Kenya

Introduction Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence in 1963 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 were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. KIBAKI's NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over the constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement, which defeated the government's draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. A disputed presidential election victory by KIBAKI over challenger Raila ODINGA in December 2007 led to widespread rioting. Following talks, the two candidates agreed to an accord establishing the office of prime minister and the creation of a coalition government.
History

Palaeontologists have discovered many fossils of prehistoric animals in Kenya. At one of the rare dinosaur fossil sites in Africa, two hundred Cretaceous theropod and giant crocodile fossils have been discovered in Kenya, dating from the Mesozoic Era, over 200 million years ago. The fossils were found in an excavation conducted by a team from the University of Utah and the National Museums of Kenya in July-August 2004 at Lokitaung Gorge, near Lake Turkana.[7]

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that primates roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids such as Homo habilis (1.8 and 2.5 million years ago) and Homo erectus (1.8 million to 350,000 years ago) are possible direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens and lived in Kenya during the Pleistocene epoch. In 1984 one particular discovery made at Lake Turkana by famous palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey and Kamoya Kimeu was the skeleton of a Turkana boy belonging to Homo erectus from 1.6 million years ago. Previous research on early hominids is particularly identified to Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey, who are responsible for the preliminary archaeological research at Olorgesailie and Hyrax Hill. Later work at the former was undertaken by Glynn Isaac.

Pre-colonial history

Cushitic-speaking people from northern Africa moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the 1st century AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the 8th century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu-speaking peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprise three-quarters of Kenya's population.

In the centuries preceding colonization, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves (the Ameru tribe is said to have originated from slaves escaping from Arab lands some time around the year 1700.). Initially these traders came mainly from Arab states, but later many also came from Zanzibar (such as Tippu Tip).

Swahili, a Bantu language with many Arabic loan words, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples.

The Luo of Kenya descend from early agricultural and herding communities from western Kenya's early pre-colonial history. The Luo people and dialects of their language have historic roots across the Lake Victoria region. Chief among the powerful families to which the Luo trace their ancestry were the Sahkarias of Kano, the Jaramogis of Ugenya, and the Owuors of Kisumo, whose clans married several wives and had multitudes of grandchildren and heirs to various chieftainships. Leaders of these lineages typically had multiple wives and intermarried with their neighbours in Uganda and Sudan. The Luo tribe, through intermarriages and wars, are part of the genetic admixture that includes all modern East African ethnic groups as well as members of Buganda Kingdom, the Toro Kingdom, and the Nubians of modern day Sudan. In recent times, the Luo have had many enemies with whom they fought for access to water, cattle, and land including the Nandi, Kipsigis and the Kisii. As a result of these wars were peace treaties and intermarriages were resolved resulting in a mixture of cultural ideals and practices. As with all so-called tribes of modern day East Africa, Luo history is intricately interwoven with the histories of their friends, enemies and neighbours and attest to the complexity of East African precolonial history.

Colonial history

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore the region of current-day Kenya, Vasco da Gama having visited Mombasa in 1498. Gama's voyage was successful in reaching India and this permitted the Portuguese to trade with the Far East directly by sea, thus challenging older trading networks of mixed land and sea routes, such as the Spice trade routes that utilized the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and caravans to reach the eastern Mediterranean. The Republic of Venice had gained control over much of the trade routes between Europe and Asia. After traditional land routes to India had been closed by the Ottoman Turks, Portugal hoped to use the sea route pioneered by Gama to break the once Venetian trading monopoly. Portuguese rule in East Africa focused mainly on a coastal strip centred in Mombasa. The Portuguese presence in East Africa officially began after 1505, when flagships under the command of Don Francisco de Almeida conquered Kilwa, an island located in what is now southern Tanzania. In March 1505, having received from Manuel I the appointment of viceroy of the newly conquered territory in India, he set sail from Lisbon in command of a large and powerful fleet, and arrived in July at Quiloa (Kilwa), which yielded to him almost without a struggle. A much more vigorous resistance was offered by the Moors of Mombasa, but the town was taken and destroyed, and its large treasures went to strengthen the resources of Almeida. Attacks followed on Hoja (now known as Ungwana, located at the mouth of the Tana River), Barawa, Angoche, Pate and other coastal towns until the western Indian Ocean was a safe haven for Portuguese commercial interests. At other places on his way, such as the island of Angediva, near Goa, and Cannanore, the Portuguese built forts, and adopted measures to secure the Portuguese supremacy. Portugal's main goal in the east coast of Africa was take control of the spice trade from the Arabs. At this stage, the Portuguese presence in East Africa served the purpose of control trade within the Indian Ocean and secure the sea routes linking Europe to Asia. Portuguese naval vessels were very disruptive to the commerce of Portugal's enemies within the western Indian Ocean and were able to demand high tariffs on items transported through the sea due to their strategic control of ports and shipping lanes. The construction of Fort Jesus in Mombasa in 1593 was meant to solidify Portuguese hegemony in the region, but their influence was clipped by the British, Dutch and Omani Arab incursions into the region during the 17th century. The Omani Arabs posed the most direct challenge to Portuguese influence in East Africa and besieged Portuguese fortresses, openly attacked naval vessels and expelled the remaining Portuguese from the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts by 1730. By this time the Portuguese Empire had already lost its interest on the spice trade sea route due to the decreasing profitability of that business.

Omani Arab colonization of the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts brought the once independent city-states under closer foreign scrutiny and domination than was experienced during the Portuguese period. Like their predecessors, the Omani Arabs were primarily able only to control the coastal areas, not the interior. However, the creation of clove plantations, intensification of the slave trade and relocation of the Omani capital to Zanzibar in 1839 by Seyyid Said had the effect of consolidating the Omani power in the region. Arab governance of all the major ports along the East African coast continued until British interests aimed particularly at ending the slave trade and creation of a wage-labour system began to put pressure on Omani rule. By the late nineteenth century, the slave trade on the open seas had been completely outlawed by the British and the Omani Arabs had little ability to resist the Royal Navy's ability to enforce the directive. The Omani presence continued in Zanzibar and Pemba until the 1964 revolution, but the official Omani Arab presence in Kenya was checked by German and British seizure of key ports and creation of crucial trade alliances with influential local leaders in the 1880s. However, the Omani Arab legacy in East Africa is currently found through their numerous descendants found along the coast that can directly trace ancestry to Oman and are typically the wealthiest and most politically influential members of the Kenyan coastal community.

However, most historians consider that the colonial history of Kenya dates from the establishment of a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar's coastal possessions in 1885, followed by the arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888. Incipient imperial rivalry was forestalled when Germany handed its coastal holdings to Britain in 1890. This followed the building of the Kenya-Uganda railway passing through the country. This was resisted by some tribes, notably the Nandi led by Orkoiyot Koitalel Arap Samoei for ten years from 1895 to 1905, the British eventually built the railway. It is believed that the Nandi were the first tribe to be put in a native reserve to stop them from disrupting the building of the railway. During the railway construction era, there was a significant inflow of Indian peoples who provided the bulk of the skilled manpower required for construction. These people remained in Kenya and formed the core of several distinct Indian communities such as the Ismaili muslim and Sikh communities.

At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the governors of British East Africa (as the Protectorate was generally known) and German East Africa agreed a truce in an attempt to keep the young colonies out of direct hostilities. However Lt Col Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck took command of the German military forces, determined to tie down as many British resources as possible. Completely cut off from Germany by the Royal Navy, von Lettow conducted an effective guerilla warfare campaign, living off the land, capturing British supplies, and remaining undefeated. He eventually surrendered in Zambia eleven days after the Armistice was signed in 1918. To chase von Lettow the British deployed Indian Army troops from India and then needed large numbers of porters to overcome the formidable logistics of transporting supplies far into the interior by foot. The Carrier Corps was formed and ultimately mobilised over 400,000 Africans, contributing to their long-term politicisation.

During the early part of the twentieth century, the interior central highlands were settled by British and other European farmers, who became wealthy farming coffee and tea. By the 1930s, approximately 30,000 white settlers lived in the area and were offered undue political powers because of their effects on the economy. The area was already home to over a million members of the Kikuyu tribe, most of whom had no land claims in European terms (but the land belonged to the ethnic group), and lived as itinerant farmers. To protect their interests, the settlers banned the growing of coffee, introduced a hut tax, and the landless were granted less and less land in exchange for their labour. A massive exodus to the cities ensued as their ability to provide a living from the land dwindled.

In 1951, Sir Horace Hector Hearne became Chief Justice in Kenya (coming from Ceylon, where he had also been Chief Justice) and sat in the Supreme Court in Nairobi. He held that position until 1954 when he became an Appeal Justice of the West African Court of Appeal. On the night of the death of King George VI, 5 February 1952, Hearne escorted The Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, as she then was, to a state dinner at the Treetops Hotel, which is now a very popular tourist retreat. It was there that she "went up a princess and came down a Queen".[8] She returned immediately to England, accompanied by Hearne.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule. The governor requested and obtained British and African troops, including the King's African Rifles. In January 1953, Major General Hinde was appointed as director of counter-insurgency operations. The situation did not improve for lack of intelligence, so General Sir George Erskine was appointed commander-in-chief of the colony's armed forces in May 1953, with the personal backing of Winston Churchill.

The capture of Warũhiũ Itote (a.k.a. General China) on 15 January 1954 and the subsequent interrogation led to a better understanding of the Mau Mau command structure. Operation Anvil opened on 24 April 1954 after weeks of planning by the army with the approval of the War Council. The operation effectively placed Nairobi under military siege, and the occupants were screened and the Mau Mau supporters moved to detention camps. May 1953 also saw the Home Guard officially recognized as a branch of the Security Forces. The Home Guard formed the core of the government's anti-Mau Mau strategy as it was composed of loyalist Africans, not foreign forces like the British Army and King's African Rifles. By the end of the emergency the Home Guard had killed 4,686 Mau Mau, amounting to 42% of the total insurgents. The capture of Dedan Kimathi on 21 October 1956 in Nyeri signified the ultimate defeat of the Mau Mau and essentially ended the military offensive.

Post-colonial history

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Despite British hopes of handing power to "moderate" African rivals, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta that formed a government shortly before Kenya became independent on 12 December 1963. During the same year, the Kenyan army fought the Shifta War against ethnic Somalis determined to see the NFD join with the Republic of Somalia. The Shiftas inflicted heavy casualties on the Kenyan armed forces but were defeated in 1967.

Kenya, fearing an invasion from militarily stronger Somalia, in 1969 signed a defence pact with Ethiopia which is still in effect[2]. Suffering from droughts and floods, NFD is the least developed region in Kenya. However, since the 1990s, Somali refugees-turned-wealthy businessmen have managed to transform the one-time slum of Eastleigh into the most prosperous commercial centre of Eastlands and increasingly much of Nairobi.[3]

In 1964, Kenyatta became Kenya's first president. At Kenyatta's death in 1978, Daniel arap Moi became President. Daniel arap Moi retained the Presidency, being unopposed in elections held in 1979, 1983 (snap elections) and 1988, all of which were held under the single party constitution. The 1983 elections were held a year early, and were a direct result of an abortive military coup attempt on 1 August 1982.

The abortive coup was masterminded by a lowly ranked Air Force serviceman, Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka and was staged mainly by enlisted men in the Air Force. The attempt was quickly suppressed by Loyalist forces led by the Army, the General Service Unit (GSU) — a paramilitary wing of the police — and later the regular police, but not without civilian casualties. This event led to the disbanding of the entire Air Force and a large number of its former members were either dismissed or court-martialled.

The election held in 1988 saw the advent of the mlolongo (queuing) system, where voters were supposed to line up behind their favoured candidates instead of a secret ballot[citation needed]. This was seen as the climax of a very undemocratic regime and it led to widespread agitation for constitutional reform. Several contentious clauses, including one that allowed for only one political party were changed in the following years[citation needed]. In democratic, multiparty elections in 1992 and 1997, Daniel arap Moi won re-election. In 2002, Moi was constitutionally barred from running, and Mwai Kǐbakǐ, running for the opposition coalition "National Rainbow Coalition" — NARC, was elected President. The elections, judged free and fair by local and international observers, marked a turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution. Kenya is one of the most politically distinguished countries in Africa

Geography 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: 8.01%
permanent crops: 0.97%
other: 91.02% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,030 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 30.2 cu km (1990)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 1.58 cu km/yr (30%/6%/64%)
per capita: 46 cu m/yr (2000)
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
Politics

Until the 2008 changes in the Kenyan political dispensation which introduced the Prime minister as the head of the cabinet, Kenya was a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President was both the head of state and head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. However, there was growing concern especially during former president Daniel Arap Moi's tenure that the executive was increasingly meddling with the affairs of the judiciary.

Until the unrest occasioned by the disputed election results of December 2007, Kenya had hitherto maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighbouring countries. A cross-party parliamentary reform initiative in the fall of 1997 revised some oppressive laws inherited from the colonial era that had been used to limit freedom of speech and assembly. This improved public freedoms and contributed to generally credible national elections in December 1997.

In December 2002, Kenyans held democratic and open elections, most of which were judged free and fair by international observers. The 2002 elections marked an important turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution in that power was transferred peacefully from the Kenya African Union (KANU), which had ruled the country since independence to the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), a coalition of political parties.

Under the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, the new ruling coalition promised to focus its efforts on generating economic growth, combating corruption, improving education, and rewriting its constitution. A few of these promises have been met. There is free primary education. In 2007 the government issued a statement declaring that from 2008, secondary education would be heavily subsidised, with the government footing all tuition fees. President Kibaki subsequently launched the ambitious free Secondary education program in early February 2008 at Jamhuri High School in the outskirts of the city of Nairobi. Before the contentious elections were held, a general overview indicated that Under president Kibaki, the democratic space had expanded, the media was freer than before. Kenyans could associate and express themselves without fearing being harassed by security agents as it used to be the case during the Moi administration. In November 2005, the Kenyan electorate resoundingly defeated a new draft constitution supported by Parliament and President Kibaki. Kibaki responded by dismissing his entire cabinet. Kibaki eventually appointed a new slate of ministers.

The last general elections were held on 27 December 2007. In them, President Kibaki under the Party of National Unity ran for re-election against the main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). After a split which would take a crucial 8% of the votes away from the ODM to the newly formed Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya (ODM-K)'s candidate, Kalonzo Musyoka, the race tightened between ODM candidate Raila Odinga and Kibaki. As the count came in to the Kenyan Election Commission, Odinga was shown to have a slight, and then substantial lead. However, as the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) continued to count the votes, Kibaki closed the gap and then overtook his opponent by a substantial margin amid largely substantiated claims of rigging (notably by the EU Observers). This led to protests and riots, open discrediting of the ECK for complicity and to Odinga declaring himself the "people's president" and calling for a recount and Kibaki to resign. The protests escalated into unprecedented violence and destruction of property, leading to over 1000 deaths and the internal displacement of over 350,000 people. A Kofi Annan led group of eminent persons of Africa was called in to broker a peaceful solution to the political stalemate. It enjoys the backing of the United Nations, European Union, African Union, United States as well governments of various other notable countries across the world. More information is available in clashes in Kenya (2007–present).On 28th February2008, President Mwai Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga signed an agreement on the formation of a coalition government in which Mr. Odinga would become Kenya's second prime Minister. Under the deal, the president would also appoint cabinet ministers from both PNU and ODM camps depending on each party's strength in parliament. The agreement stipulated that the cabinet would also comprise of a vice-president and two deputy Prime Ministers. After being debated and passed by parliament, the coalition would hold till the end of the current Parliament or if either of the parties withdraws from the deal before then. The new office of the PM will have power and authority to co-ordinate and supervise the functions of the Government and will be occupied by an elected MP who will also be the leader of the party or coalition with majority members in Parliament. The world watched Dr Kofi Annan and his UN-backed Panel of African Eminent Persons and African Union chairman Jakaya Kikwete as they brought together the erstwhile rivals to the signing ceremony beamed live on national TV from the steps of Nairobi's Harambee House. On 29th February2008, representatives of PNU and ODM began working on the finer details of the power-sharing agreement.[4] Kenyan lawmakers unanimously approved a power-sharing deal March 18, 2008 aimed at salvaging a country once seen as one of the most stable and prosperous in Africa, bringing together two men, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose dispute over the presidency unleashed weeks of deadly violence.

People Population: 37,953,838
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 42.2% (male 8,065,789/female 7,953,077)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 10,498,468/female 10,434,764)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 457,886/female 543,854) (2008 est.)
Median age: total: 18.6 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.758% (2008 est.)
Birth rate: 37.89 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate: 10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate: -1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 56.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 56.64 years
male: 56.42 years
female: 56.87 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.7 children born/woman (2008 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.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2008)
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%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 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.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
conventional short form: Kenya
local long form: Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri y Kenya
local short form: Kenya
former: British East Africa
Government type: republic
Capital: name: Nairobi
geographic coordinates: 1 17 S, 36 49 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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, 2001; note - a new draft constitution was defeated by popular referendum in 2005
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); Vice President Stephene Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephene Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second 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 2007 (next to be held in December 2012); vice president appointed by the president
election results: President Mwai KIBAKI reelected; percent of vote - Mwai KIBAKI 46%, Raila ODINGA 44%, Kalonzo MUSYOKA 9%
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 2007 (next to be held in December 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ODM 99, PNU 43, ODM-K 16, KANU 14 other 38; ex-officio 2; seats appointed by the president - TBD
Judicial branch: Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court
Political parties and leaders: Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya or FORD-Kenya [Musikari KOMBO]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People or FORD-People [Simeon NYACHAE]; Kenya African National Union or KANU [Uhuru KENYATTA]; National Rainbow Coalition-Kenya or NARC-Kenya [Raphael TUJU]; Orange Democratic Movement or ODM [Raila ODINGA]; Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya or ODM-K [Kalonzo MUSYOKA]; Party of National Unity or PNU [Mwai KIBAKI]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Council of Islamic Preachers of Kenya or CIPK [Sheikh Idris MOHAMMED]; Kenya Human Rights Commission [L. Muthoni WANYEKI]; labor unions; Muslim Human Rights Forum [Ali-Amin KIMATHI]; National Convention Executive Council or NCEC, a proreform coalition of political parties and nongovernment organizations [Ndung'u WAINANA]; Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya or NCCK [Canon Peter Karanja MWANGI]; Roman Catholic and other Christian churches; Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims or SUPKEM [Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY]
International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Peter Rateng Oginga OGEGO
chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael RANNEBERGER
embassy: US Embassy, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri; P. O. Box 606 Village Market Nairobi
mailing address: Box 21A, Unit 64100, APO AE 09831
telephone: [254] (20) 537-800
FAX: [254] (20) 537-810
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
Culture

Kenya is a diverse country, with many different cultures represented. Notable cultures include the Swahili on the coast, pastoralist communities in the north, and several different communities in the central and western regions. Today, the Maasai culture is well known, due to its heavy exposure from tourism, however, Maasai make up a relatively minor percentage of the Kenyan population. The Maasai are known for their elaborate upper body adornment and jewelry.

Food

There is no singular dish that represents all of Kenya. Different communities have their own different foods. Staples are maize and other cereals depending on the region including millet and sorghum eaten with various meats and vegetables. The foods that are universally eaten in Kenya are ugali and nyama choma. Nyama choma is roasted meat - usually goat or sheep- roasted over an open fire. It is best eaten with ugali and kachumbari. Among the Kikuyu of Central Kenya, a lot of tubers: ngwaci (sweet potatoes), ndũma (taro root) known in Kenya as arrowroot, ikwa (yams), mianga (cassava) are eaten as well as legumes like beans and a Kikuyu bean known as njahi.

National dress

Apart from the national flag, Kenya is yet to have a national dress that cuts across its diverse ethnic divide. With each of the more than 42 ethnic communities in Kenya having its own traditional practices and symbols that make it unique, this is a task that has proved elusive in the past. However, several attempts have been made to design an outfit that can be worn to identify Kenyans, much like the Kente' cloth of Ghana.

The most recent effort was the Unilever-sponsored "Sunlight quest for Kenya's National Dress". A design was chosen and though it was unveiled with much pomp at a ceremony in which public figures modelled the dress, the dress design never took hold with the ordinary people.

Kitenge, a cotton fabric made into various colours and design through tie-and-dye and heavy embroidery, is generally accepted as the African dress. Though used in many African countries, Kitenge is yet to be accepted as an official dress as it is only worn during ceremonies and non-official functions. The Maasai wear dark red garments to symbolise their love for the earth and also their dependence on it. It also stands for courage and blood that is given to them by nature. The Kanga (Khanga, Lesso) is another cloth that is in common use in practically every Kenyan home. The Kanga is a piece of clothing about 1.5 m by 1 m, screen printed with beautiful sayings in Swahili (or English) and is largely worn by women around the waist and torso. Kangas are a flexible item, used in many ways such as aprons, child-carrying slings, picnic blankets, swimwear etc. However, except among the coastal people, it is usually not worn as a full outfit.

Music

Kenya is home to a diverse range of music styles, ranging from imported popular music, afro-fusion and benga music to traditional folk songs. The guitar is the most popular instrument in Kenyan music, and songs often feature intricate guitar rhythms. The most famous guitarist of the early 20th century was Fundi Konde. Other notable musicians of the 60s era include Fadhili Williams (recognised by many as the author of the hit song "Malaika" that was later re-done by Miriam Makeba, Boney M and Daudi Kabaka.

Popular music in the 1980s and 90s in Kenya could be divided into two genres: the Swahili sound and the Congolese sound. There are varying regional styles, and some performers create tourist-oriented "hotel pop" that is similar to western music. Them Mushrooms, later renamed Uyoga, was one of the popular groups in this era.

In the recent past, newer varieties of modern popular music have arisen which are mostly local derivatives of western hip-hop. Two sub-genres have emerged: "Genge" and "Kapuka" beats. This has revolutionized popular Kenyan music and created an industry dominated by the youth. There is also underground Kenyan hip hop that gets less radio play than Kapuka or Genge due to the fact that it is less club oriented and more focussed on social commentary. Early pioneers include the late Poxi Presha, Kalamashaka, and K-South. In Nairobi, hip-hop is viewed as more of a style than as a musical culture. There is a great correlation between the youth who listen to rap music and their economical status in the country with the majority of them coming from wealthy economic backgrounds. Since hip-hop is portrayed through clothing, magazines, and CDs, all of which are expensive, only the wealthier individuals are able to enjoy these luxuries. [14] In the last five years, hip-hop in Kenya has really taken off and has emerged from a mere curiosity, to a legitimate and successful business, which many claim is the most vibrant hip-hop scene in Africa.[15]

One phenomenon that critics have noted is the differences in opinions on authenticity of Hip Hop between American listeners and those in Nairobi. While those within the Hip Hop culture in the US fully embrace aspects of Hip Hop throughout their everyday lives, Nairobi youths tend not to. Kenyan rappers often used American slang within their songs, however it was noted that they rarely used the same language in regular conversation. Similarly, there is a glamorization of violence and crime that exists in America which does not in Kenya. Middle class American Hip Hop fans are often intrigued by the street images that exist in Hip Hop. Within wealthy Kenyan youth though, who often have most access to Hip Hop, these themes are taboo. This trend can likely be attributed to the language barrier between Kenyan listeners and English-speaking artists. [16]

Mainstream artists include Nameless, Redsan, Necessary Noize, Nonini, Juacali, Kleptomaniax, Longombas, Suzzanna Owiyo, Achieng Abura and others. Their sounds run the gamut from Reggae/Ragga, Pop, Afro-Fusion to Hip-Hop. Contemporary Kenyan music is becoming quite popular, with African based music channels such as Channel O and MTV Base, giving them a greater audience than previously before. In Kenya, West Coast rappers like 2pac, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg help glamorize and popularize hip-hop through their flashy music videos and material goods.[17]

Many Kenyan performers mix languages in any single song, usually English, Swahili, their tribal language or Sheng (a hybrid of Kenyan languages and English/Swahili).

The Kisima Music Awards, which recognise musical talent across East Africa, were founded and are currently based in Kenya. Every year numerous Kenyan artists take out categories in the scheme.

The African Children's Choir features children, many of whom are orphaned, from Kenya, as well as from other neighbouring African countries.

Sports

Kenya is active in several sports, among them cricket, rallying, football (soccer), rugby union and boxing. But the country is known chiefly for its dominance in long-distance athletics. Kenya has regularly produced Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions in various distance events, especially in 800 m, 1,500 m, 3,000 m steeplechase, 5,000 m, 10,000 m and the marathons. Kenyan athletes (particularly Kalenjin) continue to dominate the world of distance running, although competition from Morocco and Ethiopia has somewhat reduced this supremacy. The former Marathon world record holder, Paul Tergat, and the four-time women's Boston Marathon winner and two-time world champion, Catherine Ndereba, are among the best-known athletes in Kenya.

Retired Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion Kipchoge Keino, helped usher in Kenya's ongoing distance dynasty 1970s and was followed by Commonwealth Champion Henry Rono's spectacular string of world record performances.

Lately, there has been controversy in Kenyan athletics circles, with the defection of a number of Kenyan athletes to represent other countries, chiefly Bahrain and Qatar.[18] The Kenyan Ministry of Sports has tried to stop the defections, but they have continued anyway, with Bernard Lagat the latest, choosing to represent the United States.[18]

Cricket is Kenya's second most popular and most successful team sport. Kenya has competed in the Cricket World Cup since 1996. They upset some of the World's best teams and reached semi-finals of the 2003 tournament. They also won the inaugural World Cricket League Division 1 hosted in Nairobi and participated in the World T20. Their current captain is Steve Tikolo.

Kenya is making a name for itself in rugby union. It is popular in Kenya especially with the annual Safari Sevens tournament. Kenya sevens team ranked 9th in IRB Sevens World Series for the 2006 season.

Kenya has also been a dominant force in ladies' volleyball within Africa, with both the clubs and the national team winning various continental championships in the past decade. The women team has also competed at the Olympics and World Championships but without any notable success.

Kenya was a regional power in soccer but its dominance has been eroded by wrangles within the Kenya Football Federation.[19] This has led to a suspension by FIFA which was lifted in March, 2007.

In the motor rallying arena, Kenya is home to the world famous Safari Rally, commonly acknowledged as one of the toughest rallies in the world,[20] and a part of the World Rally Championship for many years until its exclusion after the 2002 event due to financial difficulties. Some of the best rally drivers in the world have taken part in and won the rally, such as Bjorn Waldegaard, Hannu Mikkola, Tommi Makinen, Shekhar Mehta, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae. Though the rally still runs annually as part of the Africa rally championship, the organisers are hoping to be allowed to rejoin the World Rally championship in the next couple of years.

Film

Although the government has not been very supportive of the film industry in Kenya, the country offers some of the most spectacular sceneries and can only be compared to South Africa in regard to producing some of the most talented actors and actresses on the African continent. Due to the nonchalant attitude and lack of enthusiasm exhibited by the government, the industry has remained considerably dormant whereby notable movies shot in the country have been few and far between. The most recent movie is the award winning The Constant Gardener directed by Fernando Meirelles and starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. Other films shot in Kenya in the recent past include the Academy Award winning Nowhere in Africa and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle won great acclaim in the 1980s and was one of the first foreign movies to be shot entirely on location in Kenya. Other highly acclaimed films set (and shot) in Kenya include Karen Blixen's Out of Africa, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep and directed by Sidney Pollack, and Born Free, an adaptation of the autobiography of Joy Adamson. In 1999, part of the movie To Walk With Lions, which featured actor Richard Harris, was shot on location in the country. Notable film actors from Kenya include Paul Onsongo, David Mulwa, John Sibi Okumu and Njeri Osaak.

Die Weiße Massai (The White Masai), a German movie about a Swiss Woman who fell in love with a Samburu warrior (Maasai); won an Award of the best Foreign language Movie (2006). Rise and Fall of Idi Amin, based on the Ugandan dictator, was shot in Kenya and is considered one of the most successful movies produced and directed by a Kenyan (Sharad Patel). Indigenous Kenyan filmmakers include Ingolo Wa Keya, Albert Wandago and Judy Kibinge. Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika - 2001), an award-winning German production, tells a story about German Jewish refugees living in Kenya during Second World War. Most of the movie is set in Kenya and numerous scenes show actors, either Kenyans or main German actors, speaking Swahili.

Some of the latest notable productions include the footage screened to the music of U2, Robbie Williams, R.E.M. and other acts at the Live 8 concerts in Europe and the US in July 2005, Africa Mon Amor, shot over a period of three months in Samburu, Shaba and Lamu with a renowned German actress, Iris Berben, in 2006.

The Kenya Film Commission (KFC) was established by the Kenyan government in 2005, but only became fully operational in mid-2006. The Commission was formed with the aim of promoting the Kenyan film industry both locally and internationally. It offers detailed information on Kenyan filming locations as well as liaison services on behalf of the government. The Commission also advises on recce's, film licensing and immigration requirements as well as facilitate the filming process for film makers.

Interested producers and production companies need to go though filming agents in order to obtain a film licence that allows filming all over Kenya

Television

Acting for television has proved popular with the Kenyan audience. This genre has been around from the 1960s when actors like Mzee Pembe graced the Kenyan television screen. Others, like Benson Wanjau (Ojwang' Hatari) and Mary Khavere (Mama Kayai), followed later with their rib-cracking comedies presented exclusively in Swahili, reaching millions of households courtesy of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation television station. Serious Television drama was witnessed for the first time in the early 1990s with the entry of popular actors like Packson Ngugi, BMJ Muriithi and Betty Achieng' alongside other thespians who featured in a variety of TV shows following the liberalization of the airwaves by the Kenyan government. However, Tushauriane, a Swahili television series featuring Kenyan fine actors like Dennis Kashero and Tony Msalame had premiered in the late 1980s becoming arguably one of the most popular productions to ever hit the Kenyan TV screens. A new genre in the form of stand-up comedy followed when the late actor Joni Nderitu entered the scene. The new style was later to be perfected by the group, 'Redykyulass', comprised of a trio of young Kenyans - Walter Mong'are, Tony Njuguna and John Kiare (KJ) - who specialised in political satire. They lampooned not only the establishment but the then Kenyan President, Daniel Arap Moi [8] as well. The lampooning of the Kenyan head of state was unprecedented and could have easily led to their prosecution, or even detention without trial, had it been done in the 1980s, when mimicking the head of state and exhibiting any form of political dissent was considered treasonable. Other Stations known to promote theater in Kenya include Nation TV, Kenya Television Network (KTN) an Citizen TV, all based in the nation's capital, Nairobi.

A Satellite and Internet-based 24-hour pan-African TV channel, A24, is scheduled to start broadcasting from Nairobi in 2008. This will be in honor and memory of world-renowned and award winning Kenyan Photojournalist, Mohamed Amin.

Theatre

Kenya holds one of the biggest annual drama events, the Kenya schools and colleges drama festival, in the south of Sahara. The Kenya National Theatre is based in Nairobi opposite the Norfolk Hotel. Notable theatre performing groups include Festival of Creative Arts that stages regular stage performances at both the Kenya National Theatre and Alliance Francaise, Phoenix Players based at the Professional Centre, Heartsrings Ensemble and Mombasa Little Theatre Club based in Mombasa. Notable names on the Kenyan theatre scene include the late actresses Stella Awinja Muka and Anne Wanjugu. Renowned director Tirus Gathwe cut a niche for himself and is perhaps the most well known theatre directors in Kenya today.In the late 1990s through the early 2000s, the late Wahome Mutahi followed in the footsteps of the legendary Ngugi Wa Thiong'o when he, through Igiza Productions, teamed up with Tirus Gathwe and embarked on a project dubbed "taking Theatre to the people" which saw them stage numerous productions, mainly political Satires, at nightspots throughout the country.

Economy 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 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. After some early progress in rooting out corruption and encouraging donor support, the KIBAKI government was rocked by high-level graft scandals in 2005 and 2006. In 2006 the World Bank and IMF delayed loans pending action by the government on corruption. The international financial institutions and donors have since resumed lending, despite little action on the government's part to deal with corruption. The scandals have not weighed down growth, with estimated real GDP growth at more than 6 percent in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $57.65 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $29.5 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.3% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,600 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 23.8%
industry: 16.7%
services: 59.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 11.85 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 75%
industry and services: 25% (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: 44.5 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 9.3% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 22% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $5.444 billion
expenditures: $6.399 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 50.8% of GDP (2007 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, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: 6.1% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 5.502 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 17.7%
hydro: 71%
nuclear: 0%
other: 11.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 4.464 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 28 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 64,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 8,563 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 70,540 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $-980 million (2007 est.)
Exports: $3.76 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement
Exports - partners: Uganda 15.9%, UK 10.3%, US 8.2%, Netherlands 7.9%, Tanzania 7.7%, Pakistan 4.9% (2006)
Imports: $7.602 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
Imports - partners: UAE 11.8%, India 8.8%, China 8.3%, Saudi Arabia 8.3%, US 7%, South Africa 6.4%, UK 5.3%, Japan 4.7% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: $768.3 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.1 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $7.715 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $1.169 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $124 million (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $11.38 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Kenyan shilling (KES)
Currency code: KES
Exchange rates: Kenyan shillings per US dollar - 68.309 (2007), 72.101 (2006), 75.554 (2005), 79.174 (2004), 75.936 (2003)
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 293,400 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 6.485 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate; fixed-line telephone system is small and inefficient; trunks are primarily microwave radio relay; business data commonly transferred by a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system
domestic: no recent growth in fixed-line infrastructure and the sole provider, Telkom Kenya, is slated for privatization; multiple providers in the mobile-cellular segment of the market fostering a boom in mobile-cellular telephone usage
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 (2001)
Televisions: 730,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .ke
Internet hosts: 2,120 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 65 (2001)
Internet users: 2.77 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 225 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 15
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 210
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 113
under 914 m: 85 (2007)
Pipelines: refined products 900 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,778 km
narrow gauge: 2,778 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)
Roadways: total: 63,265 km (interurban roads)
paved: 8,933 km
unpaved: 54,332 km
note: there also are 100,000 km of rural roads and 14,500 km of urban roads for a national total of 177,765 km (2004)
Waterways: part of Lake Victoria system is within boundaries of Kenya (2006)
Merchant marine: total: 1 ship (1000 GRT or over) 3,737 GRT/5,558 DWT
by type: petroleum tanker 1
registered in other countries: 5 (Bahamas 1, Comoros 1, St Vincent and The Grenadines 2, Tuvalu 1, unknown 1) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Mombasa
Military Military branches: Kenyan Army, Kenyan Navy, Kenyan Air Force (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age (est.) for voluntary service, with a 9-year obligation (2007)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 7,303,153
females age 18-49: 7,083,726 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 3,963,532
females age 18-49: 3,471,926 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.8% (2006)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan's north-south separation in February 2005; Kenya provides shelter to almost 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 works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoralists; the boundary that separates Kenya's and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 150,459 (Somalia), 76,646 (Sudan), 14,862 (Ethiopia)
IDPs: 431,150 (KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2006)
Trafficking in persons: current situation: Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation; children are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude, street vending, agricultural labor, and sexual exploitation; men, women, and girls are trafficked to the Middle East, other African nations, Western Europe, and North America for domestic servitude, enslavement in massage parlors and brothels, and manual labor; Chinese women trafficked for sexual exploitation reportedly transit Nairobi and Bangladeshis may transit Kenya for forced labor in other countries
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Kenya is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List due to a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking
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