Africa: Kenya

About Kenya

Revered 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 elections that have to be held by early 2003.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Nairobi
Population: 30,765,916
Percent below poverty: 42% (1992 est.)
Language: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Date of independence: 12 December 1963 (from UK)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife, hydropower
Environmental 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
Agricultural Products: coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs
Imports: machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, iron and steel
Exports: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, fish, cement
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: UK 12%, UAE 8%, Japan 8%, US 7% (1999)
EXPORTS: Uganda 18%, UK 15%, Tanzania 12%, Pakistan 8% (1999)


Kenya Headlines


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