General information: The revered president and hero of the liberation struggle, Jomo KENYATTA, led the country from independence until his death in 1978, when the current president, Daniel Toroitich arap MOI, assumed constitutional power. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 to 1982, with the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) considered the country’s only legitimate party. Under internal and external pressure, the IOI carried out political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fragmented opposition groups failed to remove the IOI from power in the 1992 and 1997 elections, which were marred by violence and infighting, but it is generally believed that the them Kenyans have expressed their will. The country is facing a period of political instability,
Location: East Africa, coast of the Indian Ocean between Somalia and Tanzania.
Geographical coordinates: 1° 00′ s. latitude, 38° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 582,650 square kilometers; land surface area: 569,250 square kilometers; water surface area: 13,400 km2
Comparative area: slightly more than twice the size of the state of Nevada.
Land borders: total length: 3,446 km; with neighboring states: with Ethiopia 830 km, with Somalia 682 km, with Sudan 232 km, with Tanzania 769 km, with Uganda 933 km.
Coastline: 536 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of exploitation; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: varies from tropical on the coast to arid in the central regions.
Relief: low-lying plains, turning into plateaus in the central part, crossed by the Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in the west.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m.
Natural resources: gold, limestone, soda, barytes, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife, hydropower resources.
Land use: arable land: 7%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 37%; forests and plantations: 30%; others: 25% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 660 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: periodic droughts in northern and eastern regions; floods during the rainy season.
Actual environmental problems: water pollution by municipal and industrial waste; deteriorating water quality due to increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; contamination of the waters of Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: no.
Geography note: The Kenyan highlands are one of Africa’s most productive agricultural regions; there are glaciers on Mount Kenya; the unique nature of the region creates favorable conditions for the life of numerous and large populations of wild animals of scientific and economic value.
Population: 30,765,916; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and population growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall mortality rates correspondingly higher; there may also be changes in age structure and sex ratios (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 41.95% (male 6,524,776; female 6,381,192); 15 to 64 years old: 55.26% (male 8,529,842; female 8,471,609); over 65: 2.79% (male 376,151; female 482,346) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.27% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 28.5 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 14.35 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.),
Migration: -1.50 pers. /1000 people (2001 est.); note: according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, by the end of 1999 there were 223,700 refugees in Kenya from neighboring countries, including 141,000 from Somalia and 64,250 from Sudan.
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1.02 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.01 male/female; over 65: 0.78 male/female; for the general population: 1.01 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 67.99 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 47.49 years; men: 46.57 years; women: 48.44 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.5 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 13.95% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 2.1 million (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 180,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Kenyan; adjective: Kenyan.
Ethnic groups: Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other Africans 15%, non-Africans (Asians, Europeans and Arabs) 1%.
Believers: Protestant 38%, Roman Catholic 28%, Native Beliefs 26%, Muslim 7%, other 1%.
Language(s): English (official), Swahili (official), many vernaculars.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the population in the flail: 78.1%; men: 86.3%; women: 70% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Kenya;
conventional short form: Kenya; former: British East Africa.
State structure: republic. See a2zgov.com to know more about Kenya government and politics.
Administrative divisions: 7 provinces and 1 metropolitan area*: Eastern, Western, Nairobi*, Nyanza, Coastal, Rift Valley, North Eastern, Central.
Independence: from December 12, 1963 (until 1963, British possession).
National holiday: Independence Day, December 12 (since 1963).
Constitution: adopted December 12, 1963, amended in 1964 to transition to a republic; amendments were made in 1979, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992 and 1997.
Legal system: based on English common law, local tribal laws and Islamic law; possible review of judgments in the High Court; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; a constitutional amendment in 1982 that made Kenya a de jure one-party state was repealed in 1991.
Suffrage: 18+; universal.
chief of state: President Daniel Toroytich Arap MOI (since 14 October 1978); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
head of government: President Daniel Toroytich Arap MOI (since October 14, 1978); note – the president is both head of state and head of government;
Government: cabinet of ministers appointed by the president; elections: the president is elected by popular vote from among the members of the National Assembly for a five-year term; in addition to obtaining a relative majority of the vote, a presidential candidate must also receive at least 25% of the vote in five of the seven provinces of Kenya, and in one region avoid a second round; elections last held 29 December 1997 (next to be held early 2003); the vice president is appointed by the president; election results: President Daniel Toroytich Arap MOI re-elected; percentage of votes – Daniel Toroytich Arap MOY (KANU) 40.6%, Mwai KIBAKI (Mwai KIBAKI) (DP) 31.5%, Raila ODINGA (NDP) 11.1%, Michael WAMAL-WA ( Michael WAMALWA) (FORD-K) 8.4%, Charity NGILU (SDP) 7.8%.
Legislature: a unicameral National Assembly (Bunge) (222 members; 210 are elected by popular vote for a five-year term, and 12 so-called “nominated” members are appointed by the president but elected by the parties in proportion to the size of their factions in parliament); elections: last held 29 December 1997 (next to be held early April 2003); election results: distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by parties – KANU 107, FORD-A 1, FORD-K 17, FORD-People 3, DP 39, NDP 21, SDP 15, SAFINA 5, small parties 2; legislators appointed by the president, by party affiliation – KANU 6, FORD-K 1, DP 2, SDP 1, NDP 1, SAFINA 1.
Judiciary: Court of Appeal, whose chief judge is appointed by the president; High Court.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) (Mwai KIBAKI); Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Asili (FORD-A) (Martin SHIKUKU, General Secretary); Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – Kenya (FORD-K) (Michael WAMALWA); Forum for the Restoration of Democracy – People (FORD-People) (Kimaniwa NYOIKE, Chair); Kenya African National Union (KANU) (Daniel Toroytich Arap MOI), ruling party; National Development Party (NDP) (Raila ODINGA); SAFINA (Farah MAALIM, Chairman); Social Democratic Party (SDP) (Apollo NJONJO, general secretary, Justus NYANG’AYA).
Political influence groups and their leaders: human rights groups; labor unions; Islamic organizations; the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC), a coalition of political parties and reform NGOs (Kivutha KIBWANA); Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) (Mutava MUSYIMI); Catholic and other Christian churches; Supreme Council of Muslims of Kenya (SUPKEM) (Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY, Chairman).
Participation in international organizations: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, EADB, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: Ambassador Yusuf Abdulraham NZIBO (Yusuf Abdulraham NZIBO); office: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 387-6101; fax: [\] (202) 462-3829; consulates general: in Los Angeles and New York are closed, only the mission to the UN is functioning.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Johnnie CARSON; embassy: US Embassy, Mombasa Road, Nairobi; mailing address: R. O. Box 30137, Box 21 A, Unit 64100, APO AE 09831; phone:  (2) 537-800; fax:  (2) 537-810.
Description of the flag: three equal horizontal stripes of black (top), red and green; red stripe edged in white; in the center is a large military shield resting on crossed spears.