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By Exit Pages > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Kenya
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Map of Kenya
Background:Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence until his death in 1978, when 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. President MOI stepped down in December of 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition, defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform.
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
land: 569,250 sq km
water: 13,400 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:territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

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:limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
Land use:arable land: 8.08%
permanent crops: 0.98%
other: 90.94% (2001)

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 agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, 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
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 2005 est.)

Age structure:0-14 years: 42.5% (male 7,252,075/female 7,124,034)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 9,378,428/female 9,295,471)
65 years and over: 2.3% (male 356,116/female 423,466) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 18.19 years
male: 18.08 years
female: 18.3 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:2.56% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:40.13 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:14.65 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:0.08 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 (2005 est.)

Sex ratio:at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 61.47 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.26 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 58.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 47.99 years
male: 48.87 years
female: 47.09 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:4.96 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:6.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:1.2 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:150,000 (2003 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: 85.1%
male: 90.6%
female: 79.7% (2003 est.)

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

Government type:republic
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, 1982, 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 Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002) and Vice President Moody AWORI (since 25 September 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002) and Vice President Moody AWORI (since 25 September 2003); 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 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 27 December 2002 (next to be held December 2007); vice president appointed by the president
election results: President Mwai KIBAKI elected; percent of vote - Mwai KIBAKI 63%, Uhuru KENYATTA 30%

Legislative branch:unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (224 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, 2 ex-officio members)
elections: last held 27 December 2002 (next to be held by early 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NARC 125, KANU 64, FORD-P 14, other 7; ex-officio 2; seats appointed by the president - NARC 7, KANU 4, FORD-P 1

Judicial branch:Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court
Political parties and leaders:Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People or FORD-People [Kimaniwa NYOIKE, chairman]; Kenya African National Union or KANU [Uhuru KENYATTA]; National Rainbow Coalition or NARC [Mwai KIBAKI] - the governing party
Political pressure groups and leaders:human rights groups; labor unions; 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]
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 - overview:The regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. 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 0.2% 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 1.2%. Growth lagged at 1.1% in 2002 because of erratic rains, low investor confidence, meager donor support, and political infighting up to the elections. In the key 27 December 2002 elections, Daniel Arap MOI's 24-year-old reign ended, and a new opposition government took on the formidable economic problems facing the nation. In 2003, progress was made in rooting out corruption and encouraging donor support, with GDP growth edging up to 1.7%. GDP grew a moderate 2.2% in 2004.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $34.68 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:2.2% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 19.3%
industry: 18.5%
services: 62.4% (2004 est.)

Labor force:11.4 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 75% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:40% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 37.2% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:44.9 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):9% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):14.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $2.89 billion
expenditures: $3.443 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Public debt:74.3% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs
Industries:small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products; oil refining, aluminum, steel, lead, cement; commercial ship repair, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:2.6% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:4.475 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 17.7%
hydro: 71%
nuclear: 0%
other: 11.3% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:4.337 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:175 million kWh (2002)
Oil - production:0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:57,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Current account balance:$-459.2 million (2004 est.)
Exports:$2.589 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement
Exports - partners:Uganda 12.8%, UK 11.6%, US 10.4%, Netherlands 8.3%, Pakistan 5.1%, Egypt 4.7%, Tanzania 4.3% (2004)
Imports:$4.19 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
Imports - partners:UAE 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 9.6%, South Africa 9.3%, US 8%, UK 7.2%, China 6.7%, Japan 5.4%, India 4.9% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$1.5 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$6.792 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Kenyan shilling (KES)
Currency code:KES
Exchange rates:Kenyan shillings per US dollar - 79.174 (2004), 75.936 (2003), 78.749 (2002), 78.563 (2001), 76.176 (2000)
Fiscal year:1 July - 30 June
Telephones - main lines in use:328,400 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:1,590,800 (2003)
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: country code - 254; 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
Internet hosts:8,325 (2003)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):65 (2001)
Internet users:400,000 (2002)
Railways:total: 2,778 km
narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 63,942 km
paved: 7,737 km
unpaved: 56,205 km (2000)

Waterways:part of Lake Victoria system is within boundaries of Kenya (2004)
Pipelines:refined products 752 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Mombasa
Merchant marine:total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 6,049 GRT/7,082 DWT
by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1
registered in other countries: 6 (2005)

Airports:221 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 15
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 206
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 110
under 914 m: 84 (2004 est.)

Military branches:Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 7,303,153 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 3,963,532 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$177.1 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:1.3% (2004)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan's north-south separation in February 2005; Kenya provides shelter to approximately a quarter of a million refugees including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protection from Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels; Kenya's administrative limits extend beyond the treaty border into the Sudan, creating the Ilemi Triangle
Refugees and internally displaced persons::refugees (country of origin): 154,272 (Somalia) 11,139 (Ethiopia) 63,197 (Sudan)
IDPs: 350,000 (KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2004)

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; significant potential for money-laundering activity given the country's status as a regional financial center; massive corruption, and relatively high levels of narcotics-associated activities

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