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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Kenya

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Kenya
Definition Field Listing
Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence until his death in 1978, when current 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 of the Democratic Party of Kenya defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform.
   Geography    Kenya
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
1 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 582,650 sq km
water: 13,400 sq km
land: 569,250 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,477 km
border countries: Ethiopia 861 km, Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km
Definition Field Listing
536 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
Definition Field Listing
low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 7.03%
permanent crops: 0.91%
other: 92.06% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
670 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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
   People    Kenya
Definition Field Listing
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 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.1% (male 6,462,430; female 6,327,457)
15-64 years: 56.1% (male 8,769,546; female 8,694,329)
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 385,361; female 499,612) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.15% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
27.61 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
14.68 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.48 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 (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
67.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 47.02 years
female: 47.85 years (2002 est.)
male: 46.2 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.34 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
13.5% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
2.2 million (2000 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
180,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Kenyan(s)
adjective: Kenyan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.1%
male: 86.3%
female: 70% (1995 est.)
   Government    Kenya
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
conventional short form: Kenya
former: British East Africa
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
7 provinces and 1 area*; Central, Coast, Eastern, Nairobi Area*, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western
Definition Field Listing
12 December 1963 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 12 December (1963)
Definition Field Listing
12 December 1963, amended as a republic 1964; reissued with amendments 1979, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1997, and 2001
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002) and Vice President Michael Kijana WAMALWA (since 3 January 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 Michael Kijana WAMALWA (since 3 January 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 NA 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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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, chairman]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Yusuf Abdulraham NZIBO
consulate(s) general: offices in Los Angeles and New York are closed; mission to the UN remains open
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829
telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101
chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Johnnie CARSON
embassy: US Embassy, P. O. Box 30137 Mombasa Road (near St. James Hospital), Nairobi
mailing address: Box 21A, Unit 64100, APO AE 09831
telephone: [254] (2) 537-800
FAX: [254] (2) 537-810
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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    Kenya
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Kenya, the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, is hampered by corruption and reliance upon several primary goods whose prices continue to decline. Following strong economic growth in 1995 and 1996, Kenya's economy has stagnated, with GDP growth failing to keep up with the rate of population growth. 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 0.3% 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%, and Kenya is unlikely to see growth above 2% in 2002. Substantial IMF and other foreign support is essential to prevent a further decline in real per capita output.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $31 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 24%
industry: 13%
services: 63% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
50% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 37% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
45 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3.3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
10 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 75%-80%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
40% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.91 billion
expenditures: $2.97 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.) (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products processing; oil refining, cement; tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.7% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
4.616 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 22%
hydro: 70%
other: 8% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
4.433 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
140 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, eggs
Definition Field Listing
$1.8 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UK 13.5%, Tanzania 12.5%, Uganda 12.0%, Germany 5.5% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$3.1 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
UK 12%, UAE 9.8%, Japan 6.5%, India 4.4% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$8 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$457 million (1997) (1997)
Definition Field Listing
Kenyan shilling (KES)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Kenyan shillings per US dollar - 78.597 (January 2002), 78.563 (2001), 76.176 (2000), 70.326 (1999), 60.367 (1998), 58.732 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June
   Communications    Kenya
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
310,000 (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
540,000 (2001)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 24, FM 18, shortwave 6 (2001)
Definition Field Listing
3.07 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
8 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
730,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
65 (2001)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
500,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Kenya
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,778 km
narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge
note: the line connecting Nairobi with the port of Mombasa is the most important in the country
Definition Field Listing
total: 63,300 km
paved: 8,940 km
unpaved: 54,360 km (2001)
Definition Field Listing
note: part of the Lake Victoria system is within the boundaries of Kenya
Definition Field Listing
petroleum products 483 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Kisumu, Lamu, Mombasa
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,893 GRT/6,320 DWT
ships by type: petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
231 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 19
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 211
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 113
under 914 m: 83 (2002)
   Military    Kenya
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 7,938,865 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 4,915,090 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$179.2 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.8% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Kenya
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
since colonial times, Kenya's administrative boundary has extended beyond its treaty boundary into Sudan creating the "Ilemi Triangle"; arms smuggling and Oromo rebel activities prompt strict border regime with Somalia
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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