[Country map of Kenya]



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

Map references: Africa

total area: 582,650 sq km
land area: 569,250 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

Land boundaries: total 3,446 km, Ethiopia 830 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

International disputes: administrative boundary with Sudan does not coincide with international boundary; possible claim by Somalia based on unification of ethnic Somalis

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

Natural resources: gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barytes, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 7%
forest and woodland: 4%
other: 85%

Irrigated land: 520 sq km (1989)

current issues: water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification

Note: the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers on Mt. Kenya; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value


Population: 28,817,227 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (female 6,841,235; male 6,957,908)
15-64 years: 50% (female 7,277,061; male 7,085,925)
65 years and over: 2% (female 359,659; male 295,439) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.99% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 41.66 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 12.04 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -19.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 73.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.41 years
male: 50.72 years
female: 54.16 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.76 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Kenyan(s)
adjective: Kenyan

Ethnic divisions: Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, Asian, European, and Arab 1%, other 15%

Religions: Protestant (including Anglican) 38%, Roman Catholic 28%, indigenous beliefs 26%, other 8%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 71%
male: 81%
female: 62%

Labor force:
by occupation: agriculture 75%-80% (1993 est.), non-agriculture 20%-25% (1993 est.)


conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
conventional short form: Kenya
former: British East Africa

Digraph: KE

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, and 1992

Legal system: based on 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 and head of government: President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI (since 14 October 1978); Vice President George SAITOTI (since 10 May 1989); election last held on 29 December 1992 (next to be held NA 1997); results - President Daniel T. arap MOI was reelected with 37% of the vote; Kenneth Matiba (FORD-ASILI) 26%; Mwai Kibaki (SP) 19%, Oginga Odinga (FORD-Kenya) 17%
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Bunge): elections last held on 29 December 1992 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (188 total) KANU 100, FORD-Kenya 31, FORD-Asili 31, DP 23, smaller parties 3; president nominates 12 additional members
note: first multiparty election since repeal of one-party state law in 1991

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, High Court

Political parties and leaders: ruling party is Kenya African National Union (KANU), President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI; opposition parties include Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-Kenya), Michael WAMALWA; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD-Asili), Kenneth MATIBA; Democratic Party of Kenya (DP), Mwai KIBAKI

Other political or pressure groups: labor unions; Roman Catholic Church


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Benjamin Edgar KIPKORIR
chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aurelia BRAZEAL
embassy: corner of Moi Avenue and Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi
mailing address: P. O. Box 30137, Unit 64100, Nairobi; APO AE 09831
telephone: [254] (2) 334141
FAX: [254] (2) 340838

Flag: 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


Overview: Kenya in recent years has had one of the highest natural rates of growth in population, but the statistics have been complicated by the large-scale movement of nomadic groups and of Somalis back and forth across the border. Population growth has been accompanied by deforestation, deterioration in the road system, the water supply, and other parts of the infrastructure. In industry and services, Nairobi's reluctance to embrace IMF-supported reforms had held back investment and growth in 1991-93. Nairobi's push on economic reform in 1994, however, helped support a 3.3% increase in output.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $33.1 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3.3% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,170 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 30% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 35% urban (1994 est.)

revenues: $2.4 billion
expenditures: $2.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $740 million (1990 est.)

Exports: $1.45 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: tea 25%, coffee 18%, petroleum products 11% (1990)
partners: EC 47%, Africa 23%, Asia 11%, US 4%, Middle East 3% (1991)

Imports: $1.85 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: machinery and transportation equipment 29%, petroleum and petroleum products 15%, iron and steel 7%, raw materials, food and consumer goods (1989)
partners: EC 46%, Asia 23%, Middle East 20%, US 5% (1991)

External debt: $7 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 3.9% (1991 est.); accounts for 14% of GDP

capacity: 810,000 kW
production: 3.3 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 117 kWh (1993)

Industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), processing agricultural products, oil refining, cement, tourism

Agriculture: most important sector, accounting for 27% of GDP and 65% of exports; cash crops - coffee, tea; food products - corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables, dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs

Illicit drugs: widespread harvesting of small, wild plots of marijuana and qat; most locally consumed; transit country for Southwest Asian heroin moving to West Africa and onward to Europe and North America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $839 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $7.49 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $74 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $83 million

Currency: 1 Kenyan shilling (KSh) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Kenyan shillings (KSh) per US$1 - 44.478 (January 1995), 56.051 (1994), 58.001 (1993), 32.217 (1992), 27.508 (1991), 22.915 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


total: 2,650 km
narrow gauge: 2,650 km 1.000-m gauge

total: 64,590 km
paved: 7,000 km
unpaved: gravel 4,150 km; improved earth 53,440 km

Inland waterways: part of Lake Victoria system is within boundaries of Kenya

Pipelines: petroleum products 483 km

Ports: Kisumu, Lamu, Mombasa

Merchant marine:
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,883 GRT/6,255 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, oil tanker 1

total: 246
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 22
with paved runways under 914 m: 83
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 14
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 119


Telephone system: over 260,000 telephones; in top group of African systems
local: NA
intercity: consists primarily of microwave radio relay links
international: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 4, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 6
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, paramilitary General Service Unit of the Police

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 6,358,344; males fit for military service 3,932,506 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $136 million, 1.9% of GDP (FY93/94)