Kenya

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KENYA

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
TOPOGRAPHY
CLIMATE
FLORA AND FAUNA
ENVIRONMENT
POPULATION
MIGRATION
ETHNIC GROUPS
LANGUAGES
RELIGIONS
TRANSPORTATION
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL PARTIES
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARMED FORCES
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
ECONOMY
INCOME
LABOR
AGRICULTURE
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
FISHING
FORESTRY
MINING
ENERGY AND POWER
INDUSTRY
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DOMESTIC TRADE
FOREIGN TRADE
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
BANKING AND SECURITIES
INSURANCE
PUBLIC FINANCE
TAXATION
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
FOREIGN INVESTMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH
HOUSING
EDUCATION
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
MEDIA
ORGANIZATIONS
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
FAMOUS KENYANS
DEPENDENCIES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Republic of Kenya

Jamhuri ya Kenya

CAPITAL: Nairobi

FLAG: The flag is a horizontal tricolor of black, red, and green stripes separated by narrow white bars. At the center is a red shield with black and white markings superimposed on two crossed white spears.

ANTHEM: Wimbo Wa Taifa (National Anthem), beginning "Ee Mungu nguvu yetu, ilete baraka Kwetu" ("O God of all creation, bless this our land and nation").

MONETARY UNIT: The Kenya shilling (Sh) is a paper currency of 100 cents; the Kenya pound (k£) is a unit of account equivalent to 20 shillings. There are coins of 5, 10, and 50 cents, and 1 and 5 shillings; and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 shillings. Sh1 = $0.01309 (or $1 = Sh76.38) as of 2005.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: The metric system is used.

HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Madaraka Day, 1 June; Kenyatta Day, 20 October; Uhuru (Independence) Day, 12 December; Christmas, 25 December; Boxing Day, 26 December. Movable holidays include Good Friday, Easter Monday, 'Id al-Fitr, and 'Id al-'Adha'.

TIME: 3 pm = noon GMT.

LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT

Situated on the eastern coast of Africa, Kenya lies astride the equator. Its total area, including 11,230 sq km (4,336 sq mi) of water, is 582,650 sq km (224,962 sq mi), with a maximum length of 1,131 km (703 mi) ssennw and a maximum width of 1,025 km (637 mi) enewsw. Comparatively, the area occupied by Kenya is slightly more than twice the size of the state of Nevada. Kenya is bounded on the n by Sudan and Ethiopia, on the e by Somalia, on the se by the Indian Ocean, on the s by Tanzania, and on the w by Lake Victoria and Uganda, with a total land boundary length of 3,477 km (2,161 mi) and a coastline of 536 km (333 mi).

Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, is located in the south-central part of the country.

TOPOGRAPHY

Kenya is notable for its topographical variety. The low-lying, fertile coastal region, fringed with coral reefs and islands, is backed by a gradually rising coastal plain, a dry region covered with savanna and thornbush. At an altitude of over 1,500 m (5,000 ft) and about 480 km (300 mi) inland, the plain gives way in the southwest to a high plateau, rising in parts to more than 3,050 m (10,000 ft), on which most of the population and the majority of economic activities are concentrated. The northern section of Kenya, forming three-fifths of the whole territory, is arid and of semidesert character, as is the bulk of the southeastern quarter.

In the high plateau area, known as the Kenya Highlands, lie Mt. Kenya (5,199 m/17,057 ft), Mt. Elgon (4,310 m/14,140 ft), and the Aberdare Range (rising above 3,962 m/13,000 ft). The plateau is bisected from north to south by the Great Rift Valley, part of the geological fracture that can be traced from Syria through the Red Sea and East Africa to Mozambique. In the north of Kenya the valley is broad and shallow, embracing Lake Rudolf (Lake Turkana), which is about 207 km (155 mi) long; farther south the valley narrows and deepens and is walled by escarpments 600900 m (2,0003,000 ft) high. West of the Great Rift Valley, the plateau descends to the plains that border Lake Victoria. The principal rivers are the Tana and the Athi, both flowing southeastward to the Indian Ocean, and the Ewaso Ngiro, which flows in a northeasterly direction to the swamps of the Lorian Plain.

CLIMATE

The climate of Kenya is as varied as its topography. Climatic conditions range from the tropical humidity of the coast through the dry heat of the hinterland and northern plains to the coolness of the plateau and mountains; despite Kenya's equatorial position, Mt. Kenya is perpetually snowcapped. The coastal temperature averages 27°c (81°f), and the temperature decreases by slightly less than 2°c (3°f) with each 300 m (1,000 ft) increase in altitude. The capital, Nairobi, at 1,661 m (5,449 ft), has a mean annual temperature of 19°c (66°f); at 2,740 m (9,000 ft) the average is 13°c (55°f). The arid northern plains range from 21°27°c (7081°f).

Seasonal variations are distinguished by duration of rainfall rather than by changes of temperature. Most regions of the country have two rainy seasons, the long rains falling between April and June and the short rains between October and December. Average annual rainfall varies from 13 cm (5 in) a year in the most arid regions of the northern plains to 193 cm (76 in) near Lake Victoria. The coast and highland areas receive an annual average of 102 cm (40 in).

FLORA AND FAUNA

The vegetation and animal life of Kenya reflect the variety of its topography and climate. In the coastal region coconut trees flourish, with occasional mangrove swamps and rain forest. The vast plains of the hinterland and the northern regions are covered with grass, low bush, and scrub, giving way in the high-lying plains to typical savanna country of open grass dotted with thorn trees, and in the more arid regions to bare earth and stunted scrub. The highland areas are in parts densely forested with bamboo and valuable timber, the predominant trees being African camphor, African olive, podo, and pencil cedar.

Wildlife of great variety is to be found in Kenya, both in the sparsely populated areas and in the national parks and reserves that have been created for its protection. Elephant, rhinoceros, lion, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, hippopotamus, wildebeest, and many kinds of buck are among the large mammals that abound on the plains and along the rivers. Kenya's diverse bird species include cranes, flamingos, ostriches, and vultures.

As of 2002, there were at least 359 species of mammals, 344 species of birds, and over 6,500 species of plants throughout the country.

ENVIRONMENT

Deforestation and soil erosion are attributed to growing population pressure, which creates increased demands for food production and firewood. Drought and desertification (to which 83% of Kenya's land area is vulnerable) threaten potential productive agricultural lands. By the mid 1980s, Kenya had lost 70% of its original mangrove areas, with the remainder covering an estimated 53,00062,000 hectares. Also of concern is the drop in water level at Lake Victoria. Some reports estimate that in the period of 19952005, the water level dropped by one meter. Around Lake Nakuru, there has been a great loss of vegetation and deforestation, which, like the situation of Lake Victoria, has likely been caused by drought and desertification.

Water pollution from urban and industrial wastes poses another environmental problem. Kenya has 20 cu km of renewable water resources with 76% used in farming activity and 4% used for industrial purposes. Only about 46% of the residents in rural areas and 89% of city dwellers have pure drinking water.

In an effort to preserve wildlife, the government has set aside more than 3.5 million hectacres as national parks and game preserves. In 2003, 8% of Kenya's total land area was protected, including Mount Kenya National Park, which is listed as a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kenya has five Ramsar wetland sites. Game hunting and trade in ivory and skins have been banned, but poaching threatens leopards, cheetahs, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, and other species. It is illegal to kill an animal even if it attacks. According to a 2006 report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the number of threatened species included 33 types of mammals, 28 species of birds, 5 types of reptiles, 4 species of amphibians, 29 species of fish, 16 types of mollusks, 11 species of other invertebrates, and 103 species of plants. Endangered species included the Sokoke scops owl, Taita blue-banded papilio, Tana River mangabey, Tana River red colobus, the green sea turtle, and the hawksbill turtle. There are 45 extinct species including the Kenyan rocky river frog and the Kenya oribi.

POPULATION

The population of Kenya in 2005 was estimated by the United Nations (UN) at 33,830,000, which placed it at number 34 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In 2005, approximately 2% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 43% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 100 males for every 100 females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for 20052010 was expected to be 2.2%, a rate the government viewed as too high. The projected population for the year 2025 was 49,357,000. The population density was 58 per sq km (151 per sq mi), but density varies significantly by region. About 75% of the population lives on only 10% of the land.

Kenya's population increased with remarkable rapidity in recent decades. According to UN estimates, the national total rose by 28% from 6,416,000 in 1950 to 8,189,000 in 1960; by 37% to 11,253,000 in 1970; by 46% to 16,466,000 in 1980; by 36% to 22,400,000 in 1987; by 24% to an estimated 27,885,000 in 1995; and by 21% to an estimated 33,830,000 in 2005.

The UN estimated that 36% of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and that urban areas were growing at an annual rate of 3.67%. The capital city, Nairobi, had a population of 2,575,000 in that year. Mombasa, the chief seaport, had an estimated 900,000. Other large cities and their estimated populations were Nakuru, 333,800; Kisumu, 322,724; Eldoret, 246,900; Nyeri, 218,600; Machakos, 144,109; and Meru, 78,100.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS has had a significant impact on the population of Kenya. The UN estimated that 15% of adults between the ages of 1549 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The AIDS epidemic causes higher death and infant mortality rates, and lowers life expectancy.

MIGRATION

Throughout Kenya there is a slow but steady movement of the rural population to the cities in search of employment. Some Kenyans have emigrated to Uganda, and ethnic Somalis are present in significant numbers in Kenya's Northeastern Province.

Far-reaching migratory changes took place in the years immediately preceding and following independence. By 1961, the post-1945 trend of net European immigration was reversed, and in the three years that followed, approximately 29,000 Europeans left Kenya. Permanent emigration in 1964 reached 9,860, while permanent immigration totaled 5,406. In the first year of independence, some 6,000 Britons renounced their citizenship and applied for Kenyan citizenship; during the same period, approximately 70,000 persons living in Kenyathe majority of them Asianswere granted British passports. After the United Kingdom limited immigration by Asians in 1967, a crisis situation developed in Kenya. Work permits, without which Asians could not stay in the country beyond a limited period, were not issued, and the United Kingdom denied entry to Asians from Kenya who wanted to work in the United Kingdom. In 1973, the Kenya government served 1,500 notices of termination to Asian employees (there were 300 in 1972) and announced that by the end of 1974 it aimed to completely Kenyanize the country's retail and wholesale trade. In 1975, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry ordered the closing of 436 businesses, most of which belonged to Asians. Some 80,000 Asians were still living in Kenya at the time of the 1979 census, down from an estimated 180,000 in 1968.

In 2005, the net migration rate was -0.08 migrants per 1,000 population. The government views the immigration level as too high.

Kenya's refugee population includes Somalis, Sudanese, Ethiopians, Ugandans, and a smaller group comprised of various other nationalities. The total number of refugees was reduced from 420,000 in 1992 to 187,000 in June 1998. The decrease is mainly attributable to the repatriation of more than 155,000 refugees to Somalia and 70,000 to Ethiopia.

In 2004, Kenya was host to 249,310 refugees and asylum seekers. Of these, some 239,906 were refugees, 153,620 were from Somalia, over 64,000 from Sudan, and the remainder from Ethiopia. In that same year there were also 9,404 asylum seekers from Somalia, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Also in 2004, over 9,000 Kenyans sought asylum in South Africa, and more than another 1,000 in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. According to Migration News, in December 2005 some 700,000 Sudanese refugees living in northwestern Kenya began to return. Since an agreement to end the fighting between southern Christians and Muslims who control the government in Sudan was signed in January 2005, already 250,000 refugees have returned.

ETHNIC GROUPS

African peoples indigenous to Kenya, who now form 98% of the population, fall into three major cultural and linguistic groups: Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic. Although most of the land area is occupied by Cushitic and Nilotic peoples, over 70% of the population is Bantu. The Luo, a Nilotic people, live in an area adjacent to Lake Victoria. Other NilotesTurkana, Maasai, Pokot, Nandi, Kipsigis, and Tugenoccupy a broad area in the west from Lake Rudolf to the Tanzania border. Cushites such as the Galla and Somali live in the eastern and northeastern parts of the country. The Bantu reside mainly in the coastal areas and the southwestern uplands; the most significant Bantu peoples are the Kikuyu, Kamba, and Luhya. The Kikuyu, who constitute the largest single ethnic group in Kenya, live for the most part north of Nairobi and have played a major role in the nation's political and social development. The estimated proportions of the major groups are Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, and Meru 6%. Other Africans constitute 15% of the total population. These smaller groups include the Bajuni, Kijikenda, Digo, and Nubians.

Non-Africans (Arabs, Asians, and Europeans) account for no more than 1% of the population. The Arab community is centered on the Indian Ocean coast. The Swahili, a group of mixed Arab-Africans with a cultural affinity to the Arabs, also live in the coastal region. Most Asians in Kenya have origins traceable to the Indian subcontinent; living primarily in urban centers, they consist of at least 31 culturally separate groups but make up less than 0.4% of the nation's population. The European community, which has rebounded since the 1960s, is primarily of British origin. About 12% of the Europeans hold Kenyan citizenship. A 1984 law provides that people born in Kenya of non-Kenyan parents can no longer claim Kenyan citizenship.

LANGUAGES

Although there are linguistic groupings of very similar dialects, nearly all the African ethnic groups have their own distinct languages. Swahili, however, increasingly has become an East African lingua franca, and in 1974 it became Kenya's official language, along with English. English remains in wide use in business and government, and parliamentary bills must be drafted and presented in that language. Both Gujarati and Punjabi are widely used among the Asian community.

RELIGIONS

An estimated 66% of the population are Christians with about 28% belonging to the Roman Catholic church and 38% belonging to Protestant churches. About 7% are Muslim, with many living in the Northeastern Province, the Coast Province, and the northern region of the Eastern Province. About 1% are Hindu and the remainder practice traditional religions or local branches of Christianity. As in other African states with complex religious histories and some renewal of cultural self-consciousness, it is likely that a majority of ethnic Kenyans also hold some traditional African beliefs. Foreign missionary groups include the African Inland Mission (Evangelical Protestant), the Pentecostal Assembly of Kenya, the Southern Baptist Church, and the Missionary Society of Britain (Anglican).

The current constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. The Constitution of Kenya Review Commission submitted a draft for a new constitution in March 2004 that would specifically recognize a separation between state and religion. Christians and Muslims were debating the possibility that the new constitution would grant special recognition to the Islamic court system. Religious organizations must register with the government Registrar of Societies; some small splinter groups have had their applications denied. Certain Muslim and Christian Holidays are celebrated as national holidays.

TRANSPORTATION

Kenya's railway system in 2004, operated by the Kenya Railways Corp., consisted of 2,778 km (1,726 mi) of narrow gauge railway, of which over half was made up by the main line between the Ugandan border and Mombasa, the chief port.

A modern installation, the port at Mombasa serves Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the DROC, and the Sudan as well as Kenya. A national shipping line, 70% state owned, was created in 1987. There is steamer service on Lake Victoria. In 2005, the merchant marine had three ships (1,000 GRT or over), totaling 6,049 GRT.

As of 2002, the road system comprised an estimated 63,942 km (39,771 mi), of which about 7,737 km (4,812 mi) were paved. The major road from Nairobi to Mombasa is well paved, and the government has undertaken a campaign to widen and resurface secondary roads. All-weather roads linking Kenya with the Sudan and Ethiopia have been completed. Over 80% of Kenya's total passenger and freight traffic use road transport. In 2003, there were 261,920 private passenger automobiles and 110,540 commercial vehicles.

In 2004, there were an estimated 221 airports in Kenya, only 15 of which had paved runways as of 2005. There are major international airports at Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta) and Mombasa (Moi International). The Nairobi air terminal, opened in 1958 and expanded in 1972 to receive jumbo jets, is a continental terminus for international services from Europe, Asia, and other parts of Africa. Air travel and air freight also are accommodated at Malindi, Kisumu, and numerous smaller airstrips. Kenya Airways flies to other nations of East Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. In 2003, about 1.678 million passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

HISTORY

Fossil remains show that humanlike creatures lived in the area of Lake Rudolf perhaps two million years ago. As early as the third millennium bc, cattle were being herded in what is now northern Kenya. Sometime in the first millennium bc, food-producing Cushitic-speaking peoples, possibly from the Ethiopian highlands, appeared in Kenya. During the Iron Age (c.ad 1000), the first Bantu speakers arrived, probably from points south and west, resulting in the retreat of Cushitic speakers. The Nilotic speakers entered at the end of the 16th century from the north or north-west, from southern Sudan, and perhaps from the western Ethiopian borderland.

After their arrival, most groups settled into a pattern of slow and gradual movement highlighted by spurts of expansionist activity. For example, the Eastern Bantu (Kikuyu, Meru, Kamba, Pokomo, Teita, and Bajuni), possibly after settling in the area between Lamu and the Juba River, dispersed throughout southern and coastal Kenya. By 1400, the Kikuyu had reached the area near Mt. Kenya; they were joined there by the Meru in the 1750s. The Western Bantu (Luhya and Gusii) developed from an influx of Kalenjin (15981625) and Bantu (15981733) migrants. Other peoples, including the Luo, developed a strong ethnic identity and protected themselves from intruders. But as their population increased between 1750 and 1800, conflict arose, clans broke down, and another wave of migration ensued.

The Cushitic and Nilotic peoples (represented by Kalenjin ancestors of the Pokot, Nandi, Kipsigis, Kony, and Tugen) and others (such as the Turkana, Teso, and Galla) participated in independent movements beginning in the 16th century and lasting into the 18th. By 1800, the Kamba, acting as the chief carriers and gobetweens, dominated an extensive intergroup long-distance trade network that linked the interior to the East African coast. The last migrants into the country were the Somali, who did not enter northeastern Kenya in great numbers until the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Meanwhile, another set of migrants settled on the Indian Ocean coast. As in the interior, the newcomers replaced the original hunter-gatherer inhabitants. In the period prior to the birth of Christ, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Persians, and possibly even Indonesians visited the coast. By the 10th century the Bantu had settled the coastal region in what the Arabs called the Land of the Zenj (blacks). As the area flourished, a mixed population of Arabs and Africans combined in creating the Swahili culture, a culture marked by its own language, a devotion to Islam, and the development of numerous coastal trade centers. Swahili cities such as Kilwa, Mombasa, and Pate remained independent of one another and of foreign control and, although they had little contact with the interior, grew wealthy from their mercantile contacts with India and Arabia.

Throughout the 16th century, following Vasco da Gama's landing at Malindi in 1498, the coastal cities struggled to remain independent of the external threats posed first by the Portuguese and then by the Omani Arabs. Although the Portuguese established posts and gained a monopoly of the trade along the Kenya coast, the Arabs eventually succeeded in driving out the Portuguese and reestablishing Arab authority in 1740. Independent Arab settlements persisted for a century until, during the rule (180656) of Sayyid Sa'id, a kind of unity was established. Arab control even in the 19th century continued to be confined to the coastal belt, however. In 1840, Sayyid Sa'id moved the capital of his sultanate to Zanzibar.

Europeans began to assert their influence in East Africa. After jostling with the Germans and the Italians for Zanzibari favors, the British emerged with a concession for the Kenya coast in 1887. European penetration of the interior had begun decades earlier with the explorations of two German missionaries, Johannes Rebmann and Johann Ludwig Krapf, in 184749, and by the English explorer John Hanning Speke at Lake Victoria in 1858. In 1886, the United Kingdom and Germany reached agreement on their respective spheres of influence in East Africa, and the Imperial British East African Company, a private concern, began establishing its authority in the interior two years later. In 1890, a definitive Anglo-German agreement was signed, and arrangements were made with the sultan of Zanzibar for protection to be extended to his mainland holdings. When the company failed in 1895, the United Kingdom assumed direct control over the "East African Protectorate". In December 1901, the railway linking Mombasa with Lake Victoria was completed, and in the following year the boundary between Kenya and Uganda was shifted some 320 km (200 mi) westward to its present position. European and Asian settlement followed the building of the railway, and by World War I the modern development of Kenya was clearly evident. In 1920 the protectorate, with the exception of the coastal strip (later ceded by Zanzibar), was declared a crown colony.

In the interwar years, the major challenge to European political power came from Asians who wanted equality with Europeans in governmental representative institutions. This challenge was successfully resisted, but in the postwar period a more dynamic threat came from African nationalism.

The Struggle for Independence

Africans made use of both legal and nonlegal methods in their struggle for power with the Europeans. The first efforts ended in the eruption of the Mau Mau movement, and a state of emergency was declared in October 1952. Supported primarily by the Kikuyu, Embu, and Meru tribes of Central Province, Mau Mau was a secretive insurrectionary movement that rejected the European domination over Kenya. The emergency lasted until late 1959, and cost over uk£55 million. At one time, more than 79,000 Africans were detained, and about 13,000 civilians (almost all African) were killed.

During the initial period of the emergency in 1954, the "Lyttelton" multiracial constitution was imposed on Kenyan political groups unable to agree among themselves. It provided both for African and Asian participation in a council of ministers with Europeans, and a system of communal representation for each racial group, with a formula of equality of representation in legislative and executive institutions between Europeans and non-Europeans. The introduction of direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council in 1957 was their first outstanding political gain. With the 1960 "Macleod" constitution came an African-elected majority in the Legislative Council; this represented a decisive shift in the direction of an African-controlled state of Kenya. Rapid advancement toward self-government and independence under African leadership was delayed, however, because of conflicts between the two major African political parties over the future constitutional structure of the country. A constitutional conference in London in early 1962 produced a "framework" constitution, which included formation of a national government representing both political parties. Following new national elections under this constitution in May 1963, Kenya became self-governing on 1 June. On 12 December 1963, Kenya became independent. Exactly one year later it became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, with Jomo Kenyatta as the country's first president. His political party, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), dominated the government, and leaders of a rival party, banned in 1969, were detained. On the other hand, some electoral choice was permitted: although all parliamentary candidates in 1969, 1974, and 1979 were KANU members, more than half the incumbents were unseated in the balloting.

An East African Community united Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda in a common market and customs union until it was dissolved in 1977. Kenya has maintained remarkable political stability, despite territorial disputes with the Somali Democratic Republic, which resulted in sporadic fighting (19631968); and with Uganda (1970s). Tanzania closed its borders with Kenya between 1978 and 1983 because Kenya allegedly harbored Idi Amin's supporters after his fall.

Kenyatta died on 22 August 1978 and was succeeded by his vice president, Daniel Arap Moi, who was elected president without opposition a month later. In June 1982, the National Assembly voted unanimously to make Kenya formally a one-party state. On 1 August 1982, a group of junior air force officers, supported by university students and urban workers, attempted a military coup. Looting in Nairobi, particularly of Asian-owned stores, continued for days. This resulted in more than 500 people reported killed, dissolution of the entire 2,100-member air force, closing of Nairobi University, jailing of almost 1,000 persons, conviction and sentencing to death of 12 conspirators in the following months, and their reported execution in 1985. President Moi ran unopposed in the elections of September 1983; in the National Assembly voting during the same month, five cabinet ministers and 40% of all incumbents went down to defeat.

In 1986, Moi declared that KANU was above government, the parliament and the judiciary. Critics of Moi, even within KANU, were expelled from the party and government repression widened. Many opposition leaders were detained in July 1990 and in 1991 (including former vice president, Oginga Odinga), and clashes between pro-democracy demonstrators and police left five dead.

The Advent of Multiparty Democracy

As pressures mounted for political reform, the United States and 11 other donor nations pressed Moi to reduce government corruption, to improve its poor human rights record, and to institute economic reforms. In 1991, these donors withheld more than $350 million in aid. In December 1991, Moi and his party legalized multiparty politics, but opposition to Moi and civil unrest continued. Ethnic violence from 1991 to 1994 in the Rift Valley left over 3,000 Kikuyu and Luo dead, allegedly the work of "trained warriors" from Moi's ethnic group. In 1993, Africa Watch, a US-based human rights group, reported that as many as 1,500 Kenyans have been killed and over 300,000 displaced as a result of ethnic violence instigated by Moi's regime in the Rift Valley. In the lead-up to the 1997 general elections, ethnic fighting flared up in Mombassa, claiming over 42 lives. The death toll of these clashes pales in comparison to the Hutu-Tutsi genocide, but the social friction they have caused provided Moi with what he termed "proof" that the country is too fractured along tribal lines to allow true multiparty democracy.

In Nairobi in January 1992, more than 100,000 attended the first legal antigovernment rally in 22 years. Through the years, the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) had emerged as the main opposition. But a conflict between Kenneth Matiba and Odinga signaled ethnic divisions in the run-up to elections required by 21 March 1993. Moi, exploiting those weaknesses, delayed the elections until December. The opposition, divided into eight parties, saw its initial support fade away. Although the late December elections were generally peaceful, Matiba, Odinga, and Mwai Kibaki, of the Democratic Party of Kenya, refused to accept the results. Moi was reelected with 37% of the vote; Matiba had 26%, Kibaki 19%, and Odinga 17%. For the National Assembly, KANU won 100 of the 188 seats; FORD-Kenya, 31; FORD-Asili, 31; and DP, 23. However, many of Moi's cabinet ministers were defeated in their parliamentary contests.

Moi continued to demonstrate his authoritarianism in 1994 and 1995, as opposition groups struggled among themselves to present a united front. Moi's overtly heavy security apparatus stepped up internal oppression, leading the Kenyan Human Rights Commission to report that in the first nine months of 1995, security forces murdered 74 Kenyans in detention, 12 of whom were killed by torture. Violence conducted by unofficial Moi-supported gangs continued as well.

Despite this, opposition forces became vocal as the 1997 elections neared, demanding constitutional reform. Primary among the demands was a constitutional convention and at the very least parliamentary action limiting the powers of the president, and an electoral reform providing for a runoff election if no presidential candidate received more than 50% of the votea virtual certainty. Moi, elected with only 36% of the vote in 1992, publicly acknowledged the need for such reforms, but repeatedly postponed any action. This further inflamed opposition parties, and as protests grew more violent, Moi's repression followed suit. By 9 September 1997, over 70 people had been killed in demonstrations, including 7 protestors killed by police in July in a massive Nairobi demonstration that saw police beating religious leaders inside the Kenya Presbyterian Church at midday. Images of bloodied clerics fleeing armed mobs in the international media outlets led to harsher criticism, further marginalization, escalating civil unrest, and violence. Moi refused to concede to opposition demands, insisting that democratic reforms would lead to the splintering of the country.

On 29 and 30 December 1997, Kenyans went to the polls without constitutional or electoral reform. Again, early hopes of a united opposition victory were dashed as divisions reemerged. Over nine parties split the opposition vote. Moi was reelected with 40% of the vote; Mwai Kibaki of the Democratic Party (DP) had 31%; National Democratic Party's (RDP) Raila Odinga had 11%; FORD-Kenya's M.K. Wamalwa had 8%; and Charity Kaluki Ngilu of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) had about 8%. Of the 210 seats of the National Assembly, KANU won 108; DP, 39; NDP, 21; FORD-Kenya, 17; SDP, 15; Safina and three other parties shared 7 seats.

Following the 1997 elections, civil unrest continued, crime and corruption increased, while the AIDS pandemic claimed at least 600 lives per day. In February 2000 the British Foreign Office minister in charge of Africa, Peter Hain, referred to corruption in Kenya as "the economic equivalent of AIDS". Still, Moi managed to survive a vote of no confidence moved by opposition MPs in October 1998. After 30 months of snubbing the IMF, the Kenyan government finally resumed formal relations with the IMF and in mid-January 2000, the IMF Board voted to resume aid to Kenya. The reestablishment of the East African Common Market was expected to increase trade among the three sister countries.

The opposition and civil society coalesced over the issue of constitutional reform. Bowing to mounting pressure and civil unrest, Moi finally consented to a Constitutional Review Commission Amendment Act, which became effective on 29 January 1999. However, squabbling over who should lead the review process delayed action into 2003.

Following much speculation, Moi went on record saying he would retire at the end of his term in 2002. Although it appeared in April 2002 that elections would be postponed for a year to allow for the drafting of the constitution, the polls were held on 27 December 2002. Mwai Kibaki's landslide victory with 62.2% of the vote over Moi's hand-picked candidate Uhuru Kenyatta with 31.3% ended 24 years of KANU rule under Moi. In the parliamentary vote, Kibaki's National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) won 125 directly elected and seven appointed seats for a total of 132 seats, compared to 64 directly elected and 4 appointed seats for KANU in a parliament of 224 seats. Overall the polls were judged peaceful, free, and fair. The next elections were scheduled to be held in 2007.

President Kibaki campaigned on a policy of generating economic growth, improving education, combating corruption, and implementing a new constitution. With international aid flowing back into Kenya, there have been some major achievements with reference to economic growth and improvements in the educational system. However, the constitutional process proceeded much slower due to disagreements between the partners in the current coalition government. The Democratic Party (DP) led by Kibaki and National Alliance Party of Kenya (NAK) faction allied with Kibaki, favored a strong centralized presidential system, while the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) factionwith fewer parliamentary seats in the coalition than the other two partiesprefered a federal parliamentary system with a strong prime minister while weakening the role of the president.

Raila Odinga, the leader of LDP, had hopes to become prime minister but the proposed new constitution was modified by the government during the Moi regime. The amendments retain a strong president, who controls a weaker prime minister. This resulted in a split between NAK and LDP, with the former campaigning for a "Yes" vote in the referendum on the constitution and the latter a "No". Uhuru Kenyatta's KANU party, which ruled Kenya for most of the postindependence era until its ouster in the 2002 elections was also vigorously campaigning for a "No" vote to the modified constitution. It was thought by some that the political wrangling and alignment over the referendum for the new constitution would imply a wider realignment before the 2007 elections. In addition to these disagreements, there was also a lack of progress in tackling the problem of corruption and the donor nations, particularly the British, strongly criticized the Kibaki government for lack of progress on this front.

GOVERNMENT

According to the constitution of 1963, as subsequently amended, the government of Kenya is led by a president who is chief of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected to serve a five-year term; he may, however, dissolve the National Assembly during his term, or the National Assembly may dissolve itself by a vote of no confidence, in which case a new presidential election must also be held. The president appoints the members of the cabinet (the vice president and the heads of the various ministries) from among members of the Assembly. The Assembly is barred by edict of the speaker from debating the conduct of the president. The cabinet is carefully balanced to maintain a multiethnic image, and the allocation of assistant ministerships is part of the communally arranged patronage system.

The unicameral National Assemblyestablished when the Senate and House of Representatives were merged by constitutional amendment in 1967consisted in October 2005 of 210 members elected for a maximum term of five years, plus 12 national members nominated by the president and selected by parties in proportion to their parliamentary vote totals. In addition, the speaker of the Assembly and the attorney general are ex-officio members. Technically, MPs are allowed to introduce legislation, but in fact it is the attorney general who does so. Suffrage is universal at age 18.

The constitution recognizes the principle of maximum allocation of governmental powers to local authorities, and provision is made for the establishment of provincial assemblies with local administrative powers. The central government may abridge or extend the powers of local government in the national interest. The next elections were scheduled to take place in 2007.

POLITICAL PARTIES

Following a constitutional conference at Lancaster House in London in February 1960, two national African parties were formed, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU). The fundamental difference between the two parties resided in the fact that KANU tended to represent those persons and tribes that were most closely associated with an urban-oriented nationalism and sought a highly centralized political system for Kenya, while KADU represented the more rural and pastoral tribes, who feared a concentration of power by any central government. The political conflicts between these two parties tended to become identified with tribalism, since each party had a core group of tribes committed to it. In the national elections of May 1963, KANU won a majority of seats in both houses of parliament, and its leader, Jomo Kenyatta, assumed power. KADU dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU.

Since 1964, KANU has dominated Kenyan politics. In March 1966, 30 KANU members of the House announced that they had formed an opposition party, later named the Kenya People's Union (KPU), led by Oginga Odinga, a Luo, who had resigned his post as vice president. By-elections for the 30 seats, held in June 1966, resulted in the KPU's retention of only 9. In July 1969, Tom Mboya, the minister of economic planning, was assassinated. His death touched off old animosities between his tribe, the Luo, and the politically dominant Kikuyu, to which Kenyatta belonged. The government used the pretext of the assassination to ban the KPU and jail Odinga and other opposition leaders. In the 1969 elections, Kenyattawho ran unopposedand the KANU slate were returned to power. All parliamentary candidates also were KANU members in 1974 and 1979; however, there were many more candidates than constituencies, and in all three elections a majority of incumbents were unseated.

Following reports that Odinga, who had been freed in 1971, was planning to form a new, Socialist-oriented party, the National Assembly on 9 June 1982 declared Kenya a one-party state. In the wake of the attempted coup that August, Odinga was again detained, and treason charges were brought against his son, Raila Odinga, dean of the engineering school of the University of Nairobi. The treason charges were later dropped, but Oginga Odinga remained under house arrest from November 1982 to October 1983. By that time, presidential and parliamentary elections had been held, with some 900 KANU members vying for the 158 elective seats.

A clandestine dissident group known as Mwakenya was founded in 1981. In 1986, 44 persons were being held in connection with this group, 37 of whom were convicted of sedition. Other underground opposition groups emerged in the 1980s and in 1987 many joined to form the United Movement for Democracy (UMOJA, Swahili for unity).

In December 1991, the Moi government decided to end KANU's monopoly on legal political activity. A grand coalition known as the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) was formed, but, before the December 1992 election, it fragmented into two factionsFORD-Kenya, headed by Oginga Odinga and FORD-Asili, led by Kenneth Matiba. The Democratic Party of Kenya (DP) was headed by Mwai Kibaki and the Kenya National Congress (KNC) by Chilube wa Tsuma. Three other parties were active, even in the face of persecution by Moi's police. In particular, government prevented opposition MPs, domestic and international human rights figures, and journalists from entering the security zones of the Rift Valley, where the government conducted a policy of ethnic cleansing against the area's non-Kalenjin population. In 1993 alone, the KANU-led government arrested 36 of the 85 opposition MPs.

In the run-up to the scheduled 1997 elections, opposition parties made a brief attempt at unity with the formation in 1995 of the united National Democratic Alliance. Factional bickering, however, rendered it stillborn. Also in 1995, the Safina Party was founded by Richard Leakey, the world-renowned paleoanthropologist and former head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, a post for which he was handpicked by President Moi. Leakey intended to organize an umbrella opposition party, but Moi promptly banned Safina. By 1996, however, several opposition parties had tentatively acknowledged their support of Safina. By March 1997 there were 26 registered political parties, but only 10 won parliamentary seats in the 1997 elections judged as fairly credible.

In the run-up to the 27 December 2002 elections, the opposition led by Mwai Kibaki organized a grand electoral alliance of four parties, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). The four parties in this coalition were Democratic Party led by Mwai Kibaki, Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya, Liberal Democratic Party, and National Party of Kenya. This coalition was victorious in the December 2002 elections, which saw Mwai Kibaki being elected president of Kenya, defeating Uhuru Kenyatta. The seats won by party were as follows: NARC 125, KANU 64, FORD-P 14, and other 7; ex-officio 2; seats appointed by the president: NARC 7, KANU 4, and FORD-P 1.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Kenya is divided into seven provinces: Coast, Northeastern, Eastern, Central, Rift Valley, Nyanza, and Western. (The Nairobi area is separate and has special status.) These are subdivided into 63 districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner; provincial administration is closely supervised by the central government. There are two types of upper local authorities (municipalities and county councils) and four types of lower authorities (urban councils, township authorities, area councils, and local councils). The Nairobi area, administered by a city council, is the direct responsibility of the central government. Many of the councils raise their own revenues by taxes, construct and maintain roads, carry out public health schemes, construct and improve housing, support education, and provide agricultural and social welfare services.

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

The legal system is based on the 1963 constitution, the Judicature Act of 1967, and common law court precedent. Kenya accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations. Customary law, to the extent it does not conflict with statutory law, is used as a guide in civil matters concerning persons of the same ethnic group.

The judicial system consists of the Court of Appeal, which has final appellate jurisdiction, and subordinate courts. The High Court, sitting continuously at Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Kisumu, and periodically at Eldoret, Kakamega, Nyeri, Kitale, Kisii, and Meru, consists of a chief justice and 24 associate judges, who are appointed by the president of the republic. The High Court has both civil and criminal jurisdiction, serving as an appellate tribunal in some cases and as a court of first instance in others. Lower courts are presided over by resident magistrates and district magistrates. Questions of Islamic law are determined by qadis' courts. Military courts handle court-martials of military personnel.

Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the president has considerable influence over the judiciary. The president appoints the High Court Judges with the advice of the Judicial Service Commission. The president also has authority to dismiss judges, the attorney general, and other officials upon recommendation of a tribunal appointed by the president.

ARMED FORCES

Until 1963, Kenya's defense was the responsibility of the United Kingdom. On 10 December 1963, the withdrawal of British armed forces from Kenya was completed.

In 2005, Kenyan armed forces had 24,120 active personnel. The Army of 20,000 was equipped with 78 main battle tanks. The Navy had 1,620 personnel, including 120 Marines, and was equipped with four patrol/coastal vessels. The Air Force had 2,500 personnel, 29 combat capable aircraft, including 9 fighters, and 11 attack helicopters. The 5,000-member national police had general service, air, and naval paramilitary units. Kenya contributed personnel to nine international peacekeeping missions, mainly in other African nations. In 2005, the defense budget totaled $288 million.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

On 16 December 1963, Kenya became a member of the United Nations; the nation participates in ECA and several nonregional specialized agencies, such as UNESCO UNHCR, IAEA, FAO, IRC, IMO, the World Bank, and WHO. Kenya is also a member of the African Development Bank, the ACP Group, the Commonwealth of Nations, COMESA, G-15, G-77, the WTO, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the African Union. President Daniel Arap Moi was OAU chairman during 198182 and 198283. Nairobi has become increasingly important as a headquarters for international agencies (including the secretariat of the UN Environment Program) and as a convention center for world organizations.

On 26 June 1980, Kenya signed an agreement with the United States allowing the latter access to air and naval facilities at Mombasa. Since the US embassy bombings in August 1998, the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001, and the November 2002 hotel bombing in Mombasa, the two nations have solidified their common front against international terrorism. The administration of US president George W. Bush designated Kenya a strategic regional pillar in the American national security strategy, and renewed airbase, port access, and overflight agreements with the Kenyan government. In December 2002, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld traveled to the region. Kenya receives 75% ($15 million of $20 million) of the funding authorized by the US Congress for counterterrorism in Africa.

The Kenyan government has played a key role in peace negotiations regarding the civil war in Sudan. On 9 January 2005, a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Likewise, the government has participated in negotiations to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia.

In environmental cooperation, Kenya is part of the Basel Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar, CITES, the London Convention, the Kyoto Protocol, the Montréal Protocol, MARPOL, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea, Climate Change and Desertification.

ECONOMY

Kenya's is an agricultural economy supported by a manufacturing sector, much of which dates from the pre-independence period, and a tourism sector, which is an important foreign exchange earner. Kenya has few mineral resources. Although Kenya is one of the most industrialized countries in East Africa, industry only accounts for around 13% of GDP. Kenya has a drought-prone agricultural sector in which maize is a principal staple crop, along with tuberscassava, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. There is a shortage of arable landonly 12% is first-quality farm landand little irrigation. Nonetheless, the country exports tea, coffee, cut flowers, and vegetables. Tea exports provide the largest share of foreign exchange earnings, followed by tourism. Horticultural produce and tea are Kenya's two single most valuable exports, accounting for 25% and 23% respectively of domestic exports in 2004. Coffee exports were the third-largest source of foreign exchange earnings in 2002, due to a decline in world coffee prices and a decline in production, which was caused in part by mismanagement. However, coffee has declined in importance owing to the slump in world prices, and accounted for just 4.4% of domestic exports in 2004.

Kenya had one of Africa's strongest economies in the 1980s, posting growth rates of 5% annually. Kenya's economic performance was below potential in the 1990s owing to a variety of problems, including intermittent drought, poor economic management, rampant corruption, a lack of investment, a deteriorating infrastructure, and on-off donor relations. GDP per capita fell and poverty climbed. In the early 1990s, political turmoil and poor harvests slowed growth. Disagreements over the direction of future investments led to a suspension of foreign aid in 1992 resulting in low growth and high inflation. Under a structural adjustment program supported by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1993, Kenya strengthened its free market by abolishing price controls, removing import licensing requirements, and floating the currency. The end of most financial controls occurred in 1995. These reforms, together with a strong harvest, helped the economy to expand by 3% in 1994, 5% in 1995, and 4% in 1996.

In 1997 a drought caused continuing power interruptions, slowed business and manufacturing, and cast doubts on the country's ability to sustain growth. Flooding during 1998 caused industry slowdowns. At the same time, government corruption was threatening $200 million in direct aid from the IMF and World Bank. The donor agencies' concern with official corruption was heightened in early 1996 when they learned that the government's request for a $50-million low interest loan coincided with its purchase of a $50-million private jet for the president. The purchase of the jet was a nonbudgeted expenditure hidden from the World Bank auditors. In August 1997, the IMF and World Bank, tired of Kenya's failure to clamp down on graft, ended talks on resuming aid, a move that resulted in cuts in bilateral aid programs. The government initiated its own Economic Recovery Strategy in September 1999 to improve public sector management.

Another drought in 19992000 caused water and energy to be rationed and reduced agricultural output. The IMF again provided loans to guide Kenya through the drought, but suspended them in 2001 when the government failed to implement anticorruption measures. Although ample rains returned in 2001, corruptioncompounded with low investment and weak commodity pricesprevented any increase in economic growth. The new government installed after the elections of December 2002 committed itself to providing adequate education, a zero tolerance for corruption, and an economic environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment. However, the Kenyan economy continued to stagnate in 2002, real GDP growing by just 1.1%, compared with 1.2% in 2001. The sluggish performance was blamed on a number of factors, including election uncertainties, the continued suspension of donor assistance, low investor confidence, and the continuing deterioration in Kenya's infrastructure, which inflates business costs. The rise in oil prices in the second half of 2002 also did not help.

Despite hopes of an economic revival under the reform-minded Kibaki regime, economic growth continued to be sluggish in 2003, partly because of delays in securing a new agreement with the IMF. Real GDP growth increased to 2.8% in 2003, compared with 0.4% in 2002. In 2004 official data indicated that real GDP growth had increased to 4.3%. However, the average GDP growth for 200004 still remains modest, at 2.5% annually. The main contributors to real GDP growth of 4.3% in 2004 were transport and communications, wholesale and retail trade, and restaurants and hotels, all of which grew considerably faster than in 2003. The recovery continued to gain ground in 2005 with a 5.2% growth in GDP. This reflected a solid rise in international trade, the rapid roll-out of mobile phones, and a strong recovery in tourism.

INCOME

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2005 Kenya's gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $39.5 billion. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars. The per capita GDP was estimated at $1,200. The average inflation rate in 2005 was 12%. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 16.3% of GDP, industry 18.8%, and services 65.1%.

According to the World Bank, in 2003 remittances from citizens working abroad totaled $494 million or about $15 per capita and accounted for approximately 3.4% of GDP. Foreign aid receipts amounted to $483 million or about $15 per capita and accounted for approximately 3.4% of the gross national income (GNI).

The World Bank reports that in 2003 household consumption in Kenya totaled $10.60 billion or about $332 per capita based on a GDP of $14.4 billion, measured in current dollars rather than PPP. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period 19902003 household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 2.1%. In 2001 it was estimated that approximately 31% of household consumption was spent on food, 21% on fuel, 2% on health care, and 8% on education. It was estimated that in 2000 about 50% of the population had incomes below the poverty line.

LABOR

In 2005, Kenya's labor force numbered an estimated 11.85 million. In 2003, agriculture accounted for an estimated 75% of the workforce in this impoverished country. As of 2001 (the latest year for which data was available), the unemployment rate was estimated at 40%.

The trade union movement is strong in Kenya and continues to pressure the government for better wages and improved living standards. However, union activity can result in dismissal or discrimination for employees. Complex rules severely limit the right to strike. The principal labor federation is the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU). Except for the 150,000200,000 teachers believed to be members of Kenya National Union of Teachers and three other smaller unions, all unions are affiliated with the COTU. COTU, however, does little to pursue workers' rights. There were some 41 unions in Kenya with approximately 600,000 workers in 2001, or about 33% of the country's industrialized workforce.

The minimum legal working age is 16, however this does not apply to the agricultural segment which accounts for 80% of the labor force. The number of child laborers was estimated at five million in 2002. The minimum wage ranged between $25 and $42 per month in 2002, depending on location, age, and skill level.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture remains the most important economic activity in Kenya, although less than 8% of the land is used for crop and feed production. Less than 20% of the land is suitable for cultivation, of which only 12% is classified as high potential (adequate rainfall) agricultural land and about 8% is medium potential land. The rest of the land is arid or semiarid. About 80% of the work force engages in agriculture or food processing. Farming in Kenya is typically carried out by small producers who usually cultivate no more than two hectares (about five acres) using limited technology. These small farms, operated by about three million farming families, account for 75% of total production. Although there are still important European-owned coffee, tea, and sisal plantations, an increasing number of peasant farmers grow cash crops.

From independence in 1963 to the oil crisis in 1973, the agricultural sector expanded by undergoing two basic changes: first, widespread acceptance of private ownership (replacing tribal ownership) and cash crop farming; second, the success of intensive nationwide efforts to expand and upgrade the production of African smallholders. Before World War II (193945) ended, agricultural development occurred almost exclusively in the "White Highlands," an area of some 31,000 sq km (12,000 sq mi) allocated to immigrant white settlers and plantation companies. Since independence, as part of a land consolidation and resettlement policy, the Kenya government, with financial aid from the United Kingdom, has gradually transferred large areas to African ownership. European-owned agriculture remains generally large-scale and almost entirely commercial.

After the 1973 oil crisis, agricultural growth slowed as less untapped land became available. Government involvement in marketing coupled with inefficient trade and exchange rate policies discouraged production during the 1970s. Coffee production booms in the late 1970s and in 1986 have in the past temporarily helped the economy in its struggle away from deficit spending and monetary expansion. Although the expansion of agricultural export crops has been the most important factor in stimulating economic development, much agricultural activity is also directed toward providing food for domestic consumption. Kenya's agriculture is sufficiently diversified to produce nearly all of the nation's basic foodstuffs. To some extent, Kenya also helps feed neighboring countries.

Kenya is Africa's leading tea producer, and was fourth in the world in 2004, behind China, India, and Sri Lanka. Black tea is Kenya's leading agricultural foreign exchange earner. Production in 2004 reached 295,000 tons. Tea exports were valued at $463.7 million in 2004, or over 17% of total exports. The tea industry is divided between small farms and large estates. The small-scale sector, with more than 260,000 farmers, is controlled by the parastatal Kenya Tea Development Authority. The estates, consisting of 6075 private companies, operate on their own.

Coffee is Kenya's third leading foreign exchange earner, after tourism and tea. In 2004, coffee earnings totaled $89.1 million. Production in 2005/06 amounted to an estimated 60,120 tons. Similar to the tea sector, coffee is produced on many small farms and a few large estates. All coffee is marketed through the parastatal Coffee Board of Kenya. The suspension of the economic provisions of the International Coffee Agreement in July 1989 disrupted markets temporarily, driving coffee prices to historical lows.

Kenyan horticulture has become prominent in recent years, and is now the third leading agricultural export, following tea and coffee. Fresh produce accounted for about 30% of horticultural exports, and included green beans, onions, cabbages, snow peas, avocados, mangoes, and passion fruit. Flowers exported include roses, carnations, statice, astromeria, and lilies.

Kenya is the world's largest producer and exporter of pyrethrum, a flower that contains a substance used in pesticides. The pyrethrum extract, known as pyrethrin, is derived from the flower's petals. A drop in production during the mid-1990s was due to increasing production costs, disease damage, and slow payment by the parastatal Pyrethrum Board of Kenya. The growing demand for "organic" and "natural" pesticides has increased international demand for pyrethrin, despite the existence of synthetic chemical substitutes. Kenya also produces sisal, tobacco, and bixa annatto (a natural food coloring agent) for export. In 2004, Kenya's pyrethrum production was 8,000 tons, 60% of the world total.

Other important crops in 2004 were sugarcane, 4,661,000 tons; corn, 2,138,000 tons; wheat, 300,000 tons; rice, 50,000 tons; and cotton, 5,000 tons. Smallholders grow most of the corn and also produce significant quantities of potatoes, beans, peas, sorghum, sweet potatoes, cassava, bananas, and oilseeds.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

In 2005 there were an estimated 12 million head of cattle, 10 million sheep, and 12 million goats. The number of chickens was estimated at 26 million. Kenya is self-sufficient in red meat production. Most of the beef comes from culling the dairy cattle, and from zebu breeds used by pastoralists moving their herds around Kenya's vast arid and semiarid areas. Total meat production in 2005 was 495,000 tons, with beef accounting for 65%.

Milk production is adequate for domestic needs; in 2005, fresh whole cow milk production amounted to 2,964,700 tons. Milk production is concentrated in the Rift Valley and Central Provinces. Together, these two provinces contain about 80% of Kenya's dairy cattle population. Dairy production accounts for about 12% of the total value of agricultural output. About 300,000 small dairy farmers produce 80% of the milk.

FISHING

Commercial fishing takes place on the coast of the Indian Ocean and on the shores of lakes Baringo, Naivasha, Rudolf, and Victoria. In the Victoria region, commercial companies process and package filleted and frozen lake fish, which are sold throughout East Africa. Fish farms have been established in various parts of Kenya. Sportsmen who fish in the highland lakes and streams provide a small amount of government revenue in the form of licenses and fees. The total fish catch for 2003 was 120,799 tons. Freshwater fish, particularly from Lake Victoria, predominated; the inland catch was 113,704 tons. Exports of fish products were valued at $57.3 million in 2003.

FORESTRY

Both hardwoods and softwoods are produced in Kenya. The chief hardwoods are musheragi, muiri, mukeo, camphor, and musaise. The chief softwoods are podo, cedar, and cypress. The supply of softwoods is adequate for local needs, both for building and other purposes. Wattle, grown mainly on small African plantations, provides the base of an important industry. Kenya maintains some 2,320,000 hectares (5,733,000 acres) in indigenous forests, mangroves, and forest plantations, about 4% of the total land area. Total forest and woodland coverage is about 30%. The timber cut in 2004 was 22.2 billion cu m (784 billion cu ft) of roundwood, of which 92% went for fuel. Production that year included 147,000 tons of paper and paperboard and 98,000 tons of wood pulp. In 1975, production of the first Kenya-made paper began at the Pan-African Paper Mills in Webuye.

MINING

Kenya is chiefly known for its production of fluorspar, limestone, gemstones, salt, soapstone, and soda ash. Cement was a leading industry and export commodity in 2003. National output of crude salt was estimated at 19,000 metric tons in 2003. Fluorspar (acid-grade) production was reported at 95,278 metric tons in the same year. Also in 2003, an estimated 750,000 tons of limestone were produced for cement. Kenya also produced secondary aluminum, anhydrite, barite, natural carbon dioxide gas, hydraulic cement, diatomite, feldspar, precious and semiprecious gemstones (amethyst, aquamarine, Iolite cordierite, green garnet, ruby, sapphire, and tourmaline), gold, gypsum, kaolin, refined secondary lead, lime, petroleum refinery products, crude steel, coral, granite, marble, industrial sand (glass), shale, sulfuric acid, and vermiculite. There are several gold deposits in the country.

ENERGY AND POWER

Kenya has no known reserves of oil, natural gas, or coal. As a result, the country must rely upon imports to meet its fossil fuel needs.

In 2002, Kenya's imports of petroleum products, including crude oil, averaged 56,830 barrels per day, of which crude oil accounted for 29,860 barrels per day. Domestic production of refined petroleum products averaged 33,390 barrels per day. Domestic demand averaged 51,170 barrels per day. Petroleum products are refined at Mombasa both for export and for domestic use. Oil prospecting continues along the Indian Ocean coast and offshore, but prospects of a commercially viable strike seem remote after roughly 40 years of exploration.

There were no imports of natural gas in 2002. Imports and the consumption of coal (all hard coal), each came to 109,000 short tons in 2002.

The majority of Kenya's electric power generating capacity is based upon hydropower. In 2002, the country's generating capacity came to 1.129 million kW, of which hydropower accounted for 0.675 million kW, and conventional thermal for 0.409 million kW. Geothermal/other capacity came to 0.045 million kW. Kenya's geothermal resources along the Great Rift Valley have been tapped by a plant near Lake Naivasha. National generation of electricity in 2002 totaled 4.417 billion kWh, of which 21.7% was from fossil fuels, about 70% from hydropower, and the remainder from other renewable sources. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 4.4 billion kWh. In 2002, demand declined slightly to 4.346 billion kWh.

INDUSTRY

Industry accounted for 13% of GDP in 2000, which in 2005 had declined to 10%. The reason for the decline or slow growth in manufacturing was an increasingly high-cost environment, owing to the deterioration in the transport infrastructure, expensive electricity, and poor governance (including overregulation and corruption). In order to bolster manufacturing, the government of Mwai Kibaki introduced favorable tax measures in the 2003/04 budget (including the removal of duty on capital equipment and other raw materials).

Although Kenya's manufacturing industries are small, they are the most sophisticated in East Africa. The manufacturing sector has been growing since the late 1990s and into the new century. The manufactures Kenya produces are relatively diverse. The transformation of agricultural raw materials, particularly of coffee and tea, remains the principal industrial activity. Meat and fruit canning, wheat flour and cornmeal milling, and sugar refining are also important. Electronics production, vehicle assembly, publishing, and soda ash processing are all significant parts of the sector. Assembly of computer components began in 1987. Kenya also manufactures chemicals, textiles, ceramics, shoes, beer and soft drinks, cigarettes, soap, machinery, metal products, batteries, plastics, cement, aluminum, steel, glass, rubber, wood, cork, furniture, and leather goods. It also produces a small number of trucks and automobiles. One quarter of Kenya's industrial sector is owned by UK investors; American investors are the next largest group.

Kenya has no known oil or natural gas reserves, although the government had spent $1.6 million on oil exploration by 2000. The oil refinery in Mombasa, built in 1959 and half-owned by the government, and major oil companies, typically operates at around 65% of its total capacity (averaging 95,000 barrels per day) and is supposed to serve Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the DROC, Rwanda, Burundi, and offshore islands. Kenya deregulated its oil industry in 1994. Refinery products include gasoline, jet/turbo fuel, light diesel oil and fuel oil. The refinery's future is an important domestic issue in Kenya, and management is considering upgrading the facility rather than allowing the refinery to close.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Notable scientific institutions in Kenya include the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology for Africa, in Nairobi; coffee and tea research foundations; grasslands and plant-breeding research stations; and numerous centers for medical, agricultural, and veterinary research. Medical research focuses on the study of leprosy and tuberculosis. The National Council for Science and Technology advises the government on scientific matters, and the Kenya National Academy of Sciences promotes advancement of learning and research; both organizations were founded in Nairobi in 1977. The University of Nairobi, founded in 1956, has colleges of agriculture and veterinary sciences, health sciences, architecture and engineering, and biological and physical sciences. Kenyatta University, founded in 1939 at Nairobi, has faculties of science and environmental education. Moi University, founded in 1984 in Eldoret, has faculties of forest resources and wildlife administration, science, technology, information sciences, environmental studies, health sciences, and agriculture. Edgerton University, founded in 1939 at Njoro, has faculties of agriculture and science. Other higher-education institutions include Jomo Kenyatta University College of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya Medical Training College, and Kenya Polytechnic, all in Nairobi, and five other institutes of science and technology elsewhere in the country.

In 198797, science and engineering students accounted for 19% of college and university enrollments. In 2002, high technology exports totaled $35 million, or 10% of manufactured exports.

DOMESTIC TRADE

Mombasa and Nairobi, the two principal distribution centers for imported goods, are linked by rail or highway to the towns in their immediate areas. The head offices of all the leading import and export firms, mining companies, and banks, not only for Kenya but also for East Africa as a whole, are in one or the other of these two cities. Warehousing facilities are extensive in both cities. Retail outlets are generally small and are often owned and operated by a wholesaler.

Office and shop hours are generally from 8 am to 5 pm, MondayFriday, with lunchtime closing from 1 to 2 pm. Normal banking hours are 9 am to 3pm, MondayFriday. The languages of business correspondence are English, Gujarati, and Swahili.

There are a number of advertising firms. Newspapers and trade magazines are the principal advertising media, but radio and cinema advertising are increasingly used. The annual, six-day Nairobi International Trade Fair is sponsored by the Agricultural Society of Kenya for the exhibition and promotion of products from all aspects of the agricultural, food processing, and construction industries.

FOREIGN TRADE

Kenya has a relatively diverse export profile, led by tea (28%) and horticultural products. Tea alone accounts for 17% of the world's

Country Exports Imports Balance
World 2,551.1 3,475.1 -924.0
Uganda 401.2 401.2
United Kingdom 313.1 241.3 71.8
Tanzania 199.6 199.6
Netherlands 189.3 81.4 107.9
Areas nes 185.5 185.5
Pakistan 130.9 57.3 73.6
Rwanda 79.9 79.9
Egypt 78.0 59.3 18.7
Germany 77.6 134.6 -57.0
Afghanistan 69.8 69.8
() data not available or not significant.

tea export market. Coffee follows closely (10%). Other key exports include garments, coffee, iron and steel, soda ash, fish, petroleum products, and plastics. Tourism is also an important source of revenues from foreigners.

BALANCE OF PAYMENTS

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reported that in 2001 the purchasing power parity of Kenya's exports was $1.8 billion while imports totaled $3.1 billion resulting in a trade deficit of $1.3 billion. In 2004, exports climbed by 11.4%, but imports rose faster, by 21.9%, pushing the trade deficit from $1.11 billion in 2003 to $1.65 billion in 2004. According to published data, covering the 12 months to April 2005, the trade deficit widened further, to just over $2 billion as imports grew faster than exports.

BANKING AND SECURITIES

Kenya acquired its first separate currency on 14 September 1966, when the initial par value for the Kenya shilling was announced by the IMF. The new coin replaced, at par value, the East African shilling, previously issued for Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda by the East African Currency Board, whose assets were divided by those nations following a June 1965 agreement.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) was established in May 1966, taking over the administration of exchange control. Because the Kenya shilling soon became the strongest currency in East Africa, a black market for it developed. A complete ban on the export or import, or destruction of hard Kenyan currency was imposed in 1971 to discourage speculation.

The powers of the CBK were greatly reduced in the early 1990s with the liberalization of the financial sector. The commercial banks are free to set their own interest and exchange rates. The shilling has effectively been a convertible currency since the government signed Article VIII of the IMF Articles of Agreement in June 1994, and thereby pledged not to permit any restrictions on current international transactions. Foreign exchange is bought and sold in the interbank market in which the CBK is merely one player, although it intervened frequently with several large transaction in late 1994 and again in mid-1995, first to halt the appreciation of the shilling and then to stem its fall. The CBK retains responsibility for issuing treasury bills and bonds to cover the government deficit.

Of the 29 commercial banks operating in Kenya in 1985, several folded during a banking crisis in 1986. In 1992, there were 15 commercial banks operating in Kenya, and in 2002, there were 48 domestic and foreign commercial banks, 6 building societies, 37 insurance companies, 7 development finance companies, over 1,500 credit unions, and the Post Office Savings Bank. The financial sector is dominated by two multinational banksthe Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Bank of Kenya; and the parastatal banksKenya Commercial Bank and National Bank of Kenya. They have branches in Nairobi and Mombasa and at least 25 other locales throughout the country. Other commercial banks include Citibank N.A., Euro Bank, and First American Bank.

Although they depend largely on the commercial sector for credit outlay, banks have started to turn to agriculture as an outlet. Land and agricultural banks provide financial assistance to farmers in the form of long-term loans for the discharge of onerous

Current Account 67.7
     Balance on goods -1,142.6
         Imports -3,554.8
         Exports 2,412.2
     Balance on services 482.3
     Balance on income -88.2
     Current transfers 816.3
Capital Account 163.0
Financial Account 406.3
     Direct investment abroad -2.1
     Direct investment in Kenya 81.7
     Portfolio investment assets -38.6
     Portfolio investment liabilities 0.9
     Financial derivatives
     Other investment assets -67.4
     Other investment liabilities 431.7
Net Errors and Omissions -211.9
Reserves and Related Items -425.2
() data not available or not significant.

mortgages and the purchase of livestock, implements, fertilizer, and so forth. Short-term loans are granted for seasonal expenses.

The reputation of the banking sector has suffered from a series of scandals. The largest financial scandal in Kenyan history broke in 1993 when the CBK closed down Exchange Bank and a related company, Goldenberg International, a gold and jewelry firm. Exchange Bank was accused of failing to honor foreign exchange contracts and Goldenberg of securing privileged access to the now-scrapped export compensation scheme. The auditor-general has questioned billions of shillings of payments to Goldenberg under the scheme for gold exports that have not been proven.

In 1997, the total assets of Kenya's four largest banks was $2.8 billion, representing half of the total assets of all commercial banks. Banking sector fragility in 1999 resulted from poor management, and worsening economic conditions. In 1998, several major Kenyan banks collapsed, including Trust Bank, Reliance Bank, Prudential Bank, Bullion Bank; and the giant National Bank almost folded. In 1999, Richard Leaky was named director of the Central Bank of Kenya under pressure from the World Bank in order to stem corruption in the banking system.

The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2001, currency and demand depositsan aggregate commonly known as M1were equal to $1.6 billion. In that same year, M2an aggregate equal to M1 plus savings deposits, small time deposits, and money market mutual fundswas $4.5 billion. The discount rate, the interest rate at which the central bank lends to financial institutions in the short term, was 16.81%.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) was founded in 1965 with six members. It was one of the largest stock markets in the sub-Saharan Africa (with South Africa, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe), with market capitalization of $1.05 billion and 57 listed companies in 2001. The market received a small boost from the decision of the government to allow direct foreign investment in January 1995, but the limit on foreign ownership was 40%. The NSE index fell from 1,913.4 in 2000 to 1,355.1 at the end of 2001. As of 2004, a total of 47 companies were listed on the NSE, which had a market capitalization that year of $3.891 billion. In 2004, the NSE rose 7.6% from the previous year to 2,945.6.

INSURANCE

Insurance companies must be registered and licensed. Categories of compulsory insurance include motor third-party liability for bodily injuries and cargo insurance for imports. The insurance regulatory body is the Ministry of Finance and Planning. There were 37 insurance companies operating in Kenya in 1999. As of 2003, the value of all direct premiums written totaled $411 million, of which nonlife premiums accounted for $304 million. Kenya's top nonlife insurer in 2001 (the latest year for which data was available) was Kenindia, with gross written nonlife premiums of $28.5 million. In that same year, the country's leading life insurer was ICEA, with gross written life premiums of $22.4 million.

PUBLIC FINANCE

The fiscal year extends from 1 July to 30 June. Due to mismanagement of public funds, government expenditures are closely watched. Nevertheless, government spending has remained around 30% of GDP since 1995. While in the past Kenya has had some problems meeting loan obligations with the IMF and the World Bank, the country was set to receive over $300 million in aid from those organizations in 2000. However, problems with internal reform forced the IMF and the World Bank to suspend those programs, and as of mid-2002 they have not been reinstated.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimated that in 2005 Kenya's central government took in revenues of approximately $3.7 billion and had expenditures of $3.8 billion. Revenues minus expenditures totaled approximately -$165 million. Public debt in 2005 amounted to 67.4% of GDP. Total external debt was $7.349 billion.

Revenue and Grants 218,443 100.0%
     Tax revenue 181,924 83.3%
     Social contributions 451 0.2%
     Grants 24,080 11.0%
     Other revenue 11,989 5.5%
Expenditures 198,019 100.0%
     General public services 67,406 34.0%
     Defense 16,847 8.5%
     Public order and safety 13,615 6.9%
     Economic affairs 35,734 18.0%
     Environmental protection 1,302 0.7%
     Housing and community amenities 6,039 3.0%
     Health 10,744 5.4%
     Recreational, culture, and religion 1,136 0.6%
     Education 51,616 26.1%
     Social protection 12,548 6.3%
() data not available or not significant.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that in 2000, the most recent year for which it had data, budgetary central government revenues were Sh218,443 million and expenditures were Sh198,019 million. The value of revenues in US dollars was us$2,868 million and expenditures us$2,831 million, based on a principal exchange rate for 2000 of us$1 = Sh 76.176 as reported by the IMF. Government outlays by function were as follows: general public services, 34.0%; defense, 8.5%; public order and safety, 6.9%; economic affairs, 18.0%; environmental protection, 0.7%; housing and community amenities, 3.0%; health, 5.4%; recreation, culture, and religion, 0.6%; education, 26.1%; and social protection, 6.3%.

TAXATION

The resident corporate income tax rate tax in 2005 was 30%, with the rate for branches of foreign companies at 37.5%. The withholding tax on dividends payable to residents was 5%. Dividend and interest income (except on bearer instruments) paid to nonresidents, the withholding tax rates were 10% and 15%, respectively. These rates may be reduced or eliminated by the terms double tax treaties, which Kenya has with the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Canada, India and Zambia. In 2002 the capital gains tax had been suspended but there was a compensating tax on companies which paid dividends out of untaxed profits. Royalties paid to nonresidents are subject to a 20% withholding tax. For residents, the rate falls to 5%. Insurance commissions, management and professional fees, sports and entertainment fees, and rents are also subject to taxation. Various tax incentives are offered to companies which develop and/or operate in export processing zones (EPZs).

Income tax rates on individuals are graduated, rising to a top marginal rate of 30%, down from 35% in 1996.

Since 1990, a value-added tax (VAT) has been applied to most goods and services. The standard rate as of 2005 was 16%. However, restaurant and hotel services are taxed at 14%, while medicines, newspapers, educational equipment, certain agricultural inputs and exports are zero-rated. Live animals, building materials, foodstuffs, certain financial services, some types of entertainment, land and building rentals and leases, passenger transport, and insurance are exempt. There are also local authority service taxes and a hospital insurance tax.

CUSTOMS AND DUTIES

Most import license controls were dismantled in 1993. In 1997, an ad valorem import duty of 70% was imposed on rice, sugar, and milk. Priority items such as raw materials, spare parts, agricultural equipment, and medicines had an import tariff of only 5% in 1999. Most capital goods were imported at a tax rate of 15%. Other goods received specific allocations on the international harmonized system of product classification. The maximum tariff rate was 35%. Imports were also subject to a 18% value-added tax based on a free on board (FOB) plus duty valuation. There were also excise-taxes on alcohol and tobacco. There were few export duties. In 1999, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania signed the East African Community (EAC) treaty providing for the removal of trade barriers by 2003.

Kenya operates six export processing zones, where manufacturers gain a 10-year corporate tax holiday (25% thereafter), a 10-year withholding tax holiday on dividend remittance, duty and VAT exemption on all imports except motor vehicles, and exemption from most other regulatory schemes. The Manufacturing Under Bond (MUB) program gives similar incentives to companies not located in the export processing zones.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

In 1964, in the wake of independence, foreign investment in Kenya went down considerably. In a move to reverse this trend, the government issued a white paper in 1965 welcoming foreign investment and encouraging joint ventures. Foreign investments in 1965 totaled $30 million, rising to $52 million in 1971. The pace of investment accelerated during the 1970s, and by 1984 it was estimated that US investment alone had a value of $350 million. In 1987, tax treaties with the United Kingdom, Germany, Zambia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were in force, but private foreign investment stagnated.

In the early 1990s, the government moved to encourage investment by liberalizing trade policies and removing impediments to the development of a free market. It was estimated in 1994 that foreign direct investment totaled more than $1 billion. The foreign direct investment stock in Kenya has remained at the $1 billion mark but increased slightly by 5% from $1 billion in 2001 to $1.1 billion in 2002; while outward stock remained insignificant. While in the 1990s flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) had stabilized at about $50 million, they drastically declined to $5 million in 2001 and $28 million in 2002, as confidence in the government of the president, Daniel Arap Moi, reached an all-time low. Investors were also deterred by widespread corruption, overregulation, and the government's on-off relations with donors. FDI picked up to $82 million in 2003, according to the World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), reflecting a recovery in confidence under the new NARC government, but still remained significantly lower than in Tanzania and Uganda. FDI outflows, on the other hand, had grown continuously since 1997, and in 2002 outflows surpassed inflows.

The three largest affiliates of foreign transnational corporation investment in Kenya in the industrial sector were all from the United Kingdom and focused on tobacco, pharmaceutical, and food production. Other investments come from Germany and the United States. Regardless of the government's intentions to attract investment, power interruptions, poor roads, political turmoil, and rampant government corruption dissuaded most serious foreign investment. However, as the government of Kibaki attempted to bring political stability and to root out corruption, foreign direct investment was expected to rise, although as of 2004 this had not happened due to the fact that investors were cautious of the Kibaki regime's resolve.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Central to Kenyan government planning is a continuing expansion of the level of exports and diversification of products. Moreover, Kenya has sought the orderly introduction of large numbers of African farmers into former European agricultural areas. With the goal of full economic independence, the government continues to pursue Africanization of the private sector, particularly in commerce.

Kenya continues to assist private industry by tariff structures that permit the import of raw materials duty-free or at low rates; allow rebates or suspension of customs duties under certain conditions; and establish protective customs barriers. The 197983 development plan, Kenya's fourth, had as its main objective the alleviation of rural poverty. The 198488 development plan also emphasized the rural sector in calling for an annual real GDP growth of 4.9%.

Kenya has depended on external assistance for development financing, but the extent of that dependence has varied with domestic conditions. Whereas in the mid-1960s Kenya depended on external sources for 82% of its total development resources, by the early 1970s the proportion had fallen to only 45%. The late 1970s and 1980s brought renewed reliance on external loans, as the proportion of foreign financing needed to cover the annual government budget deficit rose from 28% in 197879 to 67% in 198182 and an estimated 89% in 198586.

Development in Kenya now depends on the private sector and on foreign and domestic investment as the parastatal sector is dismantled. Foreign exchange earnings were key to the sixth development plan (198993). Because of government mismanagement of funds during the period between 1996 and 1999, most development agencies (including the IMF and World Bank) refused to extend loans and gave up on structural reform programs. The government initiated its own Economic Recovery Strategy in 1999 to increase public sector management reliability, but there were doubts as to the effectiveness of the plan.

In 2000, the IMF renewed lending, in the amount of a three-year $193 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement, which was further augmented due to the impact of severe drought conditions. An anticorruption authority set up by the government was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other Kenyan reforms stalled. The IMF and World Bank once again suspended their programs. In July 2003, the IMF indicated it would resume lending to Kenya, as the Fund was encouraged by the country's efforts to fight corruption and promote good governance.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

The National Social Security Fund operates a limited pension fund for employed persons. Retirees (age 55) are entitled to a lump sum equal to total contributions plus accrued interest. Disability and survivor benefits are also paid. Medical coverage for employees is available in government hospitals for certain illnesses including AIDS. Employers are also obligated to obtain private worker's injury insurance.

Facilities for social welfare have been largely in the hands of private and voluntary organizations. The government assists many of the voluntary organizations financially. The private and voluntary agencies are highly developed. There are societies that care for the blind, the deaf and mute, and the physically disabled, and voluntary organizations that care for the poor and destitute. Homes and hostels have been established throughout the country for the care of orphans, young offenders, and juvenile prostitutes.

In 2003 the government outlawed violence against women, although domestic violence is a widespread problem affecting over half of the women in Kenya. Rape is an increasing problem in the country. Women also lack the legal rights provided to men. Women must obtain written permission from their husbands or fathers in order to obtain a passport. In practice, permission is also required for women applying for credit. Although the Law of Succession stipulates that sons and daughters should receive equal inheritances, traditional custom continues to benefit male children. Boys greatly outnumber girls in higher education. Female genital mutilation is widely practiced, especially among certain ethnic groups. Children are forced to marry against their will.

Ethnic tensions between Kenyan tribal groups are pronounced. Tribal violence has occurred in the Rift Valley, as well as ethnically motivated fighting between Nubian and Luo populations erupted in Nairobi. Although most ethnic groups are represented in the government, Kikuyus sometimes face discrimination and harassment by government offiscials. Kenya's human rights record remains poor. There are many reports of extrajudicial killings, the use of excessive force, and arbitrary arrest. Prison conditions are poor, and there are lengthy pretrial detentions. Defendants do not have the right to appointed lawyers except for capital cases.

HEALTH

The National Hospital Insurance Fund is the most important health insurance program in Kenya. Membership is compulsory for all civil servants. The government is attempting to improve and upgrade existing health facilities and opening new ones. Kenya produces cotton wadding domestically, but all other medical equipment and supplies are imported. High-quality private practitioners require sophisticated medical equipment, but the public sector acquires less expensive equipment. Kenya also has a well-developed pharmaceutical industry that can produce most medications recommended by the World Health Organization.

The government is attempting to reduce malnutrition and combat deficiency diseases. Among Kenya's major health problems are tuberculosis and protein deficiency, the latter especially among young children. Although the incidence of malaria has been reduced, it still is endemic in some parts of Kenya and is responsible for anemia in children. Water supply, sanitation, bilharzia, and sleeping sickness also pose major problems. Schistosomiasis is endemic to some areas. In 2000, 49% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 86% had adequate sanitation.

As of 2003, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at 27.6 and 14.7 per 1,000 people respectively. As of 2000, 39% of married women (ages 15 to 49) were using contraception. Average life expectancy was 47.99 years in 2005 and infant mortality was 61.47 per 1,000 live births. The fertility rate was 4.4 children per childbearing years of a Kenyan woman as of 2000. Immunization rates for children up to one year old were fairly low: tuberculosis, 42%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 36%; polio, 36%; and measles, 32%. Malnutrition affected an estimated 33% of children under five.

As of 2004, there were an estimated 13 physicians, 90 nurses, 2 dentists, and 5 pharmacists per 100,000 people. Health care expenditure was estimated at 7.8% of GDP. The government was also encouraging the development of the private health care sector through tax incentives as well as other plans.

There has been a rapid spread of AIDS since the 1980s. The HIV/AIDS prevalence was 6.70 per 100 adults in 2003. As of 2004, there were approximately 1,200,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. There were an estimated 150,000 deaths from AIDS in 2003.

HOUSING

Rapid urbanization has made it difficult for the government to keep pace in providing adequate housing for those in need. In Nairobi, the population density is 3,079 persons per sq km (almost 8,000 per sq mi). More than half of the city's residents live in temporary shelters, generally in one of over 100 slum communities throughout the city. One-room shanties in the slum areas of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Nakuru are typically about 3 to 5 sq m and house 5 to 6 people. A high level of poverty paired with the high cost of available land mean fewer urban dwellers are in a position to purchase property of their own. In the mid-1990s, some slum dwellers, facing forced evictions, began to form federations as a means of protesting poor housing conditions and calling for better government housing regulations to provide for both adequate housing and home ownership.

Most housing in rural areas is privately built and owned by the residents. But many of these homes are built with traditional materials of mud and thatch and deteriorate in a relatively short time.

The central government is responsible for all housing projects and works closely with local authorities. Many new housing projects have been undertaken with financial aid from the National Housing Corp. According to the latest government information available, total housing stock in the 1980s stood at 3,470,000, with 6.1 people per dwelling.

EDUCATION

Primary education is free and compulsory for eight years. Children start school at the age of five or six and spend eight years at primary school; four years at secondary school; and a further four years at the university. The academic year runs from October to July.

In 2001, about 44% of children between the ages of three and five were enrolled in some type of preschool program. Primary school enrollment in 2003 was estimated at about 66% of age-eligible students. The same year, secondary school enrollment was about 25% of age-eligible students. It is estimated that about 73% of all students complete their primary education. The student-to-teacher ratio for primary school was at about 34:1 in 2003.

There are four main universities in Kenya. Kenyatta University was founded in 1972 and is located in Nairobi. The University of Nairobi was founded in 1956 as the Royal Technical College of East Africa. The Moi University was founded in 1984 at Eldoret. The Egerton University, located at Njoro, was founded in 1939. The language of instruction in all the universities is English. In 2001, about 3% of the tertiary age population were enrolled in some type of higher education program. The adult literacy rate for 2004 was estimated at about 73.6%, with 77.7% for men and 70.2% for women.

As of 2003, public expenditure on education was estimated at 7% of GDP, or 22% of total government expenditures.

LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS

The Kenya National Library Service, founded in 1965 and located in Nairobi, maintains over 25 provincial and community branches. The largest public library is the McMillan Memorial Library, formerly a private institution, which was taken over by the Nairobi City Council in 1962; it contained 275,000 volumes in 2002, including a collection of Africana, and had two branches. In 1996, Kenya National Library Service launched the Camel Mobile Service to transport books to villages and settlements between 5 and 10 km away from the main regional libraries. The libraries of the University of Nairobi, with 500,000 volumes, are the best supported in Kenya. Kenyatta University in Nairobi has 166,000 volumes. The British Council maintains three branch libraries, and the National Archives in Nairobi holds 40,000 volumes.

The National Museum in Nairobi and the Ft. Jesus Museum in Mombasa are the largest in Kenya. There are numerous local museums, including the Kiriandusi Prehistoric Site in Gilgil, founded in 1928, the Gedi Ruins Museum south of Malindi, and museums in Kabarnet, Lamu, Meru, Narak, and Olergesailie. The Kapenguria Museum, opened in 1993, details Kenya's political development and struggle for independence.

MEDIA

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for telecommunications. In 2003, there were an estimated 10 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people; about 134,000 people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately 50 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), the country's government-owned broadcaster, is the only station with a national network for television and radio programming. In 2004, there were 12 independent radio stations. Kenya Television Network was the leading privately owned broadcaster. There were eight television stations in 2002. In 2003, there were an estimated 221 radios and 26 television sets for every 1,000 people. The same year, there were 6.4 personal computers for every 1,000 people and 13 of every 1,000 people had access to the Internet. There were eight secure Internet servers in the country in 2004.

In 2002, there were five major daily newspapers, all published in Nairobi. The Daily Nation, an independent paper founded in 1960, had a daily circulation of 170,000. The Standard (circulation 70,000) has ties to the KANU party. The other dailies include: Taifa Leo, a Swahili newspaper, circulation 57,000; the Kenya Times, associated with KANU, 52,000; and the Kenya Leo, (in Swahili, 40,000 in 1995).

While there is no formal censorship, the press is sometimes subject to harassment from public officials who have been treated unfavorably.

ORGANIZATIONS

Voluntary societies are numerous. Some are affiliated with parent bodies in the United Kingdom; a few, such as the Rotary Club, the Round Table, Kiwanis, and the Lions Club, are affiliated internationally. The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Caritas are also active. African women's clubs, called Maendeleo ya Wanawake, have been organized throughout Kenya. Some are members of the umbrella organization of National Council of Women of Kenya. National youth organizations include the Kenya Scouts Association, YMCA/YWCA, Kenya United Nations Youth and Student Association, and 4-K Clubs (a branch of 4-H Clubs). There are several sports associations and clubs representing amateur athletes competing in such pastimes as cricket, lawn tennis, squash, tae kwon do, yachting, and badminton.

National organizations promoting arts and science include the Kenya National Academy of Sciences (est. 1983), the Kenya Medical Association, and the multinational African Academy of Sciences (est. 1985). Organizations dedicated to research and education include the African Medical and Research Foundation and the African Centre for Technology Studies.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, founded in 1965, has its headquarters in Nairobi. The Central Organization of Trade Unions and the Federation of Kenya Employers are based in Nairobi. Organizations dedicated to promoting the concerns of industry, business, and labor include the Agricultural Society of Kenya, Tea Board of Kenya, Kenya Tea Growers Association, and Fresh Produce Exporters' Association of Kenya. The Kenya Consumer's Organization is also active.

The World Conservation Union has an office in Nairobi. Other nature conservancy organizations include the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya Association and Save the Elephants.

TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION

Since Kenya attained independence in 1963, tourism has become the leading source of foreign exchange revenue. In 2003, there were 1,146,099 visitors, almost 60% of whom came from Europe. The hotels had an occupancy rate of 33% and the average length of stay was eight nights. Tourism expenditure receipts totaled $631 million.

Accommodations in the form of lodges and campsites are available in the more remote areas, as well as five-star hotels in the more popular regions. Safaris are the chief attraction, whether they are photographic, cultural, or even sport. Kenya also boasts over 30 national parks and game preserves. The largest game preserve is Tsavo National Park, home of over 500 bird species; covering an area of about 21,343 sq km (8,241 sq mi), it is one of the world's largest wildlife sanctuaries. Nairobi has a professional repertory theater and a National Theater; the capital hosts a Festival of African music in July. Other attractions include the mosques of Mombasa, the spectacular scenery of the Great Rift Valley, the coffee plantations at Thika, and the world-renowned Tree Hotels. Tourists also enjoy the dramatic view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which rises in neighboring Tanzania; as of 2006, scientists were predicting that Kilimanjaro's ice cap, which had visibly shrunk during the 1990s, would completely disappear by 2015.

Travelers from infected countries must carry a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. Precautions are also recommended against typhoid and malaria. A valid passport, visa, and onward/return ticket are required for entry into Kenya.

In 2005, the US Department of State estimated the daily expenses of traveling in Nairobi at $230. Mombasa averaged $99 to $152 per day, depending on the time of year.

FAMOUS KENYANS

The leading African figure in the modern history of Kenya was Jomo Kenyatta (1893?1978). From the 1920s to the 1970s he was in the forefront of African nationalism. Imprisoned and restricted during the Mau Mau revolt for his alleged role in its organization, he was released in August 1961 and was president of independent Kenya from 1964 until his death. Another dominant African personality was Tom Mboya (193069), who commanded an international reputation as a political and labor leader. Oginga Odinga (191194), usually at odds with the ruling establishment, was vice-president from 1964 to 1966. Daniel arap Moi (b.1924), a son of poor farmers, was vice-president for 11 years before succeeding Kenyatta as president in 1978. He served until 2002, when he was succeeded by Mwai Kibaki (b.1931).

Sir Michael Blundell (190793), a leader of the European community after World War II, came to be identified with those who sought to create a nonracial political society; he was a director of Barclays Bank of Kenya from 1968 to 1981. Richard Leakey (b.1944) is a leading paleoanthropologist.

DEPENDENCIES

Kenya has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ahluwalia, D. P. S. Post-Colonialism and the Politics of Kenya. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 1996.

Assensoh, A. B. African Political Leadership: Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, and Julius K. Nyerere. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Pub., 1998.

Broch-Due, Vigdis (ed.). Violence and Belonging: The Quest for Identity in Post-Colonial Africa. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Kamoche, Ken M. (ed.). Managing Human Resources in Africa. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Maxon, Robert M., and Thomas P. Ofcansky. Historical Dictionary of Kenya. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2000.

McElrath, Karen (ed.). HIV and AIDS: A Global View. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria. Huntington, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers, 2001.

Ogot, Bethwell A. Decolonization and Independence in Kenya, 194093. London: Curry, 1995.

Sobania, N. W. Culture and Customs of Kenya. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 2003.

Themes in Kenyan History. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1990.

Thomas-Slayter, Barbara P. Gender, Environment, and Development in Kenya: A Grassroots Perspective. Boulder, Colo.: L. Rienner, 1995.

. Multi-Party Politics in Kenya. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1998.

Watson, Mary Ann (ed.). Modern Kenya: Social Issues and Perspectives. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2000.

Widner, Jennifer A. The Rise of a Party-state in Kenya: From "Harambee" to "Nyayo!". Berkeley: University of California, 1992.

Zeilig, Leo and David Seddon. A Political and Economic Dictionary of Africa. Philadelphia: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2005.

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Kenya

Basic Data
Official Country Name: Republic of Kenya
Region: Africa
Population: 30,339,770
Language(s): English, Kiswahili
Literacy Rate: 78.1%
Number of Primary Schools: 15,906
Compulsory Schooling: 8 years
Public Expenditure on Education: 6.5%
Libraries: 21
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 5,544,998
  Secondary: 619,839
Educational Enrollment Rate: Primary: 85%
  Secondary: 24%
Teachers: Primary: 178,097
  Secondary: 38,307
Student-Teacher Ratio: Primary: 30:1
  Secondary: 15:1
Female Enrollment Rate: Primary: 85%
  Secondary: 22%

History & Background

The Democratic Republic of Kenya lies across the equator on the east coast of Africa. It borders Somalia, Ethiopia, and Sudan to the north; Uganda to the west; Tanzania to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east. The country covers an area of 222,845 square miles, approximately the size of the state of Texas. Almost 80 percent of the land mass ranges from arid to semi-arid savanna land, mostly occupied by sparsely populated communities that combine agriculture with pastoralism. Tourism is one of the main ways in which the country earns foreign currency. Kenya has a moderate climate, much open space, and an abundance of wildlife that attracts people from all over the world. Modern transportation has made traveling in the country more convenient. It takes approximately 45 minutes by air and six hours by road to travel from the wild game parks to the Indian Ocean coast, which has many popular beaches.

The country is divided into eight provinces including the Nairobi area: Central, Coast, Eastern, North, Rift Valley, Western, and North Eastern. They are divided into administrative areas known as districts. Nairobi is the capital city with a population of approximately 1.4 million. Other major towns include Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, and Eldoret.

The 1997 census estimated the population at 29.1 million. There are numerous religious affiliations, with the population being approximately 40 percent Protestant, 30 percent Roman Catholic, 6 percent Muslim, and 23 percent other religious believers (Embassy of the Republic of Kenya 2001).

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (2000) indicated that the July 2000 population was estimated at 30.3 million. The report notes that these estimates explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS, which can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and larger changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

In Kenya, there are 42 ethnic groups, each with a unique language, divided into four major linguistic groups: the Khoisans, Bantu, Nilotics, and Cushites. Swahili (Kiswahili ) is the national language, and English is the official language and the medium of instruction. As a result of interaction between the coastal Bantu, the Arabs, and other groups, the Swahili language developed as early as the fifth century. The Swahili speaking people (Waswahili ) are made up of a mixture of different people from various ethnic groups, especially the coastal Bantu (the Miji Kenda ), known as the nine tribes of the coast. The Waswahili mainly dwell in the cities and the majority of them are Moslem. The main Kenyan ethnic groups include: Kikuyu, 22 percent; Luhya, 14 percent; Luo, 13 percent; Kalenjin, 12 percent; Kamba, 11 percent; Kisii, 6 percent; Meru, 6 percent; other African, 15 percent (which includes the Miji Kenda ); and non-African (Asian, European, and Arab), 1 percent.

The country's history dates back to the Stone Age. Kenya possesses one of the world's largest and most complete records of man's cultural development, partly because of the country's rich variety of environmental factors conducive to human survival and development. According to archeological finds in various parts of the country, the prehistoric period is divided into two categories: the Stone Age period, which dates from about two million years ago, and the Neolithic period, which dates from about 2,000 to 10,000 years ago. Available evidence indicates that man left behind traces of his occupation during the Iron Age through the precolonial period and up to the present time. The phases of the various periods are characterized by tools ranging from crude to advanced (Quyum 2001).

Kenya was colonized by the British government for 70 years. It became a British protectorate after the Anglo-German agreement of 1890. At this time the British main interest was not to control local people, but to construct a railway that would connect Uganda, Zanzibar, and the Indian Ocean. The railway was important for strategic and economic reasons; it was to be the main link that would connect Lake Victoria (the source of the river Nile) and Uganda, which was also under British control. The construction of the railway led to a large immigration of people from India who were imported to work on the railway. Other immigrants from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada followed in 1903 as economic interests grew. European settlers from South Africa also moved to the new British territory.

In order to prosper, the colonial government had to force the Africans who lived in its protectorates to work. In 1901 the British imposed tax payments in every area that they controlled. In order to maintain control over Africans, the British limited their education to mere practical skills, suitable for working on the farms. The missionaries and Islamic groups on the Indian Ocean coast had already established schools. The discriminatory attitudes and the imposition of taxes, forced labor, and land confiscation caused friction between Africans and the colonial government. The friction triggered a political consciousness among Africans, which led to the eventual resistance by Africans against British rule. The strongest rebellion against the British was the Mau Mau, first in 1890 and the last in 1952. This period marked the beginning of African nationalism.

Daniel N. Sifuna, in the book, Development of Education in Africa: The Kenyan Experience (1990), points out that the Second World War brought not only an economic boom, but also a significant psychological change that led to the subsequent spread of nationalism in Africa. Previously, Europeans had dominated Africans by demonstrating advanced military and economic power and an attitude of superiority and invincibility. Many Africans, after fighting alongside the European soldiers, realized that the Europeans were equally vulnerable human beings. Thus, the white superiority myth was destroyed.

The Mau Mau resistance paved the way for constitutional reforms and development in subsequent years. In 1955, various political parties were formed all over the country after the colonial government yielded to their formation. Elections were held in March 1957, after which racial barriers in the government began to be lifted. In 1960, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), which advocated a unitary government, was formed. In 1961 the Kenya African Democratic Union, which advocated a quasifederal government (Majimbo ), was also formed. The first full franchise general elections were held in May 1963, and KANU emerged the winner. In June 1963, Kenya attained internal self-government. On December 12 of the same year, independence was achieved with a complex (Majimbo ) constitution, which conceded much autonomy to the regions. On the first anniversary of independence in 1964, Kenya became a republic, with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as president. Following his death on 22 August 1978, the Honorable Daniel Arap Moi assumed the presidency in accordance with the Kenyan Constitution.

After independence, Kenya faced an enormous challenge of reforming the educational system to reflect its citizen's needs. Such a challenge continues to haunt the country today. One difficulty lies in developing an education system to replace the one inherited from the colonial government.

Sifuna (1990) defines education as the "whole process by which one generation transmits its culture to the succeeding generation, or better still a process by which people are prepared to live effectively and efficiently in their environment." This definition fits a universal view of what education is, and what it aspires to be. Thus, the difference between African-Kenyan indigenous education and that inherited from the British is in its application or methods and interpretation of the needs of the society by its leaders.


Usage of the Terms Race, Ethnicity, & Tribe: It should be noted that the terms: race, ethnicity, and tribe can be confusing. The meaning depends on who is using the term and from what era. In colonial times, the Europeans often viewed Africans as uncivilized people, and, when describing African groups, did not consider their language variations or linguistic diversity as important. They often referred to Africans as "black people" or a "black race" divided into different tribes. However, Africans in general, including Kenyans, identify themselves according to their linguistic groups, as Irish-, Italian-, or German-speakers do. Thus, the Kamba people who speak the Kikamba language or the Kikuyu people who speak the Gikuyu language belong to two different ethnic groups.

In the twenty-first century, usage of the terms race and tribe can portray insensitivity and a racist attitude, particularly when the term race is used to refer to the skin color of the people but not their culture, language, and ancestry. Confusion occurs when the term race is used in place of ethnicity because race can refer to skin color, whereas ethnicity means more than physical description. The following description of kinship should help clarify misconceptions and confusion caused by usage of the terms race, ethnicity, and tribe. It is also important because it clears the distortion that has been imposed on Africans' identity in general by foreigners.


Kinship: In Kenya and Africa, traditional ethnic groups were determined by geographical region, language, and common culture. Each ethnic group had its own social and political organization with a strong sense of kinship. Kinship controls social relationships between people in a given community, governs marital customs and laws, and determines the behavior of one individual towards another (Mbiti 1992).

Understanding kinship is important as far as intracultural (cultural awareness among Kenyans), cross-cultural (awareness transfer or borrowing from one culture to another), and intercultural (awareness between different cultures through interaction) factors are concerned. An awareness of kinship was lacking when Western education was introduced in Kenya. Exclusion of the indigenous form of education from formal education in Kenya has led to an alienation of cultural identity. This is one of the main reasons why many Kenyans feel the education system needs a complete overhaul in the twenty-first century. Education in Kenya has been declared dysfunctional because it has failed to address a full range of economic, social and cultural, political, and psychological perspectives.

In traditional societies, the community took precedence over the individual. Members owed existence to one another, including both their ancestors and contemporaries. Marriage was highly valued, as were children. "Whatever happens to the individual happens to the whole group, and whatever happens to the whole group happens to the individual. Therefore the individual can only say, 'I am, because we are; and since we are, therefore I am"' (Mbiti 1992). Communities lived together in villages, which included farm fields and animal sheds along with houses and shrines. The style of traditional houses varied from community to community. Some were round in shape, built around the village compound in a circle or semicircle, while others were rectangular in shape. The houses generally faced the center of the compound (Mbiti 1992).

Very little has been included in the educational curricula that emphasizes ancient African civilization. Most emphasis is placed on understanding Europeans and life outside the African continent. Thus, it is not surprising to find that most educated Kenyans have not visited or know much about the ancient civilization archives in Egypt, just two hours away by air.


Indigenous Education in Kenya: Kenyans as well as other Africans did not live in the society as one nation of people. Therefore, they did not have one single indigenous form of education. As Sifuna (1990) points out, Africans had different systems of education to transmit their own particular knowledge and skills. He notes that, although the African-Kenyan indigenous education differed from one ethnic group to another, the goals were very similar. The main purpose of indigenous education was to train youth for adulthood. Emphasis was placed on the established norms (normative goals) that were unique to each ethnic group, which reflected the standards and beliefs of the correct behavior (ethical and moral character in Western terms). Other goals were expressive that emphasized unity and consensus. Competitiveness in intellectual and practical matters was encouraged. In essence, African-Kenyan indigenous education had a holistic approach that emphasized social responsibility, job orientation, political participation, spirituality and moral values.

The curriculum was pragmatic by design. Environmental knowledge was crucial in order for the student to overcome hardships and to exploit it for survival reasons. Therefore, the student had to acquire knowledge of physical geography, appropriate technology, plants, animals, and insects. Also, learning how to get along and stay close, with a sense of cultural identity and community, and strong government was highly emphasized. Understanding "who you are" through kinship (lineage and ethnicity), and one's role in society was highly valued. Most of the activities that taught these values were very ritualistic, and constituted civic responsibilities. Thus, depending on one's clan and ethnic group, the rituals involved initiation rites and ceremonies that were symbolic and served as a form of teaching and learning.

Informal methods of instruction involved productive and meaningful work, mostly learning by doing along with adults. The formal methods of teaching involved a theoretical and practical inculcation of skills through apprenticeship. The philosophical foundations that shaped indigenous education were universal to all ethnic groups. The foundation included the following philosophies: communalism, preparationism, functionalism, and holisticism.

Communalism emphasized group cohesion. Preparationism prepared children to become useful members of the household, village, clan, and ethnic group (tribe). The preparation of young people was gender specific, where girls learned from women and boys from men. Functionalism is another philosophy that is strictly utilitarian, used as an immediate induction into society and preparation for adulthood, a participatory process. Functionalism incorporates spiritual and moral living, economic communal participation, and job orientation and application.

Another philosophy, perennialism, focused on transmission of heritage from one generation to another. This is the way the civilization of a people is perpetuated and assurance of continuity of cultural heritage. It is a collective means through which the society initiates its young generation. Lastly, holisticism involved learning without any specialization, in which aims, content, and methods are inextricably interwoven. This principle requires critical thinking and creativity (Sifuna 1990).

Sifuna (1990) asserts that, while indigenous education is suitable for Kenyans, it has some weaknesses and deficiencies that would not adequately fit today. These weaknesses include the neglect of the individual, little contact with the outside world due to the confinement to the ethnic group (tribe), and the static nature of a lifestyle where there are few career choices.

Despite these weaknesses, the question remains: Why did the postindependence education reform movement fail to integrate the indigenous aspects of education? One of the reasons was the lack of ideological base, and a leadership that adapted Western ideas in shaping education without integrating them with the indigenous elements that were reflective to Kenyans' psyches and needs. The new leaders were also working with the former colonial expatriates who also shared the expenses. Thus, the educational reforms had to serve the interests of the former colonial government through funding and expertise (usually viewed as "Neocolonialism"). Adapted ideas of political process also contributed to the maintenance of status quo.

The constitutional and the legal foundations of education in Kenya have been shaped and guided by a reactionary, reactive process. It is reasonable to conclude that, after independence, Kenya was mostly concerned with re-appropriating the land to the people. While educational development was not the main focus, it became important as the country developed and started to interact with the rest of the world.


Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Kenya is a democratic government with political pluralism. The president is the head of state and government. The constitution is the supreme law of the state. It establishes and determines the composition, powers, and duties of the main organs of government namely the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Before independence, Kenyan education was divided into a three-tier system: schools for whites, Asians, and Africans. The best schools were reserved for the whites, the middle class for Asians (mostly Indians), and the lower class for Africans.

After Kenya's independence in December 1963, the Minister of Education appointed the Ominde Commission to assess the educational resources and to advise the government on the formulation and implementation of national policies for education (Sifuna 1990). The commission noted that independence created a condition that would not allow racially segregated schools such as those that existed during the colonial era. The commission recommended that, since independence signified the birth of the nation, education should serve as a means of uniting the different racial and ethnic groups that make up the nation.

The commission's decisions were influenced by international opinion and internal political socioeconomic forces published in several works including the "High Level Manpower Requirements and Resources in Kenya, 1964-1970" and "The Development Plan 1964-1980, and African Socialism and its Application to planning in Kenya." From these publications, the commission identified a direct relationship between education and economic growth. It was recommended that educating upper- and middle-class manpower was needed by developing countries, and could accelerate Kenya's economic pace. The commission endorsed an educational policy objective that called for free primary education. Under these recommendations, Kenya chose to emphasize an expansion of higher levels of education that was geared to meet the manpower needs, and as a means to increase primary school enrollment. From 1964 to 1969, deliberate efforts were made to slow the growth of primary schools, which had enrollment increases of 20 percent, rising from approximately 1 million to 1.2 million. The government's primary education development plan of 1970 to 1974 was designed to increase enrollment to 1.8 million in order to cover 75 percent of the school age population by 1974. In this effort, the old educational system (referred to as the 4-4 system) developed by the British colonial rule was abolished.

The 4-4 system consisted of four years of primary education and four years of intermediate. After the first four years there was a common exam, the Competitive Entrance Examination (CEE). Eight years of schooling was the highest level of education Africans could achieve under this system. The 4-4 system was replaced with 7-4-2-3, whereby a common national exam was held after the first seven years, the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). This system was replaced in 1985 with the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) when the 8-4-4 system was implemented.

Politically, the government had embarked on "africanizing" the civil service and the economy. As a result, "kenyanization" of the education system was also emphasized. While "africanizing" or "kenyanization" of the educational system in Kenya was deemed necessary, there was a lack of ideological foundations that tapped into indigenous ideals, which would translate the needs of appropriate educational development and reforms. Sifuna (1990) notes the dilemma the Kenyan educational system faced by indicating that Kenya made rapid expansion at the secondary and higher education levels after independence was achieved. However, the educational policies were influenced by the manpower utilization model, which may have been justified but overemphasized. Sifuna asserts that the results of this approach were that the trained manpower did not represent the priority needs of the country. Thus, because many could not be accommodated in the existing labor market, the manpower utilization model was probably not the best choice, especially when it stressed formal education as the only potent tool for effecting the development of society. Therefore, the preoccupation of planners with this particular model prevented meaningful efforts to universalize educational integration of formal schooling with socioeconomic development.

The continuation of this policy has created a serious gap between the rich and the poor. As a result, Kenya is faced with an influx of unemployed populations in the urban areas, and a neglect of agriculture and rural development, which is the mainstay of Kenya's economy. The educational system change produced an overwhelming growth in school enrollment. The expansion of secondary schools led to a massive enrollment increase at the university level and an influx of unemployment. Kenya continued to face this trend as it enters the twenty-first century.


Educational SystemOverview


Missionaries introduced Western education in Kenya. The first missionaries to settle on the East African coast were Portuguese Roman Catholics. By 1557 they had established monasteries at Mombasa and Lamu, Kenyan coastal towns. The second wave of Christian missionaries included the Lutherans, who were sent to Kenya through the Church Missionary Society (CMS). Among these were Johann Ludwig Krapf, Johann Rebman, and Jacob Erhadt. The partition of Africa in 1884 established British rule in Kenya and led to an increase of Christian missionaries. As the missionaries established themselves on the mainland, they started schools as a means of converting Africans to Christianity. Their acceptance was somewhat due to the fact that they used the schools as a means of rehabilitating slaves who were returned after having been captured by Arabs. The Arabs had established themselves earlier on the coast, and had already introduced some schools where they taught the Koran. Thus, the Christian missionaries had to move further inland, away from the Moslems where they could easily rehabilitate the returned slaves. Later the British colonial government started to urge the missionaries to expand the educational system to include a technical focus in the curriculum in addition to religion. Although some were reluctant, for fear of losing the monopoly of schools to the government, some went along and even received funding.

In 1908, the missionaries formed a joint committee on education that later became the Missionary Board of Education, representing all the Protestant missions in the British protectorate. In 1909 the British government established an education board with Henry Scott of the Church of Scotland serving as the chair. The establishment of the education board occurred at the same time that the Fraser and Giroud Commissions were put in place. These commissions called for racial consideration in developing the British protectorate. The recommendations included a push for industrial development, technical education, and the teaching of religion as a moral foundation. The import of expensive labor from India was discouraged. Professor Fraser also recommended the establishment of a Department of Education.

After the First World War, a more concerted effort by the British to develop African colonies was established. The British began reexamining and reevaluating education in the African territories. In 1923 the British secretary of state established a committee chaired by the parliamentary under-secretary of state to advise on the educational affairs of the African-Kenyans. This marked the beginning of the first educational policy by the British colonial government.

This period marked the beginning of the three-tier education system in Kenya. There were racially segregated schools for Europeans (whites), Asians, and Africans. It was also the starting point of a joint venture between the colonial government and the missionaries, whereby the missionaries paved the way for colonialism. After Kenyan independence was achieved, the three-tier system developed into three types of schools: government, private and/or missionary, and harambee (a grass-root movement of self-help schools). The government schools, formerly reserved for whites, and the private schools were the best equipped. The missionary schools continued to exist, although some were converted into government schools. The quality of harambee schools, which were geared towards increasing education for Africans, depended on the economy of the location.

As of the early 2000s, the government schools have deteriorated and lost prestige due to lack of funding. The private schools seem to prosper most as the economy continues to decline. In the government schools tuition is waived; however, the government introduced a cost-sharing funding of the schools, whereby the parents contribute to the building facilities and supplies. Because most of the parents cannot afford their share, the schools are falling apart. This has created chaos in Kenya's educational system that has resulted in poorly trained personnel and loss of quality education. The country is calling for major education reforms in the twenty-first century.

The Kenya education policy was implemented under the mandate of the Ministry of Education, which is also responsible for writing up educational curricula through the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE), and setting and regulating national examinations through the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). Education takes up to 25 percent of the government expenditure.

The current educational curricula, commonly referred to as the 8-4-4 system, consists of eight years of primary education, four years of secondary, and four years of university education. According to Sifuna (1990), there are three events that led to implementation of the 8-4-4 system: the 1966 conference on education at Kericho in Kenya, which stressed the need for integrating rural development; the International Labor Organization mission report entitled "Employment, Incomes and Equality: A Strategy for Increasing Productive Employment of 1972;" and the recommendation of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies of 1975. In 1979 the Ministry of Education was changed to the Ministry of Basic Education with an introductory nine-year basic education system program. The rationale was that the previous program was too short and not rigorous enough to give graduates enough practical education. It also recommended that the first six years of primary were to concentrate on numerary and literacy skills and the last two years on basic education with practical orientation. This represented a shift from a focus on enrollment to restructuring the program as a means to cater to the influx of unemployed.

The twenty-first century educational reform proposals are under review because the systems have failed to meet the original purpose. The system in Kenya has been described as a burden to both teachers and pupils due to the wide scope expected in the numerous subjects studied. The failure of the system is blamed on financial constraints and inadequate training of the implementers. Between 1980 and 1990, Kenya faced tremendous growth of privately owned schools and higher education institutions, while the government schools deteriorated. There are also several private schools that offer an international curriculum, including the London education and international baccalaureate (GCE), among others.


Preprimary & Primary Education


Before 1980 preprimary education, which caters to children between one and six years of age, was exclusively the responsibility of local communities and nongovernmental organizations such as churches, voluntary organizations, local authorities, and individual investors. At that time there were only six preschool training centers. The government assumed responsibility for pre-school education in 1980 and has since streamlined the program. The government now has undertaken the training of preschool teachers, the preparation and development of the curriculum, and the preparation of teaching materials. The development of preschool units and the cost of teachers' services has, on the other hand, continued to be met by the communities and other nongovernmental agencies.

Early childhood education in Kenya did not get much attention until the late 1980s. The government did not focus on early childhood education prior to this time because, after independence in 1963, the main priorities were to create a uniquely Kenyan ideology, politics, and constitution. Since the economy was still rural-based, childhood education did not become an immediate necessity until the industrialization of the country increased. As industries developed in the urban areas and more Kenyans started to work away from home, the demand for early childhood education increased.

To enhance the development of preschool education, the government, in collaboration with the Van Leer Foundation, established the National Center for Early Childhood Education, based at the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE). The Center's main responsibility is to train the instructors of preschool teachers, who are then posted to District Centers for Early Childhood Education (DICECE). There are 18 such centers and the ultimate objective is to have a center in every district.

The preprimary education program has grown tremendously over the past 20 or so years. The number of children attending preprimary units in 1990 was in the order of 800,000, while the number of preschool teachers was about 20,000 (kenyaweb.com 2001).


Primary Education: Primary education in Kenya begins the first phase of the formal educational system. It starts at six years of age and runs for eight years. Before the expansion of schools in the early 1970s, the beginning age did not matter. However, as school enrollment increased in the late 1980s, a starting age for attending school became necessary.

The main purpose of primary education is to prepare children to participate fully in the social, political, and economic well being of the country. The primary school curriculum has therefore been designed to provide a functional and practical education that caters both to the needs of children who finish their education at the primary school level, and to those who wish to continue with secondary education.

Before independence, primary education was almost exclusively the responsibility of the communities or nongovernmental agencies such as local church groups. Since independence the government has gradually taken over the administration of primary education from local authorities and assumed a greater share of the financial cost in line with the political commitment to provide equal educational opportunities to all through the provision of free primary education (kenyaweb.com 2001).

There are both public and private primary schools; however, almost all primary schools in the country are in the public sector and depend on the government for their operational expenses. The government provides teachers and meets their salaries. Pupils in the public schools do not pay school fees, but rather pay contributions through a parent-teacher association cost sharing system. Because of this cost sharing system, government expenditure on school supplies and equipment is minimal. The responsibilities for the construction and maintenance of schools and staff housing are left to the parents. After independence, most primary schools and equipment were built through community fundraising (or harambee, a self-help effort).

Between 1970 and 1990, there was a remarkable expansion in primary education, both in terms of the number of schools established and in the number of children enrolled. In 1970, there were 6,056 primary schools with a total enrollment of 891,600 children. At the same time, trained teachers numbered 92,000. This number increased by 1990 to over 14,690 primary schools, with an enrollment of slightly over 5 million children and nearly 200,000 trained teachers. Also as enrollment expanded, there was a significant improvement in the number of girls in education. At the beginning of independence, only about a third of the enrollment in primary schools were female. By 1990 the number of girls attending school rose to nearly 50 percent.

At the conclusion of primary school, pupils take a national examination and receive a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Graduates either proceed to a secondary school for four years or join tertiary institutions such as Youth Polytechnics, a technical training institute, or the job market.

Feneral curriculum subjects for the first eight years include: English, Kiswahili, mathematics, science, music, history, civics, geography, and religious education. The vocational subjects include arts, crafts, agriculture, and home science. Specific activities in the vocational subjects in the arts and crafts involve drawing, painting, graphic design, collage/mosaic, weaving, ornament-making clay-pottery, leather work, modeling and carving, fabric designs, puppetry, woodwork, and metal work. These subjects are well defined in the program of study that should make a Kenyan education among the region's best. However, the problem is in the application of the curriculum and the management of the schools. Thus, if the curriculum were implemented as it is designed on paper, it would make an ideal educational system. The imbalance in implementation process and poor economy contributes to the failure, but not the planning and design expertise.


Secondary Education

Secondary school education usually starts at 14 years of age and runs for four years. Upon completion of secondary school, students can choose to go to college or pursue other vocational fields. Students who do well in secondary school are admitted to college, and others join teacher training institutions, technical training schools, or the job market. The competition for admission to college and the training institutes is very high.

The secondary education program is geared towards meeting the needs of both the students who terminate their education after secondary school and those who proceed to higher education. In this context, the secondary school curriculum emphasizes job-oriented courses, such as business and technical education.

The objectives of the secondary school education are to prepare students to make a positive contribution to the development of society, and to acquire attitudes of national patriotism, self-respect, self-reliance, cooperation, adaptability, and a sense of purpose and self-discipline (Sifuna 1990). The curriculum covers six major areas: communication (English, Kiswahili and foreign languages), mathematics, science (physical and biological), humanities (geography, history, government, religious education, social education, and ethics), applied education (agriculture, industrial education, wood technology, metal technology, power mechanics, electrical technology, business education, accounts, commerce, typing and office practice, home science, clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, arts, and music), and physical education.

There are two categories of secondary schools in Kenya, public and private. The public secondary schools are funded by the government or communities and are managed through a board of governors and parent-teacher associations. The private schools, on the other hand, are established and managed by private individuals or organizations, including missionaries.

There has been a tremendous increase in both the number of secondary schools and in student enrollment in response to the rapidly increasing number of primary school graduates seeking entry to the secondary level. In 1963 there were only 151 secondary schools with a total enrollment of 30,120 students. In the year 2000, the number of secondary schools had risen to nearly 3,000 with a total enrollment of 620,000 students. Of this total, slightly over 40 percent are female. The rapid expansion at the secondary level has been the result of the vigorous harambee schools movement that has led to the establishment of numerous community secondary schools. Only about 50 percent of pupils that sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) get places in secondary school. These are categorized into four areasnational, provincial, district, and harambee. Students sit for a minimum of eight subjects at the end of Form Four for the award of KCSE. Compulsory subjects are English, Kiswahili, and mathematics.

The secondary school curriculum was developed with the 8-4-4 system's goals of addressing the following needs: to make a more relevant curriculum that would offer practical skills applicable to a wide range of job opportunities; and to provide equitable distribution of education resources that assured opportunities for all students regardless of their origin, creed, race, or region.

Though the curriculum is designed with the above goals, the postgraduation unemployment problem has not been solved. Unemployment has continued to increase and the number of educated and disillusioned workers has grown in great numbers, especially in the major cities. This is often due to the fact that schools produce graduates who have the hope that education equals access to jobs, but there are no jobs due to lack of infrastructure development. In other words, Kenya faces a problem of too many educated people without the opportunities for them to apply the skills that they acquired. There has been very little emphasis on agriculture and rural development, and many rural residents are moving to the cities.

Thus, the crisis Kenya faces in the twenty-first century is finding jobs for an educated people who are poor and disillusioned. Movement from rural to urban areas has led to overcrowded cities, higher crime rates, and lower educational expectations. A study conducted by Claudia Buchmann titled "Family Structure, Parental Perceptions, and Child Labor in Kenya: What Factors Determine Who is Enrolled in School" (2000) points out that there has been very little empirical research on the effectiveness of educational initiatives that have been implemented in Kenya. Court and Ghai (1974) also note that there has been a serious failure of communication between the educational planners and the educators. The educational planners are influenced by political pressure and as a result have rushed their decisions and placed an emphasis on the development of buildings instead of education. Court and Ghai (1974) also assert that the Kenyan educational system was not developed with "designed and tested objectives in mind but just grew."

Buchmann (2000), comparing African educational systems in general with other developing countriessuch as those in East and Southeast Asiafound distinctive differences in the way families make decisions on schooling for children. In most African countries, and specifically in Kenya, low levels of economic development create an environment where the educational system is very competitive and where high educational achievement does not guarantee occupational mobility. This study also reveals that the theories applied in developing educational policies, if any, were not consistent with Africa-Kenyan values and were misguided. Kenya developed a highly expanded educational system that rivals those in the most industrialized countries in terms of its complexity and competitiveness. Yet, the strength of the extended kinship networks, polygyny, and the dominance of subsistence agriculture show that there has been very little change in Kenyans' lives (Buchmann 2000).

Also, while there has been a great increase in formal education, only 14 percent of the population was employed in the formal sector and 3.5 percent in the informal sector by 1990, nearly three decades after Kenya's independence. More than 80 percent of the total labor force remains in agriculture and pastoralism, with a labor force growth rate of 3.6 percent annually. The country is thus faced with intense competition for wage employment and growing pressure on developed arable land. In other words, a child's ability to find gainful employment in the future has more consequence for the entire family and not just for the individual child. For this reason school means a hope of increasing job prospects.

Social security for the aging population is usually based on the future earning of the children. Kenya had implemented a social security retirement system similar to that of the Western countries but abolished it in early the 1980s when it was declared dysfunctional. Plans to reimplement the social security system are again under consideration in the early 2000s.


Higher Education

After completion of 12 years of primary and secondary school, graduates have a variety of choices. If they performed well, they can go to a public college based on their financial standing and scholarship availability. Only the top performers have this option. The second choice is to attend a private college, which costs more and has fewer scholarships. The third choice is to go to a vocational school or a teacher training institution, or to join the job market.

Teacher training colleges offer a three-year program for science teachers and a two-year program for liberal arts. The primary colleges are Kenya Science Teachers College (for science teachers only) and Kenyatta and Nairobi Universities (mostly for liberal arts teacher training). All programs at these institutions offer a secondary school teacher's diploma. Training for primary teachers is handled by other agencies under the Kenya Institute of Education. Though the need for science teachers is very high, the requirements to enter such a training institution make them very selective and competitive, which makes this choice a difficult one. The other teaching choice is to join a two-year liberal arts teacher training college that offers a teaching diploma in liberal arts. A secondary school graduate can also get a teaching job as an untrained teacher (UQT) that offers an opportunity to teach while pursuing training for certification. This option has been made available through continued education programs at the universities in order to meet the high demand for teachers.

There are several middle-level colleges, both public and private that offer national and international diploma awards in a wide field of professions. These are mainly located in the larger towns. There are five public universities, which mainly admit KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) students. In addition, there are eight private universities that mainly offer business, humanities, and other arts courses.


University Education in Kenya: In 1961 the Royal College in Nairobi was elevated to university college status. As the first step towards the introduction and development of university education in Kenya, the college entered into a special arrangement with the University of London, which enabled it to prepare students for the degrees of the University of London under the establishment of the University of East Africa. In 1963, the Royal College became the University College of Nairobi. Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania were the other constituent colleges of the University of East Africa. The University of East Africa continued operating until 1970 when the University College of Nairobi attained university status, becoming simply the University of Nairobi (kenyaweb.com 2001).

In 1970 Kenyatta College was made a constituent college of the University of Nairobi; however, the University of Nairobi remained the only university in Kenya until the mid-1980s. Since then, there has been a tremendous expansion in universities in response to the high demand for university education in Kenya. The country now has five public universities, with the most recently established universities emphasizing technology and science-oriented degree programs. In addition to the five public universities, there are 10 private universities in the country offering a wide range of degree programs. They are supervised and controlled by the Commission for Higher Education, under the Ministry of Education.

The public universities are funded partly by the government and partly by the students. The students are required to pay a certain number of fees per semester, which include tuition fees, registration fees and accommodation fees. The students pay for their own meals and supplies and so require substantial amounts of pocket money. The government has a financial program that provides assistance to students, which is carried out by the Higher Education Loans Board. Students can apply for loans, which they can pay back after graduating and attaining employment.

The following are the public universities in Kenya: Egerton University, Kenyatta University, the University of Nairobi, Moi University, Maseno University College, and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Public universities have limited admission so competition for admission is fierce.

Students who do not qualify for the public universities can enroll in the private universities, which require students to finance their studies without any financial assistance. The Higher Education Loans Board offers limited assistance for students attending private universities. The following are some of the private universities in Kenya: Africa Nazarene University, University of Eastern Africa-Baraton, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Daystar University, United States International University-Africa, and Kenya Methodist University.

Vocational Education: Postsecondary education centers in Kenya known as polytechnics started as shadow system forms of education. According to Court and Ghai (1974) "The shadow systems have meaning firstly in the extent to which they may complement the formal system by meeting needs which it is not covering, and in the extent to which they display principles which may have a wider application in the national system." Court and Ghai further explain that these shadow systems were created as alternative forms of education with the claim that, due to their flexibility, they were able to be more responsive to the needs of individuals than the existing educational institutions. Given the period the shadow systems were introduced, they were also seen as having potential to challenge the formal system, which was not accommodating the masses. Thus, they were seen as having the potential to act as a catalyst in reforming the formal system.

In Kenya the shadow system of education came to be known as village polytechnics, which later became a postsecondary semiformal schooling system. Between 1966 and 1972 there were more than 53 village polytechnics involved in training high school graduates in various vocational subjects (e.g., carpentry, accounts, welding, mechanics, catering, and teaching), leading to certificates or diploma awards (kenyaweb.com 2001). Village polytechnics started as low-cost, postprimary training centers in rural areas. At the time they were created, Kenya was producing about 100,000 primary school graduates each year that could not be employed in the modern sector of the economy. With the spirit of self-help it was believed that village polytechnics could be part of a solution to the problem presented by formal schooling, and as a means to alleviate unemployment. Court and Ghai (1974) contend that, since the village polytechnics included a diversity of activities, techniques, and organizations, it was more appropriate to treat them as an ideological movement than as an institutional prescription. In essence, they were introducing a new ideology that was an antithesis of the formal system.

Court and Ghai (1974) describe the elements and the differences between the village polytechnic and the formal secondary school system in terms of: dimensions, catchments and service, recruitment criteria, capital facilities, curriculum, medium of instruction, standards, form of instruction, leadership, organization, time period, national administration, and responsibility for graduates. Some of the key differences include: the formal system was national while village polytechnics were local; the formal system was expensive while village polytechnics were low-cost; the curriculum in the formal system was standardized and group-oriented while the village polytechnics were unbounded and individualized; the medium of instruction was English in the formal system while in the polytechnics it was vernacular and Swahili; and the formal system involved classroom teaching while the village polytechnics had an on-the-job learning focus.

In the late 1990s, the village polytechnic centers seemed to lose drive and significance, mainly due to a poor economy. While no longer viewed as village polytechnics, as most are located in cities, the main polytechnic institutions that are still in operation in Kenya include: Kaloleni Youth Polytechnic, Lamu Youth Polytechnic, Mazeras Village Polytechnic, the Mombasa Polytechnic, Mwanjila Youth Polytechnic, Mathare Youth Polytechnic, and the Kenya Polytechnic.

There are also colleges that started as polytechnics and then converted to colleges, including Strathmore College of Accounts and IT, Utalii College, Kenya College of Communication Technology, and Bungoma Bible School. These colleges are examples of what was feared by formal education advocates, that polytechnics would replace the formal educational system institutions. To some extent this actually happened, which helped triggered the formal education reform movement. However, most of the changes in the formal educational system were instituted due to economic and management concerns.


Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Kenya's government is divided into ministries that deal with different government affairs. The office of the president and the vice president are in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Heritage and Sports. Each ministry has a minister, assistant ministers and a permanent secretary. In 1999 a commission on government reform was appointed to restructure the civil service in all the ministries. Before streamlining the government there were more than 15 ministries, which included: Ministry of Home Affairs, Heritage and Sports; Ministry of Finance and Planning; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development; Ministry of Information, Transport and Communications; Ministry of Energy; Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Roads and Public Works; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Local Government; Ministry of Lands and Settlement; and the Office of the Attorney-General.

Sifuna (1990) reports that, in the late 1950s, the number of Europeans students started to decline in the European segregated schools as their parents left Kenya due to constitutional changes that gave Africans more power. The colonial government attempted to provide multiracial education at different levels. The first initiatives were taken in 1957 when several schools started to admit African students, including Hill Primary School in Nairobi, which was partially financed by the Colonial Development and the Welfare Fund from London; and the Outward Bound School at Loitoktok, which invited a multiracial group of students to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Most European and Asian schools began to integrate their schools just prior to independence in 1963, admitting Africans who could afford to pay fees or qualified for government bursaries.

After independence, there was increased internal pressure for better education, which became a major political agenda along with land redistribution. The newly independent Kenyan government was faced with a tremendous task of modernizing and increasing efficiency of the government administration system that required specialized training for the developing commercial and industrial sector. This task required a high level education that many Africans did not have. Also, the government had to figure out how to manage the large, rural economy. For fear of academic education being equated to elitism, emphasis was focused on the primary and secondary levels. In developing new educational policies, the government had to deal with other factors that affected the social welfare of the country.

First, the inherited educational system had developed rapidly preceding independence. The system also had racial and regional inequalities with rigid school curriculum and examination patterns that were based on an outdated and irrelevant British model. Second, the government was faced with the need to create national unity, reinforcement of cultural identity, and reduction on reliability of foreign assistance. The third issue was economic constraints that affected the educational development.

There are aspects of educational development that have evolved with the help of foreign agencies, such as the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), a government institution supported by the Danish government (DANIDA). The institute was formally established through legal Notice No 17 of 14 February 1986. KISE provides educational assistance to disabled children, youth, and adults. The main functions of KISE are training teachers and other personnel to work in the field of special education; functioning as a resource center for the production and dissemination of information on handicaps; offering educational and psychological assessment for children with handicaps; and administering distance education courses.


Nonformal Education

Nonformal education (Elimu ya Gumbaru ) was previously under the Ministry of Social and Cultural Affairs, but was moved under the Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development. There are other nongovernmental agencies (NGO) that serve as nonformal education resources, such as the Ministry of Culture and Social Services, which was created to provide services to help eliminate illiteracy among Kenyan adults.

During the fifteenth anniversary of Kenya's independence in 1978, President Daniel Arap Moi decreed that a national program be launched to eradicate illiteracy. The Department of Adult Education in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services was then established to spearhead the promotion of literacy and adult education. It included 3,000 full-time adult education teachers. Another 5,000 part-time teachers and many volunteers provided their services after short induction training courses in adult education. Since most adult education teachers had not received adequate training as teachers per se, the training courses helped prepare them to become effective facilitators in the literacy and adult education program. The courses for adult education teachers were a joint venture between the Kenya Institute of Education, the Department of Adult Education, the College of Adult and Distance Education, and the University of Nairobi (kenyaweb.com 2001).

The University of Nairobi has a faculty of external degree studies program that was established in its distance teaching program in 1985. The faculty is part of the College of Adult and Distance Education (CADE), which is one of the six colleges of the University of Nairobi. It is located at Kikuyu Campus outside of Nairobi. The program started within the Department of Education to train teachers in arts and later in science subjects. There are future plans to include implementation of legal and business studies. The University of Nairobi faculty also assists with the training of staff who work in the program, along with other organizations that are involved in distance teaching programs, such as AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation), Kenyan Cooperative College, and INADES Formation, which respectively provide courses for health workers, cooperative personnel, and farmers.

The staff of the faculty of external degree studies have also organized training in several countries in Africa including Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Somali, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Swaziland (kenyaweb. com 2001). Specific program objectives of the external degree studies program are to provide learning opportunities for those aspiring Kenyans who cannot secure places in the existing internal faculties of universities; an alternative and innovative method of learning; an opportunity for people to learn at their own pace; and an opportunity to maximize the use of limited educational resources by making university education available beyond the lecture halls. Courses taught in the distance education mode include the bachelor of education (arts), bachelor of education (science), and a postgraduate diploma in education.

Arts courses include subjects in education, geography, mathematics, economics, business studies, history, religious studies, English literature, and Kiswahili. Science courses include biology, chemistry, physics, and home science. The program takes six years to complete. Entry requirements for the degree program are the same as for the rest of the University of Nairobi. All students with prescribed entry qualifications for admission are eligible. Applicants for the postgraduate diploma must hold a degree in at least two teaching subjects and have a minimum of two years teaching experience.

The academic year consists of two semesters of 13 or 15 weeks, with the year beginning in June. External students are expected to take examinations at the same time as internal students. These examinations are usually taken at the end of each academic year. External students need to notify the dean of the faculty at least three months in advance if they are ready to take an examination in any of the units they have studied.

Unit cost per student is usually estimated at being 14 percent less than it is for internal students. The classes are taught in English.


Teaching Profession


There were initiatives aimed at producing teachers to meet demand in Kenya and East Africa before Kenya's independence. One of the initiatives was the 1960 Teachers for East Africa Project (TEA), a joint Anglo-America initiative to provide secondary schools teachers for the rapidly expanding schools in East Africa. A conference was held in December 1960 in the U.S. state of New Jersey by the American Council on Education to secure secondary teachers for East Africa. After the conference, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) financed the project and the Teachers College of Colombia University recruited the candidates. Makerere University College in Uganda also launched a postgraduate diploma course for British teachers who did not have teaching qualifications. After the completion of the course the teachers were posted to teach in East African schools that included Kenya.

To become a teacher before independence, one had to complete only eight years of schooling. The change from the 4-4 to the 7-4-2-3 system after independence increased the need for more teacher training institutions. In 1969 there were 24 primary teacher training colleges and two main universities. The number of trained teachers increased from 2,400 in 1969 to 2,500 in 1970. In order to meet the demand created by the 1970-1974 educational development plan that almost doubled school enrollment, the number of trained teachers jumped from 2,900 to 3,475 between 1971 and 1974.

Kenyatta and Nairobi Universities and Kenya Science Teachers College trained the secondary school teachers. By 1969 the total number of trained secondary school teachers from the three institutions was 380, with a shortage of teachers amounting to 1,449. The 1970-1974 educational development plan aspired to increase the total number of secondary school teachers from 417 to 670.

Training & Qualifications: Under the Kenya government policy to provide in-service training for unqualified primary school teachers, the Ministry of Education collaborated with the College of Education and External Studies to create a distance learning program so teachers could continue to teach while taking classes. In this venture, the materials were developed and tested before being adopted by the program. Since the early 1980s, the in-service training of primary school teachers through distance learning has become a permanent and parallel feature of teacher training in Kenya.

The Kenya Institute of Education plans to start another training program for qualified and unqualified teachers. The purpose will be to provide additional skills in the administration of schools and in some selected subjects that, according to national examination results, are not being effectively taught. This training will be extended to teachers in polytechnics, as most teachers in the polytechnic institutions do not have any initial formal training. Thus, the training program can help teach them relevant skills, enabling them to be more efficient in the classroom.

The Ministry of Education recruits and sponsors all the students. However, candidates must satisfy the following minimum requirements to become eligible:

  • Candidates must have at least KCE Division 3 or its equivalent
  • Candidates must have taught continuously in a primary school for at least three years
  • Candidates must be in the teaching service as a primary school teacher during the period of the in-service training

There are several levels of teacher certificationP1, P2, and P3. Because of the increased demand for teachers, there are some unqualified teachers (UQT) who are employed without certification and pursue certification as they teach. The UQT program started in 1964 as a correspondence tutorial course offered through radio at the recommendation of the then Kenya Education Commission. The Kenya government sought technical assistance from the USAID to establish the Correspondence Course Unit (CCU) through the Institute of Adult Studies of Nairobi University (then the Nairobi University College). At the time there were 37,923 teachers who were employed in Kenya's primary schools, of those, 10,438 were not professionally trained (certified). Among the qualified 27,485 teachers, there were 16,992 teachers who had P3 status, comprising about 60 percent of the qualified teaching staff and almost 45 percent of the total staff (Court and Ghai 1974).

For P3 qualifications, a teacher must have completed seven to eight years of primary education, depending on when they attended school, plus two years of teacher training. In order to be promoted to P2, a P3 teacher had to pass a required national exam, the Kenya Junior Secondary Examination (KJSE). In 1969 the Kenya Institute of Education collaborated with the Correspondence Course Unit in offering the CCU program along with KJSE preparatory courses to both P3 teachers and other adults who had completed primary education. Although Court and Ghai (1974) noted that the teachers who successfully completed the correspondence course compared well academically and professionally with those who had the formal teacher training from the university colleges, they also asserted that KJSE was not the most suitable curriculum for improving teachers' professional skills.

The Kenya Institute of Education offers a Primary Teacher Certificate through the continuing education program. The certificate takes three years to complete. Required courses for the first two years include professional studies, English, Kiswahili, mathematics, science, and music. Second year courses include the addition of art and craft, agriculture, geography, history, and civics. The third year includes the subjects of professional studies, religious education, physical education, geography, history, civics, and home science. There are additional subjects that are offered in addition to the core curriculum.

All courses are taught in English and the media and methods employed are printed text, radio broadcasts, and residential schools (approximately seven weeks per year). Candidates are awarded the Certificate of Primary Teacher Education only when they have successfully completed three full years of the prescribed course of study. A student who fails to meet the certificate's requirements is allowed to repeat either the examination in the subjects in which they failed to meet the requirement, or perform practical teaching, or both. Grades are accumulated until the requirements for the certificate are met. The certification for teachers are in two classifications: teaching and training skills in general, and primary education, which includes preschool (kenyaweb.com 2001).


Summary

Historically, the Kenya educational system underwent drastic and rapid changes within a short period. As in most African countries, Kenya has been faced with a fast population growth rate and low economic development that contribute to an environment where the educational system is very competitive and high educational attainment does not guarantee occupational mobility (Buchmann 2000). Kenya has accomplished its goals of educational development since independence, according to the normative and organizational triumph of mass schooling theory. The promotion of education, along with credential inflation, resulted in the slow growth of wage employment and an overabundance of educated job seekers. As Buchmann (2000) points out, the result has been a highly expanded educational system that rivals those in the most industrialized countries in terms of its complexity and competitiveness. At the same time the strength of extended kinship networks and the prevalence of polygyny along with a high demand of agricultural economic base indicates very little has changed for the better.

The educational system in Kenya alienated the masses from their traditional cultural ways, which served as the fabric to sustain a healthy climate in the society. Thus, the educational impact on society has resulted in corruption and institutional breakdown, lack of infrastructure to utilize the human capital available, and, above all, the disillusionment that education does not equal economic or social mobility. As a result, education has become a handicap, leading to oppressive social, economic, and psychological conditions. The symptoms that have surfaced are a decline in ethnic pride, patriotism, and the attitude that "what is Kenyan has no value, but that which is imported is much better," and urban life is better than rural. Another impact is the loss of skilled workers who cannot flee to other countries for improved economic conditions. The future of the Kenyan educational system is uncertain; however, the Kenyan people appear to still believe in education as progress, and future reforms may consider including character education, which would foster moral ethics and a revitalization of indigenous cultures.


Bibliography

Buchmann, Claudia. "Family Structure, Parental Perceptions, and Child Labor in Kenya: What Factors Determine Who is Enrolled in School." Social Forces 78 Issue 4 (2000): 1349-79.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Fact-book 2000. Directorate of Intelligence, 1 January 2000. Available form http://www.cia.gov/.

Court, D. and Ghai, D. P. Education Society and Development: New Perspectives from Kenya. Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Ehusani, George, O. An Afro-Christian Vision "Ozovehe": Toward A More Humanized World. Lanham: University Press of America, 1991.

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya. 2001. Available from http://kenyaembassy.com.

Kenya Information Center, The. Kenya Education. 2000. Available from http://www.thevillage.co.ke/.

kenyaweb.com. 2001. Available from http://www.kenyaweb.com.

Mbiti, J. S. African Religions and Philosophy. 2nd ed. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1992.

Quyum, Abdul. Kenya Government Organization 2000. Available from http://www.kenyastatehouse.go.ke/.

Rharade, A. "Educational Reform in Kenya." Prospects Quarterly Review of Comparative Education XXVII, Issue 101 (March 1997): p 162-178.

Sifuna, Daniel, N. Development of Education in Africa: The Kenya Experience. Nairobi: Initiative Publishers, 1990.

University of Pennsylvania. Living Encyclopedia for Kenya. 2001. Available from http://www.sas.upenn.edu/.


P. Masila Mutisya

views updated

Kenya

PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL

Compiled from the December 2007 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:

Republic of Kenya

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities: Capital—Nairobi (pop. 2.9 million; 2007 est.). Other cities—Mombasa (828,500; 2006 est.), Kisumu (322,000; 1999), Nakuru (219,366; 1999), Eldoret (193,830; 1999).

Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. High-lands cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate: Tropical in south, west, and central regions; arid and semiarid in the north and the northeast.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Kenyan(s).

Population: (June 2007 est.) 36.9 million.

Ethnic groups: Kikuyu 22%, Luyia 14%, Luo 14%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%.

Religions: Christian 80%, Muslim 10%, traditional African religions 9%, Hindu/Sikh/Baha'i/Jewish 1%.

Languages: English (official), Swahili (national), over 40 other languages from the Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic linguistic groups.

Education: First 8 years of primary school are provided free by the government. Attendance—92% for primary grades. Adult literacy rate—85.1%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—57.4/ 1,000. Life expectancy—55.3 yrs (2007 est.).

Work force: (1.95 million wage earners) public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers—6.4 million. Services—45%; industry and commerce—35%; agriculture—20%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: December 12, 1963.

Constitution: 1963.

Government branches: Executive—president (chief of state, head of government, commander in chief of armed forces1). Legislative—unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial—Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower and special courts, includes Kadhi (Sharia) courts.

Political subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. Nairobi area has special provincial status. The government has gazetted 37 more districts, whose ratification was still in process as of October 2007.

Political parties: Over 100 registered political parties. The ruling party, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), made up of 14 separately registered parties, broke up in 2003, although it is still a registered party. A Government of National Unity composed of Members of Parliament from all political parties was created in 2005. In September 2007, President Kibaki and his supporters formed the new coalition Party of National Unity (PNU). KANU, the official opposition party, is now a member of this pro-government coalition. The main opposition party is now the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), whose leaders were formerly allied with President Kibaki.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2006 est.) $22.79 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2006) 6.1%.

Gross national income per capita: (2006) $455.

Natural resources: Wildlife, land.

Agriculture: Products—tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land—5%.

Industry: Types—petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade: (2006) Exports—$3.1 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets—Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports—$7.2 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers—U.K., Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia.

PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes three of Africa's major sociolinguistic groups: Bantu (67%), Nilotic (30%), and Cushitic (3%). Kenyans are deeply religious. About 80% of Kenyans are Christian, 10% Muslim, and 10% follow traditional African religions or other faiths. Most city residents retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is Haram-bee, meaning “pull together.” In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad. The six state universities enroll about 45,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are six private universities.

HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

Cushitic-speaking people from what is now Sudan and Ethiopia moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprise two thirds of Kenya's population. The Swahili language, a Bantu language with significant Arabic vocabulary, developed as a trade language for the region.

Arab dominance on the coast was interrupted for about 150 years following the arrival of the Portuguese in 1498. British exploration of East Africa in the mid-1800s eventually led to the establishment of Britain's East African Protectorate in 1895. The Protectorate promoted settlement of the fertile central highlands by Europeans, dispossessing the Kikuyu and others of their land. Some fertile and well watered parts of the Rift Valley inhabited by the Maasai and the western highlands inhabited by the Kalenjin were also handed over to European settlers. For other Kenyan communities, the British presence was slight, especially in the arid northern half of the country. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before Kenya was officially made a British colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944 when a few appointed (but not elected) African representatives were permitted to sit in the legislature.

From 1952 to 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the “Mau Mau” insurgency against British colonial rule in general and its land policies in particular. This rebellion took place almost exclusively in the highlands of central Kenya among the Kikuyu people. Tens of thousands of Kikuyu died in the fighting or in the detention camps and restricted villages. British losses were about 650. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly. The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, an ethnic Kikuyu and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya's first President. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. The KPU was banned shortly thereafter, however, and its leader detained. KANU became Kenya's sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin from Rift Valley province, became interim President. By October of that year, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee for the presidential election.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state. Two months later, young military officers in league with some opposition elements attempted to overthrow the government in a violent but ultimately unsuccessful coup. In response to street protests and donor pressure, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution in December 1991. In 1992, independent Kenya's first multiparty elections were held. Divisions in the opposition contributed to Moi's retention of the presidency in 1992 and again in the 1997 election. Following the 1997 election Kenya experienced its first coalition government as KANU was forced to cobble together a majority by bringing into government a few minor parties. In October 2002, a coalition of opposition parties formed the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In December 2002, the

NARC candidate, Mwai Kibaki, was elected the country's third President. President Kibaki received 62% of the vote, and NARC also won 59% of the parliamentary seats. Kibaki, a Kikuyu from Central province, had served as a Member of Parliament since Kenya's independence in 1963. He served in senior posts in both the Kenyatta and Moi governments, including Vice President and Finance Minister. In 2003, internal conflicts disrupted the NARC government, culminating in its defeat in 2005 in a referendum over the government's draft constitution. Two principal leaders of the movement to defeat the draft constitution, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, who are both former Kibaki allies, are now presidential candidates for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party and the Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya (ODM-K) party, respectively. In September 2007, President Kibaki and his allies formed the coalition Party of National Unity (PNU). KANU joined the PNU coalition, although it serves in Parliament as the official opposition party. Kenya is scheduled to hold presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections on December 27, 2007.

GOVERNMENT

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of 5 years from single-member constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly. The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a Chief Justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal, all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a commissioner appointed by the president. The government has proposed 37 more districts, but these are not yet ratified by Parliament. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. Nairobi has special provincial status. The Ministry of State in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security supervises the administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 2/1/2008

Pres.: Mwai KIBAKI

Vice Pres.: Moody AWORI

Min. for Agriculture: Kipruto arap KIRWA

Min. for Cooperative Development & Marketing: Peter Njeru NDWIGA

Min. for East African & Regional Cooperation: Wilfred MACHAGE

Min. for Education, Science, & Technology: George SAITOTI

Min. for Energy: Kiraitu MURUNGI

Min. for Environment & Natural Resources: David MWIRARIA

Min. for Finance: Amos KIMUNYA

Min. for Foreign Affairs: Raphael TUJU

Min. for Gender, Sports, Culture, & Social Services: Maina KAMANDA

Min. for Health: Paul SANG

Min. for Home Affairs: Moody AWORI

Min. for Housing: Soita SHITANDA

Min. for Information & Communications: Mutahi KAGWE

Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Martha KARUA

Min. for Labor & Human Resource Development: Newton KULUNDU, Dr.

Min. for Lands: Kivutha KIBWANA

Min. for Livestock & Fisheries Development: Joseph Konzolo MUNYAO

Min. for Local Govt.: Musikari Nazi KOMBO

Min. for Planning & National Development: Henry OBWOCHA

Min. for Regional Development Authorities: Abdi Mohamed MOHAMED

Min. for Roads & Public Works: Simeon NYACHAE

Min. for Science & Technology: Noah WEKESA

Min. for Tourism & Wildlife: Morris DZORO

Min. for Trade & Industry: Mukhisa KITUYI

Min. for Transport: Chirau Ali MWAKWERE

Min. for Water Resources: Mutua KATUKU

Min. of State for Defense: Njenga KARUME

Min. of State for Home Affairs:

Min. of State for Immigration & Registration of Persons: Gideon KONCHELAH

Min. of State for National Heritage: Suleiman SHAKOMBO

Min. of State for Provincial Admin. & National Security: John Njoroge MICHUKI

Min. of State for Public Service: Moses AKARANGA

Min. of State for Special Programs: John MUNYES

Min. of State for Youth Affairs: Mohammed KUTI

Attorney Gen.: Amos WAKO

Governor, Central Bank of Kenya: Njuguna S. NDUNGU

Ambassador to the US: Peter OGEGO

Permanent Representative to the UN, NewYork: Zachary Dominic MUBURI-MUITA

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-6101, website: www.kenyaembassy.com) and consulates in Los Angeles and New York.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

In December 2002, Kenyans held democratic and open elections, which were judged free and fair by international observers. The 2002 elections marked an important turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution as the presidency and the parliamentary majority passed from the party that had ruled Kenya since independence to a coalition of new political parties. The government lost a referendum over its draft constitution in November 2005. This vote too was widely accepted as free, fair and credible.

Under the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, the NARC coalition promised to focus its efforts on generating economic growth, improving and expanding education, combating corruption and rewriting the constitution. The first two goals were largely met, but progress toward the second two goals has been limited. President Kibaki's current cabinet consists of Members of Parliament from allied parties and others recruited from opposition parties who joined the cabinet without the approval of their party leaderships.

In early 2006, revelations from investigative reports of two major government-linked corruption scandals rocked Kenya and led to resignations, including three ministers (one of whom was later re-appointed). In March 2006, another major scandal was uncovered involving money laundering and tax evasion in the Kenyan banking system. The government's March 2006 raid on the Standard Group media house conducted by masked Kenyan police was internationally condemned and was met with outrage by Kenya media and civil society. The government did not provide a sufficient explanation. No one has been held accountable.

Kenya is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on December 27, 2007. President Kibaki is running for re-election. Opposition candidates include Raila Odinga of the ODM party and Kalonzo Musy-oka of the ODM-K party. More than 2,500 candidates are vying for Kenya's 210 Parliamentary seats.

ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation. After experiencing moderately high growth rates during the 1960s and 1970s, Kenya's economic performance during the last two decades has been far below its potential. The economy grew by an annual average of only 1.5% between 1997 and 2002, which was below the population growth estimated at 2.5% per annum, leading to a decline in per capita incomes. The decline in economic performance in the last two decades was largely due to inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributing to the decline in agriculture. Kenya's inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya's manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991. In the 1990s, the government implemented economic reform measures to stabilize the economy and restore sustainable growth. In 1994, nearly all administrative controls on producer and retail prices, imports, foreign exchange and grain marketing were removed. The Government of Kenya privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. By the mid-1990s, the government lifted price controls on petroleum products. In 1995, foreigners were allowed to invest in the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority in 1999, and the adoption of measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit. The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs.

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) was negative from 2000-2003, but started trickling back in 2004, as demonstrated by an increase in the number of enterprises operating in Export Processing Zones (EPZs) from 66 to 74 between 2003 and 2004. The value of total investments increased from Ksh18.7 billion (U.S. $247.3 million) in 2005 to Ksh20.1 billion (over U.S. $278.3 million) in 2006. Following the end of the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) textile agreement in January 2005, several textile and apparel factories closed, leaving 68 EPZ enterprises. In 2006, this number increased to 70 EPZ enterprises.

The economy began to recover after 2002, registering 2.8% growth in 2003, 4.3% in 2004, 5.8% in 2005, and 6.1% in 2006. Under the leadership of President Kibaki, who took over on December 30, 2002, the Government of Kenya began an ambitious economic reform program and resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government enacted the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and Public Officers Ethics Act in May 2003 aimed at fighting graft in public offices. There was some movement to reduce corruption in 2003, but the government did not sustain that momentum. Other reforms especially in the judiciary, public procurement etc, led to the unlocking of donor aid and a renewed hope of economic revival.

In November 2003, following the signing into law of key anti-corruption legislation and other reforms by the new government, donors reengaged as the IMF approved a three-year $250 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and donors committed $4.2 billion in support over 4 years. In December 2004, the IMF approved Kenya's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement equivalent to U.S. $252.8 million to support the government's economic and governance reforms. However, the government's ability to stimulate economic demand through fiscal and monetary policy remains fairly limited while the pace at which the government is pursuing reforms in other key areas remains slow. Although the Privatization Law was enacted in 2005, modest steps have been made on privatizing of parastatals apart from Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) and the concessioning of Kenya Railways, while civil service reform is limited despite the government's assertion that reforms would be undertaken. Accelerating growth to achieve Kenya's potential and reduce the poverty that afflicts more than 56% of its population will require continued deregulation of business, improved delivery of government services, addressing structural reforms, massive investment in new infrastructure (especially roads), reduction of chronic insecurity caused by crime, and improved economic governance generally.

The current expansion is fairly broad-based and is built on a stable macro-environment fostered by government, and the resilience, resourcefulness, and improved confidence of the private sector. Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. On January 31, 2007, the government signed a $2.7 million contract with Tyco Telecommunications to perform an undersea survey for the construction of a fiber-optic cable to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) called the East African Marine Systems (TEAMS). Two other fiber-optic cables projects are being pursued to link Kenya to the rest of East Africa and India. Once TEAMS and the domestic fiber-optic cables planned by the government are completed, the economy is expected to benefit significantly from reduced internet access prices and improved capacity. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branches or representative offices in the city.

In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda reestablished the East African Community (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures. In March 2004, the three East African countries signed a Customs Union Agreement paving the way for a common market. The Customs Union and a Common External Tariff were established on January 1, 2005, but the EAC countries are still working out exceptions to the tariff. Rwanda and Burundi have since joined the community. In May 2007, during a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Summit, 13 heads of state endorsed a move to adopt a COMESA customs union and set December 8, 2008 as the target date for its adoption.

Tourism is now Kenya's largest foreign exchange earning sector, followed by flowers, tea and coffee. In 2006 tourism generated $803 million, up from $699 million the previous year. Africa is Kenya's largest export market, followed by the European Union (EU). Kenya benefits significantly from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Although Congress renewed the AGOA third-country fabric provision in December 2006 to provide more time to develop local cotton and fabric production that meets the buyers’ rigorous standards, its apparel industry is struggling to hold its ground against Asian competition. Kenya's main exports to the U.S. are AGOA-program garments, but it continues to run a trade deficit with the U.S.

Kenya faces profound environmental challenges brought on by high population growth, deforestation, shifting climate patterns, and the overgrazing of cattle in marginal areas in the north and west of the country. Significant portions of the population will continue to require emergency food assistance in the coming years.

Media

The key independent print media in Kenya are the Nation Media Group, the Standard Group, People Limited, and the Times Media Group. The Nation Media Group publications, which include the Daily Nation, the Sunday Nation, the Business Daily, the weekly East African, and the only Swahili publications, Taifa Leo and Taifa Jumapili, have the largest circulations. The Standard and the Sunday Standard, published by the Standard Group, are also popular newspapers, although with smaller circulations. Approximately 120 foreign correspondents representing 100 media organizations report from Nairobi. There is no government-owned or controlled newspaper. Major independent radio and television media are the Kenya Television Network (KTN), the broadcast media arm of the Standard Group; Nation Radio/TV, owned by the Nation Media Group; and Citizen Radio/Television, owned by Royal Media Services. The government owns and controls the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and its subsidiaries. KBC is the only national radio and television network.

Kenya also has hundreds of FM radio stations, some broadcasting in Swahili or in local languages. Radio has a wide reach in Kenya, especially in rural areas. Some major international broadcasters, including British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Voice of America (VOA) and Radio France Internationale (RFI), rebroadcast their programming in Kenya.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit.

Kenya has hosted and played an active role in the negotiations to resolve the civil war in Sudan and to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia. The Sudan peace negotiations have made major progress, resulting in the signing in Kenya of agreements between the Khartoum Government and the southern Sudan rebels to put an end to the two-decade-long war. On January 9, 2005 a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Negotiations in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference resulted at the end of 2004 in the establishing of Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (Assembly, President, Prime Minister, and Government). Until early 2005, Kenya served as a major host both for these institutions and for refugees from Somalia as well as Sudan. Between May and June 2005, members of the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions relocated to Somalia. Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.

U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. Relations became even closer after Kenya's democratic transition of 2002 and subsequent improvements in human rights.

More than 9,000 U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy as residents of Kenya. In 2006 a record 86,528 Americans visited Kenya, up 17.6% from 2005. About two-thirds of resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry. Al Qaeda terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi on August 7, 1998, taking hundreds of lives and maiming thousands more. Since that event, the Kenyan and U.S. Governments have intensified cooperation to address all forms of insecurity in Kenya, including terrorism. The United States provides equipment and training to Kenyan security forces, both civilian and military. In its dialog with the Kenyan Government, the United States urges effective action against corruption and insecurity as the two greatest impediments to Kenya achieving sustained, rapid economic growth. U.S. assistance to Kenya is substantial. It promotes broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. The U.S. assistance strategy is built around five broad objectives: Fighting disease and improving healthcare; fighting poverty and promoting private sector-led prosperity; advancing shared democratic values, human rights, and good governance; cooperating to fight insecurity and terrorism; and collaborating to foster peace and stability in East Africa. The Peace Corps, which has 150 volunteers in Kenya, is integral to the overall U.S. assistance strategy in Kenya.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Last Updated: 2/19/2008

NAIROBI (E) United Nations Avenue, Gigiri , Nairobi, APO/FPO Unit 64100, APO/AE 09831, 254-20-363-6000, Fax 254-20-363-6157, INMAR-SAT Tel 683-142-148, Workweek: Monday-Thursday, 0715- 1630; Friday, 0715-1215, Website: http://nairobi.usembassy.gov.

DCM OMS:Jane Lopez
AMB OMS:Karen Landherr
CDC:Jonathan Mermin
CG OMS:Simonette Clark
DEP PERM REP:Rachel Birthisel
DHS/CIS:Linda Dougherty
ECO:John Hoover
FCS:Jim Sullivan
FM:Etienne Pare
HRO:Kelly Pare
MGT:Michael Hoza
US PERM REP:ames Stewart
AMB:Michael E. Ranneberger
CG:Richard Appleton
CON:Scott Riedmann
DCM:Pamela Slutz
PAO:Thomas Dowling
GSO:Melissa Coskuner
RSO:Robert Whigham
AFSA:Chris Helmkamp
AGR:Kevin Smith
AID:Erna Kerst
CLO:Martha Fleming
DAO:Ltc. Thomas Wahlert
EEO:Jennifer Little
FMO:Tedla Yitna
ICASS:Chair Pamela Howard-Reguindin
IMO:Anthony Muse
IPO:Chris Pinzino
ISO:Pamela Brogden
ISSO:Lance Bryan
LAB:Randy Fleitman
LEGATT:Mateo Valles
POL:Larry Andre Jr..
State ICASS:John Hoover

US UNEP (NAIROBI) (M) U.N.Avenue, Gigiri, APO/FPO Unit 64111 APO/AE 09831-4111, 254-20-363-6305, Fax 254-20-363-6427, INMAR-SAT Tel 881-631-437-281, Workweek: M-Th: 7.15-16.30; F 7.15-12.15.

DEP PERM REP Rachel Birthisel OMS: Sara W. Thielman US PERM REP James A. Stewart

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

April 27, 2007

Country Description: Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast.

Entry Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport. Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested. Travelers to Kenya and neighboring African countries should ensure that the validity of their passports is at least six months, and that their passport contains sufficient blank pages for visas and immigration stamps.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Kenya web site at http://www.kenyaembassy.com for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: On August 7, 1998, al-Qaida bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 225 people and injuring over 5,000 around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy subsequently relocated outside of the city-center. On November 28, 2002, al-Qaida launched a bomb attack on a hotel in Kikambala, Kenya, (near Mombasa) in which 15 people were killed. A near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa was unsuccessful. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and other sites where Westerners are known to congregate.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December 2002 with minimum reports of violence. However, parliamentary and local elections in the coastal region led to some localized violence between party activists. Localized violence marred campaign rallies in advance of the November 21, 2005, national referendum on a proposed new constitution. Additionally, disruptions in public transportation services have been known to occur as a result of strikes or work stoppages and may delay visitors’ travel.

Political demonstrations occur regularly throughout Kenya. Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations. Violence, including gunfire exchange, has occurred at demonstrations in the past. Demonstrations tend to occur near government buildings, university campuses, or gathering places such as public parks. Though generally non-violent, demonstrations can quickly and unexpectedly become violent. Police are generally unable to properly manage large demonstrations and they often resort to excessive force to break up large crowds. Most major tourist attractions, particularly outside Nairobi, are not generally affected by protests. However, tribal conflict in rural areas has been known to erupt into violence.

Cross-border violence occurs periodically. The area near Kenya's border with Somalia has been the site of a number of incidents of violent criminal activity, including kidnappings. U.S. citizens who decide to visit the area should be aware that they could encounter criminal activity.

Reports of violence continue in the North Eastern Province near the Somali border and the Northern Rift Valley over disputes involving land, cattle, and water. A number of deaths were reported in the violent clashes. Northern Kenya border areas continue to be plagued by cross-border inter-clan and intra-clan clashes. While foreigners are generally not targets of this type of violence, insecurity in these areas during such times usually increases, placing constraints on travel and threatening safety and security of travelers in the immediate area.

Some sparsely populated rural areas of Kenya, principally in the North, experience recurrent, localized incidents of violent cattle rustling, counter-raids, ethnic conflict, tribal or clan rivalry, and armed banditry. During the past several years, incidents have occurred in the Keiro Valley, Northern Rift Valley sections of Laikipia and Nakuru Districts, and other areas north of Mount Kenya. A number of incidents have also occurred near the game parks or lodges north of Mwingi, Meru, and Isiolo, which are frequented by tourists. The precise areas tend to shift over time. Recent cattle rustling incidents have involved firefights between hundreds of members of rival tribal groups and the theft of thousands of head of cattle at a time. For these reasons, U.S. citizens who plan to visit Kenya are urged to take basic security precautions to maximize their safety. Travel to northern Kenya should be undertaken with at least two vehicles to ensure a backup in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

Villagers in rural areas are sometimes suspicious of strangers. There have been several incidents of violence against Kenyan and foreign adults in rural areas who are suspected of stealing children. U.S. visitors to rural areas should be aware that close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them candy, can be viewed with deep alarm and may provoke panic and violence. Adoptive parents traveling with their adopted child should exercise particular caution and are urged to carry complete copies of their adoption paperwork with them at all times.

Travelers should keep informed of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to their visits. Visitors should also consult their hosts, including U.S. and Kenyan business contacts, hotels, tour guides, and travel organizers.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site where the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, including the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

Crime: There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. There are regular reports of attacks against tourists by groups of armed assailants. Pickpockets and thieves carry out “snatch and run” crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous and discouraged.

Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home invasions/burglary, can occur at any time and in any location, and are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen, vicious, and often fatal. In early 2007, two American citizens were killed and one critically injured in two separate carjacking incidents. Nairobi averages about ten vehicle hijackings per day and Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts. Matatus (public transportation) tend to be targeted since they carry up to 14 passengers. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally not injured if they do not resist. There is also a high incidence of residential break-ins and occupants should take additional security measures to protect their property. Thieves and con artists have been known to impersonate police officers, thus Americans are strongly encouraged to ask for identification if approached by individuals identifying themselves as police officials, uniformed or not.

Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Vehicle windows should be up and doors locked regardless of the time of day or weather. Thieves on matatus, buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Americans should guard their backpacks or hand luggage and ensure these items are not left unattended. Purchasing items from street vendors is strongly discouraged—visitors should only use reputable stores or businesses. Police checkpoints are common in Kenya and all vehicles are required to stop if directed to do so.

Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve people impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and other credentials. In one of the latest scams, a tourist was stopped by someone who appeared to be a beggar telling a “sob story.” The tourist agreed to purchase a cup of coffee for the beggar. The tourist was then approached by “police officers” that told him that he was seen talking with a drug dealer/ counterfeit suspect, then demanded money from the tourist. American visitors and residents should be alert to these kinds of scams and immediately contact the U.S. Embassy if they think they are being or have been victimized.

Highway banditry is common in much of North Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote and sparsely populated. Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya's main highways, particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi. Travelers to North Eastern Kenya and the North Rift Valley Region should travel with the police escorts or convoys organized by the government of Kenya.

There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of Kenya's national parks and game reserves, particularly the Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the Kenya Wildlife Service and police have taken some steps to strengthen security in the affected areas, but the problem has not been eliminated. Travelers who do not use the services of reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.

The Kenyan mail system can be unreliable and monetary instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) are frequently stolen. International couriers provide the safest means of shipping envelopes and packages, although anything of value should be insured.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Health Information: Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi. Frequent outbreaks of cholera and malaria are endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi. Recently there has been an outbreak of hemorrhagic Rift Valley Fever resulting in some human deaths. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health web site at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about out-breaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. One of the greatest threats to travelers in Kenya is road safety. The information below concerning Kenya is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

In Kenya, one drives on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it. Excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits and manners, poor vehicle maintenance, bumpy, potholed and unpaved roads, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Kenyan roads. When there is a heavy traffic jam either due to rush hour or because of an accident, drivers will drive across the median strip and drive directly toward oncoming traffic. There are often fatal accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses, or local buses called “matatus.” Matatus are known to be the greatest danger to other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. They are typically driven too fast and erratically. Since early 2003, several American citizens have been killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle-related accidents. Also, vehicle travel outside major cities at night should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions, and the threat of banditry.

During the rainy season, many unpaved roads are impassable even with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Severe storms and heavy rains in late 1997 and early 1998 led to extensive flooding and critical damage to roads and bridges, making travel and communications difficult in many parts of the country. Kenya appears to be experiencing similar weather patterns in 2006, which have resulted in large scale flooding and infrastructure damage. Although the government repairs many of the damaged roads and bridges, some remain impassable. Travelers are urged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and local officials regarding road conditions.

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the commercial attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. via telephone at (202) 387-6101 or via email at [email protected] Visitors contemplating adventure tours should contact the Kenya Tourist Board Offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota via the internet at http://www.magicalkenya.com, via telephone at 1-866-44-KENYA, or via email at [email protected]

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Kenyan National Tourist Organization offices in New York at telephone 212-486-1300 or in California at telephone 310-274-6635.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Kenya, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA's internet website at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Kenya customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Kenya of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency restrictions, ivory, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Kenya in Washington, D.C. or one of Kenya's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at the United States Trade Representative's web site.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that proof of identity and U.S. citizenship is readily available if questioned by local officials.

Kenya is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), and is required by the VCCR to ask any detained American citizen if he/she would like the U.S. Embassy to be notified and to notify the U.S. Embassy if the detained American citizen requests it. Kenya is making strides towards compliance with its VCCR obligation. Any American citizen who is detained should request U.S. Embassy notification if he/she would like consular assistance.

Up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings may be taken out of the country. Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine. Visitors to Kenya carrying U.S. Dollars should ensure that the bills are relatively new, as banks in Kenya have been known not to accept older U.S. currency.

Use of firearms is strictly forbidden in wildlife reserves and national parks. Permission to carry firearms must be obtained from local authorities prior to entry.

Local tap water is not potable. Sealed bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its “collect call” facility. 1-800 numbers cannot be accessed from Kenya. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. International long-distance costs from Kenya are significantly higher than corresponding long-distance rates in the United States. Several local companies offer computer Internet access, including on an hourly rate basis. Many hotels have fax machines but often limit access to guests; some fax services are also available at office supply shops. Travelers are urged to consider their method of maintaining contact with family and friends when making their travel preparations. Kenya does not officially recognize dual nationality. In addition to being subject to all Kenyan laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Kenyan citizens.

Travel via passenger train in Kenya is considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. Over the past several years there have been accidents, including a passenger train derailment between Nairobi and Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people, including one foreign tourist. Several trains derailed in 2000. The Kenya Railway service has been reduced from seven days to three days per week. The service from Nairobi to Malaba is now only a cargo service and is no longer a passenger service.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Kenyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kenya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. There are frequent cases of “mob justice” in Kenya in which suspected criminals are lynched by private citizens before the police arrive to intervene. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration and Embassy Locations: Americans living or traveling in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Kenya. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic post-age may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption

November 2006

The information in this section has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: Kenyan courts are not institutionally biased against foreigners seeking to adopt children in Kenya. Although it still remains an issue, the courts are beginning to take a more liberal view of racial differences between prospective adoptive parents (prospective adoptive parents) and the adoptive child. Kenyan courts view the welfare of the child as paramount in reviewing an adoption case. Foreigners interested in adopting a child in Kenya may wish to employ legal representation that is familiar with Kenya's legal system, as the Kenyan Department of Children's Services and the Kenyan Regional High Court's interpretation of adoption laws can vary widely, depending on the case.

It is illegal to publish an advertisement indicating that a parent or guardian desires to place a child for adoption, that a person wishes to adopt a child, or that a person (who is not an adoption society) is willing to facilitate the adoption of a child.

Adoptive parents must submit post adoption reports on the child's welfare (with pictures) for five years, every three months for the first 2 years immediately following the adoption and then every 6 months for the last three years.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authority: The government office responsible for adoptions in Kenya is the High Courts and the Department of Children's Services. The Department of Children's Services can provide a list of currently registered adoption societies with which prospective adoptive parents may deal.

Kenyan Department of Children's Services
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-20-228-411

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: One of the applicants must be more than 25 years old and more than 21 years older than the child and less than 65 years. The applicants can be a relative.

Adoption orders will not be granted

  • To a single foreign applicant;
  • If one or both applicants is not of sound mind, as defined by the Kenyan Mental Health Act;
  • To applicant(s) who have been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for or of any offence against children under Kenyan laws. (Note: USCIS also requires a criminal background check to be done on all petitioners and may find families ineligible as well);
  • To gay and lesbian individuals or couples;
  • To joint applicants not married to each other.

Residency Requirements: Adopting parents must reside in Kenya with the child for at least three months before legal procedures begin. Although some legal adoption steps can be initiated before the three months period has been completed, most of the legal work will only begin after the three month “homestay” with the child is finished.

Time Frame: Bearing in mind that the adopting couple must reside in Kenya with the child for at least three months before the legal procedure begins, the average length of the adoption process is about six months, including the three month residency requirement. All adoption orders are finalized in Kenya prior to applicant's leaving the country and upon their fulfilling all the requirements listed below.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains a list of attorneys, but is not aware of any specializing specifically in adoptions.

The attorneys list can be found on the U.S. Embassy website at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov under the Consular Section tab.

Families can contact Kenyan Department of Children's Services at Tel: (254) (20) 228-411 for a list of registered Kenyan adoption agencies. These agencies will assist with identifying a suitable child for adoption and can sometimes assist in some of the legal proceedings.

Adoption Fees: Kenyan law prohibits financial transactions between individuals involved in an adoption proceeding. Some payments are permitted, for example, to an adoption society for maintenance of the child, or to an attorney who acts for any of the parties or in connection with an application for an adoption order. Any payment or reward made by a prospective adoptive parent or guardian of a child or a third party facilitating the adoption for the purpose of making an adoption order, is considered illegal.

Adoption Procedures: Following are the adoption procedures and requirements for adopting a child in Kenya.

Prerequisites:

  • Child(ren) must be at least 6 weeks old and declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society;
  • Any child who is resident in Kenya must be legally adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen or was born in Kenya;
  • The adoption order cannot be granted unless the child concerned has been in the continuous care of the prospective adoptive couple for more than three consecutive months preceding the filling of the applications and both the child and the applicant(s) may be evaluated and assessed by a registered adoption society in Kenya;
  • One of the applicants must be more than 25 years of age and less than 65 years of age, and more than 21 years older than the child. The applicants can be relatives.

Adoption orders will not be done

  • For a single foreign applicant (unless there are extenuating circumstances);
  • If one or both applicants is not of sound mind, as defined by the Kenyan Mental Health Act;
  • For applicant(s) who have been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for or of any offence against children under Kenyan laws;
  • For gay or lesbian individuals or couples;
  • For joint applicants not married to each other.

Consent must be obtained as follows:

  • If applicable, from existing parents, guardians or anyone else contributing to the maintenance of the child under any agreement or order;
  • If applicable, from parents or guardian(s) of the mother of the child in a case where the mother is a minor;
  • If applicable, from the step-father who has acquired parental responsibility;
  • From the spouse of the prospective adoptive parent, if the spouse is not available in person;
  • In case of foreigners not residing in Kenya, the consent of a competent jurisdiction or a government authority situated in the country where both or one of the spouses ordinarily resides, permitting the spouses to adopt a foreign child;
  • In case of a child who has attained the age of 14 years, the consent of the child.

Guardian Ad Litem: A guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court for the child pending the hearing and determination of the adoption application. The appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem expires upon the making of a final adoption order by the court. The couple must satisfy the court that the country where they ordinarily reside and where they expect to reside with the child immediately after adoption will respect and recognize the adoption order and will grant resident status to the child. The couple must have been authorized and recommended as persons who are suitable (including being morally fit and financially capable) to adopt a foreign child by a competent government authority or court of competent jurisdiction in the country where they expect to reside with the child immediately following the making of the adoption order.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Required Documents:

  • Home study report of the adoptive parents prepared by a professional social worker;
  • Recent photographs of the adoptive family;
  • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents;
  • Certificate of medical fitness of adoptive parents duly certified by a medical doctor;
  • Declaration regarding financial status of foreign adoptive parents along with supporting documents including employers’ certificate, where applicable;
  • Employment certificate of adoptive parents, where applicable;
  • Income tax records of adoptive parents;
  • Particulars of property owned by the adoptive parents;
  • Declaration from adoptive parents stating willingness to adopt the child;
  • Undertaking from the social or child welfare enlisted agency sponsoring the foreigner to the effect that child would be legally recognized as a citizen of the adoptive parent's country without any form of discrimination and that the child would be entitled to the same rights as citizens of that country;
  • Undertaking from the social and child welfare enlisted agency that a report relating to progress of the child, along with his/her recent photograph, will be sent to Child Welfare Society of Kenya every three months during first two years, and every six months for the next three years, for a total of five years;
  • Undertaking from the adoptive parents that adopted child would be provided necessary education and upbringing according to the status of adoptive parents;
  • Power of Attorney from adoptive parents in favor of Child Welfare Society of Kenya which will be required to process the case and such Power of Attorney should authorize the Attorney to handle the cases on behalf of the foreigner in case the foreigner is not in a position to come to Kenya during the initial stages of the adoption;
  • Certificate from the enlisted social or child welfare agency sponsoring the application of the foreigner to the effect that the prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child according to the laws of their country.

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya
2249 R Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone: (202) 387-6101
Fax: (202) 462-3829
e-mail:
[email protected]
http://www.kenyaembassy.com/

Kenya also has Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: Prospective adopting parents are strongly encouraged to consult the USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoption.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at http://travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 606
Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254) (20) 375-3704 or
(20)- 363-6492
Fax: (254) (20) 363-6410
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: Nairobi.usembassy.gov

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Kenya may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children's Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

Travel Alert

January 31, 2008

This Travel Alert is being issued to warn American citizens of the security situation following disputed elections in Kenya. U.S. citizens should strongly consider the risks of travel to Kenya at this time. The Travel Alert also advises American citizens that on January 30, 2008, the Department of State authorized non-emergency personnel and family members to relocate from Kisumu to Nairobi.

U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to the cities of Kisumu, Nakuru and Naivasha, and defer all non-essential travel to the remaining portions of Nyanza, Western, and Rift Valley provinces. The situation in Kenya is volatile and subject to change on short notice. U.S. citizens should monitor U.S. Embassy Nairobi's website at http://kenya.usembassy.gov for the latest security information. This Travel Alert updates the January 11, 2008 Travel Alert, supplements the October 18, 2007 Kenya Travel Warning, and expires February 29, 2008.

Although widespread violence, demonstrations, and looting have subsided, a recent outbreak of protests in Nairobi and violent civil unrest in Kisumu, Nakuru, and Naivasha demonstrates the potential for spontaneous violence in the current political climate. Several official Americans have been temporarily relocated from Kisumu to Nairobi. Americans in Kenya should be prepared for a large police presence and potential out-breaks of hostile clashes between police and demonstrators, and between rival groups of demonstrators. International and domestic airports are operating normally, but this may change on short notice.

Road travel in western Kenya remains unsafe. Sporadic illegal road blocks by gangs or criminal elements may make travel possible only with police escorted convoys. American citizens are strongly reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can become violent. Americans should therefore avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings. American citizens who travel to Kenya despite this Travel Alert and the Travel Warning for Kenya should register with the U.S. Embassy at https://travelregistration.state.gov, as well as monitor the U.S. Embassy website at http://kenya.usembassy.gov for updates on this volatile situation.

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens over-seas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. Travelers may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Travel Warning

October 18, 2007

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time and updates information on safety and security concerns. For information concerning current political unrest in Kenya please see our Kenya Travel Alert. This supersedes the Travel Warning of February 6, 2007.

The Department continues to recommend that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing terrorist threats and increasing incidents of violent crime. Terrorist acts may include suicide operations, bombings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking, kidnappings, and home invasions/ burglary, can occur at any time and in any location, and are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen, vicious, and often fatal. In January 2007, two family members of a U.S. Embassy employee were killed by armed carjackers. Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts.

U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate and random attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and locations where foreigners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or other foreign interests.

American citizens in Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. Americans should also remain vigilant in residential areas, schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should avoid demonstrations and large crowds.

Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Kenya may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information please consult the Country Specific Information for Kenya, the East Africa Travel Alert, and the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

views updated

KENYA

Republic of Kenya
Jamhuri ya Kenya

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

LOCATION AND SIZE.

Located in east Africa, Kenya has a total area of 582,650 square kilometers (224,962 square miles), rendering it slightly larger than twice the size of Nevada. With a coastline of 536 kilometers (333 miles), Kenya borders the Indian Ocean to the east, Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west, and Tanzania to the south. Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is situated slightly south of the center point of the country.

POPULATION.

Between 1975 and 1997, the population of Kenya, which more than doubled from 13.7 million to 28.4 million, increased at an exceedingly high average growth rate of 3.4 percent. In July 2000, the CIA World Factbook estimated that the population stood at 30,339,770. With a current annual growth rate of 1.6 percent, it is expected that this figure will increase to approximately 37.6 million by 2015. The birth rate in Kenya is 29.35 births per 1,000 persons, while the death rate is 14.08 deaths per 1,000 persons. In terms of age structure, the population of Kenya is relatively young, with 43 percent of all Kenyans aged between 0 to 14 years, 54 percent aged between 15 to 64 years, and only 3 percent aged 65 years and over. In 1997, only 30.4 percent of the population lived in urban areas, though this figure is expected to expand to 44.5 percent by 2015.

The population of Kenya is highly heterogeneous (diverse). Some of the major ethnic groups include the Kikuyu (comprising 22 percent of the population), the Luhya (14 percent), the Luo (13 percent), the Kalenjin (12 percent), the Kanmba (11 percent), the Kisii (6 percent), and the Meru (6 percent). There are also several other African groups (15 percent), in addition to a small population of Arabs, Asians, and Europeans. With 38 percent of Kenyans adhering to one denomination or another of Protestantism, and 28 percent practicing Roman Catholicism, the majority of Kenyans are Christian. An additional 26 percent of the population follow an indigenous religious system unique to east Africa, while another 7 percent are devoted to Islam. A plethora (a large amount) of indigenous languages are spoken in Kenya, though the only 2 official languages are English and Kiswahili. The latter, which acts as the lingua franca (common language) in east Africa, is a Bantu-based language with strong Arabic influences.

Like many sub-Saharan African nations, Kenya currently confronts an HIV/AIDS epidemic of massive proportions. At the end of 1997, conservative estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) placed the total population living with HIV/AIDS at approximately 1,600,000. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) argues that HIV/AIDS is inextricably interrelated to issues of poverty. Poor women in urban areas, for example, are often forced out of economic necessity to engage in prostitution in order to survive. Prostitution, in turn, exposes sexual workers and their clients to high risks of HIV contraction. As such, any effective HIV/AIDS strategy on the part of the Kenyan government will have to address the dynamics of poverty in addition to gender inequality.

OVERVIEW OF ECONOMY

The area that now comprises Kenya came under British domination in the 1890s, though it was not declared an official Crown colony until 1920. Under British hegemony (complete domination), a racially stratified economy was created, with European settlers controlling a large segment of the fertile land and managing nascent industries, while the African indigenous population worked as laborers on cash-crop plantations and in factories. Indians, occupying a status somewhere between the Europeans and Africans, formed a petty-capitalist class of artisans, clerks, and merchants. By and large, the colonial economy was characterized by settler control of farming lands (settler-economy), with tea and coffee acting as the major export crops designated for sale in European markets abroad.

Following the emergence of various nationalist movements throughout the 1950s, in addition to a series of rebellions (the Mau Mau) against British rule, Kenya was granted independence in December 1963. Under the subsequent rule of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), headed by President Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya experienced significant economic growth throughout the 1960s. Although KANU, a self-proclaimed African socialist party, pursued various socialistic policies including government control of agricultural marketing boards, state ownership of certain industries, and import-substitution the economy under Kenyatta was more or less mixed.

In 1980, a growing balance of payments deficit caused by declining terms of trade (international prices for agricultural commodities greatly outweighed by prices for capital goods ) and high international oil prices, compelled Kenya to borrow heavily from the World Bank. The latter issued a second large-scale loan to Kenya in 1982, with both the first and second loans being subjected to numerous conditionalities (requirements). Such conditionalities centered on increasing the role of the private sector in the economy while concomitantly decreasing the role of the government. In particular, the conditionalitiescollectively labeled Structural Adjustment Packages (SAPs)emphasized trade liberalization and gradual dissolution of government marketing boards that controlled purchasing and selling of agricultural commodities.

Kenya's slow progress towards implementing agricultural conditionalities, in addition to the widespread use of public resources by government and parastatal officials for private gain (corruption), prompted many bilateral donors and the major international financial institutions to severely criticize KANU throughout the early 1990s. Inefficient and corrupt parastatals were singled out as being particularly draining to the country's treasury, and thus a major factor behind deficit and debt problems. Economic performance in the 1990s declined severely, and the average annual GDP growth rate, which stood at 6.5 percent between 1960 to 1980, fell to 2 percent between 1990 to 1999. In August 1993, inflation temporarily reached a record high of 100 percent. Five years later, in 1998, the unemployment rate soared to 50 percent.

Both the IMF and the World Bank suspended structural adjustment programs in 1997, as a result of KANU's failure to implement governance conditionalities designed primarily to curb corruption and promote sound economic policy. In July 2000, however, Kenya signed a long-awaited 3-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF, a development that is expected to normalize relations with the World Bank and various bilateral donors. The PRGF, a direct relative of the SAPs, sets out some of the most detailed conditions ever agreed to by a national government.

The Kenyan economy continues to be dominated by agriculture, with tea, coffee, horticultural products, and petroleum products acting as the country's major exports. Export partners, in turn, include Uganda, Tanzania, the UK, Egypt, and Germany. Tourism is the second largest contributor to foreign exchange, while agriculture is the first. Kenya's major imports include machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, and iron and steel, most of which are imported from the UK, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Japan, Germany, and India. Due, in large part, to the uneven terms of trade between Kenya's agricultural exports and higher value-added imports, the country runs a significant balance of trade deficit. This means that Kenya must borrow heavily to finance imports, hence the various SAPs. In 1998, Kenya's total external debt stood at US$7 billion. In addition to commercial loans, the country also receives large amounts of economic aid from various international organizations and bilateral donors. In 1997, for instance, Kenya received a total of US$457 million in aid.

POLITICS, GOVERNMENT, AND TAXATION

The legislative branch of the Kenyan government consists of a unicameral National Assembly (bunge), whose representatives are elected by popular vote to serve 5-year terms. The executive branch consists of a chief of state who is both president and head of government. The president is elected by popular vote by members of the National Assembly. The president, in turn, selects a cabinet. The judicial branch comprises a Court of Appeal, a chief justice appointed by the president, and a High Court. The legal system is a complex hybrid of English common law, tribal law, and Islamic law. The military is more or less apolitical, and Kenya boasts one of the most stable political histories in all of east Africa. This record was slightly marred in the early 1990s, when serious ethnic clashes killed thousands and left tens of thousands homeless.

Although KANU, dominated mostly by the Kikuyu and Luo ethnic groups, initially claimed to be socialist, it has long since abandoned this pretense. Indeed, according to Vincent B. Khapoya, author of the African Experience, even in the earliest years of Kenyan independence, KANU promoted capitalist policies. During this period, KANU, which replaced the ethnic federalism of the original post-independence constitution with centralization, banned its major opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), thereby creating a de facto (in practice) one-party state. In 1982, KANU constitutionally declared a de jure (on paper) one-party state, claiming that this was needed to decisively avoid the effects of "tribalism" (ethnic conflict), supposedly engendered by multiparty politics. Despite the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1992, the government of Kenya has been headed by the KANU leader, Daniel arap Moi, since the death of Kenyatta in 1978. Moi is currently serving his last constitutional term in office, which is scheduled to end in January 2003.

Some of the other major political parties represented in the National Assembly include the Democratic Party of Kenya (DP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the National Development Party (NDP), Forum for the Restoration Democracy-Kenya (FORD-K), and SAFINA. The CIA World Factbook 2000 states that most opposition parties in Kenya are divided along ethnic lines, a factor which enabled KANU to win the 1997 elections despite its failure to garner the majority of votes.

Tax revenue, which accounted for 86.6 percent (KSh129,230) of government revenue in 1997, is the largest source of government income. The 3 largest sources of tax revenue, in turn, are taxes on goods and services, taxes on income and profits, and taxes on international trade. Each respectively accounted for 37 percent (KSh55,279), 33 percent (KSh49,266), and 15.3 percent (KSh22,773) of government revenue in 1997. Non-tax revenue only accounted for 13.4 percent of government income in the same year.

Taxes on companies in Kenya are set at the relatively high rate of 32.5 percent for resident companies and 40 percent for nonresident companies, though certain deductions and exemptions do apply. The income tax system is based on an annual pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) scheme in which a person is taxed progressively on sums of KSh90,240, beginning at 10 percent on the first KSh90,240, and ending at 32.5 percent on the sixth sum of KSh451,200. Those that make less than KSh90,240 are effectively exempted from income taxation. Moreover, a second pro-poor taxation policy includes the exemption of unprocessed agricultural products and processed foodstuffs from the standard value-added tax (VAT) rate of 17 percent on all goods. Some excise tax rates, however, such as the rate of 135 percent on cigarettes and tobacco products, and the 95 percent rate on light beer, are set at extremely high rates. Consequently, these commodities are confined to the enjoyment of the wealthy.

INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER, AND COMMUNICATIONS

Kenya has an extensive road network of approximately 95,000 miles connecting most parts of the country. According to the U.S. Department of State Country Commercial Guide 2000, however, the current state of most roads is deplorable. Of the total 63,800 kilometers of highway, for example, only 8,868 kilometers are paved (1996 est.). In collaboration with various donors, the Kenyan government recently launched the ambitious 'Roads 2000' project, designed to create links between all major and minor roads, in addition to rehabilitating 20,000 kilometers of roads in 6 urban centers. The project, which will span approximately 3 years, is expected to cost US$245 million. The road network accounts for over 80 percent of Kenya's total passenger and freight transport.

The state-owned Kenya Railways Corporation (KR) manages Kenya's single-track railway system, which runs from Mombasa through Nairobi to the Ugandan border. As a result of heavy operational losses, there has been a steady deterioration in the KR's services. The World Bank and the British Overseas Development Administration are currently funding a railway rehabilitation project to make KR commercially viable, while the government has made plans to open up the railways to private-sector participation by limiting the KR's role to owning and regulating lines. Accordingly, the KR would lease locomotives to private-sector operators.

Kenya's port of Mombasa, which has an annual average freight throughput of about 8.1 million tons, is the country's main seaport and serves most East and Central

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Kenya 9 104 21 N/A 0 N/A 2.5 0.19 35
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3 375 135 N/A 0 N/A N/A 0.00 1
Tanzania 4 279 21 0.0 1 N/A 1.6 0.05 25
aData are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
bData are from the Internet Software Consortium (http://www.isc.org) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

African nations. The deep-water port, boasting 21 berths, offers specialized facilities, including cold storage, warehousing, and container terminal.

The international and domestic air transport infrastructure is relatively well-developed in Kenya. There are 3 international airports; the largest is Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which serves more than 30 airlines providing scheduled services to cities around the world. In total, Kenya has 230 airports, including 21 that are paved. Wilson airport in Nairobi, the busiest airport in Africa, handles light aircraft and general aviation.

In 1999, the Communications Commission of Kenya was established to regulate telecommunications and radio communications in the country. In the same year, the state-owned Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation was split into 2 separate parastatalsTelkom Kenya, a telecommunication corporation, and Postal Corporation of Kenya, a postal services corporation. Kencell, a joint venture between Vivendi France and Sameer of Kenya, won the second cellular license bid in 1999 to provide cellular services in competition with the Telkom subsidiary, Safaricom. The government plans to sell up to 49 percent of Telkom Kenya through the Nairobi Stock Exchange. As of 1998, there were 290,000 main telephone lines in use, or approximately 9.9 telephone lines per 1,000 people. The United States, in comparison, boasted 640 phone lines per 1,000 people in 1996.

Kenya's electricity services are mostly provided by the state-owned Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), though an Electricity Regulation Board was appointed in 1998 to manage the opening up of the power sector to independent private producers. Since 82.74 percent of the power supply comes from hydroelectricity, power outages and blackouts have become increasingly common as a result of chronic drought. In 1999-2000, Kenya experienced its worst drought in 40 years, a development that forced the KPLC to introduce an emergency rationing program in July 2000 under which electricity supplies have been cut off for 12 hours a day. Further adding to the problem, hydro equipment tends to be outdated and poorly maintained. Consequently, the government is eager to further develop both thermal and geothermal sources of power. Two international companies were licensed at the beginning of 1997 to respectively produce 43 MW of power from a thermal plant in Mombasa and 45.5 MW from a diesel plant in Nairobi. In 1998, total electricity production in Kenya equaled 4.23 billion kWh. Only 8 percent of the Kenyan population is connected to the national grid.

ECONOMIC SECTORS

As in most of Africa, the legacy of colonialism has ensured the predominance of agriculture in the Kenyan economy at the expense of industry. According to Norman Miller and Roger Yeager, authors of Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity, the colonial-settler-dominated economic system carried with it an explicit discouragement of indigenous capitalism . Policies directed towards these ends had the effect of guaranteeing African labor for colonial farmers while simultaneously preventing Kenyans from accumulating capital wealth. Perhaps even more importantly, Kenyan independence leaders accepted the unequal patterns of land tenure and private land ownership that developed in the colonial period, with the caveat that large estates were taken over by emerging African elites (so-called "Africanization"). As Miller and Yeager assert, this committed Kenya to a potentially dangerous course of unbalanced economic growth, as the politically powerful landowners maintained a system of agro-export domination that engendered deep class inequality and stymied (frustrated) industrial development. Today, the industrial sector remains relatively small, though many manufacturing sub-sectors have experienced considerable growth in recent years. The service sector, for its part, forms a vital part of the economy, with financial services and tourism predominating.

AGRICULTURE

With 75 percent of the 9.2 million person labor force engaged in farming, the agricultural sector is the mainstay of the Kenyan economy. The sector contributes an estimated 26 percent of GDP, and generates 60 percent of the total foreign exchange earnings (1998 est.). The major agricultural products in Kenya include tea, coffee, horticulture, corn, wheat, sugarcane, dairy products, beef, pork, poultry, and eggs.

Tea production, which netted US$520 million in 1998, is Kenya's largest single foreign exchange earner. Coffee and horticulture are the other major agricultural export foreign exchange earners. With the economy so heavily dependent upon the exportation of agricultural commodities for its foreign exchange, however, Kenya is in a considerably vulnerable position. Adverse weather conditions, for instance, can completely affect the economy as a result of decreased production in any given year. Over the past 10 years, IMF statistics indicate that annual tea exports have fluctuated unpredictably, according, in large part, to weather conditions. In 1992, the total volume of tea exports equaled 169,000 tons; in 1996, this figure increased to 229,000 tons, though, in the following year, the total decreased to 206,000 tons. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) November 2000 Report on Kenya estimated tea output declined by 5.3 percent from the year before, leading to a 6 percent decline in the value of exports. The cause of this decline relates to the debilitating drought that the country experienced at the close of the twentieth century.

Coffee production has similarly followed varied patterns of output according to weather conditions. In 1991, 83,900 tons of coffee were produced for exportation, with this figure increasing to 113,500 tons in 1995, and declining to 83,200 tons in 1996. To add to the problems of production instability, revenue acquired from agricultural commodity exports depends heavily upon international prices for a given commodity in a given year. For instance, if there is a considerable coffee yield by most coffee-producing countries of the world, international prices will accordingly decline as a result of a glut (excessive supply). The EIU estimated that coffee export production in 1999 would reach 85,000 tons, a considerable improvement on the 1998 output of 68,100 tons resulting from the improvement in the weather of the coffee-growing regions of the Central Highlands. At the same time, coffee revenue in 1999 showed little increase due to depressed world coffee prices. Coffee export earnings fell to US$125 million in the 12 months prior to the end of August 2000, compared with US$149 million in the same period of the previous year.

Horticultureprimarily the production of flowers, fresh fruits, and vegetablesis the fourth largest earner of foreign exchange and the fastest-growing activity in the Kenyan economy. Unfortunately, the recent drought led to a 6.4 percent decline in horticultural output in 2000 and a fall of 3.6 percent (US$188 million) in export earnings.

As a result of the scarcity of arable land, in addition to the tendency to use valuable land for the cultivation of export crops, Kenya must import large amounts of food in order to feed the population. The latter factor is inextricably related to the domination of large farms producing export crops in the agricultural sector. Such farms are more concerned with producing crops for profit than in producing food for local subsistence consumption. Kenya normally produces only 35 to 40 percent of its domestic wheat requirements, which are estimated at 650,000 tons per year. Adverse weather conditions in 1997 led to a drastic reduction in domestic wheat production, thereby necessitating 465,000 tons of wheat imports. Similarly, in the same year a deficit in maize production had to be rectified with 1.1 million tons of imported maize.

In 1993, Kenya's total arable land was estimated at 8 percent, while permanent pastures and forests and woodland respectively occupied 37 percent and 30 percent of the land. Several environmental problems currently threaten this land, including deforestation (erosion of forests), soil erosion, and desertification (drying of the land). Other environmental problems include water pollution from urban and industrial wastes and degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers.

INDUSTRY

With industry contributing 18 percent of GDP (1998 est.), the industrial sector in Kenya is a relatively small, albeit important one. Some of the major industries include small-scale consumer goods producers (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, and flour), agricultural products processing, oil refining, and cement. Industrial production is confined exclusively to the urban centers, such as Nairobi and Mombasa.

Until the early 1990s, the Kenyan government pursued a strategy of import-substitution industrialization (ISI) in the manufacturing sector. ISI seeks to stimulate local manufacturing capacity by blocking manufacturing imports from abroad. Although ISI has been effective in certain contexts, the neo-liberal (the ideology of the complete free market) international financial institutions have criticized it severely for facilitating the development of inefficient firms that do not have to compete with their foreign counterparts. The result is higher prices and poorer quality goods for domestic consumers. In accordance with the conditions delineated in the various SAPs, therefore, the government of Kenya has replaced ISI with a strategy of export-oriented industrialization (EOI). The latter is premised on the idea of stimulating manufacturing industries by engaging in competition and free trade. It has been criticized for not taking into account the possibility that highly competitive foreign manufacturers will depress nascent Kenyan firms if they are granted access to Kenya's markets through trade liberalization.

Aggregately (in total), the value contribution of manufacturing in the Kenyan economy has steadily increased over the past 10 years, rising from KSh6,833 million in 1991, to KSh11,976 million in 1994, and KSh23,490 million in 1996. As other economic sectors have also increased in their value contributions, however, the percentage increase of manufacturing in GDP contribution has not changed significantly. In 1991, manufacturing contributed 3.1 percent of GDP, while this figure only marginally increased to 4.6 percent in 1996. In the same year, the manufacturing sector provided employment for 210,500 Kenyans.

The production output of many manufacturing sub-sectors has also increased considerably throughout the 1990s. From 1991 to 1996, for instance, output of rubber products increased annually on average by 16 percent, plastic products by 12.3 percent, petroleum and other chemicals by 3 percent, metal products by 5.38 percent, electrical machinery by 7.11 percent, and, finally, clay and glass products by a whopping 46.85 percent. The cement industry, one of Kenya's most valuable, increased the value of its exports from US$15.2 million in 1992 to US$43.3 million in 1997. Other sectors did not fare so well, and annual average output for many actually declined. Beverages and tobacco declined on average by 0.13 percent, textiles by 6.9 percent, and clothing by 12.11 percent.

Although the Kenyan government does not maintain data on the value of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the U.S. Investment Promotion Center estimated that FDI totaled more than US$1 billion in 1994. Many foreign firms are located within Export Processing Zones (EPZs)designated areas in which foreign firms are granted tax holidays and other concessions in order to attract their investment. There are a total of 14 EPZs in Kenya, and manufacturers are enticed with a ten-year corporate tax holiday and a 25 percent tax rate thereafter. Some of the major foreign manufacturers in the Kenyan economy include Bayer AG (German pharmaceuticals), British Petroleum, Cadbury Schweppes (UK confectionery/beverages), Coca-cola (U.S.), General Motors (U.S.), Colgate Palmolive (U.S. hygiene products), Mitsubishi (Japanese motor vehicles), and Mobil (U.S. petroleum products). While many praise FDI for creating needed investment and facilitating transfers of technology, others argue that it allows foreign firms to operate in isolation from the rest of the economy and that their profits are often expatriated (returned to the investor country).

The mining sector in Kenya, as a sub-component of the industrial sector, is negligible, though there are small deposits of gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies, flourspar, and garnets. In 1991, mining only accounted for 0.1 percent of GDP, with this figure remaining exactly the same in 1996.

SERVICES

Accounting for approximately 56 percent of GDP, the service, or tertiary sector, is the most valuable area of economic activity in the domestic economy. The service sector consists mainly of 2 major areas: tourism and financial activities. Retail , which includes a significant number of restaurants in the urban centers, is dominated by small-scale street vendors, many of whom form part of the informal sector . In total, 144,300 Kenyans were involved in retail in 1996, not counting those that were engaged in the informal sector. The informal sector itself, known in Kenya as "jua kali," employs approximately 64 percent of all Kenyan urban workers. It is also the most dynamic sector in the economy in terms of job creation, accounting for about 90 percent of new jobs outside the smallholder farm sector. Informal sector activities, such as carpentry, motor vehicle repair, tailoring, hawking , and selling various fruits, vegetables, and other commodities, are largely service-based. Though the government recognizes the value of the informal sector, the U.S. Department of State Country Commercial Guide 2000 argues that it could do more to develop needed infrastructure.

TOURISM.

With its beautiful coastal beaches, wildlife, unique scenery, and history of relative stability, Kenya is the tourist hub of east Africa. Indeed, tourism is the country's second-largest foreign exchange earner, next to the agricultural sector as a whole. In 1995, Kenya received an estimated 785,000 tourists with earnings of about US$486 million, a slight decline from the US$501 million in earnings and 807,600 tourists of the previous year. Earnings from tourism further declined to US$448 million in 1996, though this figure still equaled about 65 percent of the combined revenues from tea and coffee exports. Europeans account for more than 50 percent of Kenya's tourists, while Americans account for less than 10 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of State Country Commercial Guide 2000, the relative decline in Kenya's tourism sector can be attributed to a high level of crime, disintegrating infrastructure, the eruption of ethnic violence in the early 1990s, and growing competition from neighboring countries. Reassuringly, political stability has returned and the government has offered various fiscal incentives to firms operating in the tourism sector, thereby counterbalancing the negative trends. Several multinational corporations are involved in the tourist sector in Kenya, including the Hilton International (British), the Intercontinental Hotel (Japanese), and Safari Park Hotel (South Korean).

FINANCIAL SERVICES.

The financial sector has grown considerably in importance throughout the 1990s, increasing its value contribution to the economy from KSh7,069 million in 1991 to KSh9,843 million in 1996. In terms of GDP contribution, the financial sector accounted for 8.2 percent of GDP in 1991 and 10.1 percent in 1996. In the same year, approximately 81,000 Kenyans worked in the financial sector.

As of the beginning of 1998, the highly diversified financial sector in Kenya consisted of the Central Bank of Kenya, 53 domestic-and foreign-owned commercial banks, 15 non-bank financial institutions, 2 mortgage finance companies, 4 building societies, and numerous insurance companies and other specialized financial institutions. The banking sector is dominated by 4 large banks, which aggregately control 50 percent of all bank assets and 52 percent of bank deposits. The largest bank, the state-owned Kenya Commercial Bank, accounts for 17 percent of bank assets and 18 percent of bank deposits. The multinational Barclays Bank, with 16 percent of bank assets and 15 percent of bank deposits, is next in line, followed by the state-owned National Bank of Kenya and the multinational Standard Chartered Bank, each respectively boasting 8 percent of bank assets and 9 percent of bank deposits.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange, which handles 61 listed firms, was established in 1954. In January 1995, the stock market, including stock-brokerage, was opened up for foreign direct participation, although there is a 40 percent limit on foreign ownership. Market capitalization has recently manifested considerable growth, increasing from US$1.89 billion in 1995 to US$2.08 billion in 1998.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

As an agricultural exporting and capital goods importing nation, Kenya routinely runs a balance of trade deficit that renders it highly dependent on loans and aid

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Kenya
Exports Imports
1975 .606 .945
1980 1.245 2.125
1985 .958 1.436
1990 1.032 2.124
1995 1.879 2.949
1998 1.993 3.280
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

to finance needed imports. The balance of trade deficit varies widely, depending upon, among other things, the market success of agricultural export commodities in a given year (as we have seen, this in turn, depends on both weather conditions and international commodity prices). In 1996, for instance, the deficit stood at US$73.5 million, while this figure increased dramatically to US$251.7 million in 2000a year of endemic drought. With a large amount of foreign exchange reserves , however, which equaled US$875 million in 2000, Kenya has been able to reduce its total external debt significantly, from US$6.9 billion in 1996 to US$5.7 billion in 2000.

Kenya's principal exports include tea, coffee, horticultural products, and petroleum products. Exports designated to Western Europe, particularly the United Kingdom and Germany, have increased considerably from US$437 million in 1992 to US$672 million in 1997. This increase is dwarfed, however, in comparison to the increase of exports designated to African economies. In 1992, Kenyan exports to Africa equaled US$330 million, 5 years later, in 1997, this figure exploded to US$971 million. This phenomenal increase is largely the result of the East African Cooperation (EAC) economic treaty signed with Uganda and Tanzania in 1996. The EAC promotes regional economic integration through policies geared towards eventually harmonizing inter-territorial tariffs , removal of trade barriers, and, in the longer-term, currency alignment.

Kenya's major imports include machinery and transportation equipment (capital goods), petroleum products, and iron and steel ( intermediate goods ). In 1996, the total value of Kenyan imports equaled US$2,928 million, US$727 million of which came from capital goods and US$1,719 million of which derived from intermediate goods. Imports from Western Europe, once more particularly Germany and the United Kingdom, have increased significantly from US$715 million in 1994 to US$1,048 million in 1997. Imports from African countries only increased marginally from US$59 million in 1994 to US$136 million in 1997. The balance of trade surplus with Africa signifies Kenya's relative economic strength in the continent. Japan and the United States are also important exporters to Kenya, with each respectively exporting goods and services equaling US$245 million and US$261 million in 1997.

The Kenyan government has promoted policies of trade liberalization throughout the 1990s, reducing, for instance, the maximum tariff rate from 45 percent in June 1994 to 25 percent in June 1997. While the international financial institutions and Western governments in general tend to support trade liberalization, it may have negative effects for a country like Kenya that depends on agricultural exports in exchange for higher value-added capital imports. If Kenyan manufacturing firms cannot compete with their foreign counterparts, reduction of trade protection measures, such as tariffs, will simply lead to the retardation of the Kenyan industrial sector. The result would be further entrenchment of the agricultural sector in the economy, and thus the prolonging of the unequal trading patterns that sustain the country's severe balance of trade deficit. In such a context, the pro-trade idea that all countries benefit when each focuses on producing and exporting that in which they have a comparative advantage and on importing that in which they do not, seems hardly relevant.

Regional trading arrangements (RTAs), such as the EAC, may offer the benefits associated with trade, while providing a more level playing field since member countries are more likely to be at a similar level of development. Still, more relatively developed countries might benefit disproportionately, which seems to be the case with Kenya and the EAC. Kenya is also a member of the 21-country RTA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

MONEY

SAP-induced reforms in the first quarter of 1994 instituted a free- floating exchange rate policy in Kenya, with the value of the Kenyan shilling thereafter being determined by its supply and demand in international money markets. Prior to the reform, the Kenyan government followed a fixed exchange regime in which the shilling was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a specific rate, subject to alterations only to rectify substantial distortions. Since the introduction of the free-floating exchange regime, the shilling has generally depreciated in relation to the U.S. dollar, meaning it takes increasingly greater quantities of shillings to equal the value of 1 U.S. dollar. In 1995, the exchange rate was averaged at KSh51.430 per US$1, with the rate depreciating to an average of KSh70.326 per US$1 in 1999, and an average of KSh76.93 per US$1 in 2000. The EIU expects that the rate will average at KSh80 per US$1 in 2001, and KSh84 per US$1 in 2002. While

Exchange rates: Kenya
Kenyan shillings (KSh) per US$1
Dec 2000 78.733
2000 76.176
1999 70.326
1998 60.367
1997 58.732
1996 57.115
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].

currency depreciation is positive for the exporting sectors of the Kenyan economy, since less foreign money is needed to buy Kenyan exports which thereby renders them more attractive, it has the adverse effect of increasing the prices of imports. For a drought-effected food-importing nation like Kenya, increases in the prices of essential imports can have negative consequences on the poorest segments of the society.

POVERTY AND WEALTH

Kenya is a country characterized by abject poverty on the one hand and conspicuous wealth on the other. According to Miller and Yeager, the roots of inequality stem, in large part, from the colonial heritage that bestowed upon the nation highly unequal patterns of land tenure. Since the KANU regime has done very little to rectify the situation of land ownership in the post-independence era, a small segment of the population now African instead of Europeancontinues to own large tracts of land at the expense of the largely small-holding and landless peasantry. This landed elite, often absentee (having mangers run their estates so that they can live elsewhere) and centered in the urban centers, controls much of the industrial and commercial sectors. In addition to the elite landowners (though the groups are not always mutually exclusive), there exists a small class of politicians and parastatal managers that exercise extensive access to public resources. As Miller and Yeager assert, politics in Kenya are synonymous with the pursuit

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Kenya 301 337 320 355 334
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
Tanzania N/A N/A N/A 175 173
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.
Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Kenya
Lowest 10% 1.8
Lowest 20% 5.0
Second 20% 9.7
Third 20% 14.2
Fourth 20% 20.9
Highest 20% 50.2
Highest 10% 34.9
Survey year: 1994
Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.
SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].

of profit, and the Kenyan political elite is particularly notorious for its high degree of corruption.

David Himbara, author of Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development, observes that cutting across the axis of class inequality in Kenya is a second axis of ethnic inequality. Thus, throughout the Kenyatta era, a large portion of the political elite consisted of members of the Kikuyu ethnic group. Indeed, Himbara states that Kenyatta's policy of Africanization was in fact a policy of "Kikuyization." Since the beginning of the Moi era, however, the Kalenjin ethnic group has displaced the majority of the Kikuyus from the most senior echelons of state power.

In contrast to the tremendous wealth of the politically-and agriculturally-based economic elite, the vast majority of the Kenyan population lives in poverty. The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) human development index (HDI) listings, which arranges countries according to their overall level of human development, ranks Kenya 138th out of a total of 174 nations. The HDI, a composite index (one that assesses more than one variable) that measures life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rate, school enrollment ratio, and GDP per capita , is indicative of a country's general social and economic well-being. As such, Kenya's HDI ranking demonstrates that the country is considerably underdeveloped, though it does fare better than many of its sub-Saharan African neighbors.

The Kenyan government spends relatively little on health, though it does spend a considerable, albeit declining, amount on education. In 1998, for example, public expenditure on health and education as percentages of GDP respectively equaled 2.2 percent and 6.5 percent, as opposed to 1.7 percent and 7 percent in 1990. Comparatively, the United States spent 5.4 percent of GDP on education and 6.5 percent on health in 1998. The vast majority of Kenyans, for their part, spend their meager incomes on the basic necessities of life, such as food, rents, clothing, fuel, and transportation. As a result of a declining economy and a deepening of poverty, however, Kenyans consume less food calories on a daily basis then they did thirty years ago. In 1970, the average Kenyan consumed 2,187 calories per day, with this figure declining to 1,976 calories per day in 1997. Americans, in contrast, consumed on average 2,965 calories per day in 1970 and 3,699 calories per day in 1997. This is not surprising, considering the increase in the GNP per capita has been grossly outweighed by mounting inflation in the past 10 years. The UNDP estimates that the annual growth rate in GNP per capita between 1990 to 1998 was 0.3 percent, while the average annual rate of inflation during the same period was 10.6 percent.

WORKING CONDITIONS

In 1997, an estimated 1.2 million males and 473,400 females engaged in formal wage employment. Women work overwhelmingly in services, while men work in education, manufacturing, building and construction, trade, and transport. The highest percentage of females working in male-dominated areas of the formal sector is in education, where women constitute 40 percent of the workforce. Women almost exclusively staff several textile factories, reflecting their overall lower status in the economy. Moreover,

Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Kenya 31 9 21 2 8 3 26
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Dem. Rep. of Congo 34 2 12 3 3 11 36
Tanzania 67 6 5 4 12 6 0
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

women tend to suffer from a double-work day, being forced out of economic necessity to engage in income-earning activities during the day, and then being responsible for the domestic work activities at night.

There are at least 33 unions representing 350,000 workers in Kenyaapproximately 20 percent of the country's industrial workforce. With the exception of the National Union of Teachers, which represents 150,000 teachers, all unions are affiliated with the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), an organ not known for its vigorous pursuance of workers' rights. Created by the government in 1965, COTU's leadership is comprised of the leadership of affiliated unions, though it is common for KANU to provide funding and other support for the election of senior officials.

The Trade Disputes Act permits workers to strike, provided that 21 days have elapsed following the submission of a written letter to the Minister of Labor. At the same time, however, the Ministry of Labor has the right to determine the legality of any strike, a power that was abused in 1994 when several strikes were declared illegal despite the requisite warnings. The government's response to wildcat strikes is usually severe, a problem which has been raised by various workers' rights organizations with the International Labor Organization (ILO). Members of the military services, police, prison guards, and members of the National Youth Service are legally forbidden to strike. Also, labor laws protecting workers, such as the right to organize and bargain collectively, are subject to numerous exceptions in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs).

Children under the age of 16 years are prohibited from working in the industrial sector, and the government has put forward concerted efforts to ensure this regulation is followed. Children often financially assist their parents by working as domestic servants in private homes, partaking in the informal sector, and working in family business and agriculture. Given the high levels of adult unemployment and underemployment , the employment of children in the formal industrial sector rarely occurs.

According to the U.S. Department of State Kenya Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998, the minimum wage, which has 12 separate scales according to location, age, and skill level, is insufficient to meet the daily needs of a worker and family. Consequently, most workers rely on second jobs, subsistence farming , informal sector opportunities, or the extended family for additional support. The legal limitation of a workweek for workers in the non-agricultural sector is 52 hours, while employees are entitled to 1 rest day per week. There are also provisions for one-month annual leave and sick leave. The Factories Act of 1951 sets forth detailed health and safety standards, which have been increasingly enforced since the early 1990s with the dramatic growth of factory inspections. Still, many workers who find themselves in hazardous conditions are reluctant to file complaints for fear of illegal dismissal.

COUNTRY HISTORY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

8TH CENTURY. Arab and Persian settlements begin sprouting along the Kenyan coast. The Kiswahili language develops as a lingua franca for trade between the newcomers and the Bantu inhabitants.

16TH CENTURY. Arab dominance along the coast gives way to Portuguese ascendancy, following the first Portuguese contacts made in 1498.

19TH CENTURY. The United Kingdom establishes its influence in the Kenyan region with the arrival of various explorers, commercial representatives, and missionaries.

1895. The government of the United Kingdom establishes the East African Protectorate and subsequently opens the fertile highlands to white settlers. The settlers are allowed a voice in government even before Kenya is officially made a colony in 1920, though Africans are denied any form of political participation until 1944.

1952-1959. The so-called Mau Mau rebellion erupts against British colonial rule, and African participation in the political process increases rapidly.

1963. Kenya becomes an independent nation with Jomo Kenyatta of the Kikuyu ethnic group and Kenya African National Union (KANU) party as president. KANU, which claims to be socialist, promotes many capitalistic practices, though the state creates many parastatals in so-called strategic areas of the economy.

1969. With the banning of the major opposition party, the Kenya's People Union (KPU), Kenya becomes a de facto one-party state.

1978. Following the death of Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi succeeds as president. Moi continues to be the president of the country.

1980. Kenya receives its first conditional World Bank loan, marking the commencement of a lengthy period of international financial institution-sponsored structural adjustment programs designed to increase the role of the free market in the economy.

1982. Amendments to the constitution make Kenya a de jure one-party state.

1992. The Kenyan government re-introduces multi-party politics.

2000. Kenya signs a long-awaited 3-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF.

The PRGF is expected to normalize relations with the World Bank and various bilateral donors, which had soured in the mid-1990s as a result of government corruption and resistance to implementing reforms.

FUTURE TRENDS

Kenya represents an excellent example of the general economic and political trends that have prevailed, in varying degrees, throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s. On the political front, significant liberalization has occurred, with the various SAPs forcing the Kenyan government to deal with major issues of corruption and mismanagement. Moreover, the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1992 certainly represents a positive development in terms of the elaboration of a democratic system. Yet, all the while, the widespread outbreak of ethnic violence in the early 1990s demonstrates that political stability is precarious, especially in an environment characterized by rampant poverty and deep inequality.

Economically, the various SAPs that have been implemented have yet to usher in an age of sustained growth, a factor that may be attributed, in part, to certain inappropriate policies, such as major trade liberalization. Indeed, the general economic situation seems to be worsening, as indicated by the low GDP growth rates and the consistently declining GNP per capita. At the same time, there is no denying that certain major economic reforms are needed, as the inefficiency and commercial failure of most parastatals clearly suggests. The experience of stateled development in Southeast Asia also indicates that the state cannot altogether remove itself from the arena of economic activity. In the words of Himbara, "there can be no substitute for the state in capitalist development. Nor is it likely that international financial institutions, which are currently attempting to reconstruct elements of the Kenyan state and force the adoption of reforms, can become a surrogate for a national interventionist state that conceives and implements a consistent program of development."

DEPENDENCIES

Kenya has no territories or colonies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Himbara, David. Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994.

International Monetary Fund. IMF Staff Country Report, Kenya: Statistical Appendix: 1998. <http://www.imf.org>. Accessed May 2001.

Khapoya, Vincent B. The African Experience. New Jersey:Prentice Hall, 1998.

Miller, Norman, and Roger Yeager. Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994.

United Nations Development Programme. Human Development Report 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook 2000: Kenya. <http://wwww.CIA.gov/CIA/publications/factbook/geos/tz.html>. Accessed May 2001.

U.S. Department of State. Background Notes: Kenya: 1998. <http://www.state.gov/www/background_notes/kenya_0008_ bgn.html>. Accessed May 2001.

U.S. Department of State. FY 1999 Country Commercial Guide: Kenya: 1999. <http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/business/com_guides/1999/Africa/Kenya99.html>. Accessed May 2001.

U.S. Department of State. Kenya Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 1998. <http://www.state.gov>. Accessed May 2001.

World Bank Group. Kenya: Competitiveness Indicators. <http://wbln0018.worldbank.org/psd>. Accessed May 2001.

Neil Burron

CAPITAL:

Nairobi.

MONETARY UNIT:

Kenyan shilling (KSh). There are 100 cents in KSh1. The Kenyan shilling includes denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200.

CHIEF EXPORTS:

Tea, coffee, horticultural products, and petroleum products.

CHIEF IMPORTS:

Machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, iron, and steel.

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:

US$45.1 billion (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).

BALANCE OF TRADE:

Exports: US$2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.). Imports: US$3.3 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.).

views updated

KENYA

Republic of Kenya

Major Cities:
Nairobi, Mombasa

Other Cities:
Eldoret, Garissa, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi, Nakuru, Nanyuki, Nyeri, Thika

EDITOR'S NOTE

This chapter was adapted from the Department of State Post Report dated February 1997. Supplemental material has been added to increase coverage of minor cities, facts have been updated, and some material has been condensed. Readers are encouraged to visit the Department of State's web site at http://travel.state.gov/ for the most recent information available on travel to this country.

INTRODUCTION

Kenya offers an interesting political and economic situation, a modern capital by African standards, an enjoyable climate, varied sports facilities, good schools, and year-round availability of fresh meats and produce.

Wild animals can be found minutes from downtown Nairobi, and lodges and game parks abound. Along with elephants, lions, zebras, and rhinoceroses, Kenya has more species of exotic, colorful birds than are known in most other countries. Driving in Kenya gives access to the parks and lakes, as well as to a fascinating variety of local cultures. Some 60,000 American tourists come here for vacations each year.

Archeologists believe human existence began here perhaps 2.9 million years ago. The famous Leakey family of paleontologists continues to work at various sites throughout Kenya to learn more about man's origin and ancestors.

Kenya has a great deal to offer Americans who are willing to take advantage of it.

MAJOR CITIES

Nairobi

With a population of about 2,320,000, Nairobi has a modern downtown with an assortment of hotels, international restaurants, shops of all kinds, tree-lined streets, lovely flowering plants year round, and handsome residential areas.

The city is a mixture of Europe, Asia, and Africa, with the latter becoming increasingly prominent economically due, in part, to the government's systematic program of business "indigenization."

Nairobi is a busy financial center as well as a jumping-off place for safaris in search of game animals. Hunting is prohibited, but photographic safaris are popular. Tourists come through Nairobi by the thousands en route Kenya's many national parks and preserves. About 50,000 American tourists visit Kenya each year.

Traffic is congested during business hours and hazardous at all times. The downtown section can be covered by foot. Residential areas are spread out over the city with driving time to offices varying from 10 to 45 minutes. Downtown parking is inadequate during business hours.

Nairobi has changed dramatically since independence. Many modern office buildings and hotels including the Kenyatta Conference Center mark the changing skyline. This 26-story structure contains offices and conference facilities. The downtown area has an elevation of 5,400 feet, but some residential areas are located at over 6,000 feet. Nairobi is 87 miles south of the Equator and some 300 miles west of the Indian Ocean.

Food

Food in Nairobi, in general, is fairly expensive. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful year round, including such items as strawberries, mushrooms, ginger root, asparagus, and avocados. The growing season is year round, and some people grow many of their own vegetables. Tropical fruits such as mangoes, pawpaws, and pineapples are available in season. Temperate Zone fruits such as apples, peaches, pears, and grapes are grown here as well as imported.

A few frozen items are available, but only in the larger stores. Fish, beef, mutton, and lamb are usually available. Chicken, turkey, and pork are available, but are more expensive than in the U.S.

Butter, cream, eggs, and pasteurized milk in sealed containers are of good quality. Kenyan yogurt, sour cream, and cheese differ significantly in taste from their American equivalents.

Because of the liberalization of import restrictions, you can purchase almost anything you need locally. Most of these imported items are, however, very expensive. Many products imported from South Africa are quite good and reasonably priced. There are occasionally shortages of maize (corn) meal, butter, milk, and sugar.

Soy milk or formula is not usually available for babies with allergies. Some infant formulas can be bought in powdered form but, are scarce and often outdated. Strained and pureed foods are almost never available. Families with young babies may want to make their own baby food with a blender or a hand grinder.

Clothing

Clothing is expensive in Kenya and often inferior in quality. Bring a fairly complete wardrobe for warm weather and the cooler season. Local shoes are sold in Nairobi, but to be sure of good quality and fit, bring shoes from the U.S. Bring shoes with closed toes as well as sandals. People with narrow feet find it impossible to buy shoes that fit. Shirts, socks, and underwear are of inferior quality, very expensive, or both. Hats to protect against the sun are a must.

Nights in Nairobi are chilly, but you will not need a winter coat. The lowest temperature recorded in 25 years was about 40° F, but the mean minimum for the coldest month, July, is 52° F. You will need some summer clothes as the days become quite warmthe daily maximum in the warmest months is about 82° Fand a trip to the coast and to other parts of Kenya at lower altitude will require summer clothing. A ski jacket or some warm clothing is a good idea for going on safari to places at high altitudes.

Men: American light-and medium-weight suits or sports coats are worn most of the year. Heavy wool suits and overcoats are not needed, but sweaters and a lightweight raincoat come in handy. For the warm season, tropical worsted and washable suits are useful. Light informal cotton clothing is suggested for the coast.

Men's summer suits and suiting are available in a limited range. Suit styles made by local tailors are different and tailoring questionable. Safari suits can be purchased ready-made or can be made by a local tailor at a reasonable price. They are used for informal occasions as well as for travel.

Women: Lightweight wools, cottons, polyesters, silks, and knits are worn in Nairobi. Evenings are cool, furs are not normally worn, and Nairobi has no fur storage facilities.

In general, informal fabrics and styling are more suitable than elegant clothing, and colorful prints are worn. For evening, long and short casual cottons and jerseys as well as pantsuits are used for dinners, receptions, and at-home entertaining. Some women have a few dresses made in an African print by a local tailor. These are attractive and relatively inexpensive. Ready-made clothing is generally costly.

For daytime, slacks, jacket and skirt, and dress and sweater are most suitable. The weather can change during the day from very cool in the morning to hot at noon, to cool again, so sweaters and lightweight suits are useful. The wide range of casual and sports clothes available in the U.S. cannot be found.

Riding is popular, but riding clothes and boots are costly. Tennis dresses and bathing suits are also expensive. Lingerie and panty hose are of poor quality and expensive.

A lightweight raincoat is useful during the rainy seasons. Local rubber boots are available.

Children: Children's clothes are available, but are limited in variety, inferior in quality, and much more expensive than American brands. Some American styles in jeans and shirts are available at double the U.S. price. Underwear and socks purchased locally are of poor quality and do not wear well. Children's dress clothes are seldom worn.

Since nights are cold, warm sleepers for infants are advised. Heavyweight blanket sleepers for babies and young children are not sold in Nairobi. Boots can be purchased here.

Mediumweight clothing and sweaters are essential for Nairobi's cooler seasons. Sunsuits are useful for small children during the warm seasons and holidays at the coast.

Cloth diapers available in Nairobi are made of terry toweling and are not as good as American brands. Disposable diapers are available, but are very expensive.

Local Bata (brand) tennis shoes are available, but quality is poor. Special shoes for soccer and other sports are expensive.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services: Most basic services are available. Barbers and beauticians compare to those in the U.S. Among Nairobi's tailors and dressmakers, you will find some who do good work. Drycleaning is fair but not always dependable. Kid and suede cannot be cleaned here.

Religious Activities

Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Dutch Reformed, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Church of the Province of Kenya (Episcopalian), Lutheran, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist, Church of Christ, United (Methodist, Presbyterian, and Anglican), Christian Scientist, Jewish, Quaker, Pentecostal, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Hindi, Islamic, and Sikh places of worship can be found in Nairobi.

Education

The Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges accredits the secondary, middle, and elementary schools of the International School of Kenya.

The Kenyan school system is composed of Standards I-VIII equivalent to American grades 1-8, and Forms I-VI, roughly equivalent to American high school. This Kenyan system prepares students for a series of standard government examinations: The Certificate of Primary Education examination at the end of Standard VIII; and the high school certificate at the end of Form IV.

The International School of Kenya (ISK), PO Box 14103, Nairobi, is a coed school for prekindergarten through grade 12, located about 8 miles (out Peponi Road) from the city center on 45 acres of a coffee plantation.

The elementary (prekindergarten through grade 5) core curriculum includes language, arts, science, social studies, and mathematics. This is supplemented by a special program offering art, music, swimming (girls must wear one-piece swimsuits), physical education, computers, French and Spanish for grades 1-5, and an elective activity program once a week. The middle school (6-8) continues this program and provides preparation for high school.

The high school's program is primarily college preparatory with both required and elective courses in English, social studies, mathematics, the sciences, and physical education.

Language offerings include French and Spanish, with German at the more advanced levels. Elective courses in fine arts, art, drama, typing, business, and computers, and an International Baccalaureate/Honors program are also available. Of special note is an extensive field trip program available to students through ISK's Intercultural Program as well as the east African history class and extracurricular activities. ISK has science laboratories and a library, well stocked with books, current publications, and an AV system including a video system. The school also provides specialized services through its counselor, the learning resource center, and English as a Second Language Program. Extracurricular activities are many, examples being the National Honor Society, three school publications, an annual school musical, and an extensive intramural sports program.

To enter kindergarten, a child must be 5 years of age by September 15. Bus transportation is optional, serving the greater part of Nairobi. A snackbar on campus sells lunches, snacks, and drinks.

Testing programs include ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) given to elementary and middle scholars every year, PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), SAT Achievement Tests, and ACT (American College Testing Program) exams are given regularly through the American Cultural Center. Achievements, ACT (American College Testing Program), and IB exams are made available to college-bound upperclassmen.

The ISK was jointly purchased under the auspices of the U.S. and Canadian Governments in 1976 and is incorporated under Kenyan law. Seven diplomatic officers of the American Embassy and the Canadian High Commission form the school's Board of Governors, which has delegated responsibility for determining school policy to a 9-member Board of Directors, 6 of whom are elected by the parents and 3 appointed by the Board of Governors. The superintendent is the executive officer of the Board and is responsible for the organization, operation, and administration of the total school program. The superintendent is aided by the principals of the three schools, a counselor, and a professional staff of 50 full-time and 10 part-time teachers. Faculty members must be certified and experienced teachers; most are American or British trained.

Rift Valley Academy, Kijabe, Kenya, a boarding school, is located on the slopes of the Great Rift Valley, 50 kilometers from Nairobi off the Nakuru Road. It was founded in 1906 for missionaries' children, and still caters to these, but accepts other foreign students when space is available. It follows the American program of studies from grades 1 to 12. The secondary department is fully accredited by the Middle States Accreditation Association of the U.S. The principal emphasis of the academic program is on college preparatory courses. Additional classes are offered, however, in graphic arts, home economics, typing, mechanical drawing, industrial arts, and music. Three choirs, a band, and a number of smaller musical groups provide opportunity for many students to develop their talents in music. Private instruction is also offered on individual instruments. Nonmissionary enrollment is limited, and the final decisions are made on or about June 15 for September admission.

Other Schools Available in Nairobi include:

  • Banda School, P.O. Box 24772, Nairobi, Kenya; Tel. 891220/ 891689, on the Magadi Road off Langata Road. Coed, primary 5-13 years of age. British syllabus. UK Common Entrance at 11, 12, and 13. Waiting list.
  • Braeburn House, PO Box 45112, Tel. 566350, Gitanga Road. Coed, primary 5-13 years. CPE and Common Entrance syllabus.
  • Cavina School, PO Box 43090, Tel. 566011, Argwings Kodhek Road Boys primary 6-13 years. Common Entrance syllabus. Basically Christian outlook.
  • Consolata School, PO Box 14538, Tel. 43537, Chiromo Road. Coed primary, CPE syllabus.
  • Greenacres School, PO Box 46919, Tel. Redhill 254, Limuru Road. Coed primary. British syllabus. Girls only secondary, boarding and day. GCE London O levels.
  • Hillcrest School, PO Box 30365, about 8 miles from city center. Coed elementary. Pupils are prepared for Common Entrance Examination and for Hillcrest Secondary School. School year begins in January.
  • Hillcrest Secondary School, PO Box 24819, on Langata Road in Karen. Coed, high school. British syllabus. School year begins in January.
  • Kestral Manor School, PO Box 14489, Nairobi, is located on Ring Road in the Westlands area of Nairobi. It is coed for children ages 3 to 9 and offers British education methods in an open classroom environment. The school is very child centered with many British, American, and Australian students.
  • Kenton College, PO Box 30017, Tel. 560260. Boys' and girls' preparatory school. Ages 6-14. Follows multinational British syllabus. Boarding and day pupils.
  • Nairobi Academy, PO Box 24817, Tel. 891281, Langata Road. Coed, primary and secondary. CPE and Common Entrance Syllabus.
  • Rosslyn Academy, P.O. Box 14146, Coed, grades 1 to 7. Run by Mennonite and Baptist Missions, but is nondenominational. Boarding through grade 6. School year follows American schedule.
  • St. Mary's School, PO Box 40580, Coed elementary. British syllabus. Day school. School year begins in January.
  • Strathmore College, PO Box 25095, boys' high school. British syllabus. Day school. School year begins in January.

Nursery Schools: Nursery schools in most neighborhoods take children from age 2-3 and often continue through grades 1 or 2. These schools operate primarily in the mornings, but some will also care for children in the afternoons. In addition, informal play groups, organized by mothers of small children, meet one morning each week with all the mothers sharing responsibility for planning and implementing a program that provides a positive experience for the children.

Special Educational Opportunities

The Church of the Province of Kenya Language School, located on Bishops Road, offers Swahili courses with several options for time and meeting, including evenings.

Alliance Francaise and the French Cultural Center, both located at Loita/Monrovia Streets, offer courses in French at varying levels of proficiency.

The Italian Cultural Institute in the Prudential Assurance Building, on Wabera Street, offers conversational courses and intensive elementary courses.

International University-Africa, PO Box 14634, Nairobi, is affiliated with the U.S. International University in San Diego, California. Located about 20 minutes from downtown Nairobi, it specializes in business administration and human behavior and is fully accredited. Students attending the Nairobi campus can earn an Associate of Arts (AA, 2-year course) in business or general studies. Courses are also offered leading to bachelor's degrees in business administration, human behavior, or international relations. Students who are accepted by the University in Nairobi may transfer to any campus of the University to continue their studies. Other campuses are located in San Diego, London, and Mexico City. In addition to undergraduate courses, a graduate program leading to a Master of Science in management and organizational development is offered in Nairobi. New students are accepted each term. You should apply as early as possible before the term in which you wish to attend, preferably 6 months. For additional information, write to the International University-Africa, PO Box 14634, Nairobi, Kenya, or U.S. International University, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, Calif. 92131.

The University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197, Nairobi, has formal arrangements with some universities in the U.S. for a l-year exchange program. Schools currently participating in the program are the University of California system, Kalamazoo College, and Pennsylvania State University. The University has no openings for foreigners at undergraduate levels due to the great demand for places by Kenyans. No auditing is allowed because of space limitations. Postgraduates who have a special need to do work in Kenya because of their area of study can attend the University as an "occasional student" for 1 year.

Institute of Adult Studies in the Extra-Mural Division of the University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197, Nairobi, offers evening courses with enrollment open to non-Kenyans as well as Kenyans. Courses offered include accounting, computer programming, business administration, commerce, economics, mathematics, statistics (related to CPA), marketing, history, geography, French, Kiswahili, German, Arabic, car maintenance, and personnel management. Classes are offered three terms during the year, beginning in January, May, and September.

The Goethe Institute, Makioki, and UNEP offer language classes.

Sports

A wide variety of outdoor sports is available in Kenya. Nairobi clubs offer swimming, tennis, squash, golf (very good 18-hole courses), and other sports. Some membership fees are expensive. Fishing and mountain climbing are popular upcountry, and the coast provides some excellent swimming, water skiing, sailing, wind surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing. Facilities for badminton, hockey, polo, soccer, rugby, cricket, bowling-on-the-green, judo, water polo, fencing, and gocarting are available. Many children and adults ride horses or take riding lessons. Informal softball leagues and football games are held in the dry seasons. Hunting other than birds is banned in Kenya. Sports equipment can be expensive and one should bring an adequate supply.

Planes may be rented at slightly higher than American prices and an FAA private pilot's license may be converted to a Kenyan license with little difficulty. Pilots should bring their FAA license, log books, and FCC radio license. CAA certified instructors and examiners are available and FAA medical and biennial reviews can be obtained.

Touring and Outdoor Activities

Kenya is famed as a tourist paradise, and most Americans take advantage of the wildlife industry. The scenery and wildlife are magnificent. You can drive yourself; go on a totally organized safari; or fly to many places. Almost all the country's game parks and reserves are within reasonable driving distance from Nairobi.

Accommodations at the parks and reserves are designed to meet the tastes of almost everyone. If a visitor likes to "rough it," campsites and self-service bandas (cabins) are available. For those who consider comfort more important, lodges and tented camps provide a touch of luxury.

Equipment is available in Nairobi to purchase or rentbut prices are high, and the availability of certain items is limited. A local fuel, white gas, is currently available for American-brand camp stoves. A different type of camp stove using gas canisters is sold here. Paper plates and cups are sometimes available in the local stores.

Fishing enthusiasts should bring their gear. Lake Naivasha, just 55 miles from Nairobi, offers great widemouth bass fishing. You can rent bungalows on the lake, and a hotel is also available. Stream fishing (fly only) for trout is available in the high country near Mount Kenya and in the Aberdare Nyandarua Range. Fishing flies are available locally.

Reasonably priced bandas located at several parks in Kenya can be reserved, far in advance, from tourist offices in Nairobi. The bandas contain beds (you may bring your own linens or rent them there for a small fee) and simply equipped kitchens. Again, your own cooler would be handy. Some bandas have cooking utensils and dishes.

For a beach holiday on Kenya's coast, 300 miles from Nairobi, there is a choice of luxury beach hotels, family-type hotels, rented beach houses, or tent sites on the beach. Most beach hotels offer discounts during the off season. Many beach houses are also available to rent from private individuals for short holidays at reasonable prices.

As might be expected, Kenya is a photographer's paradise. If you have a specific camera in mind, purchase it in the U.S. as availability in Kenya is limited. Cameras, tele-photo lenses, filters, tripods, and projectors can also be rented. Prices vary from shop to shop. Both black-and-white and color film are available, but prices are high compared to those in the U.S.

Entertainment

While Nairobi has several movie theaters, they are not generally frequented by Americans. Concerts and theater productions are presented at the National Theater and the French Cultural Center. The Phoenix Players in the Professional Center. has a fine repertory company and a number of amateur groups offer surprisingly good productions. Restaurants, casinos, large hotels with dinner-dancing, and numerous small nightclubs are available.

Social Activities

Many opportunities to meet Kenyans and nationals of other countries are afforded through official contact, sports clubs, service groups, and other associations. The USIS American Cultural Center, besides its 7,000-volume library, has an exhibit hall which offers lectures by visiting Americans, seminars, and other activities. The American Women's Association, through its service activities, offers many such opportunities, as do the National Christian Council of Kenya, Rotary International, East Africa Women's League, the local Consumers Organization, the National Museum Society, church and school groups, and many other such organizations. There is a Boy Scouts of America troop associated with ISK.

Mombasa

With a population of 465,000, Mombasa is Kenya's other large and cosmopolitan city, and the country's chief port. Its harbor, Kilindini, on the Indian Ocean, is one of Africa's best. For several centuries, the city was a center for slave and ivory trade.

One of Kenya's oldest settlements, Mombasa was settled by Arabs in the 11th century and, in 1498, was visited by the Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, during his first voyage to India. Portugal held control until late in the 17th century, when the city was regained by Arabs; it later became part of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. Mombasa passed to Great Britain as a protectorate in 1887 and, for two decades, was headquarters of the British Administration of Kenya.

The city retains much of the flavor of bygone eras. Massive Fort Jesus, built by the Portuguese in 1593, broods over the old harbor where dhows from Arabia still drop anchor. The oldest section of the city, where streets are too narrow for cars, blends the bazaars and mosques of the east with the mystery of Africa. Old Mombasa melds into a plethora of small shops, houses, and apartment buildings that constitute most of the present-day city. Here, the principal thoroughfares host a number of modern stores, as well as the stalls of hundreds of souvenir hawkers.

Mombasa is a multi-racial city. Most of its citizens are Swahiliclearly African, but of mixed ancestry. Up country Kenyans have come in large numbers to work in government, industry, and on the docks. There are a dozen distinct Asian and Arab communities, whose members are mostly in business. A substantial resident European community and a smaller expatriate community completes the census.

The city is a thriving commercial port serving all of East Africa. It is also a liberty port for U.S. Navy ships in the Indian Ocean. American sailors, along with thousands of tourists from Europe, enjoy the amenities of Kenya's luxurious beach hotels and the safaris to nearby national parks and reserves.

Traffic in Mombasa is congested during rush hours, and driving standards are poor. The downtown section can be covered on foot, but since most Americans live in Nyali, which is about 20 minutes from Mombasa, a car is necessary.

Mombasa's temperature is fairly constanthot and humid. The average daily temperature is about 85°F and the humidity rarely drops below 77 percent.

Education

No American-curriculum school operates in Mombasa. Two British-oriented schools are used by most expatriate students, but neither has a complete secondary department.

Mombasa Academy, in the American residential area of Nyali, is a private, coeducational institution with a multi-racial student body of several hundred. The challenging secondary curriculum is geared toward the London General Certificate of Education (GCE), and the faculty is principally British. Sports, swimming, music, and theater are offered. About 20 children comprise each class.

Coast Academy is a private school located on the island of Mombasa. It is slightly smaller than Mombasa Academy, but has a similar academic program. Many American children from the American missionary community living in Mombasa have attended the Coast Academy.

Recreation and Entertainment

The sea provides opportunities for sailing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water sports. Several sports clubs in the city offer golf, squash, cricket, and tennis. Mombasa's hot (average, 85°F) and humid climate limits the hours of strenuous exercise to early morning and late afternoon. Mombasa has a well-organized yacht club.

Several excellent restaurants in Mombasa's many hotels on the coast, and a wide variety of others, cater to the tourist trade. Hotels organize discos and other entertainment for guests and are open to the public.

Mombasa's moderately clean movie theaters show recent American films. A local theater club stages several dramatic productions each year. Social life is relaxed and informal.

OTHER CITIES

ELDORET lies on the Uasin Gishu Plateau, about 200 miles northwest of Nairobi. Located in an agricultural area of western Kenya, Eldoret was a haven for Europeans in colonial times. Its temperate climate makes the city a leading agricultural and cattle raising area. Local industries include flour-milling and food-processing plants. The railroad to Uganda stops in Eldoret. Eldoret's population in 2000 was approximately 105,000.

Located 215 miles (350 km) east of Nairobi, GARISSA is a market town on the Tana River. Primary industries include food processing, beverages, plastics, and tobacco products.

KISUMU , in Kenya's western region, is a major inland port, industrial, commercial, and transportation center, and Kenya's third largest city. It is situated on the shores of Victoria Nyanza, the world's third largest lake (after the Caspian Seaan inland salt lakeand Lake Superior in North America). Kisumu, whose population was estimated at 185,000 in 2000, was called Port Florence in earlier times. Asians once comprised more than a quarter of the population, but that number has declined since 1963.

The ancient island town of LAMU ranks as one of Africa's most unique. Located about 150 miles northeast of Mombasa in the Indian Ocean, the town has retained its 18th century atmosphere. Today, Lamu serves as a port and district capital, with tourism as an important industry. The town was the base of the legendary Sinbad the Sailor. In the 19th century, Lamu was an important trading center for gold, spices, and slaves. Steeped in the Swahili culture and a major center of Islamic learning, there are 22 mosques in the city. The Lamu Museum displays items from the varied cultures of the island.

MALINDI is a beach resort town and marine reserve on the east coast, 60 miles north of Mombasa. Its resident population is swelled each autumn by the thousands of tourists who come to take part in Kenya's popular November Sea Festival. Swahili influence is strong in this area.

NAKURU , in west-central Kenya 95 miles (153 kilometers) northwest of Nairobi, is the capital of Rift Valley Province. The city is a busy commercial and transport center. It is the home of Egerton College and the headquarters of the Kenya Farmers Association. The fascinating Lake Nakuru Game Park lies just beyond the city limits. Nakuru has a population of 163,000 (2000 est.).

At the foot of Mount Kenya, in the safari country of the central area, is NANYUKI . This farming town is near the Mount Kenya Safari Club and Game Ranch, Mountain Lodge, and Secret Valley. Rhino, buffalo, occasional leopard and elephant sightings make Nanyuki a tourist favorite.

NYERI is a resort town and agricultural center in the highlands. It lies close to Mount Kenya and Aberdare National Parks. Nearby is the renowned Treetops Hotel where, in comfort and safety, guests can view wild and rare game. In 2000, Nyeri's population was roughly 89,000.

Pineapples and other fruits are the mainstays of THIKA , which is about 25 miles northeast of Nairobi in south-central Kenya. Kenya's High Level Sisal Research Station is in the town, studying the problems of growing sisal, a durable fiber used to make twine. Industries such as textiles, matches, and can production are located in Thika.

COUNTRY PROFILE

Geography and Climate

Kenya is bounded on the north by Ethiopia and Sudan, on the west by Uganda, on the south by Tanzania, and on the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean. It has an area of 224,960 square miles, about the size of Oregon. The northern and eastern three-fifths of the country is arid. The southern two-fifths, where most of the population and nearly all the economic production is centered, is low-lying coastal area and a plateau varying in altitude from 3,000 to 10,000 feet. Although only about 20 percent of the land is suitable for cultivation, agriculture is the most important economic activity.

The Nairobi area offers the contrasts of green rolling uplands, thorn scrub of the famous game plains, coffee and tea estates, and entry to the Great Rift Valley. Farther afield are the forests and snows of Mount Kenya, the dairy and farm country of the highlands, the tropical beaches of the coastal strip, and the deserts of the northeast.

Nairobi has four seasons, but overall temperature changes are moderate: Mid-December through Marchmainly sunny and warm by day, cool at night, generally dry; April and Mayprincipal rainy season with lower day temperatures; June through Septembermainly dry, but often cloudy and cool, with cool nights; and October and Novembershort rainy season, long sunny periods, warm days and cool nights.

Daily temperature range is great. It can be quite warm at midday in February and March, yet cool in the evening. In July and August, days are cool and nights are cold.

Average annual rainfall in Nairobi is about 1,030.4 millimeters (39 inches), but the actual amount varies widely in any year.

Population

Kenya's population in 2000 was about 29.3 million, of whom approximately 300,000 were non-Africans, principally people from South Asia. About 88 percent of the population live in rural areas. The urban population is centered mainly in greater Nairobi, which has about 2.3 million people, and in Mombasa, which has over 465,000. The standard of living in major urban centers is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and the people are proud of their country's development. The largest ethnic groups are Kikuyu (22%), Luo (13%) and Abaluhya (14%).

About 66 percent of Kenya's population is Christian, with a heavy concentration in Nairobi. Another 26 percent or so is animist, and the population of the coastal area is predominantly Moslem, comprising about 7 percent.

Kiswahili and English are the official languages, and English is used in most schools beyond the lower grades. Kiswahili is the more important lingua franca.

Public Institutions

Multi-partyism returned to Kenya in 1991, and in December 1992, multi-party elections were held. The President, Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, was reelected and his Kenya African National Union (KANU) won the majority of parliamentary seats. Elections were again held in 1997, when the president was reelected for another 5 year term and KANU still held the majority in the National Assembly.

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 elected representatives, 12 members appointed by the President, and 2 ex officio members. Although local government is under central government control, district and municipal councils retain some responsibilities.

The U.N. and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) maintain important offices in Nairobi. The U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) and the U.N. Center for Human Settlements (HABITAT) have been headquartered in Nairobi since their creation, respectively in 1972 and 1976. Other U.N. bodies such as UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the U.N. Information Center, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) maintain regional headquarters in Nairobi. The Red Cross, International Lions, and other philanthropic organizations are similarly represented. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations have regional headquarters in Nairobi. Many international conferences are held in Nairobi, where the facilities of the Kenyatta Conference Center are available.

Arts, Science, and Education

Nairobi offers a range of cultural institutions and activities. Several organizations offer classes for adults and children in painting, ballet, voice, and instrumental music. French, German, and Italian lessons are available from the Alliance Francaise and the French Cultural Center, the Goethe Institute, and the Italian Cultural Center. Libraries in Nairobi include the National Library and those of the University of Nairobi, the British Council, U.S. Information Service (USIS), the French Cultural Center, the Goethe Institute, and the Nairobi City Council (the MacMillan Library).

Repertory theater is offered by the Phoenix Players and the Kenya National Theater. The University Players and amateur groups present European-and African-oriented plays throughout the year. Nairobi's several movie theaters show mostly Indian and older American and British films. Due to the condition of the theaters and the equipment, most Mission personnel do not frequent them.

The National Museum sponsors the Kenya Museum Society. This society and the East African Natural History Society sponsor lectures and films and organize activities and trips to places of natural and historical interest. Specialized groups, such as the East African Wildlife Society, the Nairobi Photographic Society, and the Nairobi Music Society also exist.

The Kenyan educational system follows the American calendar or 8-4-4 system with a British style system of external examiners. The school year runs from mid-January-mid-December with breaks in April and August. All work leads toward passing the Kenyan primary and secondary examinations. Numerous government, private, and parochial primary and secondary schools can be found here.

The standard American curriculum is offered by the International School of Kenya (grades kindergarten through grade 12), which is well attended. The U.S. International University of San Diego has a campus in Nairobi and offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate university levels.

The University of Nairobi is strong in many areas. Its curriculum includes arts and sciences, commerce, architecture, and engineering. Kenyatta University focuses on education but offers a university-level curriculum. Two other universities, Moi and Egerton, offer degrees in a variety of subjects. Several private business and commercial colleges in Nairobi offer courses equivalent to American college freshman level. More and more private businesses and commercial colleges are offering computer science courses, some leading to degrees with examinations conducted by British institutions.

Commerce and Industry

Kenya enjoyed rapid and impressive economic growth after gaining independence in 1963. In recent years, real growth in gross domestic product slowed to less than 1 percent per year. Economic reforms since 1999, however, have brightened the economic picture for the future. These combined with a rebound in both tea and coffee prices, Kenya's two largest exports, have helped reduce chronic balance-of-payments deficits. Increases in nontraditional exports such as horticulture have compensated for largely stagnant earnings from Kenya's other important foreign exchange earner, tourism. The debt situation, however, is still problematic. Until the government can meet the conditions of the multilateral financial institutions, Kenya's ability to repay existing debt and receive new development assistance will be compromised.

Domestically, Kenya's economic fortunes have only recently began to recover. Kenya's 2000 population was about 29.3 million. The average Kenyan woman has eight children during her lifetime. By the 1980s the high population growth rate meant lower overall economic growth and stagnation in per capita income for the first time since independence. Rapid population growth also translates into high unemployment, which was estimated at 50% in 2000. The government has acknowledged the need to create millions of new jobs.

The manufacturing sector produces 13 percent of the country's gross national product; the remainder is in agricultural production, roughly 25 percent, and services, 62 percent. Manufactured or assembled products include automobiles, tires, dry cell batteries, and a range of consumer goods. Kenya's limited mineral resources include soda ash and fluorspar. Kenya lacks any significant natural resources other than fertile soil, a hard-working population, and its scenery and wildlife. Nairobi continues to experience rapid expansion in construction, primarily large office buildings, which have produced a world-class skyline.

Although Kenya has encountered new economic hurdles in recent years, it remains something of an economic success story in Africa, especially in comparison to its immediate neighbors. It is largely committed to many of the same economic principles as the U.S.; i.e., a market system with limited government interference in the private sector. Despite its difficulties, Kenya remains the linchpin of the East African economy.

Transportation

Local

Buses, including informal mini-buses called "matatus," serve most areas of Nairobi, but are rarely used by travelers due to extreme overcrowding and poor mechanical condition. Taxis are difficult to obtain except around the larger tourist hotels. Fares are expensive and should always be negotiated in advance. "Kenatco" company taxis are cleaner and better maintained than ordinary taxis, but their fares are normally higher. Avis, Hertz, and other car rental agencies operate in Nairobi. Daily and monthly rates are considerably higher than those in the U.S.

Regional

Nairobi is an international air center. Frequent flights are available for practically any place in the world, as well as regular air service throughout east Africa.

Kenya Railways provides overnight train service from Nairobi to Mombasa and from Nairobi to Kisumu and Kampala, Uganda.

The main road, Mombasa-Nairobi-Kisumu, and other primary roads are paved, but potholes exist on many stretches. The Mombasa-Nairobi road was closed for several days in 1994 due to mud-covered rough sections. Other roads vary in quality. Many are fairly good all-weather dirt roads, others can only be negotiated in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Road accidents are common and are a serious threat to life and limb.

At night, street lights rarely function. The lack of painted center lines or curbs contributes to difficult night driving even in Nairobi. Use extreme caution; defensive driving is essential both in the cities and the countryside. Be sure your car has good seatbelts installed.

Communications

Telephone and Telegraph

Nairobi's telephone service is adequate; however, there are occasional breakdowns. International toll call services to the U.S. are available through AT&T, MCI, SPRINT calling card systems, and the local PT&T. International calls to other countries can be made through the local PT&T. FAX and TELEX services are available commercially.

Radio and TV

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts in both English and Kiswahili but carries little international news. Either the new model shortwave radio with digital readout or the older shortwave radio models with at least six bands is desirable. The Voice of America (VOA) reception is fairly good in the early morning hours and in the evening. VOA broadcasts programs directed to Africa in English called "African Panorama" and "African Safari," as well as programs designed for a worldwide audience. Many other international broadcasts are also received here, particularly, the BBC World Service.

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) provides daytime and evening TV on one VHF channel in both English and Kiswahili. BBC news is carried every evening. A few American sitcoms and entertainment programs are telecast but usually are quite dated. Some British and German entertainment programs and sports are also telecast. KBC has introduced a pay-cable station featuring South African programming but a start-up fee to receive the channel comes to several hundred dollars.

Channel 62, a UHF station owned by the Kenya Times Media Trust, began broadcasting in 1990. It broadcasts CNN and local news. Older U.S. reruns are common with some current TV programs, films, and sports. Although UHF antennas are available, they are somewhat costly and of inferior quality. The one available VHF station primarily broadcasts local programs.

The Kenyan TV system is PAL (VHF/UHF).

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals

Kenya's English-language daily newspapersThe Standard, Kenya Times (KANU) and the Nation and a few othersprovide some coverage of international affairs, mainly through Reuters, AP, and Agency France Presse.

The International Herald Tribune arrives 1-2 days after publication. British Sunday newspapers are available late the same day. The Sunday New York Times and Washington Post are available by subscription.

Magazines available include the Weekly Review which carries weekly news commentary, Economic Review, and Finance Magazine. Many technical journals are available, especially in trade and agriculture. European editions of Time and Newsweek, as well as other European magazines, are available.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities

The Nairobi Hospital is the local hospital most commonly used for inpatient care. Patients are referred to local labs and radiology facilities for diagnostic tests at the patient's expense. A mammography facility approved by the Department of State's Office of Medical Services is here. Since complete medical care is limited, medical evacuations to London or Pretoria are occasionally necessary. The list of local physicians includes surgeons, internists, general practitioners, obstetricians, pediatricians, and ophthalmologists. General dentistry is available.

Orthodontic care is limited to maintenance, but not initiation of treatment. Ophthalmologists and opticians are available in Nairobi and eyeglasses can be fitted locally. Solutions for soft contact lenses are not available. Pharmacies with many prescription medicines are available, often under trade names different than those in the U.S.

If you are taking a prescription medicine, bring an adequate supply.

Community Health

Some houses have distillers; but, otherwise filter and then boil drinking water. Vegetables to be eaten raw should be well cleansed. Fluo-ride supplements for children are recommended in most locations.

Preventive Measures

The altitude is similar to that of Denver, but Nairobi is located close to the Equator. Strenuous physical activity should be limited for the first few weeks after arrival. Because of the altitude and equatorial location, the effects of sunlight on the skin are markedly enhanced. Bring sun blocking lotions or creams and exercise caution to avoid overexposure to the sun.

Malaria is not a significant risk in Nairobi or in certain other areas nearby. Many parts of Kenya, including the much visited coastal resort areas and the game parks, however, present the risk of chloroquine-resistant malaria. Those who travel to any of the areas where malaria is endemic must take malaria prophylactics while in the malaria zone and for 4 weeks after leaving the area. The recommended malaria prophylactic is mefloquine weekly, or doxycycline daily. An alternative is weekly chloroquine plus daily proguanil (Paludrine). One of these regimens will be recommended depending on your age and medical history, and whether or not you are pregnant.

In addition to all routine childhood immunizations, people coming to Kenya should be immunized against yellow fever, meningococcal meningitis, typhoid, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and rabies. Proof of vaccination against yellow fever, is required for entry into Kenya and many other countries in Africa, and should be obtained in the U.S. It is recommended that people receive a cholera vaccine stamp in their immunization booklets for entry into certain countries, although the vaccine itself is no longer recommended.

NOTES FOR TRAVELERS

Most travelers fly to Kenya via Europe, stopping en route in London, Paris, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam. There are frequent flights to Nairobi from these cities. Travelers should make sure their travel is in compliance with the Fly America Act.

All those entering Kenya must have a valid Kenyan visa in their passports and must have up-to-date health certificates. Visas are required; they may be obtained at any Kenyan Embassy or consulate, or at the port of entry. Yellow fever immunizations is required for entry into Kenya.

If you are bringing a pet to Kenya, obtain all the documents described below. Any animal arriving in the country without the proper certificates will be kept in quarantine at the owner's expense for up to 6 months. Pets which do not arrive on the same flight as the owner will be cleared by a forwarding company. Their fee is a personal expense of the owner.

If coming from the U.S., obtain an import permit from the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C., in person, if possible, since long delays have been experienced in applying for these forms by mail. This permit will have name and address of owner and a description of the pet, and it should accompany the animal on its trip to Kenya. Americans who have recently brought in pets have been advised to send a copy of the permit with the animal and to bring the original when they claim the animal at Nairobi Airport. After the permit form is completed and you have obtained the certificates described below from a veterinarian, all papers must be returned to the Kenyan Embassy where the permit will be signed.

Certificate of Vaccination Against Rabies. The certificate signed by a veterinarian must state:

  • Type, manufacture, and batch number of the vaccine.
  • The apparent age of the animal at time of vaccination;
  • Date of vaccination.

Living avianized vaccine (Flury or Kelev strain) has the following validity: Canines, 1 month to 36 months post vaccination; felines, 1 month to 12 months post vaccination. Animals vaccinated against rabies less than 6 months before arrival must have a certificate signed by a government veterinary officer of the country of origin stating that there has been no rabies within 30 miles of the place of origin in the last 6 months.

Rabies vaccination of cats is required, and cats must have a certificate from a government veterinarian stating that they have not been within 30 miles of a rabies outbreak during the previous 6 months, and have been vaccinated for rabies.

Certificate of Health. The animal must have a veterinarian's certificate stating that it is free from any contagious or infectious disease. It must be signed not more than 5 days before the animal's date of departure.

Certificate of Isolation. If an animal enters by ship, it must have a certificate from the ship's master stating that it did not leave the ship and was isolated from other animals while on board. Animals arriving by air must have a certificate stating that transport was in crates effectively isolating them from other animals, and that they remained aboard the plane from point of embarkation until arrival in Kenya.

If stopping on your way to Kenya, you can arrange for a kennel to keep your pet and take it to the airport after your departure. Also, if you must stay in a hotel in Kenya before moving into a house, you can keep your pet in a Nairobi kennel.

The unit of currency is the Kenya Shilling (KShs.) and values under a shilling follow the decimal system in cents. The exchange rate early 1997 was roughly US$1 = 79 shillings; Coins are in denominations of .50, 1, 5, and 10 shillings; bills are in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 and 1,000 shillings. It is illegal to destroy Kenyan currency, regardless of the amount. Violations often result in an arrest and fine.

LOCAL HOLIDAYS

Jan. 1 New Year's Day

Mar.(2nd Mon) Commonwealth Day*

Mar/Apr. Good Friday*

Mar/Apr. Easter*

Mar/Apr. Easter Monday*

May 1 Labor Day

June 1 Madaraka Day

Oct. 10 Moi Day

Oct. 20 Kenyatta Day

Dec. 12 Jamhuri Day

Dec. 25 Christmas Day

Dec. 26 Boxing Day

Id al-Adah*

Ramadan*

Id-al-Fitr*

*variable

RECOMMENDED READING

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

General

Adamson, Joy. The People of Kenya. Harcourt Brace: New York, 1967; Collins: London, 1967.

Area Handbook Series. Kenya: A Country Study, by Howard Nelson. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1984.

Azeveo, Mario (ed.). Kenya: The Land, the People, and the Nation. Carolina Academic Press: Durham, North Carolina, 1993.

Bailey, Donna, and Anna Sproule. Kenya. Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Co., 1990.

Beinen, Henry. Kenya: The Politics of Participation and Control. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1974.

Bensten, Cheryl. Maasi Days. New York: Anchor Books, 1991.

Berg-Schlosser, Dirk, and Rainer Siegler. Political Stability & Development: A Comparative Analysis of Kenya, Tanzania, & Uganda. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1990.

Berlitz Travel Guides. Kenya Travel Guide. New York: Macmillan, 1989.

Boyles, Denis. Maneater's Motel & Other Stops on the Railway to Nowhere: An East African Traveler's Nightbook. Boston, MA: Ticknor & Fields, 1991.

Camerapix Staff, comps. Spectrum Guide to Kenya. New York: Facts on File, 1990.

Cox, Richard, ed. Kenya & Northern Tanzania. Rev ed. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1991.

Curtis, Arnold. Kenya: A Visitor's Guide. 2nd ed. Edison, NJ: Hunter Publications New York, 1989.

Fratkin, Elliot M. Surviving Drought and Development: Ariaal Pastoralists of Northern Kenya. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991.

Gallmann, Kuki. I Dreamed of Africa. New York: Viking Press, 1991.

Houston, Dick. Safari Adventure. New York: Cobblehill Books, 1991.

Jacobsen, Karen. Kenya. Chicago:Children's Press, 1990.

Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles: With Ratings of Major Safaris. 3rd ed. New York: McKay, 1990.

Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya: The Tribal Life of the Kikuyu. Secker & Warburg: London, 1938; Vintage: New York, 1962.

Latham, Aaron. Kenya. New York:Prentice Hall, 1991.

Leech, Michael. Essential Kenya. Boston: Little, Brown, 1991.

Leonard, David K. African Successes: Four Public Managers of Kenyan Rural Development. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991.

Maren, Michael. The Land and People of Kenya. New York: Lippincott, 1989.

Miller, Norman and Rodger Yeager. Kenya: The Quest for Prosperity. Westview Press, Inc.: Boulder, Colorado, 1994.

Murray-Brown, Jeremy. Kenyatta. Dutton: New York, 1993.

Naipaul, Shiva. North of South. Simon and Schuster: New York, 1979. (covers Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia)

Ominde, S.H., ed. Kenya's Population Growth and Development to the Year 2000. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1989.

Saitoti, Tepilit Ole. The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior. University of California Press: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1988.

Trillo, Richard. Kenya. The Rough Guide. Rough Guides Ltd.: London, 1993.

History, Geography, Culture

Fedders, Andrew and Cynthia Salvadori. Peoples and Cultures of Kenya. Transafrica in association with Primrose Sundries: Nairobi, 1980.

Huxley, Elspeth. Nine Faces of Kenya. Collins Harvill: London, 1990.

Leakey, Richard E. and Roger Lewin. Origins. London: Macdonald and Jones, 1977.

Maxon, Robert M. East Africa: An Introductory History. East African Educational Publishers: Nairobi, 1986.

Miller, Charles. The Lunatic Express: An Entertainment in Imperialism. Macmillan: New York, 1971: Macdonald: London, 1972.

Ojany, F. and R.B. Ogendo. Kenya: A Study in Physical and Human Geography. Longman: Nairobi, 1973.

Ochieng', William Robert, ed. Themes in Kenyan History. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1990.

Rosberg, Carl and John Nottingham. The Myth of "Mau Mau": Nationalism in Kenya. Praeger. New York, 1966; East African Publishing House: Nairobi, 1966.

Salim, Ahmed I. The Swahili-Speaking Peoples of Kenya's Coast, 1895-1965. East African Publishing House: Nairobi, 1973.

Somjee, Sultan. Material Culture of Kenya. East African Educational Publishers: Nairobi, 1993.

Wortham, Robert. Spatial Development and Religious Orientation in Kenya. San Francisco: Mellen Research University Press, 1991.

Novels, Short Stories, Essays

Adagala, Kavetsa and Wanji Mukabi Kabira (eds.). Kenyan Oral Narratives: A Selection. Heine-mann: Nairobi, 1985.

Blixen, Karen (Isak Dinesen). Out of Africa. Random House: New York, 1979. (Also Vintage paperback.)

Markham, Beryl. West With the Night. Virago Press: Fair fax California, 1984.

Mwangi, Meja. Going Down River Road. Heinemann: London, 1976.

Ngugi wa Thion'go. Petals of Blood. Heinemann: London, 1977.

Ogot, Grace. The Other Woman: Selected Short Stories. Transafrica Publishers: Nairobi, 1976.

Reference Books

Ammann, Karl. Maasai Mara: Kenya's Great Game Reserve. New York: Prentice Hall, 1990.

Blundell, Michael. Collins Guide to the Wild Flowers of East Africa. Collins: London, 1987.

Estes, Richard D. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals. Chelsea Green Publishing Company: Post Mills, Vermont, 1993.

Karmali, John. The Beautiful Plants of Kenya. Westlands Sundries Ltd.: Nairobi, 1988.

Moore, Ray D. Where to Watch Birds in Kenya. Transafrica: Nairobi, 1984.

Moss, Cynthia. Portraits in the Wild Animal Behavior in East Africa. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, 1982.

Williams, J.G. A Field Guide to the National Parks of East Africa. Collins: London, 1981

views updated

Kenya

Compiled from the November 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Kenya

PROFILE

PEOPLE

HISTORY

GOVERNMENT

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

ECONOMY

FOREIGN RELATIONS

U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

TRAVEL

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities: Capital—Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million). Other cities—Mombasa (665,000), Kisumu (504,000), Nakuru (1.2 million).

Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate: Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Kenyan(s).

Population: (July 2006 est.) 34.7 million.

Ethnic groups: African—Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African—Asian, European, Arab 1%.

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 12%.

Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.

Education: Years compulsory—None, but first 8 years of primary school are provided through cost-sharing between government and parents. Attendance—92% for primary grades. Adult literacy rate—73.6%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—78.5/1,000. Life expectancy—48.3 yrs.

Work force: (1.7million wage earners) Public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers—3.7 million. Services—45%; industry and commerce—35%; agriculture—20%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: December 12, 1963.

Constitution: 1963.

Government branches: Executive—president (chief of state, head of government, commander in chief of armed forces). Legislative—unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial—Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower and special courts, including Kadhis’ (Islamic) courts.

Political subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. Nairobi area has special status.

Political parties: Registered political parties, 41. Ruling party, National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), coalition of 14 separately registered parties.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2005 est.) $16.1 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2005) 5.8%.

Gross national income per capita: $480.

Natural resources: Wildlife, land.

Agriculture: Products—tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land—5%.

Industry: Types—petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade: (2004) Exports—$2.6 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyre-thrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets—Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports—$4.4 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers—U.K., Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia.

PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes three of Africa’s major language groups: Cushtic, Nilotic, and Bantu. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning “pull together.” In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad. The six state universities enroll about 45,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are six private universities.

HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya’s Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago. Cushitic-speaking people from what is now Sudan and Ethiopia moved into the area that is now Kenya beginning around 2000 BC. Arab traders began frequenting the Kenya coast around the first century AD. Kenya’s proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprise three-quarters of Kenya’s population.

The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed by the arrival in 1498 of the Portuguese, who gave way in turn to the ruler of Oman in the 1600s. The United Kingdom established its influence in the late 19th century. The colonial history of Kenya dates from the Berlin Conference of 1885, when the European powers first partitioned East Africa into spheres of influence. In 1895 the British Government established the East African Protectorate and, soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers, dispossessing the Kikuyu, Maasai, and others from their farmlands. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before Kenya was officially made a British colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944 when appointed (but not elected) African representatives were permitted to sit in the legislature.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the “Mau Mau” rebellion against British colonial rule. This rebellion took place almost exclusively in the highlands of central Kenya among the Kikuyu people. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly. The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the large Kikuyu ethnic group and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya’s first President. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU. A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People’s Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. The KPU was banned shortly thereafter, however, and its leader detained. No new opposition parties were formed after 1969, and KANU became the sole political party. At Kenyatta’s death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin from Rift Valley province, became interim President. On October 14, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state. Parliamentary elections were held in September 1983. The 1988 elections reinforced the one-party system. However, in December 1991, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution. By early 1992, several new parties had formed, and multiparty elections were held in December 1992. Because of divisions in the opposition, however, Moi was reelected for another 5-year term, and his KANU party retained a majority of the legislature. Parliamentary reforms in November 1997 expanded political rights, and the number of political parties grew rapidly. Again because of a divided opposition, Moi won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections. KANU won 113 out of 222 parliamentary seats, but, because of defections, had to depend on the support of minor parties to forge a working majority. In October 2002, a coalition of opposition parties joined forces with a faction which broke away from KANU to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In December 2002, the NARC candidate, Mwai Kibaki, was elected the country’s third President. President Kibaki received 62% of the vote, and NARC also won 59% of the parliamentary seats (130 out of 222). Kibaki, a Kikuyu from Central province, had served as a member of Parliament since Kenya’s independence in 1963 and had served as Finance Minister, Vice President, and other senior government positions under Kenyatta and Moi.

GOVERNMENT

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of up to 5 years from single-member

constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly.

The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly. The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a chief justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya’s Court of Appeal (no associate judges), all appointed by the president. Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special status and is not included in any district or province. The government supervises the administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 1/24/2007

Pres.: Mwai KIBAKI

Vice Pres.: Moody AWORI

Min. for Agriculture: Kipruto arap KIRWA

Min. for Cooperative Development & Marketing: Peter Njeru NDWIGA

Min. for East African & Regional Cooperation: John KOECH

Min. for Education, Science, & Technology (Acting): Noah WEKESA

Min. for Energy (Acting): Henry OBWOCHA

Min. for Environment & Natural Resources: Kivutha KIBWANA

Min. for Finance: Amos KIMUNYA

Min. for Foreign Affairs: Raphael TUJU

Min. for Gender, Sports, Culture, & Social Services: Maina KAMANDA

Min. for Health: Charity Kaluki NGILU

Min. for Home Affairs: Moody AWORI

Min. for Housing: Soita SHITANDA

Min. for Information & Communications: Mutahi KAGWE

Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Martha KARUA

Min. for Labor & Human Resource Development: Newton KULUNDU , Dr.

Min. for Lands (Acting): Kivutha KIBWANA

Min. for Livestock & Fisheries Development: Joseph Konzolo MUNYAO

Min. for Local Govt.: Musikari Nazi KOMBO

Min. for Planning & National Development: Henry OBWOCHA

Min. for Regional Development Authorities: Abdi Mohamed MOHAMED

Min. for Roads & Public Works: Simeon NYACHAE

Min. for Science & Technology: Noah WEKESA

Min. for Tourism & Wildlife: Morris DZORO

Min. for Trade & Industry: Mukhisa KITUYI

Min. for Transport: Chirau Ali MWAKWERE

Min. for Water Resources: Mutua KATUKU

Min. of State in the Office of the Pres. for Defense: Njenga KARUME

Min. of State in the Office of the Pres. for Immigration & Registration of Persons: Gideon KONCHELAH

Min. of State in the Office of the Pres. for Provincial Administration & National Security: John Njoroge MICHUKI

Min. of State in the Office of the Pres. for Public Service: Moses AKARANGA

Min. of State in the Office of the Pres. for Special Programs: John MUNYES

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Pres. for Home Affairs:

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Pres. for National Heritage: Suleiman SHAKOMBO

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Presi. for Youth Affairs: Mohammed KUTI

Attorney Gen.: Amos WAKO

Governor, Central Bank of Kenya: Andrew MULLEI

Ambassador to the US: Leonard Njogu NGAITHE

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Zachary MUBURI-MUITA

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-6101).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

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, 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 single party that had ruled the country since independence to a new coalition of 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. These promises have only been partially met, however, as the new government has been preoccupied with internal wrangling and power disputes.

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, many of whom belong to political parties with which he is allied.

In early 2006, revelations from investigative reports of two major government-linked corruption scandals rocked Kenya and led to resignations, including three ministers. In March 2006, another major scandal was uncovered involving money laundering and tax evasion in the Kenyan banking system. A March 2 media crackdown on the Standard conducted by masked Kenyan police was internationally condemned and was met with outrage by Kenya media and civil society.

ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation. Between 1974 and 1990, however, Kenya’s economic performance declined. Inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributed to the decline in agriculture. Kenya’s inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya’s manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government’s budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991.

In 1993, the Government of Kenya began a major program of economic reform and liberalization. A new minister of finance and a new governor of the central bank undertook a series of economic measures with the assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of this program, the government eliminated price controls and import licensing, removed foreign exchange controls, privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. From 1994-96, Kenya’s real GDP growth rate averaged just over 4% a year.

In 1997, however, the economy entered a period of slowing or stagnant growth, due in part to adverse weather conditions and reduced economic activity prior to general elections in December 1997. In 2000, GDP growth was negative, but improved slightly in 2001 as rainfall returned closer to normal levels. Economic growth continued to improve slightly in 2002 and reached 1.4% in 2003; it was 4.3% in 2004 and 5.8% in 2005.

In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the IMF on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold. Although many economic reforms put in place in 1993-94 remained, Kenya needs further reforms, particularly in governance, in order to increase GDP growth and combat the poverty that afflicts more than 57% of its population.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the 1999 establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority, and measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit.

The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs. Various efforts to restart the program through mid-2002 were unsuccessful.

Under the leadership of President Kibaki, who took over on December 30, 2002, the Government of Kenya began an ambitious economic reform program and has resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. The new National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government enacted the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and Public Officers Ethics Act in May 2003 aimed at fighting graft in public offices. Other reforms especially in the judiciary, public procurement etc., have led to the unlocking of donor aid and a renewed hope at economic revival. In November 2003, following the adoption of key anti-corruption laws and other reforms by the new government, donors reengaged as the IMF approved a three-year $250 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and donors committed $4.2 billion in support over 4 years. The renewal of donor involvement has provided a much-needed boost to investor confidence.

However, the government’s ability to stimulate economic demand through fiscal and monetary policy remains fairly limited while the pace at which the government is pursuing reforms in other key areas remains slow. The Privatization Bill is yet to be enacted and civil service reform has been limited despite the government’s assertion that reforms would be undertaken. The main challenges include building consensus within the loosely bound NARC government, taking candid action on corruption, enacting anti-terrorism and money laundering laws, bridging budget deficits, rehabilitating and building infrastructure, maintaining sound macroeconomic policies, and addressing structural reforms needed to reverse slow economic growth.

Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region’s best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branch or representative offices in the city. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Cooperation (EAC). The EAC’s objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures. In March 2004, the three East African countries signed a Customs Union Agreement.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit.

Kenya has hosted and played an active role in the negotiations to resolve the civil war in Sudan and to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia. The Sudan peace negotiations have made major progress, resulting in the signing in Kenya of agreements between the Khartoum government and the southern Sudan rebels to put an end to the two-decade-long war.

On January 9, 2005 a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Negotiations in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference resulted at the end of 2004 in the establishing of Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (Assembly, President, Prime Minister, and Government). Until early 2005, Kenya served as a major host both for these institutions and for refugees from Somalia as well as Sudan. Between May and June 2005, members of the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions relocated to Somalia.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya’s relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.

U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya’s independence. More than 5,000 U.S. citizens live in Kenya, and as many as 25,000 Americans visit Kenya annually.

About two-thirds of the resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry.

U.S. assistance to Kenya promotes broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. U.S. aid strategy is designed to achieve four major objectives—health care, including family planning and AIDS prevention; increasing rural incomes by assisting small enterprises and boosting agricultural productivity; sustainable use of natural resources; and strengthening democratic institutions. The Peace Corps has 150 volunteers in Kenya.

Since 2001, the United States and Kenya have forged close ties and have strengthened cooperation on the war on terrorism.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

NAIROBI (E) Address: United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi; APO/FPO: Unit 64100, APO AE 09831; Phone: 254-20-363-6000; Fax: 254-20-363-6157; INMARSAT Tel: 683-142-148; Workweek: Monday-Thursday, 0715-1630; Friday, 0715-1215; Website: www.usembassy.state.gov.

AMB:Michael E. Ranneberger
AMB OMS:Karen Landherr
DCM:Pamela Slutz
DCM OMS:Jane Lopez
CG:Richard Appleton
CG OMS:Simonette Clark
POL:Larry Andre Jr.
CON:Scott Riedmann
MGT:William Gaines
US PERM REP:James Stewart
AFSA:Chris Helmkamp
AGR:Kevin Smith
AID:Steven Haykin
CLO:Martha Fleming
DAO:Scott Rutherford
ECO:John Hoover
FCS:Edward Yagi
FMO:Tedla Yitna
GSO:Melissa Coskuner
ICASS Chair:Scott Rutherford
IMO:Anthony Muse
IPO:Jack Busbee
ISO:Pamela Brogden
LAB:Randy Fleitman
PAO:Robert C. Kerr
RSO:Robert Whigham

Last Updated: 1/22/2007

U.S. UNEP (NAIROBI) (M)

Address: U.N. Avenue, Gigiri; APO/FPO: Unit 64111 APO AE 09831-4111; Phone: 254-20-363-6305; Fax: 254-20-363-6427; INMARSAT Tel: 881-631-437-281; Workweek: M-Th: 7.15-16.30; F 7.15-12.15; Website: www.usembassy.state.gov.

US PERM REP:James A. Stewart
OMS:Sara W. Thielman

Last Updated: 1/11/2007

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet : June 15, 2006

Country Description: Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport. Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Kenya web site at http://www.kenyaembassy.com for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security: On August 7, 1998, al-Qaida bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 225 people and injuring over 5,000 around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy subsequently relocated outside of the city-center. On November 28, 2002, al- Qaida launched a bomb attack on a hotel in Kikambala, Kenya, (near Mombasa) in which 15 people were killed. A near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa was unsuccessful. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and other sites where Westerners are known to congregate.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December 2002 with minimum reports of violence. However, recent parliamentary and local elections in the coastal region led to some localized violence between party activists. Localized violence marred campaign rallies in advance of the November 21, 2005, national referendum on a proposed new constitution. Additionally, disruptions in public transportation services have been known to occur as a result of strikes or work stoppages and may delay visitors’ travel.

Political demonstrations occur regularly throughout Kenya. Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations. Violence, including gunfire exchange, has occurred at demonstrations in the past. Demonstrations tend to occur near government buildings, university campuses, or gathering places such as public parks. Though generally non-violent, demonstrations can quickly and unexpectedly become violent.

Police are generally unable to properly manage large demonstrations and they often resort to excessive force to break up large crowds. Most major tourist attractions, particularly outside Nairobi, are not generally affected by protests. However, tribal conflict in rural areas has been known to erupt into violence. Cross-border violence occurs periodically. The area near Kenya’s border with Somalia has been the site of a number of incidents of violent criminal activity, including kidnappings. U.S. citizens who decide to visit the area should be aware that they could encounter criminal activity.

There have been recent reports of violence in the North Eastern Province near the Somali border and the Northern Rift Valley over disputes involving land, cattle, and water. A number of deaths were reported in the violent clashes. Northern Kenya border areas continue to be plagued by cross-border inter-clan and intra-clan clashes. While foreigners are generally not targets of this type of violence, insecurity in these areas during such times usually increases, placing constraints on travel and threatening safety and security of travelers in the immediate area.

Some sparsely populated rural areas of Kenya, principally in the North, experience recurrent, localized incidents of violent cattle rustling, counter-raids, ethnic conflict, tribal or clan rivalry, and armed banditry. During the past several years, incidents have occurred in the Keiro Valley, Northern Rift Valley sections of Laikipia and Nakuru Districts, and other areas north of Mount Kenya. A number of incidents have also occurred near the game parks or lodges north of Mwingi, Meru, and Isiolo, which are frequented by tourists. The precise areas tend to shift over time. For these reasons, U.S. citizens who plan to visit Kenya are urged to take basic security precautions to maximize their safety. Travel to northern Kenya should be undertaken with at least two vehicles to ensure a backup in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

Villagers in rural areas are sometimes suspicious of strangers. There have been several incidents of violence against Kenyan and foreign adults in rural areas who are suspected of stealing children. U.S. visitors to rural areas should be aware that close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them candy, can be viewed with deep alarm and may provoke panic and violence. Adoptive parents traveling with their adopted child should exercise particular caution and are urged to carry complete copies of their adoption paperwork with them at all times.

Travelers should keep informed of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to their visits. Visitors should also consult their hosts, including U.S. and Kenyan business contacts, hotels, tour guides, and travel organizers.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site where the current Worldwie Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. There are regular reports of attacks against tourists by groups of armed assailants. Pick-pockets and thieves carry out “snatch and run” crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous and discouraged.

Armed vehicle hijacking is common in Nairobi but can occur anywhere in the country. Nairobi averages about ten vehicle hijackings per day. Matatus (public transportation) tend to be targeted since they carry up to 14 passengers. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally not injured if they do not resist. There is also a high incidence of residential break-ins and occupants should take additional security measures to protect their property. Thieves and con artists have been known to impersonate police officers, thus Americans are strongly encouraged to ask for identification if approached by individuals identifying themselves as police officials, uniformed or not.

Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Vehicle windows should be up and doors locked regardless of the time of day or weather. Thieves on matatus, buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Americans should guard their backpacks or hand luggage and ensure these items are not left unattended. Purchasing items from street vendors is strongly discouraged – visitors should only use reputable stores or businesses. Police checkpoints are common in Kenya and all vehicles are required to stop if directed to do so.

Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve people impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and other credentials. In one of the latest scams, a tourist was stopped by someone who appeared to be a beggar telling a “sob story.” The tourist agreed to purchase a cup of coffee for the beggar. The tourist was then approached by “police officers” that told him that he was seen talking with a drug dealer/counterfeit suspect, then demanded money from the tourist. American visitors and residents should be alert to these kinds of scams and immediately contact the U.S. Embassy if they think they are being or have been victimized.

Highway banditry is common in much of North Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote and sparsely populated. Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya’s main highways, particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi. Travelers to North Eastern Kenya and the North Rift Valley Region should travel with the police escorts or convoys organized by the government of Kenya.

There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of Kenya’s national parks and game reserves, particularly the Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the Kenya Wildlife Service and police have taken some steps to strengthen security in the affected areas, but the problem has not been eliminated. Travelers who do not use the services of reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.

The Kenyan mail system can be unreliable and monetary instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) are frequently stolen. International couriers provide the safest means of shipping envelopes and packages, although anything of value should be insured.

Information for Victims of Crime: The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Other Health Information: Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi. There are frequent outbreaks of cholera, and malaria is endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers’ Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. One of the greatest threats to travelers in Kenya is road safety. The information below concerning Kenya is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

In Kenya, one drives on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it.

Excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits and manners, poor vehicle maintenance, bumpy, potholed and unpaved roads, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Kenyan roads. When there is a heavy traffic jam either due to rush hour or because of an accident, drivers will drive across the median strip and drive directly toward oncoming traffic. There are often fatal accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses, or local buses called “matatus.” Matatus are known to be the greatest danger to other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. They are typically driven too fast and erratically. Since early 2003, several American citizens have been killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle-related accidents. Also, vehicle travel outside major cities at night should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions, and the threat of banditry.

During the rainy season, many unpaved roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Severe storms and heavy rains in late 1997 and early 1998 led to extensive flooding and critical damage to roads and bridges, making travel and communications difficult in many parts of the country. Although the government repaired many of the damaged roads and bridges, some are still impassable. Travelers are urged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and local officials regarding road conditions.

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the commercial attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. via telephone at (202) 387-6101 or via email at [email protected] Visitors contemplating adventure tours should contact the Kenya Tourist Board Offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota via the internet at http://www.magicalkenya.com, via telephone at 1-866-44-KENYA, or via email at [email protected]

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Kenyan National Tourist Organization offices in New York at telephone 212-486-1300 or in California at telephone 310-274-6635.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the United States and Kenya, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

Special Circumstances: Kenya customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Kenya of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency restrictions, ivory, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Kenya in Washington, D.C. or one of Kenya’s consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at the United States Trade Representative’s web site.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available if questioned by local officials.

Kenya is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), and is required by the VCCR to ask any detained American citizen if he/she would like the U.S. Embassy to be notified and to notify the U.S. Embassy if the detained American citizen requests it. Kenya has not been in compliance with its VCCR obligation.

Any American citizen who is detained should request U.S. Embassy notification if he/she would like consular assistance.

Up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings may be taken out of the country. Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine. Visitors to Kenya carrying U.S. Dollars should ensure that the bills are relatively new, as banks in Kenya have been known not to accept older U.S. currency.

Use of firearms is strictly forbidden in wildlife reserves and national parks. Permission to carry firearms must be obtained from local authorities prior to entry.

Local tap water is not potable. Sealed bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its “collect call” facility. 1-800 numbers cannot be accessed from Kenya. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. International long-distance costs from Kenya are significantly higher than corresponding long-distance rates in the United States. Several local companies offer computer Internet access, including on an hourly rate basis. Many hotels have fax machines but often limit access to guests; some fax services are also available at office supply shops. Travelers are urged to consider their method of maintaining contact with family and friends when making their travel preparations.

Kenya does not officially recognize dual nationality. In addition to being subject to all Kenyan laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Kenyan citizens. For additional information, see the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Dual nationality flyer.

Travel via passenger train in Kenya is considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. Over the past three years there have been several accidents, including a passenger train derailment between Nairobi and Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people, including one foreign tourist. Several trains derailed in 2000. The Kenya Railway service has been reduced from seven days to three days per week. The service from Nairobi to Malaba is now only a cargo service and is no longer a passenger service.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Kenyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kenya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children’s Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children’s Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living or traveling in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Kenya. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The U.S Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20) 363-6170. The Embassy’s international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption : November 2006

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer: The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note: Foreigners interested in adopting a child in Kenya may wish to employ legal representation that is familiar with Kenya’s legal system, as the Kenyan Department of Children’s Services and the Kenyan Regional High Court’s interpretation of adoption laws can vary widely, depending on the case.

It is illegal to publish an advertisement indicating that a parent or guardian desires to place a child for adoption, that a person wishes to adopt a child, or that a person (who is not an adoption society) is willing to facilitate the adoption of a child.

Adoptive parents must submit post adoption reports on the child’s welfare (with pictures) for five years, every three months for the first 2 years immediately following the adoption and then every 6 months for the last three years.

Patterns of Immigration: Please review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Adoption Authority: The government office responsible for adoptions in Kenya is the High Courts and the Department of Children’s Services. The Department of Children’s Services can provide a list of currently registered adoption societies with which PAPs may deal.

Kenyan Department of Children’s Services
P.O. Box 46205-00100
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-20-228-411

Eligibility Requirements for Adoptive Parents: One of the applicants must be more than 25 years old and more than 21 years older than the child and less than 65 years. The applicants can be a relative.

Adoption orders will not be granted

  • To a single foreign applicant;
  • If one or both applicants is not of sound mind, as defined by the Kenyan Mental Health Act;
  • To applicant(s) who have been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for or of any offence against children under Kenyan laws. (Note: USCIS also requires a criminal background check to be done on all petitioners and may find families ineligible as well);
  • To gay and lesbian individuals or couples;
  • To joint applicants not married to each other.

Residency Requirements: Adopting parents must reside in Kenya with the child for at least three months before legal procedures begin. Although some legal adoption steps can be initiated before the three months period has been completed, most of the legal work will only begin after the three month “homestay” with the child is finished.

Time Frame: Bearing in mind that the adopting couple must reside in Kenya with the child for at least three months before the legal procedure begins, the average length of the adoption process is about six months, including the three month residency requirement.

All adoption orders are finalized in Kenya prior to applicant’s leaving the country and upon their fulfilling all the requirements listed below.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains a list of attorneys, but is not aware of any specializing specifically in adoptions. The attorneys list can be found on the U.S. Embassy website at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/ under the Consular Section tab.

Families can contact Kenyan Department of Children’s Services at Tel: (254) (20) 228-411 for a list of registered Kenyan adoption agencies. These agencies will assist with identifying a suitable child for adoption and can sometimes assist in some of the legal proceedings.

Adoption Fees: Kenyan law prohibits financial transactions between individuals involved in an adoption proceeding. Some payments are permitted, for example, to an adoption society for maintenance of the child, or to an attorney who acts for any of the parties or in connection with an application for an adoption order.

Any payment or reward made by a prospective adoptive parent or guardian of a child or a third party facilitating the adoption for the purpose of making an adoption order, is considered illegal.

Adoption Procedures:

  • Child(ren) must be at least 6 weeks old and declared free for adoption by a registered adoption society;
  • Any child who is resident in Kenya must be legally adopted whether or not the child is a Kenyan citizen or was born in Kenya;
  • The adoption order cannot be granted unless the child concerned has been in the continuous care of the prospective adoptive couple for more than three consecutive months preceding the filling of the applications and both the child and the applicant(s) may be evaluated and assessed by a registered adoption society in Kenya;
  • One of the applicants must be more than 25 years of age and less than 65 years of age, and more than 21 years older than the child. The applicants can be relatives.

Adoption orders will not be done

  • For a single foreign applicant (unless there are extenuating circumstances);
  • If one or both applicants is not of sound mind, as defined by the Kenyan Mental Health Act;
  • For applicant(s) who have been charged and convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for or of any offence against children under Kenyan laws;
  • For gay or lesbian individuals or couples;
  • For joint applicants not married to each other.

Consent must be obtained as follows:

  • If applicable, from existing parents, guardians or any one else contributing to the maintenance of the child under any agreement or order;
  • If applicable, from parents or guardian(s) of the mother of the child in a case where the mother is a minor;
  • If applicable, from the step-father who has acquired parental responsibility
  • From the spouse of the prospective adoptive parent, if the spouse is not available in person.
  • In case of foreigners not residing in Kenya, the consent of a competent jurisdiction or a government authority situated in the country where both or one of the spouses ordinarily resides, permitting the spouses to adopt a foreign child. (Note: An approved I-600A or I-600 is usually acceptable);
  • In case of a child who has attained the age of 14 years, the consent of the child.

A guardian ad litem will be appointed by the court for the child pending the hearing and determination of the adoption application. Where arrangements for adoption of any child have been made by the Child Welfare Society of Kenya, neither the society nor any member thereof shall be appointed Guardian Ad Litem of the same child.

The appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem expires upon the making of a final adoption order by the court. The couple must satisfy the court that the country where they ordinarily reside and where they expect to reside with the child immediately after adoption will respect and recognize the adoption order and will grant resident status to the child.

The court may impose such terms and conditions as it deems fit:

Documentary Requirements:

  • Home study report of the adoptive parents prepared by a professional social worker;
  • Recent photographs of the adoptive family;
  • Marriage certificate of adoptive parents;
  • Declaration concerning health of adoptive parents;
  • Certificate of medical fitness of adoptive parents duly certified by a medical doctor;
  • Declaration regarding financial status of foreign adoptive parents along with supporting documents including employers’ certificate, where applicable;
  • Employment certificate of adoptive parents, where applicable;
  • Income tax records of adoptive parents;
  • Bank references;
  • Particulars of property owned by the adoptive parents;
  • Declaration from adoptive parents stating willingness to adopt the child;
  • Undertaking from the social or child welfare enlisted agency sponsoring the foreigner to the effect that child would be legally recognized as a citizen of the adoptive parent’s country without any form of discrimination and that the child would be entitled to the same rights as citizens of that country;
  • Undertaking from the adoptive parents that adopted child would be provided necessary education and upbringing according to the status of adoptive parents;
  • Undertaking from the social and child welfare enlisted agency that a report relating to progress of the child, along with his/her recent photograph, will be sent to Child Welfare Society of Kenya every three months during first two years, and every six months for the next three years, for a total of five years;
  • Power of Attorney from adoptive parents in favor of Child Welfare Society of Kenya which will be required to process the case and such Power of Attorney should authorize the Attorney to handle the cases on behalf of the foreigner in case the foreigner is not in a position to come to Kenya during the initial stages of the adoption. Kenyan law requires that both the minor being adopted and the adoptive parents MUST be resident in Kenya for at least three consecutive months before the legal process begins and both MUST also be present during the court hearing for the adoption);
  • Certificate from the enlisted social or child welfare agency sponsoring the application of the foreigner to the effect that the prospective adoptive parents are permitted to adopt a child according to the laws of their country. (Note: An approved I-600A or I-600 should be sufficient to meet this requirement).

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya:
2249 R Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone: (202) 387-6101
Fax: (202) 462-3829
email: [email protected]
http://www.kenyaembassy.com/

Kenya also has Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York.

U.S. Immigration Requirements:

Prospective adopting parents are strongly encouraged to consult the USCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adoptive and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoption. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

U.S. Embassy in Kenya:
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 606
Village Market
00621 Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254) (20) 375-3704 or (20)-363-6492
Fax: (254) (20) 363-6410
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: Nairobi.usembassy.gov

Additional Information: Specific questions about adoption in Kenya may be addressed to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. General questions regarding intercountry adoption may be addressed to the Office of Children’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/CI, SA-29, 4th Floor, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818, toll-free Tel: 1-888-407-4747.

Travel Warning : February 6, 2007

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time due to ongoing safety and security concerns. This supersedes the Travel Warning of August 10, 2006.

The Department continues to recommend that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing terrorist threats and increasing incidents of violent crime. Terrorist acts may include suicide operations, bombings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home invasions/burglary, can occur at any time and in any location, and are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen, vicious, and often fatal. In January 2007, two family members of a U.S. Embassy employee were killed by armed carjackers. Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts.

U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate and random attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and locations where foreigners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or other foreign interests.

American citizens in Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. Americans should also remain vigilant in residential areas, schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should avoid demonstrations and large crowds.

Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Kenya may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Kenya, the East Africa Public Announcement, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

views updated

KENYA

Compiled from the January 2005 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Kenya


PROFILE

Geography

Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities: Capital—Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million). Other cities—Mombasa (665,000), Kisumu (504,000), Nakuru (1.2 million).

Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate: Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Kenyan(s).

Population: (2002 est.) 30 million.

Annual growth rate: (2003 est.) 1.7%.

Ethnic groups: African—Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African—Asian, European, Arab 1%.

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic 30%, Muslim 20%.

Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.

Education: Years compulsory—None, but first 8 years of primary school are provided through costsharing between government and parents. Attendance—84% for primary grades. Literacy (in English)—65.5%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—115/1,000. Life expectancy—49 yrs.

Work force: (1.7 million wage earners) Public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers—3.7 million. Services—45%; industry and commerce—35%; agriculture—20%.

Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: December 12, 1963.

Constitution: 1963.

Branches: Executive—president (chief of state, head of government, commander in chief of armed forces). Legislative—unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial—Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower and special courts, including Kadhis' (Islamic) courts

Administrative subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. Nairobi area has special status.

Political parties: Registered political parties, 41. Ruling party, National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), coalition of 14 separately registered parties.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP: (2003) $12.7 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2003) 1.4%.

Per capita income: $271.

Natural resources: Wildlife, land.

Agriculture: Products—tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land—5%.

Industry: Types—petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade: (2002) Exports—$2.2 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets—Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports—$3.2 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers—U.K., Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia.


PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm.

About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

The six state universities enroll about 45,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are six private universities.


HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

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 first century AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises threequarters of Kenya's population.

The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed by the arrival in 1498 of the Portuguese, who gave way in turn to Islamic control under the Imam of Oman in the 1600s. The United Kingdom established its influence in the 19th century.

The colonial history of Kenya dates from the Berlin Conference of 1885, when the European powers first partitioned East Africa into spheres of influence. In 1895, the U.K. Government established the East African Protectorate and, soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before it was officially made a U.K. colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the "Mau Mau" rebellion against British colonial rule. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly.

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the large Kikuyu ethnic group and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya's first President. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. The KPU was banned shortly thereafter, however, and its leader detained. No new opposition parties were formed after 1969, and KANU became the sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi became interim President. On October 14, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state, and parliamentary elections were held in September 1983. The 1988 elections reinforced the one-party system. However, in December 1991, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution. By early 1992, several new parties had formed, and multiparty elections were held in December 1992. Because of divisions in the opposition, however, Moi was reelected for another 5-year term, and his KANU party retained a majority of the legislature. Parliamentary reforms in November 1997 expanded political rights, and the number of political parties grew rapidly. Again because of a divided opposition, Moi won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections. KANU won 113 out of 222 parliamentary seats, but, because of defections, had to depend on the support of minor parties to forge a working majority.

In October 2002, a coalition of opposition parties joined forces with a faction which broke away from KANU to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In December 2002, the NARC candidate, Mwai Kibaki, was elected the country's third President. President Kibaki received 62% of the vote, and NARC also won 59% of the parliamentary seats (130 out of 222).


GOVERNMENT

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of up to 5 years from single-member constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly. The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly. The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a chief justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal (no associate judges), all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special status and is not included in any district or province. The government supervises the administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 9/22/04

President: Kibaki , Mwai
Vice President: Awori , Moody
Min. for Agriculture: Kirwa , Kipruto arap
Min. for Cooperative Development & Marketing: Ndwiga , Peter Njeru
Min. for East African & Regional Cooperation: Koech , John
Min. for Education, Science, & Technology: Saitoti , George, Prof.
Min. for Energy: Nyachae , Simeon
Min. for Environment & Natural Resources: Musyoka , Stephen Kalonzo
Min. for Finance: Mwiraria , David
Min. for Foreign Affairs: Mwakwere , Chirau Ali
Min. for Gender, Sports, Culture, & Social Services: Ayacko , George Ochilo
Min. for Health: Ngilu , Charity Kaluki
Min. for Home Affairs: Awori , Moody
Min. for Information & Communications: Tuju , Raphael
Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Murungi , Kiraitu
Min. for Labor & Human Resource Development: Kulundu , Newton, Dr.
Min. for Lands & Housing: Kimunya , Amos
Min. for Livestock & Fisheries Development: Munyao , Joseph Konzolo
Min. for Local Government: Kombo , Musikari Nazi
Min. for Planning & National Development: Nyongo , Anyang, Prof.
Min. for Regional Development Authorities: Mohamed , Abdi Mohamed
Min. for Roads & Public Works: Odinga , Raila Amolo
Min. for Tourism & Wildlife:
Min. for Trade & Industry: Kituyi , Mukhisa
Min. for Transport: Michuki , John Njoroge
Min. for Water Resources: Karua , Martha
Min. of State in the Office of the President-Provincial Administration & National Security: Murungaru , Christopher
Min. of State in the Office of the President-Public Service: ole Ntimama , William
Min. of State in the Office of the President-Special Programs: Karume , Njenga
Min. of State in the Office of the Vice President-Home Affairs: Kilimo , Linah Jebii
Attorney General: Wako , Amos
Governor, Central Bank of Kenya: Mulei , Andrew
Ambassador to the US: Ngaithe , Leonard Njogu
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Bahemuka , Judith Mbula

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-6101).


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

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, 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 single party that had ruled the country since independence to a new coalition of 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. These promises have only been partially met, however, as the new government has been preoccupied with internal wrangling and power disputes. Of note, progress on the writing of a new constitution has come to a virtual standstill.


ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation.

Between 1974 and 1990, however, Kenya's economic performance declined. Inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributed to the decline in agriculture. Kenya's inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya's manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in

August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991.

In 1993, the Government of Kenya began a major program of economic reform and liberalization. A new minister of finance and a new governor of the central bank undertook a series of economic measures with the assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of this program, the government eliminated price controls and import licensing, removed foreign exchange controls, privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. From 1994-96, Kenya's real GDP growth rate averaged just over 4% a year.

In 1997, however, the economy entered a period of slowing or stagnant growth, due in part to adverse weather conditions and reduced economic activity prior to general elections in December 1997. In 2000, GDP growth was negative, but improved slightly in 2001 as rainfall returned closer to normal levels. Economic growth continued to improve slightly in 2002, reached 1.4% in 2003, and is forecast at 2.6% for 2004.

In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the IMF on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold. Although many economic reforms put in place in 1993-94 remained, Kenya needs further reforms, particularly in governance, in order to increase GDP growth and combat the poverty that afflicts more than 57% of its population.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the 1999 establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority, and measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit. The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs. Various efforts to restart the program through mid-2002 were unsuccessful.

Under the leadership of President Kibaki, who took over on December 30, 2002, the Government of Kenya began an ambitious economic reform program and has resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. The new National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government enacted the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and Public Officers Ethics Act in May 2003 aimed at fighting graft in public offices. Other reforms especially in the judiciary, public procurement etc., have led to the unlocking of donor aid and a renewed hope at economic revival. In November 2003, following the adoption of key anti-corruption laws and other reforms by the new government, donors reengaged as the IMF approved a three-year $250 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and donors committed $4.2 billion in support over 4 years. The renewal of donor involvement has provided a much-needed boost to investor confidence.

However, the government's ability to stimulate economic demand through fiscal and monetary policy remains fairly limited while the pace at which the government is pursuing reforms in other key areas remains slow. The Privatization Bill is yet to be enacted and civil service reform has been limited despite the government's assertion that reforms would be undertaken. The main challenges include building consensus within the loosely bound NARC government, taking candid action on corruption, enacting anti-terrorism and money laundering laws, bridging budget deficits, rehabilitating and building infrastructure, maintaining sound macroeconomic policies, and addressing structural reforms needed to reverse slow economic growth.

Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branch or representative offices in the city. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Cooperation (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures. In March 2004, the three East African countries signed a Customs Union Agreement.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit.

Kenya has hosted and played an active role in the negotiations to resolve the civil war in Sudan and to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia. The Sudan peace negotiations have made major progress, resulting in the signing in Kenya of agreements between the Khartoum government and the southern Sudan rebels to put an end to the two-decade-long war. On January 9, 2005 a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Negotiations in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference resulted at the end of 2004 in the establishing of Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (Assembly, President, Prime Minister, and Government); Kenya was still serving in early 2005 as a major host both for these institutions and for refugees from Somalia as well as Sudan.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.


U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. More than 5,000 U.S. citizens live in Kenya, and as many as 25,000 Americans visit Kenya annually. About two-thirds of the resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry.

U.S. assistance to Kenya promotes broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. U.S. aid strategy is designed to achieve four major objectives—health care, including family planning and AIDS prevention; increasing rural incomes by assisting small enterprises and boosting agricultural productivity; sustainable use of natural resources; and strengthening democratic institutions. The Peace Corps has 150 volunteers in Kenya.

Since 2001, the United States and Kenya have forged close ties and have strengthened cooperation on the war on terrorism.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

NAIROBI (E) Address: United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi; APO/FPO: Unit 64100, APO AE 09831; Phone: 254-20-363-6000; Fax: 254-20-363-6157; INMARSAT Tel: 683-142-148; Workweek: Monday-Thursday, 0715-1630; Friday, 0715-1215; Website: www.usembassy.state.gov

AMB:William Bellamy
AMB OMS:Suzanne Lemandri
DCM:Leslie Rowe
DCM OMS:Evelyn Polidoro
CG:David Stone
CG OMS:Lynnette Jackson
POL:Michael Fitzpatrick
CON:Djenaba Kendrick
MGT:Acting MGT/C: Russell G. Le Clair Jr.
US PERM REP:Karen T. Levine
DEP PERM REP:Maya Han
AFSA:Mary Jo Rasing
AGR:Kevin Smith
AID:Kiert Toh
CLO:Lori Garrison
DAO:Michael Garrison
ECO:John Hoover
EEO:Jeff Smith
FCS:Edward Yagi
FMO:Mary Jo Rasing
GSO:Melissa Coskuner
ICASS Chair:Tom Ray
IMO:Russell G. Le Clair Jr.
INS:Michael Webster
IPO:Jack Busbee
ISO:Mark McCloy
ISSO:Zekarias Gebeyehou
LAB:Holly Waeger
LEGATT:Michael Forsee
PAO:Peter Claussen
RSO:Jeffrey Culver
State ICASS:Peter Claussen
Last Updated: 10/21/2004

US UNEP (NAIROBI) (M) Address: U.N. Avenue, Gigiri; APO/FPO: Unit 64111 APO AE 09831-4111; Phone: 254-20-363-6305; Fax: 254-20-363-6427; INMARSAT Tel: 881-631-437-281; Workweek: M-Th: 7.15-16.30; F 7.15-12.30; Website: www.usembassy.state.gov

US PERM REP:Karen T. Levine
DEP PERM REP:Maya Han
OMS: Carmen L. Lopez

Last Updated: 10/5/2004


TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

July 7, 2004

Country Description: Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast.

Entry/Exit Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport. Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

Dual Nationality: Kenya does not officially recognize dual nationality. In addition to being subject to all Kenyan laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Kenyan citizens.

Safety and Security: Security personnel may at times place foreign visitors under surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephones and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities.

On November 28, 2002, there was a car bomb attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, in which 15 people were killed, and an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and other sites where Westerners are known to congregate, especially in the coastal region.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December 2002 with minimum reports of violence.

Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations.

The area near Kenya's border with Somalia has been the site of a number of incidents of violent criminal activity, including kidnappings. In a late 1998 attack by armed bandits at a resort in the Lamu district near the border with Somalia, U.S. citizens were identified as specific targets, although none were present. There are some indications of ties between Muslim extremist groups, including Osama Bin Laden's al Qaeda organization, and these roving groups of Somali gunmen. Recent information about possible targeting of Americans for kidnapping or assassination in this same area has heightened the Embassy's concern. In March 1999, a U.S. citizen was killed, reportedly by a Somali national, on the Somali side of the border area.

Some sparsely populated rural areas of Kenya, principally in the North, experience recurrent, localized incidents of violent cattle rustling, counter-raids, ethnic conflict, tribal or clan rivalry, and armed banditry. During the past several years, incidents have occurred in the Keiro Valley, Northern Rift Valley sections of Laikipia and Nakuru Districts, and other areas north of Mount Kenya. A number of incidents have also occurred near the game parks or lodges north of Mwingi, Meru, and Isiolo frequented by tourists. The precise areas tend to shift with time. For these reasons, U.S. citizens who plan to visit Kenya are urged to take basic security precautions to maximize their safety. Travel to northern Kenya should be undertaken with at least two vehicles to ensure a backup in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

Villagers in rural areas are sometimes suspicious of strangers. There have been several incidents of violence against Kenyan and foreign adults in rural areas who are suspected of stealing children. U.S. visitors to rural areas should be aware that close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them candy, can be viewed with deep alarm and may provoke panic and violence. Adoptive parents traveling with their adopted child should exercise particular caution and are urged to carry complete copies of their adoption paperwork with them at all times.

On August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 213 people and injuring many more in and around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy subsequently relocated to a different location. Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-317-472-2328.

These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime: There is a high rate of crime in all cities, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. Reports of attacks against tourists by groups of two or more armed assailants are not uncommon. Pickpockets and thieves carry out "snatch and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. The best advice is not to travel with any valuables. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous. In March 2003, an American citizen was mugged by four men and killed while walking in downtown Nairobi.

Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Armed vehicle hijackings are common in Nairobi but can occur anywhere in the country. Armed robbers in Nairobi steal approximately ten vehicles every day. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. There is also a high incidence of residential break-ins. Thieves and con artists have been known to impersonate hotel employees, police officers, or government officials. American visitors and residents are strongly encouraged to ask for identification. Thieves on buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Americans should guard their backpacks or hand luggage and ensure these items are not left unattended. Passengers on inter-city buses should not accept food or drink from a new acquaintance, even a child, as such food or drink may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery.

Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists and foreignlooking residents on foot, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve persons impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and other credentials. In one of the latest scams, a tourist was stopped by someone who appeared to be a beggar telling a "sob story." The tourist agreed to purchase a cup of coffee for the beggar. The tourist was then approached by "police officers" who told him that he was seen talking with a drug dealer/counterfeit suspect. The "police" demanded money from him. American visitors and residents should be alert to these kinds of scams and immediately contact the U.S. Embassy if they think they are being or have been victimized. Con artists may park their cars on the side of a road, pretending that they broke down, and rob persons who stop to offer assistance.

Highway banditry is common in much of North-Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote and sparsely populated. Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya's main highways, particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi. Travelers to North Eastern Kenya and the North Rift Valley Region should travel with the police escorts or convoys organized by the Government of Kenya.

There have been recent attacks on ships in the vicinity of Kenyan waters, in particular near the Kenya-Somalia border. Mariners should be vigilant.

The Kenyan mail system can be unreliable and monetary instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) are frequently stolen. International couriers provide the safest means of shipping envelopes and packages, although anything of value should be insured.

If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.gpoaccess.gov, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

Medical Facilities: Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi.

Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page.

Other Health Information: There are frequent outbreaks of cholera, and malaria is endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi.

Travelers to Kenya should take malaria prophylaxis. P. falciparum malaria, the serious and sometimes fatal strain in Kenya, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Kenya are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers should take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam TM), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone TM). The CDC has determined that a traveler who is on an appropriate antimalarial drug has a greatly reduced chance of contracting the disease. In addition, other personal protective measures, such as the use of insect repellents, help to reduce malaria risk. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.int/en/. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Kenya is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance:

Safety of public transportation: Poor
Urban road conditions/maintenance: Poor
Rural road conditions/maintenance: Poor
Availability of roadside assistance: Poor

In Kenya, one drives on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it. Excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits and manners, poor vehicle maintenance, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Kenyan roads. When there is a heavy traffic jam either due to rush hour or because of an accident, drivers will drive across the median strip and drive directly toward oncoming traffic. There are often fatal accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses, or local buses. Also, vehicle travel outside major cities at night should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions, and the threat of banditry.

During the rainy season, many unpaved roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Severe storms and heavy rains in late 1997 and early 1998 led to extensive flooding and critical damage to roads and bridges, making travel and communications difficult in many parts of the country. Although the government repaired many of the damaged roads and bridges, some are still impassable. Travelers are urged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and local officials regarding road conditions.

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the commercial attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. via telephone at (202) 387-6101 or via email at [email protected] Visitors contemplating adventure tours should contact the Kenya Tourist Board Offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota via the internet at http://www.magicalkenya.com, via telephone at 1-866-44-KENYA, or via email at [email protected] For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Kenyan National Tourist Organization offices in New York at telephone 212-486-1300 or in California at telephone 310-274-6635.

Railway Safety: Travel via passenger train in Kenya is considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. Over the past three years there have been several accidents, including a passenger train derailment between Nairobi and Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people, including one foreign tourist. Several trains derailed in 2000.

The Kenya Railway service has been reduced from seven days to three days per week. The service from Nairobi to Malaba is now only a cargo service and is no longer a passenger service.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service between the U.S. and Kenya by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate such service, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards.

For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/index.cfm. official providers of air services.

Customs Regulations: Kenya customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Kenya of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency restrictions, ivory, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Kenya in Washington, D.C. or one of Kenya's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. A current list of those countries with serious problems in this regard can be found at http://www.ustr.gov/reports/2003/special301.htm.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Kenyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kenya are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. The penalty for possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, is ten years imprisonment, with no option of a fine.

Under the PROTECT Act of April 2003, it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad.

Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 for criminal sexual purposes that include, among other things, the production of child pornography. This same law makes it a crime to use any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including the Internet, to transport obscene materials to minors under the age of 16.

Consular Access: U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times, so that proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available if questioned by local officials.

Currency Regulations: Up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings may be taken out of the country. Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine.

Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-317-472-2328.

Game Park Security: There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of Kenya's national parks and game reserves, particularly the Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the Kenya wildlife service and police have taken some steps to strengthen security in the affected areas but the problem has not been eliminated.

Travelers who do not use the services of reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.

Use of firearms is strictly forbidden in wildlife reserves and national parks. Permission to carry firearms must be obtained from local authorities prior to entry.

Special Circumstances: Local tap water is not potable. Sealed bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its "collect call" facility. 1-800 numbers cannot be accessed from Kenya. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. International longdistance costs from Kenya are significantly higher than corresponding long-distance rates in the United States.

Several local companies offer computer Internet access, including on an hourly rate basis. Many hotels have fax machines but often limit access to guests; some fax services are also available at office supply shops. Travelers are urged to consider their method of maintaining contact with family and friends when making their travel preparations.

Registration/Embassy Location: Americans living in or visiting Kenya are encouraged to register at the Consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya and obtain updated information on travel and security within Kenya.

The U.S Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20)363-6000; fax (254)(20)363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20)363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

Travel Warning

November 29, 2004

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens of ongoing safety and security concerns in Kenya. This supersedes the Travel Warning of May 21, 2004.

Due to ongoing security concerns, the Department urges Americans to consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time. The Department recommends that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of the current terrorist threat.

The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats in the region aimed at American and Western interests. Terrorism poses a continuing threat in Kenya and throughout East Africa. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, or attacks on civil aviation. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places including tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or other Western interests.

American citizens resident in or traveling to Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and places of worship, and should also avoid demonstrations and large crowds. In particular, there is a continuing threat against westerners in the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal region.

U.S. citizens in or traveling to Kenya should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Kenya, the East Africa Public Announcement, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or 317-472-2328 from overseas.

Americans living or traveling in Kenya are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and obtain updated information on travel and security within Kenya. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20)363-6000; fax (254)(20)363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20)363-6170.

The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. The Embassy home page is Http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

International Adoption

January 2005

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family

Disclaimer: The information in this circular relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information only. Questions involving interpretation of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign legal counsel.

Please Note: Kenyan courts are not institutionally biased against foreigners seeking to adopt children in Kenya. However, Kenyan law specifically states that an adoption order shall not be made in favor of a sole applicant who is male or an applicant who is of a different race than the child unless there are extenuating circumstances. Although it still remains an issue, the courts are beginning to take a more liberal view of racial differences between potential adopters and the child.

Overall, when considering an adoption case, Kenyan courts view the welfare of the child as paramount. Foreigners interested in adopting a child in Kenya may wish to employ legal representation that is familiar with the practices of Kenya's legal system, as the court's interpretation of adoption laws can vary widely depending on the case.

Note: It is illegal to publish an advertisement indicating that a parent or guardian desires to give up a child for adoption, that a person wants to adopt a child, or that a person (who is not an adoption society) is willing to make arrangements for the adoption of a child.

Availability of Children for Adoption: Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

FY-1998: IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Kenyan orphans adopted abroad – 3, IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Kenyan orphans adopted in the U.S. – 2
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas—8,
IR-4 Visas – 1
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas—13,
IR-4 Visas—4

Kenyan Adoption Authority: The government office responsible for adoptions in Kenya is the civil court system.

Kenyan Adoption Procedures: When adopting a child, many steps must be taken before a child can be placed in the care of the adoptive parent. If anyone other than an adoption agency places a child with prospective adoptive parents, the Chief Inspector of Children must be notified of the placement. The adoption society or a legal guardian must make inquiries and obtain reports on the personal circumstances of the applicant, child, and child's parents or guardians.

After an infant has been placed into the care and possession of the prospective adoptive parent, visits by the adoptive parents are made to the child at least once every month. If the child was received from an adoption society, a representative of that society will make the visits. If the child was not received from an adoption society, the prospective adoptive parent makes the visits. The adoption society representative is required to make a report on such visits to the court appointed guardian, unless the visits are made in the company of the guardian. The court's guardian then completes a full report, which is submitted to the court, along with a certified copy of the child's birth certificate. Once completed, notice of the hearing of the application for adoption is served on all parties.

Unless otherwise directed, the applicant, as well as the child to be adopted, must attend the hearing on the application for adoption.

If the court approves the adoption order, the Registrar draws it up and a certified copy is served on the Registrar-General within thirty days. After an adoption decree is approved and the appropriate paperwork has been filed and issued, the adoptive parents can apply for a Kenyan passport for the child. Once the passport has been issued, the child is free to depart the country.

Age and Civil Status Requirements: Those applying for the adoption of a child must be 25 years of age or older and must be at least 21 years older than the child. However, if the adopter is a relative, the adoptive parent must be at least 21 years of age. Both the adoptive parent and the child must be resident in Kenya at the time of the proposed adoption.

The required length of residency for the adoptive parent is generally six months. The child must be in the continuous care and possession of the applicant for at least three consecutive months immediately proceeding the date of the submission to the court of the application for the adoption order.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys: The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains a list of attorneys, but is not aware of any specializing in adoptions.

Doctors: The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains current lists of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your child experience health problems while in Kenya.

Kenyan Documentary Requirements: No specific documents are required, although it may be prudent to carry documents regarding identity, marital status, family status and financial means.

U.S. Immigration Requirements: A Kenyan child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details.

Kenyan Embassy in the United States:
Embassy of Kenya
2249 R Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 387-6101

Kenya also has Consulates General in New York, New York and in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. Embassy in Kenya:
Mailing Address
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 30137
Nairobi, Kenya

Street Address
U.S. Embassy
Unit 64100
APO, AE 09831-4100
Tel: (254)(2) 537-800; Fax: (254)(2) 537-810

Fees: Kenyan law prohibits financial transactions between individuals involved in an adoption proceeding. Some payments are permitted, for example to an adoption society for maintenance of the child, or to an attorney who acts for any of the parties or in connection with an application for an adoption order. Any payment or reward made by adoptive parent or guardian of a child, or a third party facilitating the adoption for the purpose of making an adoption order, is considered illegal.

Questions: Specific questions regarding adoption in Kenya may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, 2201 C Street, NW, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-2818, Tel: 1-888-407-4747 with specific questions.

views updated

KENYA

Compiled from the January 2006 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.

Official Name:
Republic of Kenya


PROFILE

Geography

Area:

582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities:

Capital—Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million). Other cities—Mombasa (665,000), Kisumu (504,000), Nakuru (1.2 million).

Terrain:

Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate:

Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.

People

Nationality:

Noun and adjective—Kenyan(s).

Population (2002 est.):

30 million.

Annual growth rate (2003 est.):

1.7%.

Ethnic groups:

African—Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African—Asian, European, Arab 1%.

Religion:

Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic 30%, Muslim 20%.

Language:

English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.

Education:

Years compulsory—None, but first 8 years of primary school are provided through cost-sharing between government and parents. Attendance—84% for primary grades. Literacy (in English)—65.5%.

Health:

Infant mortality rate—115/1,000. Life expectancy—49 yrs.

Work force (1.7million wage earners):

Public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers—3.7 million. Services—45%; industry and commerce—35%; agriculture—20%.

Government

Type:

Republic.

Independence:

December 12, 1963.

Constitution:

1963.

Branches:

Executive—president (chief of state, head of government, commander in chief of armed forces). Legislative—unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial—Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower and special courts, including Kadhis' (Islamic) courts

Administrative subdivisions:

69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. Nairobi area has special status.

Political parties:

Registered political parties, 41. Ruling party, National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), coalition of 14 separately registered parties.

Suffrage:

Universal at 18.

Economy

GDP (2003):

$12.7 billion.

Annual growth rate (2004):

4.3%.

Per capita income:

$271.

Natural resources:

Wildlife, land.

Agriculture:

Products—tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land—5%.

Industry:

Types—petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade (2002):

Exports—$2.2 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets—Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports—$3.2 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers—U.K., Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia.


PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

The six state universities enroll about 45,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are six private universities.


HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

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 first century AD. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population.

The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed by the arrival in 1498 of the Portuguese, who gave way in turn to Islamic control under the Imam of Oman in the 1600s. The United Kingdom established its influence in the 19th century.

The colonial history of Kenya dates from the Berlin Conference of 1885, when the European powers first partitioned East Africa into spheres of influence. In 1895, the U.K. Government established the East African Protectorate and, soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before it was officially made a U.K. colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the "Mau Mau" rebellion against British colonial rule. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly.

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the large Kikuyu ethnic group and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya's first President. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. The KPU was banned shortly thereafter, however, and its leader detained. No new opposition parties were formed after 1969, and KANU became the sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi became interim President. On October 14, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state, and parliamentary elections were held in September 1983. The 1988 elections reinforced the one-party system. However, in December 1991, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the constitution. By early 1992, several new parties had formed, and multiparty elections were held in December 1992. Because of divisions in the opposition, however, Moi was reelected for another 5-year term, and his KANU party retained a majority of the legislature. Parliamentary reforms in November 1997 expanded political rights, and the number of political parties grew rapidly. Again because of a divided opposition, Moi won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections. KANU won 113 out of 222 parliamentary seats, but, because of defections, had to depend on the support of minor parties to forge a working majority.

In October 2002, a coalition of opposition parties joined forces with a faction which broke away from KANU to form the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). In December 2002, the NARC candidate, Mwai Kibaki, was elected the country's third President. President Kibaki received 62% of the vote, and NARC also won 59% of the parliamentary seats (130 out of 222).


GOVERNMENT

The unicameral National Assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of up to 5 years from single-member constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly. The attorney general and the speaker are ex-officio members of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a chief justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal (no associate judges), all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special status and is not included in any district or province. The government supervises the administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials

Last Updated: 5/23/2005

President: Mwai KIBAKI
Vice President: Moody AWORI
Min. for Agriculture: Kipruto arap KIRWA
Min. for Cooperative Development & Marketing: Peter Njeru NDWIGA
Min. for East African & Regional Cooperation: John KOECH
Min. for Education, Science, & Technology: George SAITOTI
Min. for Energy: Simeon NYACHAE
Min. for Environment & Natural Resources: Stephen Kalonzo MUSYOKA
Min. for Finance: David MWIRARIA
Min. for Foreign Affairs: Chirau Ali MWAKWERE
Min. for Gender, Sports, Culture, & Social Services: George Ochilo AYACKO
Min. for Health: Charity Kaluki NGILU
Min. for Home Affairs: Moody AWORI
Min. for Information & Communications: Raphael TUJU
Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Kiraitu MURUNGI
Min. for Labor & Human Resource Development: Newton KULUNDU, Dr.
Min. for Lands & Housing: Amos KIMUNYA
Min. for Livestock & Fisheries Development: Joseph Konzolo MUNYAO
Min. for Local Government: Musikari Nazi KOMBO
Min. for Planning & National Development: Anyang NYONGO
Min. for Regional Development Authorities: Abdi Mohamed MOHAMED
Min. for Roads & Public Works: Raila Amolo ODINGA
Min. for Tourism & Wildlife: Morris DZORO
Min. for Trade & Industry: Mukhisa KITUYI
Min. for Transport: Christopher MURUNGARU
Min. for Water Resources: Martha KARUA
Min. of State in the Office of the President for Provincial Administration & National Security: John Njoroge MICHUKI
Min. of State in the Office of the President for Public Service: William ole NTIMAMA
MIn. of State in the Office of the President for Special Programs: Njenga KARUME
Min. of State in the Office of the Vice President for Home Affairs: Linah Jebii KILIMO
Attorney General: Amos WAKO
Governor, Central Bank of Kenya: Andrew MULEI
Ambassador to the US: Leonard Njogu NGAITHE
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Judith Mbula BAHEMUKA

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-387-6101).


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

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, 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 single party that had ruled the country since independence to a new coalition of 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. These promises have only been partially met, however, as the new government has been preoccupied with internal wrangling and power disputes. 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 and by banning public demonstrations. Kibaki eventually appointed a new slate of ministers, many of whom belong to political parties with which he is allied.


ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation.

Between 1974 and 1990, however, Kenya's economic performance declined. Inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributed to the decline in agriculture. Kenya's inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya's manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991.

In 1993, the Government of Kenya began a major program of economic reform and liberalization. A new minister of finance and a new governor of the central bank undertook a series of economic measures with the assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of this program, the government eliminated price controls and import licensing, removed foreign exchange controls, privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. From 1994-96, Kenya's real GDP growth rate averaged just over 4% a year.

In 1997, however, the economy entered a period of slowing or stagnant growth, due in part to adverse weather conditions and reduced economic activity prior to general elections in December 1997. In 2000, GDP growth was negative, but improved slightly in 2001 as rainfall returned closer to normal levels. Economic growth continued to improve slightly in 2002 and reached 1.4% in 2003; it was 4.3% in 2004.

In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the IMF on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold. Although many economic reforms put in place in 1993-94 remained, Kenya needs further reforms, particularly in governance, in order to increase GDP growth and combat the poverty that afflicts more than 57% of its population.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the 1999 establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority, and measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit. The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000, and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs. Various efforts to restart the program through mid-2002 were unsuccessful.

Under the leadership of President Kibaki, who took over on December 30, 2002, the Government of Kenya began an ambitious economic reform program and has resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. The new National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) government enacted the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and Public Officers Ethics Act in May 2003 aimed at fighting graft in public offices. Other reforms especially in the judiciary, public procurement etc., have led to the unlocking of donor aid and a renewed hope at economic revival. In November 2003, following the adoption of key anti-corruption laws and other reforms by the new government, donors reengaged as the IMF approved a three-year $250 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and donors committed $4.2 billion in support over 4 years. The renewal of donor involvement has provided a much-needed boost to investor confidence.

However, the government's ability to stimulate economic demand through fiscal and monetary policy remains fairly limited while the pace at which the government is pursuing reforms in other key areas remains slow. The Privatization Bill is yet to be enacted and civil service reform has been limited despite the government's assertion that reforms would be undertaken. The main challenges include building consensus within the loosely bound NARC government, taking candid action on corruption, enacting anti-terrorism and money laundering laws, bridging budget deficits, rehabilitating and building infrastructure, maintaining sound macroeconomic policies, and addressing structural reforms needed to reverse slow economic growth.

Nairobi continues to be the primary communication and financial hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branch or representative offices in the city. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Cooperation (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures. In March 2004, the three East African countries signed a Customs Union Agreement.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit.

Kenya has hosted and played an active role in the negotiations to resolve the civil war in Sudan and to reinstate a central government authority in Somalia. The Sudan peace negotiations have made major progress, resulting in the signing in Kenya of agreements between the Khartoum government and the southern Sudan rebels to put an end to the two-decade-long war. On January 9, 2005 a Sudan North-South Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed in Nairobi. Negotiations in the Somali National Reconciliation Conference resulted at the end of 2004 in the establishing of Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (Assembly, President, Prime Minister, and Government). Until early 2005, Kenya served as a major host both for these institutions and for refugees from Somalia as well as Sudan. Between May and June 2005, members of the Somalia Transitional Federal Institutions relocated to Somalia.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.


U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. More than 5,000 U.S. citizens live in Kenya, and as many as 25,000 Americans visit Kenya annually. About two-thirds of the resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry.

U.S. assistance to Kenya promotes broad-based economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. U.S. aid strategy is designed to achieve four major objectives—health care, including family planning and AIDS prevention; increasing rural incomes by assisting small enterprises and boosting agricultural productivity; sustainable use of natural resources; and strengthening democratic institutions. The Peace Corps has 150 volunteers in Kenya.

Since 2001, the United States and Kenya have forged close ties and have strengthened cooperation on the war on terrorism.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

NAIROBI (E) Address: United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi; APO/FPO: Unit 64100, APO AE 09831; Phone: 254-20-363-6000; Fax: 254-20-363-6157; INMARSAT Tel: 683-142-148; Workweek: Monday-Thursday, 0715-1630; Friday, 0715-1215; Website: www.usembassy.state.gov.

AMB:William Bellamy
AMB OMS:Suzanne Lemandri
DCM:Leslie Rowe
DCM OMS:Evelyn Polidoro
CG:David Stone
CG OMS:Emy Gorems
POL:Michael Fitzpatrick
CON:Scott Riedmann
MGT:William Gaines
US PERM REP:Karen T. Levine
DEP PERM REP:Maya Han
AFSA:Mary Jo Rasing
AGR:Kevin Smith
AID:Steven Haykin
CLO:Abby Huck
DAO:Scott Rutherford
ECO:John Hoover
EEO:Deidra Reed
FCS:Edward Yagi
FMO:Mary Jo Rasing
GSO:Melissa Coskuner
ICASS Chair:Tom Ray
IMO:Russell G. Le Clair Jr.
IPO:Jack Busbee
ISO:Mark McCloy
ISSO:Zekarias Gebeyehou
LAB:Randy Fleitman
LEGATT:Michael Forsee
PAO:Robert C. Kerr
RSO:Jeffrey Culver
Last Updated: 9/20/2005

TRAVEL

Consular Information Sheet

November 2, 2005

Country Description:

Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast.

Entry Requirements:

A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport. Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate. Visit the Embassy of Kenya web site at http://www.kenyaembassy.com for the most current visa information.

Safety and Security:

On November 28, 2002, there was a car bomb attack on a hotel in Kikambala, Kenya, (near Mombasa) in which 15 people were killed. On the same day, there was an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa. On August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 213 people and injuring many more in and around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy subsequently relocated outside of the city-center. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and other sites where Westerners are known to congregate, especially in the coastal region.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December 2002 with minimum reports of violence. However, recent parliamentary and local elections in the coastal region led to some localized violence between party activists. Localized violence has repeatedly marred campaign rallies in advance of the November 21, 2005, national referendum on a proposed new constitution. Additionally, disruptions in public transportation services have been known to occur as a result of strikes or work stoppages and may delay visitors' travel.

Political demonstrations occur regularly throughout Kenya. Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations. Violence, including gunfire exchange, has occurred at demonstrations in the past. Demonstrations tend to occur near government buildings, university campuses, or gathering places such as public parks. Though generally non-violent, demonstrations can quickly and unexpectedly become violent. In Nairobi, police often use excessive force to break up demonstrations. Most major tourist attractions, particularly outside Nairobi, are not generally affected by protests. However, tribal conflict in rural areas has been known to erupt into violence.

Cross-border violence occurs periodically. The area near Kenya's border with Somalia has been the site of a number of incidents of violent criminal activity, including kidnappings. Armed bandits targeting U.S. citizens once attacked a resort in the Lamu district near the Somali border, though not in the recent past. U.S. citizens who decide to visit the area should be aware that they could encounter criminal activity.

There have been recent reports of violence in the Eastern Province near the Somali border and the Northern Rift Valley over disputes involving land, cattle, and water. A number of deaths were reported in the violent clashes. Northern Kenya border areas continue to be plagued by cross-border inter-clan and intra-clan clashes. While foreigners are generally not targets of this type of violence, insecurity in these areas during such times usually increases, placing constraints on travel and threatening safety and security of travelers in the immediate area.

Some sparsely populated rural areas of Kenya, principally in the North, experience recurrent, localized incidents of violent cattle rustling, counter-raids, ethnic conflict, tribal or clan rivalry, and armed banditry. During the past several years, incidents have occurred in the Keiro Valley, Northern Rift Valley sections of Laikipia and Nakuru Districts, and other areas north of Mount Kenya. A number of incidents have also occurred near the game parks or lodges north of Mwingi, Meru, and Isiolo, which are frequented by tourists. The precise areas tend to shift with time. For these reasons, U.S. citizens who plan to visit Kenya are urged to take basic security precautions to maximize their safety. Travel to northern Kenya should be under-taken with at least two vehicles to ensure a backup in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

Villagers in rural areas are sometimes suspicious of strangers. There have been several incidents of violence against Kenyan and foreign adults in rural areas who are suspected of stealing children. U.S. visitors to rural areas should be aware that close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them candy, can be viewed with deep alarm and may provoke panic and violence. Adoptive parents traveling with their adopted child should exercise particular caution and are urged to carry complete copies of their adoption paperwork with them at all times.

Travelers should keep informed of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to their visits. Visitors should also consult their hosts, including U.S. and Kenyan business contacts, hotels, tour guides, and travel organizers.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, can be found. Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Crime:

There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. There are regular reports of attacks against tourists by groups of armed assailants. Pick-pockets and thieves carry out "snatch and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous and discouraged.

Armed vehicle hijackings are common in Nairobi but can occur anywhere in the country. Nairobi averages about ten vehicle hijackings per day. Matatus (public transportation) tend to be targeted since they carry up to 14 passengers. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally not injured if they do not resist. There is also a high incidence of residential break-ins and occupants should take additional security measures to protect their property. Thieves and con artists have been known to impersonate police officers, thus Americans are strongly encouraged to ask for identification if approached by individuals identifying themselves as police officials, uniformed or not.

Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Vehicle windows should be up and doors locked regardless of the time of day or weather. Thieves on matatus, buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Americans should guard their backpacks or hand luggage and ensure these items are not left unattended. Purchasing items from street vendors is strongly discouraged – visitors should only use reputable stores or businesses. Police checkpoints are common in Kenya and all vehicles are required to stop if directed to do so.

Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve persons impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and other credentials. In one of the latest scams, a tourist was stopped by someone who appeared to be a beggar telling a "sob story." The tourist agreed to purchase a cup of coffee for the beggar. The tourist was then approached by "police officers" who told him that he was seen talking with a drug dealer/counterfeit suspect. The "police" demanded money from him. American visitors and residents should be alert to these kinds of scams and immediately contact the U.S. Embassy if they think they are being or have been victimized.

Highway banditry is common in much of North-Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote and sparsely populated. Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya's main highways, particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi. Travelers to North-Eastern Kenya and the North Rift Valley Region should travel with the police escorts or convoys organized by the government of Kenya.

There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of Kenya's national parks and game reserves, particularly the Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the Kenya Wildlife Service and police have taken some steps to strengthen security in the affected areas, but the problem has not been eliminated. Travelers who do not use the services of reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.

The Kenyan mail system can be unreliable and monetary instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) are frequently stolen. International couriers provide the safest means of shipping envelopes and packages, although anything of value should be insured.

Information for Victims of Crime:

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while over-seas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Medical Facilities and Other Health Information:

Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi.

There are frequent outbreaks of cholera, and malaria is endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flulike illness while traveling in a malariarisk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician their travel history and what antimalarials they have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and antimalarial drugs, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/malinfo.htm.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

Medical Insurance:

The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions:

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. One of the greatest threats to travelers in Kenya is road safety. The information below concerning Kenya is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

In Kenya, one drives on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it. Excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits and manners, poor vehicle maintenance, bumpy, potholed and unpaved roads, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Kenyan roads. When there is a heavy traffic jam either due to rush hour or because of an accident, drivers will drive across the median strip and drive directly toward oncoming traffic. There are often fatal accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses, or local buses called "matatus". Matatus are known to be the greatest danger to other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. They are typically driven too fast and erratically. Since early 2003, several American citizens have been killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle-related accidents. Also, vehicle travel outside major cities at night should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions, and the threat of banditry.

During the rainy season, many unpaved roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Severe storms and heavy rains in late 1997 and early 1998 led to extensive flooding and critical damage to roads and bridges, making travel and communications difficult in many parts of the country. Although the government repaired many of the damaged roads and bridges, some are still impassable. Travelers are urged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and local officials regarding road conditions.

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the commercial attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. via telephone at (202) 387-6101 or via email at [email protected] Visitors contemplating adventure tours should contact the Kenya Tourist Board Offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota via the internet at http://www.magicalkenya.com, via telephone at 1-866-44-KENYA, or via email at [email protected]

For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Kenyan National Tourist Organization offices in New York at telephone 212-486-1300 or in California at telephone 310-274-6635.

Aviation Safety Oversight:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Kenya as not being in compliance with ICAO international aviation safety standards for the oversight of Kenya's air carrier operations.

Special Circumstances:

Kenya customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Kenya of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, currency restrictions, ivory, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Kenya in Washington, D.C. or one of Kenya's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products are illegal and bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passport with them at all times, so that proof of identity and U.S. citizenship are readily available if questioned by local officials.

Up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings may be taken out of the country. Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine. Visitors to Kenya carrying U.S. Dollars should ensure that the bills are relatively new, as banks in Kenya have been known not to accept older U.S. currency.

Use of firearms is strictly forbidden in wildlife reserves and national parks. Permission to carry firearms must be obtained from local authorities prior to entry.

Local tap water is not potable. Sealed bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores. Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its "collect call" facility. 1-800 numbers cannot be accessed from Kenya. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. International long-distance costs from Kenya are significantly higher than corresponding long-distance rates in the United States. Several local companies offer computer Internet access, including on an hourly rate basis. Many hotels have fax machines but often limit access to guests; some fax services are also available at office supply shops. Travelers are urged to consider their method of maintaining contact with family and friends when making their travel preparations.

Kenya does not officially recognize dual nationality. In addition to being subject to all Kenyan laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Kenyan citizens.

Travel via passenger train in Kenya is considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. Over the past three years there have been several accidents, including a passenger train derailment between Nairobi and Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people, including one foreign tourist. Several trains derailed in 2000. The Kenya Railway service has been reduced from seven days to three days per week. The service from Nairobi to Malaba is now only a cargo service and is no longer a passenger service.

Criminal Penalties:

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Kenyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kenya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in illicit sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

Children's Issues:

For information on international adoption of children and international parental child abduction, see the Office of Children's Issues website at http://travel.state.gov/family/family_1732.html.

Registration/Embassy Location:

Americans living or traveling in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Kenya. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The U.S Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; fax (254)(20) 363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20) 363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606, Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.

Travel Warning

December 30, 2005

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time due to ongoing safety and security concerns. This supersedes the Travel Warning of July 1, 2005.

The Department recommends that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing terrorist threats and the limited ability of the Kenyan authorities to detect and deter such acts. The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats in Kenya and elsewhere in eastern Africa aimed at U.S. and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places including tourist sites and locations where Westerners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or other Western interests.

American citizens in Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, Western-oriented shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship. Americans should also remain vigilant in residential areas, schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should avoid demonstrations and large crowds. In particular, there is a continuing threat against Westerners in the capital, Nairobi, and some locales in the coastal region. In addition to the terrorist threat, there are increasing incidents of criminal activity, including carjacking, robbery, and other violent crime, especially after dark.

Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20)363-6000; fax (254)(20)363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20)363-6170. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov. U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Kenya, the East Africa Public Announcement, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or 202-501-4444 from overseas.

International Adoption

January 2006

The information below has been edited from a report of the State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Overseas Citizens Services. For more information, please read the International Adoption section of this book and review current reports online at www.travel.state.gov/family.

Disclaimer:

The information in this flyer relating to the legal requirements of specific foreign countries is based on public sources and our current understanding. Questions involving foreign and U.S. immigration laws and legal interpretation should be addressed respectively to qualified foreign or U.S. legal counsel.

Please Note:

Kenyan courts are not institutionally biased against foreigners seeking to adopt children in Kenya. However, Kenyan law specifically states that an adoption order shall not be made in favor of a sole applicant who is male or an applicant who is of a different race than the child unless there are extenuating circumstances. Although it still remains an issue, the courts are beginning to take a more liberal view of racial differences between potential adopters and the child. Overall, when considering an adoption case, Kenyan courts view the welfare of the child as paramount. Foreigners interested in adopting a child in Kenya may wish to employ legal representation that is familiar with the practices of Kenya's legal system, as the court's interpretation of adoption laws can vary widely depending on the case.

Note:

It is illegal to publish an advertisement indicating that a parent or guardian desires to give up a child for adoption, that a person wants to adopt a child, or that a person (who is not an adoption society) is willing to make arrangements for the adoption of a child.

Availability of Children for Adoption:

Recent U.S. immigrant visa statistics reflect the following pattern for visa issuance to orphans:

FY-1998: IR-3 immigrant visas issued to Kenyan orphans adopted abroad - 3; IR-4 immigrant visas issued to Kenyan orphans adopted in the U.S. -2
FY-1999: IR-3 Visas - 8;
IR-4 Visas - 1
FY-2000: IR-3 Visas - 13;
IR-4 Visas - 4

Kenyan Adoption Authority:

The government office responsible for adoptions in Kenya is the civil court system.

Kenyan Adoption Procedures:

When adopting a child, many steps must be taken before a child can be placed in the care of the adoptive parent. If anyone other than an adoption agency places a child with prospective adoptive parents, the Chief Inspector of Children must be notified of the placement. The adoption society or a legal guardian must make inquiries and obtain reports on the personal circumstances of the applicant, child, and child's parents or guardians.

After an infant has been placed into the care and possession of the prospective adoptive parent, visits by the adoptive parents are made to the child at least once every month. If the child was received from an adoption society, a representative of that society will make the visits. If the child was not received from an adoption society, the prospective adoptive parent makes the visits. The adoption society representative is required to make a report on such visits to the court appointed guardian, unless the visits are made in the company of the guardian. The court's guardian then completes a full report, which is submitted to the court, along with a certified copy of the child's birth certificate. Once completed, notice of the hearing of the application for adoption is served on all parties.

Unless otherwise directed, the applicant, as well as the child to be adopted, must attend the hearing on the application for adoption. If the court approves the adoption order, the Registrar draws it up and a certified copy is served on the Registrar-General within thirty days. After an adoption decree is approved and the appropriate paperwork has been filed and issued, the adoptive parents can apply for a Kenyan passport for the child. Once the passport has been issued, the child is free to depart the country.

Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Age and Civil Status Requirements:

Those applying for the adoption of a child must be 25 years of age or older and must be at least 21 years older than the child. However, if the adopter is a relative, the adoptive parent must be at least 21 years of age. Both the adoptive parent and the child must be resident in Kenya at the time of the proposed adoption. The required length of residency for the adoptive parent is generally six months. The child must be in the continuous care and possession of the applicant for at least three consecutive months immediately proceeding the date of the submission to the court of the application for the adoption order.

Adoption Agencies and Attorneys:

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains a list of attorneys, but is not aware of any specializing in adoptions.

Doctors:

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi maintains current lists of doctors and sources for medicines, should either you or your child experience health problems while in Kenya.

Kenyan Documentary Requirements:

No specific documents are required, although it may be prudent to carry documents regarding identity, marital status, family status and financial means.

U.S. Immigration Requirements:

A Kenyan child adopted by an American citizen must obtain an immigrant visa before he or she can enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Please see the International Adoption section of this book for more details and review current reports online at travel.state.gov/family.

Kenyan Embassy in the United States:

Embassy of Kenya
2249 R Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 387-6101

Kenya also has Consulates General in New York, New York and in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. Embassy in Kenya:

The Consular Section is located at:

Mailing Address
U.S. Embassy
P.O. Box 30137
Nairobi, Kenya

Street Address
U.S. Embassy
Unit 64100
APO, AE 09831-4100
Tel: (254)(2) 537-800
Fax: (254)(2) 537-810

Fees:

Kenyan law prohibits financial transactions between individuals involved in an adoption proceeding. Some payments are permitted, for example to an adoption society for maintenance of the child, or to an attorney who acts for any of the parties or in connection with an application for an adoption order. Any payment or reward made by adoptive parent or guardian of a child, or a third party facilitating the adoption for the purpose of making an adoption order, is considered illegal.

Additional Information:

Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to consult BCIS publication M-249, The Immigration of Adopted and Prospective Adoptive Children, as well as the Department of State publication, International Adoptions.

Questions:

Specific questions regarding adoption in Kenya may be addressed to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. You may also contact the Office of Children's Issues, SA-29, 2201 C Street, NW, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-2818, Tel: 1-888-407-4747 with specific questions.

views updated

Kenya

Basic Data

Official Country Name: Republic of Kenya
Region (Map name): Africa
Population: 30,765,916
Language(s): English, Kiswahili
Literacy rate: 78.1%
Area: 582,650 sq km
GDP: 10,357 (US$ millions)
Number of Daily Newspapers: 4
Total Circulation: 250,000
Circulation per 1,000: 13
Number of Nondaily Newspapers: 10
Total Circulation: 110,000
Circulation per 1,000: 6
Total Newspaper Ad Receipts: 1,280 (Kenyan Shilling millions)
As % of All Ad Expenditures: 40.30
Number of Television Stations: 8
Number of Television Sets: 730,000
Television Sets per 1,000: 23.7
Number of Radio Stations: 38
Number of Radio Receivers: 3,070,000
Radio Receivers per 1,000: 99.8
Number of Individuals with Computers: 150,000
Computers per 1,000: 4.9
Number of Individuals with Internet Access: 200,000
Internet Access per 1,000: 6.5

Background & General Characteristics

Introduction

Kenya's media is noteworthy given the continent's history that has had a devastating effect on the industry. At independence most African states had media that could have been developed into vibrant institutions (de Beer, Kasoma, Megwa & Steyn, 1995). In most cases, however, African nations engineered systematic schemes that decimated the industry as G.B.N. Ayittey (1992, 1999) chronicles. What sets Kenya apart is her ability to travel this tortured path behaving like every other African media bullying nation, yet maintain one of the few, by African standards, vibrant media outlets

But circumstances are changing. Kenya emerged as a state a little over a century ago, suffered colonialism, then experimented with hardly defined ideologies for a generation, but is now set to enter another epochsince the constitution barred Danielarap Moi from standing for another electoral term when his last one ended in 2002. In Africa where government policies are subject to the whims of the leader, this new shift will be fundamental.

Kenya lies on Africa's eastern seaboard neighboring Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. With a population of about thirty million, the parchment of 45 tribal groupings, that Peter Mwaura (11) calls "separate mini-states," came under British colonial control in 1884 following the Berlin conference to partition Africa (Maloba; Hachten). In 1963, the country gained independence from Britain under the Kenya African National Union (KANU) government. The then opposition party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) maintained a token presence in parliament for a while, then dissolved to merge with KANU. KANU has been in power initially under the nation's founding father, Jomo Kenyatta, until his death in 1978, when Moi took power in a constitutional succession. He was president until 2002.

Both towards the end of Kenyatta's reign and especially during the Presidency of Moi, the executive branch progressively excluded competitors from the government. In the late 1980s people excluded from mainstream politics began to demand participation through alternative political parties. Kenya had, until 1982, been a de facto one party state, but in that year Parliament enacted a law making the country a de jure one party state. KANU assumed greater influence in setting national policies and at one time considered itself superior to parliament. By the end of the decade, civil unrest in the country forced the party, in 1990, to repeal the law criminalizing multi-partism. Today there is just a little under fifty political parties in the country. About ten of them are represented in parliament but there are only a handful of serious parliamentary parties.

While Kenyatta's reign from 1963 to 1978 had been characterized by less stringent control of the media, at least from the President himself, the press in Kenya, under Moi, was very different. This is not to say that there were no efforts to control the press under Kenyatta's regime. Those around the President, as P. Ochieng, Frank Barton and Gunilla Faringer demonstrate, frequently called newsrooms ostensibly on behalf of the President to demand the spiking of a story. But such control may have emanated from government functionaries than from, or through, the sanctioning of Kenyatta himself. Barton (86) tells of an encounter between Kenyatta and Kenya's then three leading Editors-in-Chief: Githii, Young, and Singh:

The three men sat together in a room waiting for Kenyatta to call them in. When at last he did so he told them: "I have Uganda's President Amin here, and I am very angry with him because he has banned your newspapers. And when I say your newspapers, I mean Kenyan newspapers, and although they are privately owned, they are still Kenyan newspapers and if they are Kenyan newspapers they are my newspapers" "So,' he went on, "that means that if he has banned my newspapers, he has banned meand I don't like it." (86)

George Githii tells of another encounter with Kenyatta. The Nation had been running editorials that contradicted the debate on detentions without trial then taking place in the countrywhich were supported by the executive branch. As a consequence a reporter with the paper was deported. Githii went to see Kenyatta on the matter. He writes:

Personally, I found President Kenyatta very, very tolerant. Once my newspaper printed editorials against preventive detention, which angered some members of the executive. Eventually, I made an appointment to see the President. His reaction was: "Those were your views; now remember to print ours." (63)

Moi, on the other hand, even while Vice President, had pesky relationships with the editors. Barton notes that:

Vice-President Arap Moi began to make regular phone calls to Young complaining about things in the Standard. Young found that the servility which was needed in some African quarters was not the best line with the Vice-President, and so he replied to Moi with as much vigour as Moi used to him. Things often ended up virtually a shouting match between the two. (87)

Kenyatta had assured the media that "Kenya's press need have no fears regarding curtailment of its freedom" (Faringer 60) as long as the media exercised responsibility. While the media in Kenya was then foreign owned they generally supported the government. Probably as a result the government saw no need of owning a medium of their own. But those around Kenyatta, Barton notes, were very keen on owning a newspaper (82). When Moi came to power his government purchased then Nairobi Times and christened it Kenya Times. It was managed by Kenya Times Media Trust (KTMT).

Print Media

The print media can be divided into four sectors: the regular daily newspapers, the magazines, the regional newspapers, and the printed sheets that also seek to pass for newspapers in the urban centre streets.

Kenya has four daily national newspapers in English and one in Kiswahili all published in Nairobi with a combined daily circulation of almost 400,000. Relative to other nations, even those of Africa, the history of the press in Kenya is rather recent. Literacy started in Kenya following the arrival of Protestant missionaries nearly a century and a half ago (Church of the Province of Kenya). The missionaries embarked on teaching new converts how to read and write primarily so that the new converts could read biblical literature for themselves. The initial publications carried religious materials. To date, the church is still involved in some magazine publishing.

The oldest mass circulating newspaper is the Standard founded in 1902 by a Parsee migrant, A. M. Jeevanjee. The British settlers who came to Kenya had brought in Indians to work on the construction of the railway line from the coast to the interior to open up the countryside for settlement. Most of the Indians settled in Mombasa and engaged in commerce. Standard catered for these civil servants and business community. But two years later, Jeevanjee sold his interests to the partnership of Mayer and Anderson who renamed it East African Standard marking the beginnings of the European press. The Standard became the largest and most influential publication in colonial East Africa (Hachten). In the hands of Mayer and Anderson, it was a typical European people's paper concerned with the happenings in Britain and urging subservience to the settlers, a tune that for a long time remained the tone of other settler controlled media including Mombasa Mail and Nairobi News (Abuoga & Mutere, 1988; Maloba, 1992). Change in the Standard to identify with the aspirations of Africans was painstakingly slow even after independence. Over the years the Standard changed hands until Lonrho acquired it in 1967 (Faringer 35).

Lonrho had a lot of business interests in Africa and the paper served more of a safeguard of these interests. Barton (88) notes that for Lonrho "newspapers were only a means to an end, the end being the much more profitable business of packaging, breweries, transport, mining and other ventures in different parts of the Continent." Following Tiny Rowland's death in the mid-1990s and the reorganization at the Lonrho headquarters in London, it is understood that the Standard may once again have been sold, this time to a group of Kenyan political businessmen who then gained control also of the television channel KTN. It is not clear who owns this media establishment, whether Lonrho East Africa or these Kenyan businessmen. The Standard today, with a daily circulation of 54,000, has outlasted other competitors. At one time this media house published a Kiswahili paper called Baraza. Besides the Standard and KTN, this media house also operates Capital FM currently licensed to broadcast in Nairobi. The Capital FM launched operations in September 1996.

Prior to the founding of the Nation published by Nation Media Group (NMG) Kenya had a very vibrant nationalist press. Faringer (10) categorizes media in Kenya at independence into a three tier system with the European press at the top, the Indian in the middle, and African at the bottom. Although Rosalynde Ainslie (99) says that the press in Africa was a European creation, which is true, African nationalists adapted the press very much to their struggle. By 1952 Ainslie (109) reports that Kenya had nearly 50 newspapers. However, the speciality of these publications was not news as much as it was essays that agitated for freedom. Most of the contributors were nationalists, with no journalistic experience, who later became post independence leaders. All these papers folded up with the coming of independence.

The Nation, with a circulation of 184,000, is Kenya's most widely circulated newspaper today according to Lukalo and Wanyeki. It was first registered in 1959 by Michael Curtis and Charles Hayes (Ainslie 104) both newspapermen in London and Nairobi, respectively. The spiritual leader of the Ismaili community Aga Khan purchased the Nation a year later. The paper was the first to adopt a policy of Africanization (Hachten; Abuoga & Mutere; Faringer). Besides the English language Nation the NMG also publishes a Kiswahili edition Taifa Leo.

Taifa, with a 35,000 daily circulation, is an abridged version of the Nation. Taifa does not have a separate group of reporters. It uses the same pool of reporters as the Nation. While the Aga Khan is still the majority shareholder in the NMG, the firm is currently traded at the Nairobi Stock Market.

Kenya's press has always been private and foreign owned. The NMG publishes the Daily Nation and Taifa Leo on week days, and Sunday Nation and Taifa Jumapili on Sunday. Both the Saturday and Sunday editions have pullouts including a children's magazine. On the other days of the week they carry special sections: education on Monday, business on Tuesday, society on Wednesday, real estate on Thursday, and entertainment on Friday. The Nation, although targeting the Kenyan market, is also distributed throughout the East African region. NMG also publishes the EastAfrican, a conservatively designed weekly newspaper focusing on economic news in East Africa. They also own Nation TV, and Nation FM Radio both which for the moment do not have a license to operate throughout the country. They were licensed in 1998 and went on air a year later, only to broadcast in the capital Nairobi as are other radio and television stations.

The People, owned by Kenneth Matiba, started as a weekly, but turned daily with a Sunday edition in December 1998. In 2002 it had a daily circulation of 60,000. Initially founded to serve as the voice of the opposition politics and to report materials that Nation and Standard feared to touch, the People has since landed on lean times. How long it survives may depend on the outcome of its appeal against multimillion-shilling judgments that courts have returned against the paper in libel cases. But other challenges the paper faces may relate partly to the difficulty in attracting sufficient advertising revenue and partly because it has never really shed its image as a partisan newspaper trumpeting the opposition point of view.

In 1983 KANU bought Hilary Ng'weno's Nairobi Times and named it The Kenya Times (Abuoga & Mutere; Ochieng). Ng'weno, the first African editor of the Nation, founded Nairobi Times intending it to be a quality afternoon paper. He was, at the same time, publishing Weekly Review, a quality news weekly that in the late 1970s used to be known for its incisive commentaries and two children's magazines. With diminishing revenue from advertising Ng'weno sold the Times. As Kenya Times the paper has suffered an identity crisis, and not without a cause, often seen as the mouthpiece of the ruling party and government. While there is no independent verification of its circulation, its internal figures say that it has a 50,000 daily circulation. The Kenya Times until recently was not a member of the ABC but even after joining the bureau seldom discloses their circulation figures. This makes it difficult to independently establish its market performance.

A.S. Kasoma De Beer et al notes that the Kenya Times "often reflected official government policy" (238). But a former Editor-in-chief of the paper, Philip Ochieng, submits that the "only thing which stands in the way of The Kenya Times is its false identification in the public's mind with the ruling party, a fact which weighs very heavily upon it, many people claiming, despite absence of evidence, that it publishes only what the party and the government want it to publish" (154). But Ochieng's is a lone voice. Hachten (24) notes that in a one party state a party newspaper is often indistinguishable from a government paper. Kenyan newspapers do not have any ideological leanings that would differentiate them. Even in the case of the People the distinguishing factor is not so much ideology as the stories they choose to print possibly with the intention that such stories may embarrass those in the government. These often expose some of the corruption deals government functionaries may be involved in. And not too infrequently these stories have landed the people in legal trouble. One government minister has been awarded a total of Ksh. 60 million in court rulings. If these fines are executed then some of the newspapers may be forced to close shop. Possibly because of this Kenya Times has remained at the bottom of the ladder in terms of circulation figures, advertising revenue, operating capital base, trained personnel and influence amongst the major newspapers in the country. KTMT also used to publish a Kiswahili edition Kenya Leo. Kenya Leo was in many ways similar to Taifa Leo carrying a summary of stories in the Times.

Besides the national daily newspapers there are several weekly publications circulating in the Coastal town of Mombassa. Because they only focus on issues of the coast their readership is confined to the coast and they are hardly of any national influence.

An emerging trend in the Kenya media scene is the publication of what, in Kenyan terminology, is called the gutter press but would be best described as "now-yousee-them-now-you-don't" press. The sheets are sold on news-stands and often on street corners for less than half the price of the daily newspapers. They are poorly written, poorly edited, poorly laid out, poorly printed, and contain poor pictures. Generally they have no fixed address, no known publisher, and tend to focus on rumour sometimes making very spectacular claims. They have no clear frequency, will appear out of the blue, make some spectacular claim that regards either sexual or corruption scandal involving a prominent personality, then disappear. They may only occasionally write on current affairs. These are likely to be found in most major towns and in mainly the major languages besides English and Kiswahili. It is said that sometimes they are sponsored by politicians who use them to launch a smear campaign against their opponents. But there is no way of proving this. These papers have drawn the anger of the Kenyan government in no small way. As a consequence the government is moving to pass a Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2001.

There has been a proliferation of other media in the country. The magazine industry has been vibrant not so much in its longevity as much as the frequency of magazines that have come up and gone under. The Weekly Review, probably the region's premier newsmagazine with a distinguished style of journalism during its lifespan was founded in 1975 (Abuoga & Mutere; Hachten). Published by Hilary Ng'weno's Stellascope, the weekly in the late 1970s and early 1980s had the best analytical and investigative journalism in the region (Faringer). As a consequence of its analytical reporting the government instructed firms in which the state had interest to cease advertising in the paper. This eroded the papers ability to survive economically. Later it toned down its critical re-portage and, in 1998 before it folded up, had become a mere shadow of its former self. Ng'weno chose to retire the title and focus on his other business interests including television. Financial Review and Economic Review, both now defunct, made a major impact in business journalism in the country until the former was proscribed and the latter disappeared from the news-stands in the latter part of 1998. Today, however, there is no towering news-magazine that would offer compelling reading like the Weekly Review did.

An interesting phenomenon is that in spite of the poor economy there has been quite an increase with diversity of media outlets in the 1990s that had not existed before. The changing political environment in the country with increased civil activism could be a contributing factor. Whereas previously the government could simply ban a publication with a single edict from the minister in charge, and this happened many times, the potential that such a ban would now be vigorously argued in court is much higher. A Nairobi businessman S. K. Macharia was, in the mid-1990s, through his firm Royal Media, licensed to operate Citizen radio and Television station. But he seems to have fallen foul of the government and his license to operate was temporarily withdrawn. He has got it back after a court petition, however, both his FM and TV stations are still off the air at the time of writing.

The church, through the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), at one time had its own publications Target and Lengo publishing in English and Kiswahili respectively. Target, especially in the later part of 1960s and early 1970s was very analytical, an approach that often put it at odds with the Kenyatta government, but more specifically with the then Attorney General who accused the paper of having sympathies for communism. The paper, following an internal reorganization, seemed to lose its objectives and funding and finally in 1997 folded up. NCCK's verbal exchanges with Kenyan government have a long history. When they published Beyond again they ran into trouble with the government, when in its analysis of the 1988 general elections, the paper said that the elections were a "mockery of democracy" (Faringer 66). The government proscribed the magazine and imprisoned its editor. Most of the other publications that the church has been identified with published social issues and not news.

Economic Framework

De Beer et al (209) observe that "Africa's economic situation has declined significantly in the three decades of post-colonialism." While Kenya's economy grew steadily in the years following independence, the 1990s have been truly economically lost decade for Kenya. According to the Central Bank of Kenya after the economy contracted in the early 1990s it grew by 5 percent in 1995, by 4.6 percent in 1996 and recorded only a 2.7 percent growth rate in 1997. This fell further in 1998 to 1.6 percent before recovering minimally to 2 percent in 1999. In 2001 the economy grew by 0.8 percent.

Investment in Kenya fell 10 times between 1978 and 1998 from nearly (Kenyan Shilling) (Ksh.) 250 billion to a low of just over Ksh. 24 billion. In 1993 the country attracted a mere $2 million in investment. Although in 1999 over $42 million was invested in Kenya that pales in comparison to $183 million and $222 million invested in neighbors Tanzania and Uganda, respectively countries that a decade and a half earlier found it nearly impossible to attract a fraction of what was being invested in Kenya. Today, Uganda produces nearly all the products that, less than a decade ago, it imported from Kenya.

There are several factors that account for Kenya's poor economic performance. Since the late 1980s, the country's political leadership took to rather rambunctious exchanges with diplomats accredited to Nairobi and officials on international financial bodies. It is at times difficult to understand who enunciates government policy on international relations. When it is to their convenience KANU leaders compete in making uncoordinated, often bellicose, statements on all manner of policy. The result is a public relations disaster. The abortive military coup against the Moi government in 1982 did not help either. But rather than address the eventual public relations damage the government sat on its hands. In the early 1990s, the country was ravaged by internal ethnic clashes and increased insecurity countrywide impacting tourism and agricultural sectors, Kenya's cash cows, negatively. The agricultural sector has performed dismally from a combination of factors including falling prices in the world market and neglect from the government. With less money in the economy domestic savings fell from Ksh. 106 billion in 1996 to Ksh. 61 billion in 2001.

The single biggest factor that has affected the Kenyan economy is corruption. In the 1992 general election the ruling party is accused of having printed money to finance the elections thus worsening the rate of inflation by nearly 60 percent. The involvement of the state in the business enterprise has not been helpful. It has especially been hurtful to the extent that it has eroded investor confidence in the economy. Some of the specific actions have been the government's sponsorship of politically correct banks, which were founded and run without reference to the appropriate banking regulations. Some of these banks collapsed with people's savings.

As a consequence the volume of trade at the Nairobi Stock Exchange has fallen. Between 1999 and 2001 about 140 investors pulled out of Kenya, 106 shut down their investments, 15 sold their investment, and nearly 20 were put in receivership. Over the same period, while the number of job seekers entering the market increased by one and a half million people, the economy only generated 30,000 jobs. Still the economic sector has been impacted negatively by government corruption, by the wear and tear of infrastructure, and by the cessation of aid to the country by the donor community limiting the available hard currency for imports. The advertising revenue fell, in a country where over 60 percent of the economy is service based, the remaining 40 percent distributed between, industry, manufacturing, and agriculture.

More than 70 percent of Kenya's population 15 years and above is literate. Increasingly though more children are not completing primary education. Several factors account for this: high fees, inflation, lack of learning materials, labor disputes, poor pay for teachers and falling educational standards. The AIDS scourge is another factor. As many as 700 people die in a day as a consequence of AIDS related infections.

Kenya's is an oral society and the reading culture is yet to take hold. This is complicated by the high cost of books. The nation has a national library but it only operates in the eight provincial headquarters, some located more than a day's journey away. But they are also poorly equipped.

One out of every other Kenyan lives on just a dollar a day. With a newspaper costing about half a dollar few can afford it. Then with 45 different languages and papers published only in English and Kiswahili, language becomes yet another hindrance. The other challenge is infrastructure. The teledensity is only eight telephone lines per one thousand people (Lukalo and Wanyeki) although mobile phone systems are catching on fast. The road network is equally poor. Many of Kenya's far-flung districts are inaccessible at the best of times and impossible to reach during the rainy season. It is a near impossible task to distribute newspapers throughout the country. The postal system is another hindrance in the circulation of newspapers and magazines. Kenya does not have a home mail delivery system. This makes it difficult to develop a subscription base thus denying newspapers and magazines the opportunity to have a dependable readership and a pool of cash to draw from. The few subscribers often end up receiving their magazines long after the issue is already on the newsstands or may not receive it at all, the issue having disappeared in the postal system.

Kenya's newspaper publishers have their own distribution networks. The country has a paper-manufacturing firm, however, the Kenyan produced paper is expensive relative to imported paper. While the big advertisers may seek to influence the coverage of news that affect them the major influence on editorial policies usually come from politicians. Senior politicians seldom let pass an opportunity to cultivate a symbiotic clientele relationship with journalists especially those from their own ethnic communities. It is not uncommon for politicians to call journalists from their own tribe when they have a story to break.

Unions

Most reporters in Kenya are members of the Kenya Union of Journalists. Reporters with the government associated media (Kenya Times, KBC, and the Kenya News Agency) are not allowed to join the union. The union has occasionally succeeded in negotiating better terms for its members. There are several organizations in the country that seek to bring journalists with common interests together. These would include the Kenya Education Writers' Association, the Kenya Professional Journalists' Association, the Association of Media Women in Kenya, the Network for the Defence of Independent Media in Africa, the Media Institute, the Association of Food and Agriculture Journalists, the Media Development Association, and the Kenya Correspondents' Association and Foreign Correspondence's Association. However, their effectiveness remains in question.

Journalism as a Career

Most journalists tend to negotiate their pay on an individual basis. While the annual gross national per capita income in Kenya is around $360, most journalists earn well above that per month. However, there is quite a disparity between journalists employed by the government and those working in the private media. Those working in private media earn far better that of journalists in the government controlled media.

Press Laws

Strictly speaking Kenya does not have a press law. Even what passes for press law is a carry over from the colonial governments' regulations in respect of press freedom. Critics have argued that the law, even if it was not good for the operation of the media, served the new rulers well by giving them a tool with which to control the media. What passes for media law in Kenya is a general section 79 of the constitution that states:

Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence.

There is nothing in the constitution that refers explicitly to the media. The section that seems relevant to journalism would be the clause referring to "freedom to communicate ideas without interference." However, such freedom could be withdrawn "in the interests of de-fence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health" according to Section 79 subsection (2) paragraph (a) of the constitution.

Parliament has just passed a Statutes Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2001, which is awaiting presidential accent. President Moi has already signalled that he will sign the new bill into law. Briefly, the new bill will require any newspaper publisher to increase their bond from the present Ksh. 10,000 ($125) to Ksh. 1,000,000 ($12,500). A publisher who fails to comply with the requirement will be liable to one million shillings fine and up to three years jail term. A second time offender will be liable for up to five years' jail term and will be barred from printing or publishing a newspaper. The bill also criminalizes selling a book, a magazine or a newspaper whose publisher has not deposited the bond, has failed to file returns, or has failed to comply with the law in any form. The section of the law that the bill is amending is a carry over from the colonial laws, and it is interesting that the Kenyan legislators have chosen to make it more punitive that the colonial government did.

Kenya's judiciary is supposedly very independent. The President appoints all the senior members of the bench including the Chief Justice. They enjoy security of tenure and can only be relieved of their duties on incapacitation, on achieving retirement age, or on advice of a committee appointed to review a member's performance. However, Kenya's judiciary has lately come under severe criticism. Besides being seen as lacking independence from the executive, the general public tends to view the bench as corrupt. In a recent survey by Transparency International Kenyan Chapter, the public perceived the judiciary to be among the most corrupt institutions in the country, only a little better than the worst, the Police department. Members of the bench from the Commonwealth countries who recently visited Kenya told the judiciary to clean its act so as to restore public confidence.

Censorship

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is charged with the task of censoring the media. But in reality media in Kenya have to deal with different departments, among them the Attorney General's Office, where newspaper returns are filed, and the Ministry of Information, which accredits journalists. But it is the sleuths in the Office of the President who scare the press most. While publishers are required to register a publication and file returns with the AG, most publishers often ignore the requirement either out of ignorance or for whatever other reason, at no cost. The AG will only follow up an offending publisher for reasons that may not be strictly related to the offence. For example in 1989 the editor of the magazine Beyond, Bedan Mbugua had published the magazine for a while without filing the returns and nobody bothered him. However, it was only when the magazine ran a commentary on the 1988 elections and said that the elections had been rigged that the government charged it with the violation. Obviously there were other magazines that were not following the regulation but since they had not rubbed the government the wrong way, the government chose to look the other side.

Although the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting licences journalists, many journalists operate without accreditation. However, the sleuths in the Office of the President can arrest or detain, without providing any reason, any journalist who publishes a story that they do not fancy. The Ministry of Information censors films and movies to ensure that they are keeping within the cultural norms of the country. But Kenya's biggest censors are the editors themselves seeking to be careful to avoid problems (Ochieng).

Kenyan journalists have not been proactive in putting in place a media council that would serve to receive and arbitrate complaints against the media. In mid-2002, the formation of such a council is in place, but given the Bill awaiting the President's approval, this council may not find much to do.

It is hard for a Kenyan journalist to walk to any official and get information that may be useful. It is often a frustrating experience for a reporter at an accident scene whose need may only be to confirm the number of victims injured. But the police would not speak, constantly referring the inquirer to the headquarters. While at the moment there is a Police Spokesperson, other government departments do not have similar positions and as such it is not easy to get information from them.

State-Press Relations

Kenya subscribes to the development communication paradigm based on the notion that given that the nation is a developing one then every agency in the country, the media included, should focus on development activity and not criticise those in power. Government officials would insist that the government welcomed positive and constructive criticism. But of course it is left to the government to define what is positive and constructive criticism. Over the years the freedom to criticize the Kenya government has greatly improved. In a recent cartoon published coinciding with the 2002 Oscar awards, the cartoonists gave several government functionaries awards. President Moi was awarded Best Director Award, but then the cartoonist changed his mind, crossed off the word Director and replaced it with Dictator with all the letters in upper case. The Nation carried the cartoon. It was quite a statement of how far the country has come.

The Kenyan government has not, however, always been tolerant. Publications that did not in the past please government functionaries were simply proscribed and sometimes this included past issues as was the case with Beyond, Development Agenda, and Nairobi Law Monthly Magazines. The Nation was, in 1989, suspended from covering Parliament, ostensibly for the claim of having been disloyal to the country.

Kenya has a news agency, Kenya News Agency (KNA), founded soon after independence and has, over the years, had offices and field reporters throughout the country. Graduates of government owned Kenya Institute of Mass Communication have almost automatically ended up in this outfit as field information offices where they effectively became the reporters in the field for the agency. Their assignment has been to file at least a story a week from their beat. This has provided an easy way to cover the entire country as newspapers and KBC could rely on KNA to cover the rural areas for them. But it has also served another purpose in that KNA reporters are trained to see news in the way that the government wants them to. So the stories are uniform. In the same way, for a long time, reporters from the newspapers were not allowed to cover presidential functions. Both the President and the Vice President have press units detailed to cover their activities. The press unit staffs have been KIMC trained and schooled in the government's way of presenting news. As Ochieng (43) puts it "We in the newspapers received only one interpretation of what the President was supposed to have said or done on any particular occasion: that of the Presidential Press Unit, relayed to us through the Kenya News Agency (KNA)."

Attitude toward Foreign Media

Kenya requires foreigners to have work permits. This does apply to international correspondents working in the country. The government issues accreditation to foreign correspondents whether they are working for international media or local media houses. An international correspondent would have little difficulty working in Kenya as long as they do not begin reporting on Kenyan politics in a manner that displeases those in the executive. That means always praising the executive. Both foreign correspondents and foreign reporters working for local media have been deported whenever they have written stories that did not please the executive. For instance in 1987, the government barred journalists from Sweden and Norway from visiting Kenya after papers in their countries had carried critical stories on Kenya's human rights record. Three years' later international journalists covering civil unrest in Nairobi's Eastlands district were detained and, after release, received threatening calls most probably from state security (Faringer 67). This is a fate that has fallen even on Kenyan reporters working for international press. A Kenyan Reuters correspondent was once picked up and held for nearly 13 hours for having filed a story to the effect that members of the public had thrown stones at the presidential motorcade. Local media reporters had been scared to cover the incident when the Reuters story began to print in the newsrooms. Philip Ochieng recalls how several editors from the Nation, including himself (he was a sub-editor then), were once detained for having attributed a story to an "anonymous" source.

Due to government repression of coverage of local issues Kenyans have, during moments of sensitive developments in the country tended to rely mainly on international news outlets especially BBC which broadcasts both in English and Kiswahili. Other channels include radio Deutsch Welle, Radio South Africa and Voice of America. Often people, even in rural Kenya, would tune to BBC Network Africa and Focus on Africa news programs for breaking news. There is a general feeling that the only trustworthy news items from KBC radio and television stations are death and time announcements; everything else is KANU propaganda. Conversely, there is a tendency to believe that everything on Kenya in international media is true. This is a consequence of the govern-ment's own control of the media. It would not allow dissenting views to be carried in the local press, would not allow opposition activities to be covered over KBC and would not allow civil unrest to be covered in the local media even when people are aware that something is happening in a part of the country. A reporter who broke the news in a KTN report that the then Health Minister, Mwai Kibaki, had defected from KANU to launch an opposition party lost her job.

While government has had little control of electronic media it has at times sought to control international print media by confiscating the issues that are shipped to be sold in the country. These would be when such media have stories written on Kenya that the government did not like. All Kenyan media houses subscribe to international news agencies mainly Reuters, AFP, AP and Gemini. Prior to the end of the cold war Kenya was a member of the non-aligned nations and subscribed to news agencies associated with the movement. Through arrangements with the then USSR's TASS it made it possible to access a pool of stories from other third world capitals.

Television stations in Kenya also relay international news programs from western stations. KTN for example relays CNN international news while KBC sometimes relays BBC news bulletin and Deutsch Welle television news. However, when these stations carry a story critical of Kenya then the relays of that day may be left out. Kenya does not have restriction on foreign ownership of the local media. Until the launching of Kenya Times the print news media in Kenya were foreign owned with the exception of the Stellascope publications owned by Hilary Ng'weno. Even the Kenya Times at one time was co-owned by British media mogul Robert Maxwell.

Broadcast Media

For a long time the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) dominated Kenya's electronic media scene. Formerly the Voice of Kenya, the station, founded in 1927, runs a nation-wide television service, two radio channels broadcasting throughout the country, in English and Kiswahili, and 16 regional ethnic language stations (Abuoga & Mutere 100). Today, it also has FM station covering the city and is planning another FM station for the Central Province, home to the populous Kikuyu community. KBCTV's news presentation format has always been predictable especially in the last decade and a half beginning with the 1982 attempted coup. The lead story has been on the president's activities including Sunday church attendance. The radio has not been any different.

Although KBC is publicly owned in the same format as the BBC with its budget drawn from the Treasury, the government exercises control in the appointment of management to ensure that KANU receives favorable coverage. KBC's television station broadcasts throughout the country in both English and Kiswahili. Its 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. news bulletins are in Kiswahili and English respectively. It has two parallel radio stations: the general and national service broadcasting in English and Kiswahili respectively. KBC, through its other regional stations, broadcasts in 12 other regional languages.

However, this reporting style has been nominally challenged by the launching of other stations. These stations, six in all, have not challenged KBC's dominance significantly. Other stations launched recently include KBC Channel II a subscriptions only cable network whose main shareholder is a South African firm, MultiChoice; Citizen TV, Nation, Family, and Stellavision. These stations, except the Nation TV, due to constitutional, financial and logistical limitations, have not been able to compete appropriately in news coverage. While Nation TV, with its financial muscle, could offer the biggest challenge to the two stations it is licensed to broadcast only in Nairobi. Its application for a nation-wide broadcast has been pending government approval for nearly a dozen years now. While it is not clear who the main shareholder in KTN is, it is understood that it is owned by the publishers of the Standard who are part of the Kenyan political establishment (De Beer et al 229).

Television has not made an impact in Kenya's countryside (Mytton; Ochieng; Bourgault; De Beer et al). To start with, the cost of a television set is prohibitive for rural people. A 21-inch colour television plus a VCR, for example, would cost at least five to 10 times the official average income of a primary school teacher. As a result television is a low priority for rural population that can ill afford it.

Owning television is complicated by another factor: the rural electrification programme. Most of the rural areas have little access to electricity. Rural folk run their televisions on batteries and solar systems. They can only receive KBC and even then the reception is often poor. Television is sadly still an elite media. Even in terms of content they tend to cover only urban events. Ochieng dismisses television as being of little communication significance to Kenyans for two reasons. He says, "Television, is out of reach for the majority of the people because it is urban-oriented and urban-based and because TV receivers are too expensive. Secondly, both television and radio deal with selected ideas which have to do with the strengthening of the security and integrity of the state, and not necessarily with social enlightenment as such" (108).

Most Kenyans have greater access to transistor radio receivers. Transistor radios today are cheap and available at nearly every street corner from hawkers. J.B. Abuoga and A.A. Mutere and G. Mytton suggest several reasons that make the medium popular. These include the low rate of functional literacy, the poor economy, the poor communication network, transport system and the people's lifestyles. Experience indicates that the largest single groups of media consumers in the rural are the teachers and agricultural extension workers (Wilcox; Quist). They are comparatively well educated, have a regular monthly income, are more interested in current affairs and are often opinion leaders. However, most schools are located in far-flung regions that are inaccessible so that this one single large market does not have an opportunity to buy newspapers. The alternative is mainly the radio.

The government knows only too well the strength of this medium and used it for political expediency. The government is familiar with the daunting task anybody who wanted to reach the entire country has. Only radio can reach all these people. Unconcerned with the language and distance barrier of the newspapers, the radio reaches the Maasai in his manyatta, the Somali herdsman in the outback in the north and the expatriate in his air-conditioned Nairobi home, all at once. To monopolize access to these people the government controls the radio. The initial FM radio stations to be licensed were allowed to broadcast only in the capital, Nairobi.

Overall there are at least six radio stations licensed to operate only within Nairobi. Apart from this there is the Family FM radio and Television station in Nairobi, but this is a religious broadcast relaying primarily religious content. Another station worth note is Kameme in Central Province that broadcasts in Kikuyu. However, its broadcast does not include news. Recently in an answer to a question in Parliament the Information Minister said that over 30 licenses for FM stations had been issued. But generally they would be given to politically correct individuals some of who would be holding them only for commercial speculative gain.

Electronic News Media

All the major news houses are available on the Internet. The Nation newspapers, the Standard newspapers, and KBC web pages are updated daily. The Nation web-site has searchable back editions going to 2000 while the Standard has only up to a week. They are, however, not indexed. The EastAfrican is also available online. Although Kenya Times is online it is seldom current. Both the Nation and KBC websites are much easier to navigate. The KTN website had not been updated for the first six months of 2002.

Education & TRAINING

There has been, in the last couple of years, an increase in the number of universities starting departments of communication and journalism education. Besides the School of Journalism at the University of Nairobi, that has been in existence for the last two decades, other public universities such as Kenyatta, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Moi, and Maseno all have either courses or departments of communication or journalism being developed. The same is true for private universities. Probably the oldest department in the private universities is at Daystar University, which began, in the late 1970s, offering graduate degrees in communication theory. The department expanded beginning in 1984 when it launched undergraduate communication courses with tracks in print and electronic media, public relations, and communication theory. But now there are departments of communication or journalism at United States International University-Nairobi and at the Nazarene University. There are also smaller colleges and institutes that offer training in media and other associated areas of interest. For example there is a school recently launched in Kenya in memory of the late award-winning photographer Mohamed Amin in Nairobi specialising in television journalism.

The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication for a long time was the main training institution for Kenyan journalists. It offers nine to 12 month courses in print and electronic media leading to certificates and diplomas in journalism. Philip Ochieng, one of Kenya's brightest journalists, complains of the calibre of Kenyan journalists lamenting their training. While Ochieng's comments may be true as far as they apply to the period he was writing about, a case can be made that the situation is greatly changing so much so that the problem now is getting employment for many Kenyans trained in journalism and mass media.

While the number of the institutions and courses being offered continue to rise, the same can not be said of the faculty, the literature, and academic journals. In many instances it is difficult to find teachers for the courses that are being offered leave alone finding people who are going to conduct research in mass media.

Summary

Moi has towered Kenya's political scene since the late 1970s and greatly impacted the direction the media took both through his relations with the media and the policies that his government put in place. His legacy will continue to influence the direction the media take. During Moi's presidency the executive reigned supreme, but there is just a glimmer of hope that some of the powers the office enjoyed will be trimmed in the new government. However since some of those poised to take over are a carry on from Moi's system, the question looms regarding what direction the system will take. Kenya's media has, through the last decade, developed muscles that may come useful in a new dispensation. The personnel are at the moment more educated that at any other time. The civil society has greatly become more active, more critical of the judiciary, and more demanding of the legislative.

Bibliography

Abuoga, J. B. and Mutere, A. A. The history of the press in Kenya. Nairobi: ACCE, 1988.

Ainslie, Rosalynde. The Press in Africa: Communications Past and Present. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1966.

Ayittey, G.B.N. Africa Betrayed. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992.

. Africa in Chaos. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Barton, Frank. The Press of Africa: Persecution and Perseverance. New York: Africana Publishing Company,1979.

Bourgault, L. M. Mass media in Sub-Saharan Africa. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1995.

Boyce, G. "The Fourth Estate: The Reappraisal of a concept." In George Boyce, James Curran and Pauline Win-gate (Eds.) Newspaper History from the 17th Century to the Present Day. London: Sage, 1978.

Church of the Province of Kenya. Rabai to Mumias. Nairobi: Uzima, 1994.

De Beer, A. S. Kasoma, F.P. Megwa, and E. Steyn. "Sub-Saharan Africa". In John C. Merrill (Ed). Global journalism: Survey of international communication 3rd Ed. New York: Longman, 1995.

Faringer, Gunilla L. Press Freedom in Africa. New York: Praeger, 1991.

Githii, George. "Press Freedom in Kenya." In Olav Stokke (Ed.) Reporting Africa. New York: African Publishing Corporation, 1971.

Hachten, W. Muffled drums: The news media in Africa. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1971.

Hachten W. "African censorship and American correspondents". In Beverly G. Hawk (Ed.) Africa's media image. New York: Praeger, 1992.

Maloba, W. "The media and Mau Mau: Kenyan nationalism and colonial propaganda". In Beverly G. Hawk (Ed.) Africa's media image. New York: Praeger, 1992.

Mwaura, Peter. Communication Policies in Kenya. Paris: UNESCO, 1980.

Mytton, G. Mass Communication in Africa. London: Edward Anorld, 1983.

Karimi, J. and Ochieng, P. The Kenyatta Succession. Nairobi: Transafrica Book Distributors, 1980.

Ochieng, P. I Accuse the Press: An insider's view of the media and politics in Africa. Nairobi: Initiatives Publish ers, 1992.

Quist, M. Step Magazine Readership Survey or Are We Really in Step? Nairobi: Daystar Communications, 1982.

Wilcox, D. Mass media in Black Africa. New York: Frederick Praeger, 1975.

Levi Obonyo

views updated

KENYA

Compiled from the October 2003 Background Note and supplemented with additional information from the State Department and the editors of this volume. See the introduction to this set for explanatory notes.




Official Name:
Republic of Kenya




PROFILE
PEOPLE
HISTORY
GOVERNMENT
POLITICAL CONDITIONS
ECONOMY
FOREIGN RELATIONS
U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS
TRAVEL


PROFILE


Geography

Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.

Cities: Capital—Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million). Other cities—Mombasa (665,000), Kisumu (504,000), Nakuru (1.2 million).

Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000 meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.

Climate: Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.


People

Nationality: Noun and adjective—Kenyan(s).

Population: (1999 est.) 28.7 million.

Annual growth rate: (1996 est.) 2.4%.

Ethnic groups: African—Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African—Asian, European, Arab 1%.

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic 30%, Muslim 20%.

Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.

Education: Years compulsory—None, but first 8 years of primary school are provided through costsharing between government and parents. Attendance—73% for primary grades. Literacy (in English)—59%.

Health: Infant mortality rate—115/1,000. Life expectancy—49 yrs.

Work force: (1.7 million wage earners) Public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers—3.7 million. Services—45%; industry and commerce—35%; agriculture—20%.


Government

Type: Republic.

Independence: December 12, 1963.

Constitution: 1963.

Branches: Executive—president (chief of state, head of government, commander in chief of armed forces). Legislative—unicameral National Assembly (parliament). Judicial—Court of Appeal, High Court, various lower courts.

Administrative subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural provinces. Nairobi area has special status.

Political parties: Registered political parties, 41. Ruling party, Kenya African National Union.

Suffrage: Universal at 18.


Economy

GDP: (2001) $11.4 billion.

Annual growth rate: (2001) 1.2%.

Per capita income: $271.

Natural resources: Wildlife, land.

Agriculture: Products—tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land—5%.

Industry: Types—petroleum products, grain and sugar milling, cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and light manufacturing.

Trade: (2001) Exports—$1.9 billion: tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets—Uganda, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports—$3.7 billion: machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers —U.K., Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia.





PEOPLE

Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

The five state universities enroll about 38,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are four private universities.





HISTORY

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that protohumans roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominids lived in the area 2.6 million years ago.

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 first century A.D. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium A.D., Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population.

The Swahili language, a mixture of Bantu and Arabic, developed as a lingua franca for trade between the different peoples. Arab dominance on the coast was eclipsed by the arrival in 1498 of the Portuguese, who gave way in turn to Islamic control under the Imam of Oman in the 1600s. The United Kingdom established its influence in the 19th century.

The colonial history of Kenya dates from the Berlin Conference of 1885, when the European powers first partitioned East Africa into spheres of influence. In 1895, the U.K. Government established the East African Protectorate and, soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers. The settlers were allowed a voice in government even before it was officially made a U.K. colony in 1920, but Africans were prohibited from direct political participation until 1944.

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was under a state of emergency arising from the "Mau Mau" rebellion against British colonial rule. During this period, African participation in the political process increased rapidly.

The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Kenya became independent on December 12, 1963, and the next year joined the Commonwealth. Jomo Kenyatta, a member of the large Kikuyu ethnic group and head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), became Kenya's first president. The minority party, Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU), representing a coalition of small ethnic groups that had feared dominance by larger ones, dissolved itself voluntarily in 1964 and joined KANU.

A small but significant leftist opposition party, the Kenya People's Union (KPU), was formed in 1966, led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, a former vice president and Luo elder. The KPU was banned and its leader detained after political unrest related to Kenyatta's visit to Nyanza Province. No new opposition parties were formed after 1969, and KANU became the sole political party. At Kenyatta's death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel arap Moi became interim President. On October 14, Moi became President formally after he was elected head of KANU and designated its sole nominee.

In June 1982, the National Assembly amended the constitution, making Kenya officially a one-party state, and parliamentary elections were held in September 1983. The 1988 elections reinforced the one-party system. However, in December 1991, Parliament repealed the one-party section of the Constitution. By early 1992, several new parties had formed, and multiparty elections were held in December 1992.

Moi was reelected for another 5-year term. Opposition parties won about 45% of the parliamentary seats, but Moi's KANU Party retained a majority of the legislature. Parliamentary reforms in November 1997 expanded political rights in Kenya, and the number of political parties grew rapidly. Moi won re-election as President in the December 1997 elections, and his KANU Party narrowly retained its parliamentary majority, with 109 out of 122 seats.

In December 2002, the people of Kenya elected Mwai Kibaki as the country's third president. President Kibaki received 62 percent of the vote, and his 15-party group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), also won 59 percent of the parliamentary seats..





GOVERNMENT

The unicameral assembly consists of 210 members elected to a term of up to 5 years from single-member constituencies, plus 12 members nominated by political parties on a proportional representation basis. The president appoints the vice president and cabinet members from among those elected to the assembly.




The attorney general and the speaker are exofficio members of the National Assembly.

The judiciary is headed by a High Court, consisting of a chief justice and High Court judges and judges of Kenya's Court of Appeal (no associate judges), all appointed by the president.

Local administration is divided among 69 rural districts, each headed by a presidentially appointed commissioner. The districts are joined to form seven rural provinces. The Nairobi area has special status and is not included in any district or province. The government supervises administration of districts and provinces.

Principal Government Officials
Last Updated: 11/13/03


President: Kibaki, Mwai

Vice President: Awori, Moody

Min. for Agriculture: Kirwa, Kipruto arap

Min. for Cooperative Development &

Marketing: Ndwiga, Peter Njeru

Min. for Education: Saitoti, George

Min. for Energy: Ayacko, George Ochilo

Min. for Environment, Natural Resources, & Wildlife: Kulundu, Newton

Min. for Finance: Mwiraria, David

Min. for Foreign Affairs: Musyoka, Kalonzo

Min. for Gender, Sports, & Culture: Balala, Najib

Min. for Health: Ngilu, Charity Kaluki

Min. for Home Affairs: Awori, Moody

Min. for Justice & Constitutional Affairs: Murungi, Kiraitu

Min. for Labor & Manpower: Mwakwere, Chirau

Min. for Land & Settlement: Kimunya, Amos

Min. for Livestock & Fisheries Development: Munyao, Joseph

Min. for Local Government: Maitha, Karisa

Min. for Planning & National Development: Nyong'o, Prof Anyang

Min. for Regional Development: Kombo, Musikari

Min. for Roads, Public Works, & Housing: Odinga, Raila

Min. for Tourism & Information: Tuju, Raphael

Min. for Trade & Industry: Kituyi, Mukhisa

Min. for Transport & Communications: Michuki, John Njoroge

Min. for Water Resources: Karua, Martha

Min. of State in the Office of the Vice Pres.: Kilimo, Linah Jebii

Min. of State - Provincial Administration & National Security: Murungaru, Chris

Min. of State - Public Service:

Attorney General: Wako, Amos

Governor, Central Bank of Kenya: Mulei, Andrew

Ambassador to the US: Nzibo, Yusuf A.

Permanent Representative to the UN, New York: Bahemuka, Judith Mbula

Kenya maintains an embassy in the United States at 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Tel. 202-387-6101).


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since independence, Kenya has maintained remarkable stability despite changes in its political system and crises in neighboring countries. Particularly since the re-emergence of multiparty democracy, Kenyans have enjoyed an increased degree of freedom.

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, Kenya held democratic and open elections and elected Mwai Kibaki as their new president. The elections, which were judged free and fair by local and international observers, marked an important turning point in Kenya's democratic evolution. President Kibaki has focused his efforts on generating economic growth, combating corruption, and improving education. Kenya is also in the process of rewriting its constitution.




ECONOMY

After independence, Kenya promoted rapid economic growth through public investment, encouragement of smallholder agricultural production, and incentives for private (often foreign) industrial investment. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average of 6.6% from 1963 to 1973. Agricultural production grew by 4.7% annually during the same period, stimulated by redistributing estates, diffusing new crop strains, and opening new areas to cultivation.

Between 1974 and 1990, however, Kenya's economic performance declined. Inappropriate agricultural policies, inadequate credit, and poor international terms of trade contributed to the decline in agriculture. Kenya's inward-looking policy of import substitution and rising oil prices made Kenya's manufacturing sector uncompetitive. The government began a massive intrusion in the private sector. Lack of export incentives, tight import controls, and foreign exchange controls made the domestic environment for investment even less attractive.

From 1991 to 1993, Kenya had its worst economic performance since independence. Growth in GDP stagnated, and agricultural production shrank at an annual rate of 3.9%. Inflation reached a record 100% in August 1993, and the government's budget deficit was over 10% of GDP. As a result of these combined problems, bilateral and multilateral donors suspended program aid to Kenya in 1991.

In 1993, the Government of Kenya began a major program of economic reform and liberalization. A new minister of finance and a new governor of the central bank undertook a series of economic measures with the assistance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As part of this program, the government eliminated price controls and import licensing, removed foreign exchange controls, privatized a range of publicly owned companies, reduced the number of civil servants, and introduced conservative fiscal and monetary policies. From 1994-96, Kenya's real GDP growth rate averaged just over 4% a year.

In 1997, however, the economy entered a period of slowing or stagnant growth, due in part to adverse weather conditions and reduced economic activity prior to general elections in December 1997. In 2000, GDP growth was negative, but improved slightly in 2001 as rainfall returned closer to normal levels.

In July 1997, the Government of Kenya refused to meet commitments made earlier to the IMF on governance reforms. As a result, the IMF suspended lending for 3 years, and the World Bank also put a $90-million structural adjustment credit on hold. Although many economic reforms put in place in 1993-94 remained, Kenya needed further reforms, particularly in governance, in order to increase GDP growth and combat poverty among the majority of its population.

The Government of Kenya took some positive steps on reform, including the 1999 establishment of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Authority, and measures to improve the transparency of government procurements and reduce the government payroll. In July 2000, the IMF signed a $150 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, and the World Bank followed suit shortly after with a $157 million Economic and Public Sector Reform credit. The Anti-Corruption Authority was declared unconstitutional in December 2000 and other parts of the reform effort faltered in 2001. The IMF and World Bank again suspended their programs. Various efforts to restart the program through mid-2002 were unsuccessful.

Under the leadership of President Kibaki, the Government of Kenya has begun an ambitious economic reform program in 2003 and has resumed its cooperation with the World Bank and IMF. However, the government faces several key challenges, including budgetary deficits, corruption decaying infrastructure, and slow economic growth.

Nairobi continues to be the primary hub of East Africa. It enjoys the region's best transportation linkages, communications infrastructure, and trained personnel, although these advantages are less prominent than in past years. A wide range of foreign firms maintain regional branch or representative offices in the city. In March 1996, the Presidents of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda re-established the East African Cooperation (EAC). The EAC's objectives include harmonizing tariffs and customs regimes, free movement of people, and improving regional infrastructures.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Despite internal tensions in Sudan and Ethiopia, Kenya has maintained good relations with its northern neighbors. Recent relations with Uganda and Tanzania have improved as the three countries work for mutual economic benefit. The lack of a cohesive government in Somalia prevents normal contact with that country. Kenya serves as the major host for refugees from turmoil in Somalia and also hosts a significant number of refugees from the civil war in Sudan.

Kenya maintains a moderate profile in Third World politics. Kenya's relations with Western countries are generally friendly, although current political and economic instabilities are sometimes blamed on Western pressures.

Kenya serves as a major host for refugees from Somalia and Sudan and currently has troops in two UN peacekeeping operations.




U.S.-KENYAN RELATIONS

The United States and Kenya have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. More than 7,000 U.S. citizens live in Kenya, and as many as 25,000 Americans visit Kenya annually. About two-thirds of the resident Americans are missionaries and their families. U.S. business investment is estimated to be more than $285 million, primarily in commerce, light manufacturing, and the tourism industry.

U.S. assistance to Kenya promotes broadbased economic development as the basis for continued progress in political, social, and related areas of national life. U.S. aid strategy is designed to achieve four major objectives—health care, including family planning and AIDS prevention; increasing rural incomes by assisting small enterprises and boosting agricultural productivity; sustainable use of natural resources; and strengthening democratic institutions. The U.S. also is helping the Kenyan victims of the August 7, 1998 bombing of the American embassy to recover and rebuild. The Peace Corps has more than 111 volunteers in Kenya.


Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Nairobi (E), Mombasa Road, P.O. Box 30137, Nairobi, Kenya. APO Address: Unit 64100, APO AE 09831-4100, Tel [254] (2) 537-800, after-hours number 537-809, Main Embassy 537-810, POL/ECO Fax 537-863, ADM/RSO 537-806; IPC STU - III: 537-851.

AMB: Johnnie Carson
AMB OMS: Anna Marie Bustamante
DCM: William J. Brencick
POL: Walter Terry Pflaumer
ECO: Virginia Palmer
LAB: [Vacant]
COM: Cynthia Griffin
CON: Donna Blair
MGT: Ismail Asmal
FMO: [Vacant]
RMO: Duayne Storm
RMO/P: Samuel Thielman
OBO: William Prior
RSO: Scott Gallo
PAO: Thomas Hart
IRM: James E. Vanderpool
GSO: Michael Barrow
AID: Kiertisak Toh
AID/REDSO: Andrew Sisson
AGR: Fred Kessel
INS: Michael Webster
LEGATT: Paul A. Hayes
KUSLO: COL William Bud Rasmussen
DAO: Mike Garrison
PC: Winne D. Emoungu
LOC: Paul J. Steere
CDC: Kevin DeCock, MD
MRU: COL Sam Martin
UNEP: Karen Levine
US REP: Karen Levine

U.S. Mission to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS/Habitat), Mombasa Road, P.O. Box 30137, Nairobi; Unit 64111, APO AE 09831-4111; Tel [254] (2) 537-800, Fax 537-871.

US REP: Scott Danaher

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 24, 2003


TRAVEL


Consular Information Sheet
December 24, 2003


Country Description: Kenya is a developing East African country known for its wildlife and national parks. The capital city is Nairobi. The second largest city is Mombasa, located on the southeast coast. Tourist facilities are widely available in Nairobi, the game parks, the reserves, and on the coast.


Entry Requirements: A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival. There is a fee for the visa, whether obtained in advance or at the airport. Evidence of yellow fever immunization may be requested.

Travelers may obtain the latest information on visas as well as any additional details regarding entry requirements from the Embassy of Kenya, 2249 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 387-6101, or the Kenyan Consulates General in Los Angeles and New York City. Persons outside the United States should contact the nearest Kenyan embassy or consulate.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.


Safety and Security: On November 28, 2002, there was a car bomb attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, in which 15 people were killed, and an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and other sites where Westerners are known to congregate, especially in the coastal region.

Successful presidential and parliamentary elections were held in December 2002 with minimum reports of violence.

Travelers should maintain security awareness at all times and avoid public gatherings and street demonstrations.

The area near Kenya's border with Somalia has been the site of a number of incidents of violent criminal activity, including kidnappings. In a late 1998 attack by armed bandits at a resort in the Lamu district near the border with Somalia, U.S. citizens were identified as specific targets, although none were present. There are some indications of ties between Muslim extremist groups, including Osama Bin Laden's al Qaeda organization, and these roving groups of Somali gunmen. Recent information about possible targeting of Americans for kidnapping or assassination in this same area has heightened the Embassy's concern. In March 1999, a U.S. citizen was killed, reportedly by a Somali national, on the Somali side of the border area.

Some sparsely populated rural areas of Kenya, principally in the North, experience recurrent, localized incidents of violent cattle rustling, counter-raids, ethnic conflict, tribal or clan rivalry, and armed banditry. During the past several years, incidents have occurred in the Keiro Valley, Northern Rift Valley sections of Laikipia and Nakuru Districts, and other areas north of Mount Kenya. A number of incidents have also occurred near the game parks or lodges north of Mwingi, Meru, and Isiolo frequented by tourists. The precise areas tend to shift with time. For these reasons, U.S. citizens who plan to visit Kenya are urged to take basic security precautions to maximize their safety. Travel to northern Kenya should be undertaken with at least two vehicles to ensure a backup in the case of a breakdown or other emergency.

Villagers in rural areas are very suspicious of all strangers. There have been several incidents of violence against Kenyan and foreign adults in rural areas who are suspected of stealing children. U.S. visitors to rural areas should be aware that close contact with children, including taking their pictures or giving them candy, can be viewed with deep alarm and may provoke panic and violence. Adoptive parents traveling with their adopted child should exercise particular caution and are urged to carry complete copies of their adoption paperwork with them at all times.

On August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 213 people and injuring many more in and around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy subsequently relocated to a different location.

Crime: There is a high rate of crime in all cities, particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. Reports of attacks against tourists by groups of two or more armed as sailants have increased significantly throughout the country. Pickpockets and thieves carry out "snatch and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel desk staff being forced to open safes. The best advice is not to travel with any valuables. Walking alone or at night, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous. In March 2003, an American citizen was mugged by four men and killed while walking in downtown Nairobi.

Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Armed vehicle hijackings are common in Nairobi but can occur anywhere in the country. Armed robbers in Nairobi steal approximately ten vehicles every day. Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally injured only if they resist. There is also a high incidence of residential break-ins. Thieves and conartists have been known to impersonate hotel employees, police officers, or government officials. Thieves on buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive passengers. Passengers on inter-city buses should not accept food or drink from a new acquaintance, even a child, as such food or drink may contain narcotics used to incapacitate a victim and facilitate a robbery.

Many scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists and foreign-looking residents on foot, are prevalent in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve persons impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and other credentials. In one of the latest scams, a tourist was stopped by someone who appeared to be a beggar telling a "sob story." The tourist agreed to purchase a cup of coffee for the beggar. The tourist was then approached by "police officers" who told him that he was seen talking with a drug dealer/counterfeit suspect. The "police" demanded money from him. American visitors and residents should be alert to these kinds of scams and immediately contact the U.S. Embassy if they think they are being or have been victimized. Conartists may park their cars on the side of a road, pretending that they broke down, and rob persons who stop to offer assistance.

Highway banditry is common in much of North-Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote and sparsely populated. Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya's main highways, particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi.

Travelers to Garissa and Lake Turkana should travel with the police escorts or convoys organized by the Government of Kenya.

There have been recent attacks on ships in the vicinity of Kenyan waters, in particular near the Kenya-Somalia border. Mariners should be vigilant.

The Kenyan mail system can be unreliable and monetary instruments (credit cards, checks, etc.) are frequently stolen. International couriers provide the safest means of shipping envelopes and packages, although anything of value should be insured.

If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The pamphlets A Safe Trip Abroad and Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and an on travel in the region in general. Both are available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at http://travel.state.gov, or from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, Internet address http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html.


Medical Facilities: Adequate medical services are available in Nairobi.


Medical Insurance: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.

When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.

Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.


Other Health Information: There are frequent outbreaks of cholera, and malaria is endemic in Kenya outside Nairobi.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization's website at http://www.who.ith/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/iht.


Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Kenya is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.


Safety of public transportation: Poor

Urban road conditions/maintenance: Poor

Rural road conditions/maintenance: Poor

Availability of roadside assistance: Poor


In Kenya, one drives on the left side of the road, which can be very disorienting to those not accustomed to it. Excessive speed, unpredictable local driving habits and manners, poor vehicle maintenance, and the lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Kenyan roads. When there is a heavy traffic jam either due to rush hour or because of an accident, drivers will drive across the median strip and drive directly toward oncoming traffic. There are often fatal accidents involving long-distance, inter-city buses, or local buses. Also, vehicle travel outside major cities at night should be avoided due to the poor road and street light conditions, and the threat of banditry.

During the rainy season, many unpaved roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. Severe storms and heavy rains in late 1997 and early 1998 led to extensive flooding and critical damage to roads and bridges, making travel and communications difficult in many parts of the country. Although the government repaired many of the damaged roads and bridges, some are still impassable. Travelers are urged to consult with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi and local officials regarding road conditions.

For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs' website at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Kenyan driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, contact the Kenyan National Tourist Organization offices in New York at telephone 212-486-1300 or in California at telephone 310-274-6635.


Railway Safety: Travel via passenger train in Kenya is considered unsafe, particularly during rainy seasons, because of the lack of routine maintenance and safety checks. Over the past three years there have been several accidents, including a passenger train derailment between Nairobi and Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of 32 people, including one foreign tourist. Several trains derailed in 2000.

The Kenya Railway service has been reduced from seven days to three days per week. The service from Nairobi to Malaba is now only a cargo service and is no longer a passenger service.


Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service by local carriers at present, or economic authority to operate such service, between the U.S. and Kenya, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Kenya's Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards.

For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet website at http://www.intl.faa.gov/. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.

Criminal Penalties: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Kenyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs in Kenya are strict and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. The penalty for possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, is ten years imprisonment, with no option of a fine.


Currency Regulations: Up to 100,000 Kenyan shillings may be taken out of the country. Destruction of Kenyan currency, even in small amounts, is illegal, and almost always results in arrest and a fine.


Children's Issues: For information on international adoption of children, international parental child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues, please refer to our Internet site at http://www.travel.state.gov/children's_ issues.html or telephone 202-736-7000.


Game Park Security: There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of Kenya's national parks and game reserves, particularly the Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the Kenya wildlife service and police have taken some steps to strengthen security in the affected areas but the problem has not been eliminated. Travelers who do not use the services of reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.


Special Circumstances: Local tap water is not potable. Sealed bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in hotels, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its "collect call" facility. 1-800 numbers cannot be accessed from Kenya. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. International long-distance costs from Kenya are significantly higher than corresponding long-distance rates in the United States. Several local companies offer computer Internet access, including on an hourly rate basis. Many hotels have fax machines but often limit access to guests; some fax services are also available at office supply shops. Travelers are urged to consider their method of maintaining contact with family and friends when making their travel preparations.


Registration/Embassy Location: U.S. citizens visiting or resident in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy, where they may obtain updated information on travel and security in Kenya. Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans on a monthly basis. American citizens may complete a registration form on-line at http://kenya.usembassy.gov/wwwureg.doc or may request one by contacting the Embassy by phone at (254)(20)363-6000 or email at [email protected] Biographic information, passport data, and itinerary may be faxed directly to the consular section at (254)(20)363-6410.


The Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20)363-6000; facsimile (254)(20)363-6410. In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254)(20)363-6170. The Embassy's international mailing address is P.O. Box 606 Nairobi, Kenya. Mail using U.S. domestic postage may be addressed to Unit 64100, APO AE 09831. The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov.


Travel Warning
September 25, 2003


This Travel Warning is being issued to inform American citizens that the Department of State has lifted the authorized departure status of non-emergency employees and family members at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. However, the Department continues to alert U.S. citizens to on going safety and security concerns in Kenya. This supersedes the Travel Warning of May 16, 2003.

The Department of State has rescinded the authorized departure of non-emergency employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. However, due to ongoing security concerns, the Department continues to urge Americans to defer all non-essential travel to Kenya at this time. The Department recommends that private American citizens in Kenya evaluate their personal security situation in light of the current terrorist threat and consider departure from the country as one option to ensure their safety.

The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of terrorist threats in the region aimed at American and western interests, including civil aviation. The government of Kenya might not be able to prevent such attacks.

The threat to aircraft by terrorists using shoulder-fired missiles continues in Kenya, including Nairobi. Terrorism poses a continuing threat in East Africa. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places including tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or western interests.

American citizens in Kenya should remain vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, and churches, and should also avoid demonstrations and large crowds. In particular, there is an increased threat against westerners in the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal region.

U.S. citizens who remain in Kenya despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Kenya, the East Africa Public Announcement, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or 317-472-2328 from overseas.

U.S. citizens visiting or resident in Kenya are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy. Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans monthly. American citizens may complete a registration form on-line at http://usembassy.state.gov/nairobi/wwwhcon3.html or may request one by email at: [email protected] American citizens living or traveling in Kenya may contact the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi at 363-6000 during normal business hours; after-hours phone numbers are 363-6170 and 0722-514-246.