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Kenya.

December 2008

BUREAU OF AFRICAN AFFAIRS In the United States Government, the Bureau of African Affairs is part of the U.S. Department of State and is charged with advising the Secretary of State on matters of Sub-Saharan Africa. The bureau was established in 1958.  

PROFILE

OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Kenya

Geography

Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities: Capital--Nairobi (pop. 2.9 million; 2007 est.). Other cities--Mombasa (828,500; 2006 est.), Kisumu (650,846; 2005-6), Nakuru (1.3 million; 2005-6), Eldoret (193,830; 1999).

Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Highlands cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate: Tropical in south, west, and central regions; arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Kenyan(s).

Population (June 2007 est.): 37.9 million.

Major ethnic groups: Kikuyu 22%, Luyia 14%, Luo 14%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%.

Religions: Christian 80%, Muslim 10%, traditional African religions 9%, Hindu/Sikh/Baha'i/Jewish 1%.

Languages: English (official), Swahili (national), over 40 other languages from the Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic linguistic groups.

Education: First 8 years of primary school are provided tuition-free by the government. In January 2008, the government began offering a program of free secondary education, subject to some restrictions. Attendance--92% for primary grades. Adult literacy rate--74%.

Health: Infant mortality (hardware) infant mortality - It is common lore among hackers (and in the electronics industry at large) that the chances of sudden hardware failure drop off exponentially with a machine's time since first use (that is, until the relatively distant time at which enough mechanical  rate--57.4/1,000. Life expectancy--55.3 yrs (2007 est.).

Work force (1.95 million formal sector wage earners): public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers--6.4 million. Services--45%; industry and commerce--35%; agriculture--20%. Structure of Economy (% of GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. ) Services--58.2%; industry and commerce--19%; agriculture--2%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: December 12, 1963.

Constitution: 1963.

Branches: Executive--president (chief of state, commander in chief of armed forces), prime minister (head of government), and two deputy prime ministers.

Legislative--unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial--Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower and special courts, includes Kadhi (Sharia) courts.

Administrative subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special provincial status. The government has gazetted 37 new districts. The process of establishing these districts is ongoing.

Political parties: Over 100 registered political parties. Two coalitions, the Party of National Unity (PNU PNU Physics News Update
PNU Party of National Unity (Kenya)
PNU Pusan National University (Korea)
PNU Philippine Normal University (Manila, Philippines)
PNU Pharmacia and Upjohn
) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) A contract manufacturer that uses its own designs and intellectual property (IP). See contract manufacturer. ), dominate the political party scene. PNU membership is filled by parties representing Kikuyu and closely related ethnic groups; ODM membership ranks are filled by parties representing nearly everybody else. PNU and ODM agreed in February 2008 to form a grand coalition government in a power-sharing arrangement that ended the political crisis erupting after highly controversial national elections in December 2007.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP (2007 est.): $29.5 billion.

Annual growth rate (2007): 6.9%.

Gross national income per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals.  (2007): $680 (Atlas Method).

Natural resources: Wildlife, soda ash, land.

Agriculture: Products--tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum pyrethrum (pīrē`thrəm): see chrysanthemum.
pyrethrum

Any of certain plant species of the genus Chrysanthemum (see
, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land--5%.

Industry: Types--petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade (2007): Exports--$4 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar fluorspar: see fluorite. . Major export markets--Uganda, United Kingdom, Tanzania, Netherlands, United States, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates, federation of sheikhdoms (2005 est. pop. 2,563,000), c.30,000 sq mi (77,700 sq km), SE Arabia, on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. . Imports--$8.5 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers--United Arab Emirates, India, China, United States, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Germany.

PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes three of Africa's major sociolinguistic so·ci·o·lin·guis·tics  
n. (used with a sing. verb)
The study of language and linguistic behavior as influenced by social and cultural factors.



so
 groups: Bantu (67%), Nilotic (30%), and Cushitic (3%). Kenyans are deeply religious. About 80% of Kenyans are Christian, 10% Muslim, and 10% follow traditional African religions or other faiths. Most city residents retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is Harambee Harambee is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events, eg. fundraising or community development activities. Harambee is also the official motto of Kenya and appears on its coat of arms. , meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

Kenya has six full-pledged public universities: University of Nairobi The University of Nairobi also known as UON is the largest university in Kenya. Although its history as an institution goes back to 1956, it did not become an independent university until 1970 when the University of East Africa was split into three independent universities: , Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Egerton University, Moi University, Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University (most of these universities also have constituent colleges); Private universities: approximately 13, including United States International University.

Enrollment: Public and private universities have a total enrollment of approximately 50,000 students with about 80% of these being enrolled in public universities (representing 25% of students who qualify for university admission). In addition more than 60,000 students enroll in middle-level colleges, where they study career courses leading to certificate, diploma, and higher diploma awards. International universities and colleges have also established campuses in Kenya where students enroll for distance learning and other flexible programs. Other Kenyan students pursue their university education abroad.

HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

Cushitic-speaking people from what is now Sudan and Ethiopia moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprise two thirds of Kenya's population. The Swahili language, a Bantu language with significant Arabic vocabulary, developed as a trade language for the region.

Arab dominance on the coast was interrupted for about 150 years following the arrival of the Portuguese in 1498. British exploration of East Africa in the mid-1800s eventually led to the establishment of Britain's East African Protectorate protectorate, in international law
protectorate, in international law, a relationship in which one state surrenders part of its sovereignty to another. The subordinate state is called a protectorate.
 in 1895. The Protectorate promoted settlement of the fertile central highlands by Europeans, dispossessing the Kikuyu and others of their land. Some fertile and well watered parts of the Rift Valley inhabited by the Maasai and the western highlands inhabited by the Kalenjin were also handed over to European settlers. For other Kenyan communities, the British presence was slight, especially in the arid northern half of the country. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before Kenya was officially made a British colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944 when a few appointed (but not elected) African African

pertaining to or originating in Africa.


African buffalo
includes black Cape buffalo, red Congo buffalo and red-brown varieties from Abyssinia to Niger. See also buffalo.
 representatives were permitted to sit in the legislature.

From 1952 to 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the "Mau Mau" insurgency against British colonial rule in general and its land policies in particular. This rebellion took place almost exclusively in the highlands of central Kenya among the Kikuyu people. Tens of thousands of Kikuyu died in the fighting or in the detention camps and restricted villages. British losses were about 650. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly.

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, an ethnic Kikuyu and head of the Kenya African National Union The Kenya African National Union, better known as KANU, ruled Kenya for nearly 40 years after its independence from British colonial rule in 1963, until its electoral loss at the end of 2002. It was known as Kenya African Union before it was renamed in 1960.  (KANU KANU Kenya African National Union ), became Kenya's first President. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union The Kenya African Democratic Union was a political party in Kenya. It was founded in 1960 as an alternative to Jomo Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union (KANU). It was led by Ronald Ngala.  (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU KPU Komisi Pemilihan Umum (Indonesia National Elections Commission)
KPU Korea Polytechnic University
KPU Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey, BC, Canada) 
), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. The KPU was banned shortly thereafter, however, and its leader detained. KANU became Kenya's sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi Daniel Toroitich arap Moi (born September 2, 1924) was the President of Kenya from 1978 until 2002.

Daniel Arap Moi is popularly known to Kenyans as 'Nyayo', a Swahili word for 'footsteps'.
, a Kalenjin from Rift Valley province Rift Valley Province of Kenya, bordering Uganda, is one of Kenya's seven administrative provinces outside Nairobi. Rift Valley Province is the largest and one of the most economically vibrant provinces in Kenya. , became interim President. By October of that year, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee for the presidential election.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state. Two months later, young military officers in league with some opposition elements attempted to overthrow the government in a violent but ultimately unsuccessful coup. In response to street protests and donor pressure, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution in December 1991. In 1992, independent Kenya's first multiparty elections were held. Divisions in the opposition contributed to Moi's retention of the presidency in 1992 and again in the 1997 election. Following the 1997 election Kenya experienced its first coalition government as KANU was forced to cobble together a majority by bringing into government a few minor parties.

In October 2002, a coalition of opposition parties formed the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC 'narc' American slang for narcotics enforcement agent. Cf Narks. ). In December 2002, the NARC candidate, Mwai Kibaki, was elected the country's third President. President Kibaki received 62% of the vote, and NARC also won 59% of the parliamentary seats. Kibaki, a Kikuyu from Central province, had served as a member of parliament since Kenya's independence in 1963. He served in senior posts in both the Kenyatta and Moi governments, including Vice President and Finance Minister. In 2003, internal conflicts disrupted the NARC government. In 2005 these conflicts came into the open when the government put its draft constitution to a public referendum--key government ministers organized the opposition to the draft constitution, which was defeated soundly. In 2007 two principal leaders of the movement to defeat the draft constitution, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka--both former Kibaki allies--were presidential candidates for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and the Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya (ODM-K) party, respectively. In September 2007, President Kibaki and his allies formed the coalition Party of National Unity (PNU). KANU joined the PNU coalition, although it was serving in parliament as the official opposition party.

On December 27, 2007, Kenya held presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections. While the parliamentary and local government elections were largely credible, the presidential election was seriously flawed, with irregularities in the vote tabulation process as well as turnout in excess of 100% in some constituencies. On December 30, the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya declared incumbent Mwai Kibaki as the winner of the presidential election. Violence erupted in different parts of Kenya as supporters of opposition candidate Raila Odinga and supporters of Kibaki clashed with police and each other. The post-election crisis left more than 1,000 Kenyans dead and about 600,000 people became refugees or were internally displaced. In order to resolve the crisis, negotiation teams representing PNU and ODM began talks under the auspices of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Panel of Eminent African Persons (Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Graca Machel of Mozambique). On February 28, 2008, President Kibaki and Raila Odinga signed a power-sharing agreement, which provided for the establishment of a prime minister position (to be filled by Odinga) and two deputy prime minister A Deputy Prime Minister or Vice Prime Minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting Prime Minister when the real Prime Minister is temporarily absent.  positions, as well as the division of an expanded list of cabinet posts according to the parties' proportional representation proportional representation: see representation.
proportional representation

Electoral system in which the share of seats held by a political party in the legislature closely matches the share of popular votes it received.
 in parliament. On March 18, 2008, the Kenyan parliament amended the constitution and adopted legislation to give legal force to the agreement. On April 17, 2008 the new coalition cabinet and Prime Minister Odinga were sworn in. Negotiations are ongoing regarding longer-term reform issues, including constitutional reform, land tenure reform, judicial reform, and the need to address poverty and inequality.

GOVERNMENT

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of 5 years from single-member constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president; under the power-sharing agreement, the president with the agreement of the prime minister makes the initial appointment of cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly. Subsequent cabinet appointments are made by the president in consultation with the prime minister, in accord with the power-sharing agreement's proportional division of cabinet positions. The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a Chief Justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal, all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a commissioner appointed by the president. The government has proposed 37 more districts, but these are not yet ratified by parliament. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. Nairobi has special provincial status. The Ministry of State in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security supervises the administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials

President--Mwai Kibaki

Vice President--Kalonzo Musyoka

Prime Minister--Raila Odinga

Minister of Foreign Affairs--Moses Wetangula

Ambassador to the United States--Peter Ogego

Ambassador to the United Nations--Zachary Muita-Muburi

Consulate General Los Angeles--Ms. Nyambura Kamau

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-6101, website: http://www.kenyaembassy.com/) and consulates in Los Angeles and New York.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Until post-election political unrest struck in early 2008, Kenya had, since independence, maintained considerable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. This had been particularly true since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy and the accompanying increase in freedom (including freedom of speech, the press, and assembly).

In December 2002, Kenyans held democratic and open elections, which were judged free and fair by international observers. The 2002 elections marked an important turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution as the presidency and the parliamentary majority passed from the party that had ruled Kenya since independence to a coalition of new political parties. The government lost a referendum over its draft constitution in November 2005. This vote too was widely accepted as free, fair, and credible.

Under the first presidency of Mwai Kibaki, the NARC coalition promised to focus its efforts on generating economic growth, improving and expanding education, combating corruption, and rewriting the constitution. The first two goals were largely met, but progress toward the second two goals was limited. President Kibaki's cabinet from 2002-2005 consisted of members of parliament from allied parties and others recruited from opposition parties who joined the cabinet without the approval of their party leaderships.

In early 2006, revelations from investigative reports of two major government-linked corruption scandals rocked Kenya and led to resignations, including three ministers (one of whom was later re-appointed). In March 2006, another major scandal was uncovered involving money laundering and tax evasion in the Kenyan banking system. The government's March 2006 raid on the Standard Group media house conducted by masked Kenyan police was internationally condemned and was met with outrage by Kenya media and civil society. The government did not provide a sufficient explanation. No one has been held accountable.

The December 2007 elections were marred by serious irregularities, and set off a wave of violence throughout Kenya. Following the February 2008 signing of a power-sharing agreement between President Kibaki and the opposition, a new coalition cabinet was sworn in April 2008, headed by Prime Minister Odinga. The 42-member cabinet is the largest in Kenya's history and includes new ministries for cooperative development, Northern Kenya development, and Nairobi metropolitan development. Several ministries were also subdivided, creating a number of new cabinet positions.

With the creation of the coalition government, the Kenyan Government will focus its attention on achieving its ambitious reform agenda, aimed at avoiding a repeat of early 2008's post-election political and tribal violence. The government also plans to draft a new constitution by mid-2009, specifically to address land rights issues and to restructure the government by strengthening institutions to create a more effective system of checks and balances.

ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder Noun 1. smallholder - a person owning or renting a smallholding
Britain, Great Britain, U.K., UK, United Kingdom, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and
 agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation. After experiencing moderately high growth rates during the 1960s and 1970s, Kenya's economic performance during the 1980s and 1990s was far below its potential. The economy grew by an annual average of only 1.5% between 1997 and 2002, which was below the population growth estimated at 2.5% per annum, leading to a decline in per capita incomes. The decline in economic performance was largely due to inappropriate agricultural, land, and industrial policies compounded by poor international terms of trade Terms of trade

The weighted average of a nation's export prices relative to its import prices.
. Increased government intrusion into the private sector and import substitution policies made manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The policy environment along with tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment unattractive for both foreign and domestic investors.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991. In the mid-1990s, the government implemented economic reform measures to stabilize the economy and restore sustainable growth. In 1994, nearly all administrative controls on producer and retail prices, imports, foreign exchange and grain marketing were removed. The Government of Kenya privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. By the mid-1990s, the government lifted price controls on petroleum products. In 1995, foreigners were allowed to invest in the Nairobi Stock Exchange The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is the stock exchange of Kenya. It began in 1954 as an overseas stock exchange while Kenya was still a British colony with permission of the London Stock Exchange. The NSE is a member of the African Stock Exchanges Association.  (NSE NSE - Network Software Environment: a proprietary CASE framework from Sun Microsystems. ). In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the International Monetary Fund (IMF IMF

See: International Monetary Fund


IMF

See International Monetary Fund (IMF).
) on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority in 1999, and the adoption of measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) is an arm of the International Monetary Fund which lends to the world's poorest countries. It was created in September of 1999, replacing the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility.  (PRGF PRGF Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility ), and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit. The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs.

Economic growth began to recover after 2002, registering 2.8% growth in 2003, 4.3% in 2004, 5.8% in 2005, 6.1% in 2006, and 7.0% in 2007. However, the violence that broke out after the December 27, 2007 general election paralyzed the economy in January and early February 2008 and closed the Northern Corridor in Rift Valley province, cutting off vital shipments of fuel and other goods to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Tourists fled, and agricultural production in the breadbasket Rift Valley region was crippled. The manufacturing sector had to cut back operations by 70%, as unsafe roads prevented movement of workers, inputs, or products, and congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.

congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity.
 at the Port of Mombasa slowed imports and exports. The signing of a reconciliation agreement on February 28 put the economy back on track, but the damage in the first quarter to agriculture, tourism, consumption, investment, and the financial, transport, and construction sectors is expected to shave 2008 economic growth from the 8% forecast to around 4%. Governments in major source countries for tourists to Kenya have lifted their travel advisories, and the Kenyan Government and tourism industry will make strenuous efforts to bring tourists back, but revenues will be a small fraction of the approximately $1 billion earned in 2007.

During President Kibaki's first term in office (2003-2007), the Government of Kenya began an ambitious economic reform program and resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government enacted the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and Public Officers Ethics Act in May 2003 aimed at fighting graft in public offices. There was some movement to reduce corruption in 2003, but the government did not sustain that momentum. Other reforms, especially in the judiciary, public procurement, etc., led to the unlocking of donor aid and a renewed hope of economic revival.

In November 2003, following the signing into law of key anti-corruption legislation and other reforms by the Kibaki government, donors reengaged as the IMF approved a three-year $250 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and donors committed $4.2 billion in support over 4 years. In December 2004, the IMF approved Kenya's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement equivalent to U.S. $252.8 million to support the government's economic and governance reforms. The IMF program concluded without full implementation and the GoK currently has no IMF program.

The government's ability to stimulate economic demand through fiscal and monetary policy remains fairly limited, while the pace at which the government is pursuing reforms in other key areas remains slow. The Privatization Law was enacted in 2005, but only became operational as of January 1, 2008. Parastatals Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Telkom Kenya, and Kenya Re-Insurance have been privatized. Kenya Railways is operating under a long-term management concession, and the government sold 25% of Safaricom (10 billion shares) in 2008, reducing its share to 35%. Accelerating growth to achieve Kenya's potential and reduce the poverty that afflicts about 46% of its population will require continued de-regulation of business, improved delivery of government services, addressing structural reforms, massive investment in new infrastructure (especially roads), reduction of chronic insecurity caused by crime, and improved economic governance generally. The government's Vision 2030 plan calls for these reforms, but implementation will be delayed by the reconstruction effort, coalition politics, and line ministries' limited capacity. In June 2008, the government introduced a revised but still ambitious Vision 2030 plan that seeks to address the economic challenges stemming from the political crisis while still striving to meet growth benchmarks.

Economic expansion is fairly broad-based and is built on a stable macro-environment fostered by government, and the resilience, resourcefulness, and improved confidence of the private sector. Despite the post-election crisis, Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. On January 31, 2007, the government signed a $2.7 million contract with Tyco Telecommunications to perform an undersea survey for the construction of a fiber-optic cable to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) called the East African Marine Systems (TEAMS). Two other fiber-optic cables projects are being pursued to link Kenya to the rest of East Africa and India. Once TEAMS and the domestic fiber-optic cables planned by the government are completed, the economy is expected to benefit significantly from reduced internet access prices and improved capacity. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branches or representative offices in the city.

In 2007, horticulture exports rose 65% to U.S. $1.12 billion, surpassing tourism as the largest foreign exchange earner. Tourism earned Kenya U.S. $972 million in 2007, up from U.S. $803 million in 2006, followed by tea exports of U.S. $638.9 million. Africa is Kenya's largest export market, followed by the European Union (EU). Kenya benefits significantly from the African Growth and Opportunity Act In May 2000, the U.S. Congress approved legislation known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA (Title I, Trade and Development Act of 2000; P.L. 106-200).  (AGOA AGOA African Growth and Opportunity Act ), but the apparel industry is struggling to hold its ground against Asian competition. Currently there are 21 apparel factories and one yarn factory operating in the Export Processing Zones. Ninety-eight percent of AGOA exports are garments, and garment exports under AGOA fell from U.S. $265 million in 2006 to U.S. $250 million in 2007.

Kenya does not systematically collect foreign direct investment (FDI FDI

See: Foreign direct investment
) statistics and its historical performance in attracting FDI has been relatively weak. The stock of FDI in 2005 was estimated to be about $1.04 billion, less than half of that in neighboring Tanzania. Net foreign direct investment (FDI) was negative from 2000-2003, but started trickling back in 2004 and showed a significant increase in 2007 .

Remittances are Kenya's single largest source of foreign exchange. According to the World Bank's Migrations and Remittances Factbook 2008, remittances rose from U.S. $338.3 million in 2004 to U.S. $1.3 billion in 2007, equivalent to 5.3% of the GDP but there has been a significant decrease in 2008.

Kenya faces profound environmental challenges brought on by high population growth, deforestation deforestation

Process of clearing forests. Rates of deforestation are particularly high in the tropics, where the poor quality of the soil has led to the practice of routine clear-cutting to make new soil available for agricultural use.
, shifting climate patterns, and the overgrazing of cattle in marginal areas in the north and west of the country. Significant portions of the population will continue to require emergency food assistance in the coming years.

Kenya is pursuing regional economic integration, which will enhance ong term growth prospects. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation with plans to form a country called East African Federation [1] with one President by 2010[2] ruling over what were countries of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.  (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures. In March 2004, the three East African countries signed a Customs Union Agreement paving the way for a common market. The Customs Union and a Common External Tariff When a group of countries form a customs union they must introduce a common external tariff. The same customs duties, import quotas, preferences or other non-tariff barriers to trade apply to all goods entering the area, regardless of which country within the area they are entering.  were established on January 1, 2005, but the EAC countries are still working out exceptions to the tariff. Rwanda and Burundi joined the community in July 2007. In May 2007, during a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, is a preferential trading area with twenty member states stretching from Libya to Zimbabwe. COMESA formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981.  (COMESA COMESA Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa ) Summit, 13 heads of state endorsed a move to adopt a COMESA customs union and set December 8, 2008 as the target date for its adoption. In October 2008, the heads of State of EAC, COMESA and SADC SADC Southern African Development Community
SADC State Agriculture Development Committee
SADC St Albans District Council (administrative authority for St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK)
SADC Sector Air Defense Commander
 agreed to work toward a free trade area among all three Economic groups with the eventual goal of establishing a customs union.

Media

The key independent print media in Kenya are the Nation Media Group, the Standard Group, People Limited, and the Times Media Group. The Nation Media Group publications, which include the Daily Nation, the Sunday Nation, the Business Daily, the weekly East African, and the only Swahili publications, Taifa Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac.
 and Taifa Jumapili, have the largest circulations. The Standard and the Sunday Standard, published by the Standard Group, are also popular newspapers, although with smaller circulations. Approximately 120 foreign correspondents representing 100 media organizations report from Nairobi. There is no government-owned or controlled newspaper.

Major independent radio and television media are the Kenya Television Network Kenya Television Network (KTN) is a leading television station in Kenya with its headquarters at the I & M Towers in downtown Nairobi. It was founded in March 1990 by Jared Kamgwana and was the first non-pay TV-station in Kenya, and the first to break KBC's monopoly in Kenya.  (KTN Ktn Kaernten (German: Carinthia; Austria Europe)
KTN Knowledge Transfer Network
KTN Kenya Television Network
KTN Kawish Television Network (Pakistan) 
), the broadcast media arm of the Standard Group; Nation Radio/TV, owned by the Nation Media Group; and Citizen Radio/Television, owned by Royal Media Services. The government owns and controls the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is the state-run media (Radio and Television) organization of Kenya. It broadcasts in both English and Swahili, as well as in most local languages of Kenya. The corporation started its life in 1928 when Kenya was a British colony.  (KBC KBC Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
KBC Kaun Banega Crorepati (Indian TV show)
KBC Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (Anchorage, Alaska)
KBC Keyboard Connector
KBC Kill Before Capture
) and its subsidiaries. KBC is the only national radio and television network.

Kenya also has hundreds of FM radio stations, some broadcasting in Swahili or in local languages. Radio has a wide reach in Kenya, especially in rural areas. Some major international broadcasters, including British Broadcasting Corporation (company) British Broadcasting Corporation - (BBC) The non-commercial UK organisation that commissions, produces and broadcasts television and radio programmes.

The BBC commissioned the "BBC Micro" from Acorn Computers for use in a television series about using computers.
 (BBC BBC
 in full British Broadcasting Corp.

Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927.
), Voice of America (VOA) and Radio France Internationale Radio France Internationale (RFI) was created in 1975 as part of Radio France by the Government of France to serve as a broadcast vehicle for French Equatorial Africa. In 1986 a new law passed by the French Parliament allowed RFI to operate independently of Radio France.  (RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) High-frequency electromagnetic waves that emanate from electronic devices such as chips.

RFI - Radio Frequency Interference
), rebroadcast their programming in Kenya.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania are strengthening as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit.

Kenya has hosted and played an active role in the negotiations to resolve the civil war in Sudan and to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia. On January 9, 2005 a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Negotiations in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference resulted at the end of 2004 in the establishing of Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (Assembly, President, Prime Minister, and Government). Until early 2005, Kenya served as a major host both for these institutions. Between May and June 2005, members of the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions relocated to Somalia. Kenya is host to more than 300,000 refugees, of which 242,000 are from Somalia and the remainder primarily from Sudan and Ethiopia.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.

U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. Relations became even closer after Kenya's democratic transition of 2002 and subsequent improvements in human rights.

More than 9,000 U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy as residents of Kenya. In 2007 almost 100,000 Americans visited Kenya, up 18% from 2006. About two-thirds of resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry.

Al Qaeda terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998, taking hundreds of lives and maiming thousands more. Since that event, the Kenyan and U.S. Governments have intensified cooperation to address all forms of insecurity in Kenya, including terrorism. The United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military. In its dialog with the Kenyan Government, the United States urges effective action against corruption and insecurity as the two greatest impediments to Kenya achieving sustained, rapid economic growth.

U.S. assistance to Kenya is substantial. It promotes broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. The U.S. assistance strategy is built around five broad objectives: Fighting disease and improving healthcare; fighting poverty and promoting private sector-led prosperity; advancing shared democratic values, human rights, and good governance; cooperating to fight insecurity and terrorism; and collaborating to foster peace and stability in East Africa. The Peace Corps, which usually has about 150 volunteers in Kenya, is integral to the overall U.S. assistance strategy in Kenya. Peace Corps volunteers were withdrawn from Kenya due to instability and civil unrest in early 2008, but the program resumed Kenya operations within a few months.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Michael E. Ranneberger

Deputy Chief of Mission--Pamela Slutz

USAID USAID United States Agency for International Development
USAID Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (Spanish) 
 Mission Director--Erna Kerst

Public Affairs Officer--T.J. Dowling

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya is located on UN Avenue, Nairobi, P.O. Box 606, Village Market, Nairobi (tel. 254-20-363-6000; fax 254-20-363-6157).

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program advises Americans traveling and residing abroad through Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings. Country Specific Information exists for all countries and includes information on entry and exit requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, safety and security, crime, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. Travel Alerts are issued to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country because the situation is dangerous or unstable.

For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs The Bureau of Consular Affairs is a bureau of the United States Department of State within that department's management office. The mission of the Bureau is to administer laws, formulate regulations and implement policies relating to the broad range of consular services and  Internet web site at http://www.travel.state.gov/, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings can be found. Consular Affairs Publications, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are also available at http://www.travel.state.gov/. For additional information on international travel, see http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Travel/International.shtml.

The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department's travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or the regular toll line 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the U.S. and Canada.

The National Passport Information Center (NPIC NPIC National Pesticide Information Center (formerly NPTN)
NPIC National Passport Information Center
NPIC National Photographic Interpretation Center
NPIC National Photographic Intelligence Center
) is the U.S. Department of State's single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport information. Telephone: 1-877-4-USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778); TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793. Passport information is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. You may speak with a representative Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern Time, excluding federal holidays.

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), agency of the U.S. Public Health Service since 1973, with headquarters in Atlanta; it was established in 1946 as the Communicable Disease Center.  in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) and a web site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx give the most recent health advisories, immunization immunization: see immunity; vaccination.  recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. The CDC publication "Health Information for International Travel" can be found at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentYellowBook.aspx.

Further Electronic Information

Department of State Web Site. Available on the Internet at http://www.state.gov/, the Department of State web site provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information, including Background Notes and daily press briefings along with the directory of key officers of Foreign Service posts and more. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC OSAC Overseas Security Advisory Council (US State Department)
OSAC Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils
OSAC Overseas Schools Advisory Council
OSAC Operational Support Airlift Command (United States Army) 
) provides security information and regional news that impact U.S. companies working abroad through its website http://www.osac.gov/

Export.gov provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market information offered by the federal government and provides trade leads, free export counseling, help with the export process, and more.

STAT-USA/Internet, a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative economic, business, and international trade information from the Federal government. The site includes current and historical trade-related releases, international market research, trade opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the National Trade Data Bank.
COPYRIGHT 2009 U.S. Department of State
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Publication:Background Notes
Article Type:Country overview
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Jan 1, 2009
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