includes a large body of oral and written folklore, much of the latter collected by British anthropologists. During the colonial era, writers of European origin residing in Kenya, such as Elspeth Huxley (The Flame Trees of Thika, 1959) and Isak Dinesen (Dinesen, Isak) (Out of Africa, 1937), introduced indigenous themes and settings to broad audiences. The Swahili literary (Swahili literature) tradition (see also Swahili literature), both oral and written, dates to the 18th century and is represented by authors such as Muyaka bin Haji al-Ghassaniy (Ghassaniy, Muyaka bin Haji al-) and Kupona Mwana. Contemporary novelists, including Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Grace Ogot (Ogot, Grace), Meja Mwangi (Mwangi, Meja), Hilary Ngweno, Margaret Ogola, and R. Mugo Gatheru, address problems in colonial and postcolonial society. Many of these writers publish in English, although Thiong'o has insisted on publishing first in his native Kikuyu, saying:

Only by a return to the roots of our being in the languages and cultures and heroic histories of the Kenyan people can we rise up to the challenge of helping in the creation of a Kenyan patriotic national literature and culture that will be the envy of many foreigners and the pride of Kenyans.

      Visual arts are largely confined to the mass production of wood sculpture and Maasai beadwork. Elimo Njau, Etale Sukuro, and Kivuthi Mbuno are noted Kenyan artists employing a variety of mediums. The country's film industry is small but growing, though viewings of indigenous films are usually confined to theatres in the cities; in smaller towns and villages, film fare is likely to come from either Hollywood or India. Many foreign productions have been filmed in Kenya—such as Out of Africa (1985), To Walk with Lions (1999), Nowhere in Africa (2001), and The Constant Gardener (2005)—owing to its scenic, varied landscapes and generally clement weather.

Cultural institutions
 Perhaps Kenya's greatest cultural legacy is in its national parks and reserves. The annual wildebeest migration is best observed at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which also includes a Maasai village. Amboseli National Park, a former home of the Maasai, lies at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro (Kilimanjaro). Marsabit National Park and Reserve in the north is noted for its populations of large mammals such as lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, zebras, and giraffes. Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks (Tsavo National Park) are noted for their abundant wildlife and diverse landscapes. Mzima Springs, found in Tsavo West, are clear pools of fresh water that provide ideal conditions for viewing hippopotamuses, crocodiles, and fish. Sibiloi National Park, in the far northern part of the country, contains sites where scientists from the University of Nairobi (including Richard Leakey (Leakey, Richard)) have excavated hominid remains since 1968. Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya, Mount) was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The Lake Turkana National Parks, comprising three national parks in Eastern province, were named World Heritage sites beginning in 1997. Lamu Old Town (Lamu), in Coast province, contains beautiful examples of Swahili architecture; it became a World Heritage site in 2001. In 2008 the Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests—several forests containing the remains of villages (kaya) once inhabited by the Mijikenda ( Nyika) people and now considered sacred—were collectively designated a World Heritage site.

      The Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service in Nairobi, housed in a building that was originally the Bank of India, holds an increasing number of government and historical documents and also contains exhibits of arts and crafts and photographs. A national library service board has been established to equip, maintain, and develop libraries in Kenya, including a branch library service. The McMillan Memorial Library in Nairobi has holdings of books as well as newspapers and a parliamentary archive. The National Museum, also in Nairobi, contains archaeological remains and objects of traditional material culture.

Sports and recreation
      Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Kenya, although the national team, the Harambee Stars, has had little international success. Basketball, volleyball, and netball are also popular sports. Social clubs often offer the opportunity for Kenyans to play football and volleyball. Netball is played exclusively by women. Internationally, Kenyan athletes are known for their dominance of distance running (long-distance running). Since the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, at which Kip Keino (Keino, Kip), Naftali Temu, and Amos Biwott all won gold medals, Kenyan distance runners have continually won Olympic medals and major races throughout the world. Catherine Ndereba, for example, repeatedly won marathons in Boston and Chicago.

Media and publishing
      The media have flourished in Kenya as the economy has become more liberalized. Rigid state restrictions on radio and television broadcasting were gradually loosened in the 1990s, and commercial radio has become an integral part of Kenyan popular culture. The Daily Nation and the East African Standard are among the daily newspapers; daily papers are also published in African languages such as Luo and Kikuyu. Kenya has numerous weekly and monthly periodicals.

Simeon Hongo Ominde Mwenda Ntarangwi

      It is known that human history in Kenya dates back millions of years, because it is there that some of the earliest fossilized remains of hominids have been discovered. Among the best-known finds are those by anthropologist Richard Leakey (Leakey, Richard) and others in the Koobi Fora area along the shore of Lake Rudolf (Rudolf, Lake) that have included portions of Australopithecus boisei (Australopithecus) and Homo habilis skeletons. The following discussion, however, covers the history of Kenya only from the 18th century. For coverage of earlier periods and for a treatment of the country in its regional context, see Eastern Africa (eastern Africa, history of).

The 18th and 19th centuries
Maasai and Kikuyu
      The Maasai moved into what is now central Kenya from an area north of Lake Rudolf sometime in the mid-18th century. Their southward advance was checked about 1830 by the Hehe people from what is now Tanzania, but their raiding parties continued to range widely and even reached the coast south of Mombasa in 1859. The Maasai moran (“warrior”) prepared for war under the spiritual direction of the laibon (“medicine man”). Although not particularly numerous, the Maasai were able to dominate a considerable region because the Bantu-speaking inhabitants offered little effective resistance to their raids. The Nandi, who inhabited the escarpment to the west of the Maasai, were equally warlike and were relatively undisturbed by their predatory neighbours. Another group, the Taveta, took refuge in the forest on the eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, while the Taita, who were farther east, used the natural strongholds provided by their mountainous homeland to resist the Maasai raiders.

      The Kikuyu, who were far more numerous than the Maasai, also looked to the mountains and forests for protection against Maasai war parties. The Kikuyu had expanded northward, westward, and southward from their territory in the Fort Hall area of present-day Central province, where they cleared the forests to provide themselves with agricultural land. Toward the end of the 19th century, however, they had reached the limits imposed by the presence of the Maasai to the north and south and by the upper slopes of the Aberdare Range to the west.

      Famine and smallpox in the 1890s compelled the Kikuyu to vacate much of the land in what is now Kiambu district (in Central province) as they withdrew northward. The Maasai too were passing through a difficult period. An outbreak of disease, either pleuropneumonia or rinderpest, attacked their cattle in 1883; further infestations in 1889–90 continued to decimate their herds, while the Maasai themselves were overwhelmed by epidemics of smallpox. Simultaneously, the death of Mbatian, their great laibon, split the group into warring factions, and it was some time before his younger son, Lenana, was able to restore order. power was never revived, however, since their problems coincided with the arrival of European traders and administrators who eventually gained control of the region.

Control of the interior
      Trading relations had existed for centuries between southern Arabia and the coastline of what is now Kenya; some of the Arab traders remained in the area and contributed to the language that came to be known as Swahili (Swahili language). During the 19th century Arab and Swahili caravans in search of ivory penetrated the interior. One route went from Mombasa to Kilimanjaro and Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake) and then toward Mount Elgon (Elgon, Mount), but this route was not as popular as the caravan trails farther south, both because of the difficulty of crossing the desert country of the Taru Plain and because of the hostility of the Maasai. The first Europeans to penetrate the interior were two German agents of the Church Missionary Society, Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann (Rebmann, Johannes). They established a mission station at Rabai, a short distance inland from Mombasa. In 1848 Rebmann became the first European to see Kilimanjaro, and in 1849 Krapf ventured still farther inland and saw Mount Kenya (Kenya, Mount). These were isolated journeys, however, and more than 30 years elapsed before any other Europeans attempted to explore the country dominated by the Maasai.

The British East Africa Company
      As Germany, Britain, and France were carving up East Africa in the mid-1880s, they recognized the authority of the sultan of Zanzibar over a coastal strip 10 miles (16 km) wide between the Tana (in Kenya) and Ruvuma (in Tanzania) rivers. The hinterland, however, was divided between Britain and Germany: the British took the area north of a line running from the mouth of the Umba River, opposite Pemba Island, and skirting north of Kilimanjaro to a point where latitude 1° S cut the eastern shore of Lake Victoria; the German sphere, Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania), lay to the south of that line. In 1887 the sultan's territory on the mainland was conceded to the British East Africa Association (later Company) for a 50-year period; this was later made a permanent grant. Because the British government was reluctant to become involved in the administration of East Africa, in 1888 it granted the company a royal charter that authorized it to accept existing and future grants and concessions relevant to the administration and development of the British sphere (British Empire) in that part of the world. The financial resources of the company, however, were inadequate for any large-scale development of the region. The company also administered territory in what is now Uganda; when it became involved with the kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro, it incurred a great debt and therefore was forced to limit its activities to regions nearer the coast. This financial problem was finally resolved in 1895 when the British government made Buganda a protectorate and paid the company £250,000 to surrender its charter to the area that is now Kenya. The East Africa Protectorate was then proclaimed, with Sir Arthur Hardinge as the first commissioner. Initially the British government did not attach much importance to the new protectorate because Hardinge continued to reside in Zanzibar, where he already functioned as the consul general.

The East Africa Protectorate
Resistance to European rule and early administration
 During the early years the new administration largely focused on asserting authority over the territory. The Mazrui family (a Swahili family) along the coast actively resisted the usurpation of its authority by the British administrators, as did the Kikuyu and the Kamba. Farther west the Nandi did not accept their new overlords until 1905, after a series of British military columns had ranged through their territory. The Maasai were one of the few groups who offered no resistance to British authority, and they even served in the military during the British campaigns against the Kikuyu. Although this caused lasting enmity between the two groups, the Maasai behaved as they did largely because they had been so devastated by disease at the end of the 19th century.

      The extension of British administration into the more remote areas of the protectorate was slowed by the lack of communication infrastructure and the limited financial resources available. When administration was introduced, though, it was direct rule because the British did not find the centralized African political system that had existed in other parts of Africa that they came to control.

The Uganda railway and European settlement
      The East Africa Protectorate was valued by Europeans as a corridor to the fertile land around Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake), but the government's offer to lease land to British settlers was initially not popular. Two factors, however, changed this negative attitude: a railway was constructed from the coast to Lake Victoria, and the western highlands were transferred from Uganda (where regulations made it impossible to lease land to Europeans) to the East Africa Protectorate in 1902. Work on the railway began at Mombasa in December 1895, and the first locomotive reached Kisumu on Lake Victoria in December 1901; the entire line was completed by 1903. The protectorate was responsible for making the railway profitable, and the export of cash crops seemed to provide the perfect solution for generating revenue. Sir Charles Eliot (Eliot, Sir Charles), who became commissioner of the protectorate in 1901, invited South Africans to settle in the protectorate when European settlers were less than enthusiastic about the proposal, but they too were uninterested. At first only small areas of land in Kiambu district, which had formerly been occupied by Africans and which the Kikuyu regarded as part of their legitimate area of expansion, were allocated to European settlers, but by 1906 more than 1,550 square miles (4,000 square km) had been leased or sold. Some Africans, such as the Maasai, were confined to reserves; by 1911 the Maasai reserve extended south of the railway to the present-day border with Tanzania.

      As more Africans were separated from their land and as more European settlers entered the region, the Europeans became concerned with maintaining an adequate supply of African labour. Because few Africans voluntarily chose whether or not to work for Europeans, the settlers wanted the government to institute a system that would compel Africans to offer their services (forced labour) to European farmers. Successive commissioners and governors responded in varying degrees to the settlers' demands, and it was not until immediately after World War I, and largely as a result of public outcry in Britain, that compulsory labour on either public or private projects was strictly forbidden.

      Thousands of Indian labourers (coolie) were brought into the protectorate to construct the railway. Although most of these labourers returned to India after their contracts were completed, some remained. The opening of the railway encouraged Indian traders who had been living nearer the coast to penetrate farther into the interior, even ahead of the administration. Other Indians hoped to obtain land, but European settlers consistently opposed the Indians' claim to land and to political and economic equality.

      Prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, European participation in political affairs was limited mainly to creating pressure groups. The most prominent of these was the Convention of Associations, which had developed in 1911 from earlier European settler organizations. An Executive Council was appointed in 1905, and the first Legislative Council convened in 1907. When the protectorate was transferred from the Foreign Office to the Colonial Office in April 1905 and the settlers did not gain the increased responsibility they had desired, they launched a campaign in 1913 to elect their own representatives to the Legislative Council. The outbreak of World War I temporarily limited the settlers' legislative prospects, but the War Council, which was concerned with the effects of the war on the protectorate and included settlers, satisfied some of their desire to have elected representation in the legislature.

World War I and its aftermath
      Germany had hoped that no battles with Britain would be fought on African soil during World War I, but Britain was concerned with its communications with India and with the safety of the Ugandan railway. Britain initiated hostilities, to which Germany responded, with Britain ultimately prevailing in East Africa. The conflict caused great hardships for the African population. Thousands of Africans were forced to serve as porters and soldiers, often with disastrous results, and a large number of Africans died, mostly from disease. The entire East African economic structure was affected, as food production became geared solely to supplying the troops. The burden of providing this food fell largely on African women, who did most of the farming anyway. Women were forced to use the same plots of land repeatedly, thereby depleting the soil, because most able-bodied men, who were responsible for clearing new land, had been conscripted. Droughts and famines recurred.

      Most of the European settlers quickly joined the armed forces; they left their farms to be looked after by their wives, or else the farms were abandoned. An attempt was made immediately after the war to revive the settler sector by introducing a “soldier settler” scheme, but the hopes of prosperity encouraged by the postwar demand for agricultural produce received a severe setback in the early 1920s when a worldwide economic recession brought bankruptcy to many of those who had started out with inadequate capital or had relied on credit from the banks. Stability was further delayed by the replacement of the rupee currency with East African shillings. By the mid-1920s Kenya's economy had wholly revived, although the Great Depression of the 1930s brought further economic difficulties to East Africa.

      Rail communications (railroad) had been improved when branch lines were opened to Thika and to the soda deposits at Lake Magadi (Magadi, Lake) in 1913; during the war a link was made between the main line and the German railway system to the south. The most important postwar project was the building of a new extension of the main line across the Uasin Gishu Plateau to tap the agricultural wealth of the highlands and then to Uganda in order to provide an outlet for the cotton crops of that protectorate. The line was eventually completed from Nakuru to Jinja in January 1928 and was carried on to Kampala, which it reached in January 1931.

Kenya colony
Political movements
      In 1920 the East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony and renamed Kenya, for its highest mountain. The colonial government began to concern itself with the plight of African peoples; in 1923 the colonial secretary issued a White Paper in which he indicated that African interests in the colony had to be paramount, although his declaration did not immediately result in any great improvement in conditions. One area that definitely needed improvement was education for Africans; up to that point nearly all African schooling had been provided by missionaries. Those Africans who did manage to receive a Western education, though, found no place in Kenya's legislature, their interests being represented officially by the members of the appointed council and by a European unofficial member, usually a missionary.

      As more Africans worked on European farms and in urban areas such as Nairobi, they began to imitate political techniques used by European settlers as they attempted to gain more direct representation in colonial politics. At the outset, political pressure groups developed along ethnic lines, the first one being the Young Kikuyu Association (later the East African Association), established in 1921, with Harry Thuku as its first president. The group, which received most of its support from young men and was not supported by most of the older chiefs, demanded African representation in the legislature and won support among the Kikuyu when it complained about low wages, the prohibition of coffee growing by Africans, and the condemnation by Christian missionaries of such traditional practices as female genital cutting. At a protest in March 1922 Thuku was arrested, and eventually he was exiled for more than eight years. Although its attempts to win the support of other ethnic groups failed because of their unwillingness to accept Kikuyu leadership, the association was an important beginning in the African search for greater participation in the political process.

      Throughout the 1920s and '30s European settlers continued to oppose Indian demands for greater representation on the Legislative Council. Another concern among European settlers was the proposal, first made toward the end of World War I, to introduce some form of closer union with Uganda and Tanganyika (which had become a British possession after World War I). At first the European settlers of Kenya opposed closer union with the other territories because they feared African domination, but, in light of the British government's determination on this issue, they agreed by the late 1920s to a compromise that would protect their political status in Kenya. By the 1930s they actively supported union with Tanganyika as a protection against Germany's claims to its former overseas dependencies.

World War II to independence
 The outbreak of World War II forced the colony to focus on its borders; with the entry of Italy into the war, Kenya's northern border with Ethiopia and Somaliland was briefly threatened. The colonial government then turned its attention to African political representation, and in 1944 Kenya became the first East African territory to include an African on its Legislative Council. The number was increased to two in 1946, four in 1948, and eight in 1951, although all were appointed by the governor from a list of names submitted by local governments. This, however, did not satisfy African demands for political equality. While the East African Association had been banned after Thuku's arrest, a new organization, the Kikuyu Central Association, emerged with Jomo Kenyatta (Kenyatta, Jomo) as its general secretary beginning in 1928. Kenyatta, who advocated a peaceful transition to African majority rule, traveled widely in Europe and returned in 1946 to become the president of the Kenya African Union (KAU; founded in 1944 as the Kenya African Study Union), which attempted to gain a mass African following. There were, however, Africans in the colony who felt that Kenyatta's tactics were not producing enough concrete results. One such group, which advocated a violent approach, became known as the Mau Mau. The actions attributed to the Mau Mau caused the colonial government to proclaim a state of emergency from October 1952 until 1960 and also resulted in a massive relocation of Africans, particularly Kikuyu. Kenyatta and other Africans were charged with directing the Mau Mau movement and sentenced in 1953 to seven years' imprisonment; Kenyatta was released from prison in 1959 but was then confined to his home.

      Numerous economic and social changes resulted either directly or indirectly from the Mau Mau uprising. A land-consolidation program centralized the Kikuyu into large villages. This plan was also extended to the area near Lake Victoria (Victoria, Lake) in the Nyanza province, and many thousands of Africans in Nairobi were resettled in rural detention camps. At the same time, the Swynnerton Plan (a proposal to strengthen the development of African agriculture) provided Africans more opportunities to cultivate cash crops such as coffee. Throughout the 1950s, foreign investment in Kenya continued, and limited industrial development occurred along with agricultural expansion.

      Although the leadership of the KAU had been arrested, the party was not immediately banned, because the government hoped that new party leadership might provide a more moderate approach. However, this was not forthcoming, and the party was banned by mid-1953; African political organizations were not allowed again until 1960. The Kenya African National Union (KANU), founded in May of that year and favouring a strong centralized government, was built around Kenyatta, who was still in detention. Nevertheless, in June two of KANU's founding members, Ronald Ngala and Daniel arap Moi (Moi, Daniel arap), created their own organization, the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU). KADU's position was that ethnic interests could best be addressed through a decentralized government; it was also concerned about Kikuyu domination. KANU won more seats than KADU in elections held in February 1961, but both parties called for the release of Kenyatta, who was finally freed from house detention in August. A coalition government of the two parties was formed in 1962, and after elections in May 1963 Kenyatta became prime minister under a constitution that gave Kenya self-government. Following further discussions in London, Kenya became fully independent on Dec. 12, 1963. A year later, when Kenya became a republic (with Kenyatta as its first president and Oginga Odinga (Odinga, Oginga) as vice president), most KADU members had transferred their allegiance to KANU, and KADU ceased to exist.

The Republic of Kenya
Kenyatta's rule
 In 1964 Kenyatta sought the help of British troops to suppress a mutiny by the army. The president then introduced better service conditions and promotion prospects to the army, although the proportion of Kenyatta's own Kikuyu people in the officer corps steadily increased. At the same time, to forestall any new opposition, Kenyatta tried consistently to appoint members of different ethnic groups to official posts, with all the patronage such appointments conferred. Ideological differences led to disagreements with Vice President Odinga, whom Kenyatta had appointed to satisfy the powerful Luo. Odinga believed that, by adopting a pro-Western, essentially capitalist economic policy, the government was neglecting the interests of poorer people. He broke with KANU to form a new opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), but his position was weakened by legislation that required elected officials who switched parties to resign their seats and run for reelection. By contrast, Kenyatta's authority was strengthened because greater powers had been given to the office of president.

      Kenyatta responded to Odinga's claims about his neglect of the poor by redistributing hundreds of thousands of small landholdings (land reform) to Africans; this was made possible by a satisfactory financial settlement with European farmers who were prepared to leave the country amicably. Not all the new landowners were successful, but living standards improved widely enough to ensure continued support for the government.

      The assassination in July 1969 of Tom Mboya (Mboya, Tom), a KANU founder who had been serving as minister of economic planning and development, widened still further the serious ethnic gap that had already emerged as a result of Odinga's fall from grace. Mboya, like Odinga, was a Luo, though neither had pursued ethnic goals. Their supporters among the Luo, however, believed there was a Kikuyu plot, centred on Kenyatta, that threatened Luo interests. The division grew greater after October 1969, when Odinga and some of his leading party members were arrested and the KPU was banned. The arrested men were subsequently released, and Odinga himself was freed in 1971 when the president endeavoured to achieve a measure of reconciliation and national unity. The transfer of more than 1,500,000 acres (600,000 hectares) of government land to a group of wealthy Kenyans, many of whom were Kikuyu, proved to be less profitable than had been hoped, largely because the new owners were bad managers. This and similar actions only provided more fuel for those, like Odinga (Odinga, Oginga), who accused the government of self-interest and for those who believed there was an ethnic plot to benefit the Kikuyu at the expense of other ethnic groups.

      Another coup attempt was defused in 1971, and in its wake Kenyatta once again responded by improving the pay and conditions of military service, but, at the same time, he made sure that the army remained small in size. Odinga and other former KPU leaders were prevented from running in the parliamentary elections of 1974 by new regulations that forbade the candidacy of anyone who had not been a member of KANU for the previous three years. The challenge to Kenyatta was then taken up in the National Assembly by Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, another former supporter of KANU. Kariuki was critical of growing corruption in the government, and he won considerable support when increasing oil prices and the consequent worldwide inflation caused hardship among the poorer members of the community. His murder in March 1975, which the government tried to cover up, aroused angry protests, particularly among younger members of the parliament, whose criticisms of the government came to have increasing significance.

      The question of who should succeed the aging president exacerbated the disagreements already existing among the country's leaders. Kenyatta himself encouraged no one to claim the inheritance, but leading Kikuyu who had benefited greatly under his leadership plotted to secure a complaisant successor. The attorney general, Charles Njonjo, though himself a Kikuyu, opposed such a plan, as did another Kikuyu, the minister of finance, Mwai Kibaki (Kibaki, Mwai). Together the two ensured that, upon Kenyatta's death in August 1978, he was succeeded by his deputy, Daniel arap Moi (Moi, Daniel arap), a member of the minority Kalenjin people. Moi was elected president in October, while Kibaki became vice president.

Moi's rule
      Misgivings about what would happen with the departure of such a dominant figure as Kenyatta were soon dispelled. The transfer of power took place smoothly, owing mainly to the skillful leadership of Njonjo and Kibaki, but the transition was also helped by a boom in coffee prices that eased the country's economic problems to a considerable extent. At first, Moi followed Kenyatta's policy of distributing offices among as many different ethnic groups as possible, but over the years members of his own Kalenjin group acquired a disproportionate number of appointments. Odinga was still critical of the government, and university students supported him on idealistic grounds—and also because they saw little prospect in the near future of being able to supplant those holding the limited number of lucrative offices.

      Moi felt most threatened by Njonjo. Exercising his almost unassailable presidential powers, Moi began a campaign to discredit the former kingmaker, who traded his appointment as attorney general for the more vulnerable office of a cabinet minister in the newly created Ministry of Constitutional Affairs. Njonjo's responsibilities were cut, as were those of Kibaki, who was considered by Moi to have become too powerful because he commanded widespread Kikuyu support. Although Kenya had been a de facto one-party state since 1969 (when the KPU was banned), KANU's power—as well as Moi's—was reinforced in 1982 when the KANU-dominated National Assembly amended the constitution, officially designating KANU the only legal political party in the country. Moi's position was further bolstered when the army loyally rallied to suppress an attempted coup later that same year by some of the lower-ranking officers in the air force. A number of the leaders of the rebellion were Luo, and many university students took part in the disturbances. Ethnic, idealistic, and economic motives were thus joined together in unsuccessful opposition to the government. Eager to prevent the students from becoming effective leaders of discontented groups of ethnic or impoverished minorities, Moi closed the universities temporarily when opposition was voiced. Njonjo, meanwhile, was rendered ineffective when he was found guilty of involvement in treason or subversion, although he was pardoned because of his earlier services to the country. Odinga continued to be subjected to periodic restrictions.

      Generous financial support that had come from the Western powers since independence was an important factor in ensuring that Kenya's precarious economy survived the traumas of inflation. Moi followed Kenyatta's example by continuing to align his country with the West. The enormous increase in landownership among Africans in the postindependence period also helped to create a modestly prosperous class that was anxious to avoid revolutionary change, while the powers vested in the presidency made successful opposition an unlikely prospect.

      Increasingly, however, Western financial aid came to be tied to demands for political and economic reforms. It was for this reason that in December 1991 Moi finally accepted a constitutional amendment that reinstated multiparty elections. When elections were held the following December, however, Moi was reelected, and, with the opposition divided, KANU (Kenya African National Union) won a strong majority in the National Assembly. One opposition party, Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), had been founded in 1991 but by 1992 had split into two factions: FORD-Kenya, led by Odinga until his death in 1994, and FORD-Asili, headed by Kenneth Matiba.

      Kibaki, who had left the government late in 1991, became the official leader of the opposition after elections in 1997. Many Kenyans had hoped that the various opposition parties would cooperate and field a single candidate who would oust Moi, but there were more than eight on the ballot. Moi, the incumbent, used the preexisting political network and won by a large margin. Kibaki challenged the results in court, but his case was dismissed. When appointing his cabinet, Moi selected KANU members and continued to ignore the opposition. However, in July 1999, in an apparent change of heart, Moi made Njonjo chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Services and Richard Leakey (Leakey, Richard) head of the civil service and permanent secretary to the cabinet. Leakey's popularity was cited as the main reason Moi appointed him to this post; the appointment was also seen as Moi's way of showing Kenya's commitment to tackling the issues of corruption and gross mismanagement in the government.

Kenya in the 21st century
 Moi announced in 2002 that he would not run again for the presidency, and Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Jomo Kenyatta, was chosen to be KANU's presidential candidate. Kibaki (Kibaki, Mwai), this time representing a coalition of opposition groups (the National Rainbow Coalition [NARC]), soundly defeated Kenyatta in the 2002 presidential elections, thus ending KANU's long period of uninterrupted rule.

 Although Kibaki pledged to fight the corruption that had plagued Kenya under KANU's rule, it continued to affect the country's economic and political credibility in the 21st century. In 2005 his administration was embroiled in a corruption scandal, and later that year a draft of a new constitution championed by Kibaki was defeated in a national referendum; the defeat was largely perceived as protest against Kibaki's administration. The debate over the constitution spawned a powerful new coalition of political parties, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which included KANU. In 2007 dissension caused a rift within ODM, resulting in the formation of an additional coalition group, the Orange Democratic Movement–Kenya (ODM-K).

      Kibaki prepared for the December 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections by forming a new coalition, the Party of National Unity (PNU), which included some of the political parties that had previously formed his NARC coalition. Surprisingly, PNU also included KANU despite its position as an opposition party. There were several challengers to Kibaki for the presidency, including Raila Odinga of ODM and Kalonzo Musyoka of ODM-K. The election boasted a record-high voter turnout and was one of the closest in Kenya's history. The provisional results indicated that Odinga would be victorious, but, when the final election results were released after a delay, Kibaki was declared the winner by a narrow margin. Odinga immediately disputed the outcome, and international observers questioned the validity of the final results. Widespread protests ensued throughout the country and degenerated into horrific acts of violence involving some of Kenya's many ethnic groups, most notable of which were the Kikuyu (Kibaki's group) and the Luo (Odinga's group); both groups were victims as well as perpetrators. More than 1,000 people were killed and more than 600,000 were displaced in the election's violent aftermath as efforts to resolve the political impasse between Kibaki and Odinga (including mediation attempts by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan (Annan, Kofi)) were not immediately successful.

      On Feb. 28, 2008, Kibaki and Odinga agreed to a power-sharing plan brokered by Annan and Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania and chairman of the African Union. The plan called for the formation of a coalition government between PNU and ODM and the creation of several new positions, with Kibaki to remain president and Odinga to hold the newly created post of prime minister. Despite the agreement, however, conflict persisted over the distribution of posts. After several weeks of talks, settlement on the allocation of cabinet positions between PNU and ODM members was reached, and on April 13, 2008, President Kibaki named the coalition government.

Kenneth Ingham Mwenda Ntarangwi Ed.

Additional Reading

A useful guide to the country is Joseph Bindloss, Tom Parkinson, and Matt Fletcher, Kenya (2003). A source of general information, Kenya: An Official Handbook (1988), was published by Kenya's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the 25th anniversary of independence. Guy Arnold, Modern Kenya (1981), gives a general survey of the country and its politics. Francis F. Ojany and Reuben B. Ogendo, Kenya: A Study in Physical and Human Geography, new ed. (1988); D.C. Edwards and A.V. Bogdan, Important Grassland Plants of Kenya (1951); and Richard S. Odingo, The Kenya Highlands: Land Use and Agricultural Development (1971), analyze geographic and agricultural features.Population studies include S.H. Ominde, Land and Population Movements in Kenya (1968), an early comprehensive study on the subject of migration; S.H. Ominde, Roushdi A. Henin, and David F. Sly (eds.), Population and Development in Kenya (1984), a useful focus on development implications of population growth; and S.H. Ominde (ed.), Kenya's Population Growth and Development to the Year 2000 (1988), an in-depth study.Analysis of politics from a socioeconomic perspective is provided in Jennifer Widner, The Rise of the Party-State in Kenya: From “Harambee” to “Nyayo!” (1992); Michael G. Schatzberg (ed.), The Political Economy of Kenya (1987); and Barbara P. Thomas, Politics, Participation, and Poverty: Development Through Self-Help in Kenya (1985). Geoff Sayer, Kenya: Promised Land? (1998), is an account of how individuals deal with the economic, social, and political challenges of everyday life. A contemporary analysis of politics and the process of democratization is provided in Godwin R. Murunga and Shadrack Wanjala Nasong'o, Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy (2007).

B.A. Ogot (ed.), Building on the Indigenous: Selected Essays, 1981–1998 (1999), is a collection of essays that provides a good overview of the local struggles to ascertain Kenya's intellectual culture, and his Kenya Before 1900 (1976) contains essays on aspects of the history of various African peoples from about AD 500. George Bennett, Kenya, a Political History: The Colonial Period (1963), is a brief but scholarly account. Robert L. Tignor, The Colonial Transformation of Kenya (1976), recounts the impact of colonial rule on African individuals and societies from 1900 to 1939. G.H. Mungeam, British Rule in Kenya, 1895–1912: The Establishment of Administration in the East Africa Protectorate (1966), is detailed and carefully researched. Marjorie Ruth Dilley, British Policy in Kenya Colony, 2nd ed. (1966), explains the development of a British administrative philosophy to the mid-1930s. Guy Arnold, Kenyatta and the Politics of Kenya (1974), analyzes the role of Kenyatta in the political development of Kenya from 1922.Carl G. Rosberg, Jr., and John Nottingham, The Myth of “Mau Mau”: Nationalism in Kenya (1966, reissued 1985), examines the origins and character of the rebellion. David Throup, Economic & Social Origins of Mau Mau 1945–53 (1987), is a thoughtful analysis of the conditions that led to the Mau Mau rebellion. Both Frank Furedi, The Mau Mau War in Perspective (1989); and Robert B. Edgerton, Mau Mau: An African Crucible (1989), address the question of political history as it relates to the Mau Mau and its impact on the formation of the current nation-state in Kenya.Norman Miller and Rodger Yaeger, Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity, 2nd ed. (1994), studies the politics, economics, and diplomacy of Kenya since independence. Donald Rothchild, Racial Bargaining in Independent Kenya: A Study of Minorities and Decolonization (1973), analyzes the conflict between ethnicity and national identity. Histories of political struggles and their economic implications in both colonial and independent Kenya include Paul Collier and Deepak Lal, Labour and Poverty in Kenya, 1900–1980 (1986); and Marshall S. Clough, Fighting Two Sides: Kenyan Chiefs and Politicians, 1918–1940 (1990).Mwenda Ntarangwi

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Universalium. 2010.

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