The Republic of Kenya, also known as “Jamhuri ya Kenya” in Swahili, is a country located in East Africa, Africa. It is 580.367 square kilometers and has a population of over 53 million people. Kenyan time is +3hours GMT/UTC and is abbreviated EAT meaning East African Time. Kenya is the 48th largest country and the 29th most populous in the world. The Kenyan Flag has four colors; Black representing the people of the republic of Kenya, White signifying peace, honesty and prosperity, Red signifying the blood that was shed during the fight for independence, and Green symbolizing the countries natural wealth and landscape. Nairobi is its capital, an urban center with modern skyscrapers like other metropolises in the world. The official languages are English and Kiswahili.
Kenya was inhabited from as early as 2,000 BC by a group of hunters and gatherers, the herders joined them much later. In about 800 AD the Arabs set sail for Kenya, that’s where Swahili culture was born after they inter married with the locals.
In 1498 the first European set foot on Kenyan soil. His name was Vasco da Gama from Portugal. The Portuguese reigned in the coastal part of Kenya for 2 centuries without venturing inland. They brought with them new crops like cassava and maize.
The Colonial era
The British had taken control of Kenya by the end of 19th century. Joseph Thompson was sent to map Kenya in 1883 and 2 years later in 1885 there was the partition and scramble for Africa, where the European powers divided Africa between themselves at a conference known as the Berlin Conference and Britain was awarded Kenya.
In 1887, the Imperial British East Africa Company was formed and they ruled over Kenya. By 1895 the British government took over the administration of Kenya. From 1895 to 1901 the British embarked on penetrating inland and constructed the railway throughout the region. Early 20th century white settlers were flocking Kenya, grabbing the best land and forcing the Africans into reserves. Indian traders officially became the middle class.
Kenyans as like most other Africans, resisted British rule in Kenya. The East African Association was formed in 1921 to fight for people’s rights. In 1924 it was transformed into the Central Kikuyu Association and Jomo Kenyatta became its secretary. With the opening of schools in Kenya, more people became literate, many of whom fought in World War II. After the war, they became second-class citizens again. The resistance became so intense, giving way to the uprising of the Mau Mau.
1952 is when the MauMau was born and members were given an oath to kill British and African collaborators. Kenya declared a state of emergency in 1952. The British army that had been sent to fight the uprising began detaining Kikuyus in concentration camps in 1953.. By the end of 1956, the British had managed to silence the insurgents and the insurgency was over.
The thirst for Kenya’s independence was unstoppable and in 1961 KANU “Kenya African National Union” was founded. The new party won the most of the seats in the Kenyan assembly in elections held in 1963. On December 12, 1963, Kenya finally became independent. Jomo Kenyatta was sworn as the first president and in 1964 Kenya joined the commonwealth.
Kenyan prospered greatly and agriculture developed quickly in the late 1960s and early 1970. The first president of Kenya died in 1978 ushering in Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, who was the Vice President then as the second president of Kenya. In 1982, there was a failed coup-de-tat attempt whereby a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force tried to overthrow President Moi’s government, leading to the abolishment of opposition parties. The constitution was later amended in 1987 to strengthen Moi’s powers, and in the 1990s there was an increasing opposition against Moi.
The multi-party system was introduced in 1991 but Moi still won 1992, and 1997 elections despite the growing opposition. 1998 was a sad year for Kenya when there was a terrorist attack and a bomb detonating at the US embassy in Nairobi, 224 people lost their lives.
Emilio Mwai Kibaki took over from Moi in 2002 becoming Kenya’s third president and introduced free education in 2003. He was re-elected in 2008 for his second term in office. In 2010, a new constitution was promulgated in Kenya. The Kenya current and the fourth president is Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, Son to the 1st president of Kenta. He was elected in 2013 and is in his 2nd and last term in office.
The Gross domestic product (GDP) in Kenya was $ 95.50 billion in 2019, according to official World Bank data and commercial economy projections. The value of Kenya’s GDP represents 0.08% of the world economy.
The Indian Ocean is to the southeast border of Kenya, to the northwest is South-Sudan, to the north is Ethiopia, and to the south Tanzania, Uganda to the west and to the east Somalia. In 2020, Kenya ranked third among the growing and biggest economies in sub-Saharan Africa along with Nigeria and South Africa, respectively.
Kenyan Cities and Towns
There are only three cities in Kenya, Nairobi is the largest and the country’s Capital, followed by Mombasa the coastal city, and third largest being the inland port city, Kisumu. Apart from these cities, here is the list of the most popular towns and municipalities in Kenya.
Distribution of towns in Kenya
|County||Number of Cities/ Towns|
|Kisumu, Kisii, Siaya||5|
|Machakos, Kericho, Kilifi, Nakuru, Bungoma||4|
|Busia, Taita-Taveta , Kajiado, Kakamega, Migori, Homa Bay, Laikipia||3|
|Embu, Vihiga, Kitui, Murang’a, Nyamira, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Meru, Turkana||2|
|Nyandarua, Baringo, Bomet, Elgeyo-Marakwet, , West Pokot , Samburu, Isiolo, Kirinyaga, Kwale, Mandera, Marsabit, Mombasa, Nairobi, Nandi, Narok, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi, Wajir Garissa.||1|
Counties and Constituencies
After the promulgation of the new constitution, the then districts were given county status. Here is the list of all the 47 counties, their county code and their constituencies.
001. Mombasa County
Constituencies: Jomvu, Kisauni, Mvita, Nyali, likoni, Changamwe
002. Kwale County
Constituencies: Lunga Lunga, Msambweni, Kinango, Matuga
003. Kilifi County
Constituencies: Magarini, Kilifi South, Rabai, Ganze, Kaloleni, Malindi, Kilifi North
004. Tana River County
Constituencies: Garsen, Bura, Galole
005. Lamu County
Constituencies: Lamu West, Lamu East
006. Taita Taveta County
Constituencies: Voi ,Taveta, Mwatate, Wundanyi
007. Garissa County
Constituencies: Dadaab, Garissa Township (Formerly Dujis), Ijara, Balambala, Lagdera, Fafi
008. Wajir County
Constituencies Wajir West, Wajir East, Eldas, Wajir South, Wajir North, Tarbaj
009. Mandera County
Constituencies: Mandera South, Lafey, Banisa, Mandera North, Mandera East, Mandera West
010. Marsabit County
Constituencies: Saku, Moyale, Laisamis, North Horr
011. Isiolo County
Constituencies: Isiolo South, Isiolo North,
012. Meru County
Constituencies: Tigania East, Igembe South, Igembe North, South Imenti, Tigania West, North Imenti, Buuri, Central Imenti, Igembe Central
013. Tharaka Nithi County
Constituencies: Chuka/Igambang’ombe, Maara, Tharaka,
014. Embu County
Constituencies: Manyatta, Runyenjes, Mbeere North, Mbeere South
Constituencies: Kitui Central, Kitui East, Mwingi West, Kitui Rural, Kitui South, Kitui West, Mwingi Central, Mwingi North,
016. Machakos County
Constituencies: Mwala, Yatta, Kathiani, Mavoko, Machakos Town, Masinga, Mautungulu, Kangundo
017. Makueni County
Constituencies: Kibwezi East, Kaiti, Kibwezi West, Mbooni, Makueni, Kilome
018. Nyandarua County
Constituencies: Ndaragwa, Kipipiri, Ol-Jorok, Kinangop, Ol-Kalou
019. Nyeri County
Constituencies: Nyeri Town, Kieni, Othaya, Mukuwe-ini, Tetu, Mathira
020. Kirinyaga County
Constituencies: Kirinyaga Central, Ndia, Mwea, Gichugu
021. Murang’a County
Constituencies: Gatanga, Mathioya, Kigumo, Kandara, Kangema, Kiharu, Maragwa
022. Kiambu County
Constituencies: Lari ,Gatundu North, Thika Town, Githunguri, Kiambu, Kiambaa, Kikuyu, Limuru, Gatundu South, Juja, Kabete, Ruiru
023. Turkana County
Constituencies: Turkana East, Turkana West, Loima, Turkana Central, Turkana South, Turkana North.
024. West Pokot County
Constituencies: Pokot South, Sigor, Kacheliba, Kapenguria.
025. Samburu County
Constituencies: Samburu East, Samburu North, Samburu West
026. Trans Nzoia County
Constituencies: Kwanza, Cherangany, Saboti, Kiminini, Endebess
027. Uasin Gishu County
Constituencies: Turbo, Soy, Kapseret, Moiben, Kasses, Ainabkoi
028. Elgeyo/Marakwet County
Constituencies: Keiyo South, Marakwet West, Keiyo North, Marakwet East
029. Nandi County
Constituencies: Mosop, Aldai, Tinderet, Nandi Hills, Emgwen, Chesumei
030. Baringo County
Constituencies: Eldama Ravine, Tiaty, Mogotio, Baringo Central, Baringo North, Baringo South
031. Laikipia County
Constituencies: Laikipia North, Laikipia East, Laikipia West
032. Nakuru County
Constituencies: Nakuru Town East, Njoro, Gilgil, Kuresoi South, Subukia, Bahati, Nakuru Town West , Molo, Naivasha, Rongai, Kuresoi North,
033. Narok County
Constituencies: Narok West, Emurua Dikirr, Narok East, Kilgoris, Narok North, Narok South
034. Kajiado County
Constituencies: Kajiado South, Kajiado Central, Kajiado North, Kajiado East, Kajiado West
035. Kericho County
Constituencies: Ainamoi, Belgut, Kipkelion West, Kipkelion East, Bureti, Sigowet-soin
036. Bomet County
Constituencies: Konoin, Chepalungu, Bomet Central, Sotik, Bomet East
037. Kakamega County
Constituencies: Mumias East, Lugari, ikolomani, Malava,Likuyani, Lurambi, Khwisero, Navakholo, Mumias West, Matungu, Butere, Shinyalu.
038. Vihiga County
Constituencies: Luanda, Sabatia, Emuhaya, Vihiga, Hamisi
039. Bungoma County
Constituencies: Tongaren, Sirisia, Bumula, Webuye West, Webuye East, Kimilili, Mt. Elgon, Kanduyi, Kabuchai
040. Busia County
Constituencies: Budalangi, Teso South, Funyula, Teso North, Butula , Nambale, Matayos
041. Siaya County
Constituencies: Rarieda, Alego Usonga, Bondo, Ugenya, Gem, Ugunja
042. Kisumu County
Constituencies: Nyakach, Kisumu West, Kisumu Central, Nyando, Muhoroni, Kisumu East, Seme
043. Homa Bay County
Constituencies: Suba, Kabondo Kasipul, Ndhiwa, Karachuonyo, Homabay Town, Mbita, Kasipul, Rangwe
044. Migori County
Constituencies: Kuria West, Awendo, Nyatike, Suna East, Suna West, Uriri, Kuria East, Rongo
045. Kisii County
Constituencies: Bobasi, South Mugirango, Nyaribari Chache, Nyaribari Masaba, Bomachoge Chache, Bomachoge Borabu, kitutu Chache North, Kitutu Chache South, Bonchari
046. Nyamira County
Constituencies: West Mugirango, North Mugirango, Kitutu Masaba, Borabu
047. Nairobi County
Constituencies: Mathare, Dagoretti North, Dagoretti South, Lang’ata, Roysambu, Kasarani, Ruaraka, Embakasi West, Embakasi Central, Embakasi South, Embakasi North, Embakasi East, Makadara, kamukunji, Starehe, Westlands, Kibra
People of Kenya
Kenya is diverse in great measures, from the people to its cultures. There are about 42 tribes in Kenya, with different languages that have merged creating a unique mix of Kenyan culture. The largest six tribes make up almost half of the Kenyan population thus having a high influence on Kenyan culture.
This diversity has given rise to lots of traditional cultures and traditional ceremonies that are common across all the tribes, each doing with their unique flavor. The official languages in Kenya are English and Swahili.
There are three main language groups that can be divided into;
Tharaka, Gusii, Kuria, Embu, Meru, Mbere, Luhya, kamba, Kikuyu.
Coastal Bantu: Pokomo,S wahili, Mijikenda, Taita, Taveta, Segeju.
Njemps, Luo, Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Teso, Elmolo,Kalenjin, Elkony.
Boran, Boni, Somali, Orma, Gabbra, Rendille.
Religion in Kenya
The constitution of Kenya guarantees freedom of worship. More than four fifths of Kenyans are Christians and attend mainly Roman Catholic churches or Protestant. Portuguese introduced Christianity for the first time in Kenya in the 15th century, but by 17th century it was no longer there. Towards the end of 19th century Christianity recovered and spread quickly.
In the Traditional African religions the belief in a supreme being known by many names depending on the language you speak. Independent churches have also multiplied, such as the Legio Maria d’Africa, whose members are from Luo community.
Muslims makes a minority including Sunnis and Shia. There is also a small population of Jains, Bahais Jews and Sikhs.
Most Kenyans live in rural areas in scattered settlements. Climatic and soil conditions dictate much on the location and concentration of these settlements. Before colonization, there were no towns or cities except the coastal area, where there was small fishing town, Arab trading ports and cities frequented by ships from Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi were among the pre-existing urban areas that quickly increased in size during the colonial era. Nairobi was born thanks to its connection with the railway, which passed Nairobi at the beginning of the 20th century. Other cities such as Kisumu, Embu, Eldoret and Nakuru have emerged as administrative centers, mission stations and markets for Europeans.
To reduce its dependency on changing agricultural trade, Kenya sought to make her exports diversified in the last decade of the 20th century by introducing soda ash, cement, clothing, horticultural products and fluorite. The country has also prioritized the export of manufacturing products such as vehicles and paper.
Internal import bans were slowly lifted, but this policy was only partially successful. Kenya’s economy has grown steadily over the last twenty years; and is dominated by the foreign market, agricultural exports and, tourism which continue to be the main foreign income earner for the country in this century.
Forestry, Agriculture, and Fishing
This is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. Agriculture provides raw materials to the manufacturing sector through the generation of external taxes and income. It is also a source of employment for millions of Kenyans.The government sought to redistribute the land immediately after independence, where most of the agricultural exports were farmed. The major foreign-exchange earners are tea and fresh flowers. Coffee was one key earner that started to decline from the 1990s, due to market instability and deregulation. Sisal, cotton, fruits, and vegetables are also key cash crops. Deregulation of national boards that controlled the exports of tea, coffee, and cotton began in the early 1990s.
Maize (corn) and wheat are common crops grown for domestic use. Sugarcane farming is still practiced in the Western part of Kenya. Livestock is mainly kept for domestic use, and dairy goods are supplied to the domestic market. Surplus dairy and animal products are exported.
The only challenge facing the agriculture sector is the lack of arable land, water shortage and poor infrastructure. The government is making efforts to improve it.
Fish and the marine product are still small but growing in Kenya’s economy. Lake Victoria is the main source of fresh water fish in Kenya. Water hyacinth encroaching Lake Victoria has been a threat to fishery since the 1990s. Most of it has been eliminated but there is a risk of reemergence.
Kenya as the leading economy in East Africa takes agriculture and tourism as the major foreign exchange earner. The government has not only marketed Kenya as the leading destination for the unique African Safari but also developed the tourism infrastructure to meet international standards.
Kenya Tourism Board has been bestowed the responsibility of marketing and managing most aspects of the tourism sector. Most of the international visitors prefer coming to Kenya because of the diversity in what it offers, which includes the great wildebeest migration, flamingoes in Lake Nakuru, Elephants in Amboseli, and many more amazing destinations. Also, amazing culture encounters with tribes like the Maasai and Samburu. Kenya has more than 55 national parks, game reserves, and animal sanctuaries.
The various national parks, national reserves, marine parks and sanctuaries in Kenya are:
Saiwa Swamp National Park
Hells Gate National Park
Amboseli National Park
Mount Kenya National Park & Reserve
Sibiloi National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
South Island National Park
Ndere Island National Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Ruma National Park
Meru National Park
Mount Longonot National Park
Kora National Park
Chyulu Hills National Park
Central Island National Park
Tsavo West National Park
Marsabit National Park & Reserve
Lake Nakuru National Park
Nairobi National Park
Tsavo East National Park
Aberdare National Park
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Mwea National Reserve
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Mwingi Game Reserve
Shimba Hills National Reserve
Nasolot National Reserve
Lewa wildlife Conservancy
Bisanadi National Reserve
Lake Simbi National Sanctuary
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Orphanages / Safari walk
Nairobi Safari Walk
Nairobi Animal Orphanage
Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
Watamu Marine National Park & Reserve
Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve
Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Malindi Marine National Park & Reserve
The Top Choice Tourist Attractions in Kenya
Must-visit destinations in Kenya are,
1. The Maasai Mara National Reserve
Kenya is famous for masai mara which boasts as one of the most visited parks in the planet. It borders the Serengeti in Tanzania and together they form a wildlife conduit between the two countries. It takes its name from the description of the area seen from afar: “Mara”, which in Maa (Masai language) means “spotted”, describing of the circles of trees, shrubs, savannahs and cloud shadows that mark the area.
The legendary Great Migration happens here, where millions of wildebeest, zebras and Thomson’s gazelles make their annual migration from the Serengeti to Masai Mara from July to October. A multitude of hippos and crocodiles nest in the Mara River. The park offers one of the best predator sightings, thanks to its high number of lions, cheetahs and leopards.
2. Amboseli National Reserve
It is one of the most frequented tourist spots in Kenya. Amboseli means “salty powder” in the Maasai language and describes the arid conditions of the park. Amboseli is the best for close sighting of large herds of elephants. Other commonly seen animals are the big cats which include the lions and cheetahs as well as the giraffes, impalas, elands, waterbucks, gazelles and many more including over 600 species of birds.
3. The Tsavo National Park
Tsavo is the largest park in Kenya, and is divided in to two; Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Four percent of the country’s total land area is represented when both parks are combined and it has waterfalls, rivers, a huge lava rock plateau, savannas, volcanic hills, and a wide variety of wild animals. Tsavo is located halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa and is known for the famous Tsavo lions or Man Eaters which were a menace and were reported to have killed more than 130 Indian coolies who were building the railway line back in 1898, and the breath taking glimpse of big herds of elephants playing and bathing in dust. The Galana River snakes across the park, offering excellent animal viewing, also a vantage point to the lowlands.
4. The Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves
One of the main attractions in the reserve are the “Sarara Singing Wells”, Samburu warriors sing beautiful traditional songs as they carry drinking water for their livestock. You can also be lucky to see the big cats and the wild dogs.
5. Lake Nakuru National Park
It is found in rift Valley and is famous for its huge flock of pink flamingoes. Flamingoes and other birds flock to the lake it is a soda lake that occupies almost one third of the park. It was founded in 1961 and is home to more than 450 bird species and a diverse fauna. The largest euphorbia chandelier forest in Africa is found here.
6. Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha is a bird watcher’s paradise. It is located at the peak of the Legendary Rift Valley, but has shrunk significantly during extreme drought. The thriving floral farms in the area are responsible for great reduction of water quantity levels. The recommended way to see amazing wild animals is by riding a boat. There are than 400 birds species that have been seen here, including a large variety of wild animals.
7. Nairobi City
It is the capital and the largest city of Kenya, and is known for its historical colonial era. At one time it served as the headquarters of British East Africa, tantalizing white settlers who came here to seek their fortunes in the coffee and tea industries. You can visit the city’s historical places and some fantastic wildlife-filled destinations. The Nairobi National Museum offers a special place to see exhibits on Kenyan history, nature, culture, and modern arts.
Nairobi National Park is a 15-minute drive from Nairobi’s CBD, and it hosts an amazing array of animals which includes a pride of lions, graceful giraffes, and all the classic safari stars are also here. The park’s rhino sanctuary has the planet’s most endangered species.
8. Hell’s Gate National Park
A must for avid-climbers, it is one of the few parks in Kenya that consent camping and exploration of the park on foot or by bicycle. It gives excellent climbing and hiking opportunities. Geothermal features include natural geysers and hot springs, which hiss from the earth’s crust. The park also protects a variety of wildlife and is home to the Olkaria Geothermal Station, the only one of its type in Africa.
9. The Mount Kenya National Park
It is located to the east of the Grand Rift Valley. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a rare equatorial snow show. Mount Kenya was formed through a series of volcanic activities and includes peaks covered with glaciers. The landscape varies from lakes, mineral springs, and glaciers to dense bamboo pockets.
10. Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta is located about 200 km north of the Kenyan capital. It is next to Mount Kenya National Park. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the ideal location for close interactions with wild animals. There are the big five, as well as other wildlife such as cheetahs, hyenas, zebras and hartebeest against the beautiful backdrop of snow-capped mountain.
11. Kenyan Coast
The coastal region of Kenya is abundant with interesting sites to visit such
Portuguese built the fort from 1593-1596. It is top most tourist attractions in Mombasa and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort changed administration nine times that is between 1631 and 1875 and the British finally took control. It has extensive displays of jewelry from Oman and exhibits of Swahili life.
Haller Park is a hot spot for animal lovers. The area was abandoned as limestone quarries, but its rehabilitation was started by Dr. Rene Haller in 1971. Dr. Haller added the minerals that soil lacked and planted trees that made a wild natural park where every animal has a role in the thriving ecosystem.
Mombasa Marine National Park
It is the most active marine reserves found in Kenya. It consists of mangroves, sea grass beds, sandy beaches and coral reefs. The popular activities here are diving and snorkeling. There are glass-bottomed boats to view diverse marine life from.
North Coast Beaches
The north coast is a little livelier than the south coast. Its close to the international airport of Mombasa. With coral reefs, palm-fringed beaches, crystal clear waters, and a fusion of water sports and resorts, it’s a place worth visiting. The best beaches are Nyali Beach, Bamburi Beach and Shanzu Beach.
The old town is reminiscent of Portuguese era. Arab, Asian and European descent are the common inhabitants here and the architecture reflects their cultures. There are many antiques, aromatic oils, spices and souvenirs.
South Coast Beaches
Here is a world of natural landscapes. The turquoise sea bathed the sunny-beaches, tourists stretched out under the cool palm trees. The rainforest with diverse wildlife and birds is the common sight on this stretch of coast. Common beaches are Shelly Beach, Tiwi Beach, and Diani Beach.
Nyali’s Mamba Village Center holds the record of being the largest crocodile farm in East Africa. Here you are able to study the life cycle and the wonderful behavior of these reptiles. There is also horseback riding being offered and a botanical garden with an aquarium. Water plants and orchids are the specialties, but the gardens also display carnivorous species.
GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY
It was in December 12, 1963, when Kenya gained her independence, and according to the constitution, a prime minister was elected head of the cabinet by a two-chambered National Assembly.
The assemblies of each region were authorized and the multi-party challenge was also allowed. But a number of changes were introduced that removed the regional assemblies in favor of the provincial commission which was appointed by the national government. The Kenya African National Union (KANU) party was the only political party allowed to operate in Kenya and the post of prime minister was scrubbed off and replaced by an executive chairman who could hire or fire the attorney general and judges.
Constitutional reforms gave way to multi-party politics in 1991, giving political parties the much-needed freedom before the 1992 elections. After the controversial 2007 elections, a law was passed in 2008 which made a way of creating a coalition government and changed the structure of the executive power. This gave way to the Post Prime Minister and two Deputy Prime Ministers.
A newly inaugurated constitution was enacted in 2010, which saw the presidential power reducing and removal of the office of prime minister after the upcoming round of elections.
Kenya is divided into 47 counties to simplify administration duties and is led by elected county-governors. In each county there is an assembly which is constituted of elected members, non-elected members appointed by political parties to represent those with special interest and to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the assembly’s members are of the same gender, and an office speaker. They stay in office for five years.
The counties were introduced in 2010 as a unit of a new distributed governance plan. Its first phase began after the 2013 elections. Kenya was previously divided into eight provinces before the new constitution: Nyanza, Western, Rift Valley, Eastern, Central, Northeastern, Coastal and Nairobi provinces. According to the constitution, the pilot county government system was anticipated to take off within 3 years of after the 2013 general election. A Transition Authority was created and was given the mandate of overseeing the whole process.
Supreme Court was established in 2011 after the 2010 constitution. It is the court with the jurisdiction over all electoral and presidential disputes and also hears the appeals of the lower courts.
High Courts deals with all civil and criminal cases while the Court of Appeal, which solves all the appeals that comes from courts below, and the magistrates’ courts in the case of a local level.
The judicial system in Kenya recognizes the importance and validity of African customs and Islam laws which affects personal spaces such as marriage and divorce. The Muslim community uses the Kadhis courts to solve problems related to Islam law.
The KANU party ruled the Kenyan politics from the 1960s to the beginning of the 21st century. Their main initial opposition was KADU, but later merged with KANU in 1964. From then Kenya was turned into a single-party state and KANU ruled till the early 1990s when Kenya went back into a multiparty state. Many political parties and alliances forged since then, often before an upcoming election.
The first woman to run for the presidency was Charity Ngilu who received 8 percent of the votes cast in 1997 after running on the Social Democratic Party. Women before the new constitution used to garner less than 10 percent of the National Assembly seats, however this was changed in the 2010 constitution to guarantee women a definite number of representations in both the Senate and the National Assembly.
After the 2013 general elections, (this was the first one to be held under the new constitution); the women got a quarter of the Senate seats and a fifth of the National Assembly seats. The constitution also provided for the representation of young people, people with disabilities and all the marginalized groups.
The Kenyan armed forces are made up of contingents from the air force, navy and army. To join the forces is voluntary, and Kenyan Armed Forces have participated in various peace-keeping missions sponsored by the UN.
Health and welfare
Healthcare has drastically reduced the mortality rates from pre-independence levels, mostly infants. AIDS became the main disease in Kenya at the beginning of the 21st century. Kenya, like other AIDS-fighting countries, has implemented various plan of action to fight the disease, which comprised of drug therapy.
At the beginning of the 21st century, some Kenyan pharmaceutical companies had reduced prices by more than half.In rural areas, health centers and dispensaries provide the much needed health care services.
The average dwelling in rural areas comprises of a typical two-room house built with wood paneling and iron sheet roof. For urban areas, the elegant bungalow home should have at least two bedrooms, indoor water system, a kitchen and a living room.
Decent houses in urban areas have remained a challenge since independence. In a government effort to provide quality housing at affordable prices, quality construction materials have been made. An example of such materiel is a brick made by mixing the earth, a small amount of concrete and water.
The public education system has three phases; eight years of mandatory primary school education, four years of secondary school education and four years of higher education. Education for primary and secondary is offered by the government free of charge.
The education of the local people was not an important issue during the colonial era, in the wake of gaining independence admissions in both primary and secondary schools skyrocketed. The president had pledged free primary education for all of its citizens, which was done partially in 1974 when fees for the initial four years of primary school were catered for by the government.
The civil service was expanded in the late 1970s to cope with rising unemployment due to the large number of educated Kenyans. As the government was unable to build enough schools for all it embarked on community-built Harambee Schools. These schools were supposed to have received help from the government to send teachers and teaching materials, but that support didn’t always actualize.
Free education for entire years of primary was introduced in 2002. In the preceding years it saw a sharp increase in enrollment beyond capacity. Education is still highly regarded in Kenya.
In 2008 free secondary education was introduced to curb the problem of students who were unable to pass primary level. Kenya’s literacy rate is over four-fifths of the population.
Many public universities have come up including The University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Kisii University, Masinde Muliro University, Dedan Kimathi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi University, Pwani University among others.
The Specialized universities include The Kenya Medical Training College, Kenya Conservatory of Music, Kenya Polytechnic in Nairobi, Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology in Nakuru among others.
However, the immediate threat the country is facing is the COVID-19 pandemic which has already forced banks to significantly revise their growth projections for 2020. The economy is still set to grow. Although the tourism and air travel sectors, in particular, are expected to suffer significant financial losses after Kenya’s ban on all flights.
Kenya’s was also hit by locust invasion in the same year, which was declared to be the country’s worst infestation in over 70 years. Pastures and farmland were badly damaged; it was a big blow in a country that depends heavily on agriculture for its sustenance. While these immediate problems may seem to threaten decade-long period of sustained economic development, Kenya is positive about supporting its long-term growth, hoping to spread prosperity among the population and lift millions of people from the world poverty.
Sports in Kenya
Sports is an important aspect of Kenyan culture, traditional sports such as bao and wrestling have been practiced from time immemorial. The introduction of modern sports is credited to the British colonizers who introduced sports in Kenya in 1922 and took it was added to the school curriculum in 1925.
Track and field events were the first sports to be played professionally and Kenya has produced a good number of international players. Below are the most popular sports in Kenya.
Kenya has been a powerhouse for professional athletes for a long time, majorly taking over the middle- and long-distance races. Trials are usually held to select the teams that will represent Kenya in international events.
Kenya hosts several yearly athletic events like the Nairobi Marathon despite being the newest has become the leading in participants. Also, there is the Great Lake Marathon which is held in Kisumu and the Mombasa Marathon. Lewa Marathon one of the specular cross-country involves 42 km race through a beautiful game park, and legends like Catherine Ndereba and Paul Tergat have won several events here. Another notable athlete is Eliud Kipchoge who has broken several world records such 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon.
Most of the athletes come from the disciplined forces like the Armed Forces, Kenya Police, or Kenyan Prisons which give them training as well as a livelihood. There are also private athletes who train in various clubs across the country.
This is one of the most common sports and has turned many to be fanatics. In addition to the local clubs, most Kenyans support the English Premier teams with all their will. Harambee Stars is the national team, and many of its players are playing for international teams. Such players include Victor Wanyama who has played for Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur and Eric Ouma who plays for AIK Sweden.
Basketball has been a common sport since the 90s. Nyayo Stadium has hosted a number of the Interuniversity Championships with Strathmore University coming on top several times.
Rugby has put Kenya on the world map severally, in competitions such as the IRB Sevens World Cup, Dubai sevens, and many more where they are star players. Top teams include The Nondescript RFC, Harlequins, and the Kenya Exiles
Kenya and East Africa Safari Rally
Safari rally in Kenya is usually held in November and December yearly, and it encompasses a rugged 8,000 km road passing through Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The cars used in the race are classics from the 70s, and Carl Tundo is one of the Kenyan best rally drivers.
David Dunford and Jason have won Kenya a good number of medals from international arenas such as Beijing Games and All Africa Games. Swimming competition is also common at the local level, which takes place in various stadiums in Nairobi and a number of institutions across the country.
Other sports in Kenya include taekwondo, lawn and table tennis, weight lifting, netball, volleyball, and many others.