Kenya – Country Information

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kenya – Country Information

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Perhaps the origin of the first human, Kenya has a history extending back many thousands of years.

In recent times, it was a British colony until gaining independence in 1963. From that year until 2002 there were only two presidents. After President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi stepped down in 2002 (after 24 years in power) there have been a series of open elections, though with accusations of fraud each time. The 2007 presidential election between the incumbent Mwai Kibaki and Raili Odinga led to violence amid concerns of vote rigging by the ruling party. More than 1,000 people died in the ensuing turmoil, though the situation has since been peaceful under a coalition government. New elections in March 2013 went off with relatively little violence or upheaval, and was seen preliminarily as a victory for Kenyan democracy.

Varies from tropical on the coast to a dry interior. Landforms also vary, with vast plains and plateaus as well as impressive mountain ranges.

Population – 40.46 million
Median Age – 18.8 years
Population Growth Rate – 2.588%
Life Expectancy – 58.82 years
Literacy – 85.1%
Average Number of Years of Schooling – 10 years (male), 9 years (female)
Urban population – 22%

English and Swahili are both official and widely spoken. Many indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country as well.

Many ethnicities, the largest of which is the Kikuyu (24%). No other single ethnicity consists of more than 14% of the country.

Mostly Christian (78%), with sizeable minorities of adherents to Islam and various indigenous beliefs.

GDP Per Capita – $1,600 (2009 est.)

GDP Composition by Sector:
Agriculture: 21.4%
Industry: 16.3%
Services: 62.3% (2009 EST.)

This heavy tilt toward services mostly reflects the tourism industry, which has been the country’s biggest earner of foreign currency in recent years.

Labor Force by Occupation:
Agriculture: 75%
Industry and services: 25%

Main Exports:
tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement

What it is known for:
•  Impressive wildlife and wildlife based tourism
•  Safaris and the Serengeti Plain
•  Mount Kilimanjaro

BWA’s Focus Areas in Kenya:
•  Water
•  Food Self-Sufficiency
•  Orphan Care
•  Education






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