Cover Image
close this bookThe Courier N 130 Nov - Dec 1991 - Dossier: Oil - Reports: Kenya - The Comoros (EC Courier, 1991, 96 p.)
close this folderCountry reports
close this folderKenya - Democracy: winning the hearts and minds of wananchi
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentKANU, the ruing
View the documentGearing up for industrial take-off
View the documentMatching resources with the population
View the documentPressing ahead with refonns
View the documentProfile
View the documentEEC at the grassroots
View the documentFinancial cooperation between Kenya and the EEC



Area: 582 646 sq km. From a low coastline in the Indian Ocean Kenya rises to around 1700 metres around Nairobi, is intersected by the tectonic Rift Valley and then stretches on to Lake Victoria in the West. This constitutes the only fertile region of the country. The rest, which stretches north and north-eastward to the borders with Ethiopia and Somalia, are semi-arid and arid.

Population: 24.9 million (UN estimate 1989). About three-quarters of the population are of Bantu extraction: Kikuyu, the largest, Meru, Embu, Kamba, Abaluhya, Nyika, Digo, Duruma, Pokomo. Others are Kalenjin, Luo and Maasai. There are significant numbers of Europeans, Asians and Arabs.

Languages: English and Swahili plus local ethnic languages.

Capital: Nairobi.

Major towns: Mombasa (main port), Kisumu, Malindi and Nakuru.

Economy: The economy rests on agriculture which accounts for one third of GDP and approximately two thirds of exports, made up mainly of coffee, tea and horticultural products. The other significant income-generating sectors are manufacturing, commerce and tourism which together account for one-quarter of GDP. Government services account for 17% of GDP.

Currency: Kenyan shilling (Ksh) = 100 cents. Ksh20 = K£1. Ksh38.55 = US$ 1.

GDP at factor cost (1989) K£ 3243.7 million, projected to rise to K£4222.9 million in 1993.