Who owns the Kenya website

Kenya

geography

The Republic of Kenya is located in East Africa and stretches on both sides of the equator. With an area of ​​582 646 km², the country is slightly larger than France. In the north Kenya borders on Sudan and Ethiopia, in the northeast on Somalia, in the southeast on the Indian Ocean, in the south on Tanzania, in the southwest on Lake Victoria and in the west on Uganda.

The coastal plain on the Indian Ocean is narrow in the southern section and widens towards the north to up to 250 km. The coast itself is divided by numerous bays, reefs and offshore islands. Towards the west, the country initially rises to around 1,000 m, a slightly undulating plateau occupies almost the entire north and east of Kenya. Individual mountain ranges tower above the plateau. The central part of Kenya is occupied by the Kenya highlands, which are located at an altitude of 1,500 to 3,000 m above sea level. The East African Rift (Rift Valley) runs across the central highlands in a north-south direction, the one from Lake Turkana (previously: Lake Rudolf) in the north of the country over other lakes (Baringo-, Bogaria-, Nakuru-, Elemeteita-, Naivasha) - and Lake Magadi) reaches as far as Tanzania. The width of the trench varies from 70 to 300 km, as are the altitudes. On both sides of the rift there are mountain ranges of volcanic origin, in the southwest the highest point in the country is the glaciated Mount Kenya (5,199 m), the second highest peak on the African continent (after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania).

To the west of the rift, the central highlands of Kenya continue (with isolated mountains up to 4,300 m high) until the land in the far west drops to the basin of Lake Victoria (in which Tanzania and Uganda also have a share in addition to Kenya). The northwest and north of Kenya are occupied by tabular land.

The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, lies east of the East African Rift on the Athi Plain at an altitude of 1,670 m.

climate

Kenya's climate is determined by its proximity to the equator. In the lower elevations in the southern part (coastal plain, Victoria Depression) there is a hot and humid climate with consistently high temperatures all year round (an average of 26 ° C). In the higher altitudes the climate is milder, here the average values ​​are around 17 ° C. There are two rainy seasons, October to December and April to June. On the coast and in the highlands, 700 mm to a maximum of 1,800 mm are reached, and sometimes more on the slopes of the mountains. The driest area of ​​Kenya is the tabular country in the north.

Flora and fauna

Most of the land area is characterized by savannahs and extensive grasslands. On the rainy slopes of the mountains there are rainforests, which change from a height of approx. 2,000 m into cloud forests with a high proportion of bamboo. The forest stands were severely decimated by deforestation and slash and burn, the government is trying to counteract the erosion of the soil through reforestation programs. Desert steppes can be found in the north of Kenya with little precipitation. Mangroves, palm trees and hardwood forests grow in the hot and humid coastal area.

The wildlife of Kenya is very species-rich and has large game populations. Around 8% of the total land area has been declared a protected area, including the Amboseli, Nakuru and Tsavo national parks. The Maasai Mara wildlife sanctuary in the south-west of the country is considered to be one of the most animal-rich areas on the entire African continent. Lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, gazelles, giraffes, buffalos, rhinos and baboons live in Kenya. In the diverse bird world, in addition to various species of flamingo, there are also pelicans, herons, ostriches, eagles and vultures.

population

Around 33.83 million people live in Kenya, around a quarter of them in cities. The largest city in the country is the capital Nairobi with about 2.14 million inhabitants. Other cities are Mombasa (665,000 inhabitants), Kisumu (323,000) and Nakuru (219,000).

Around 40 different ethnic groups live in Kenya, more than half of them belong to the Bantu-speaking peoples such as the Kikuyu, who make up around 22% of the total population, the Luhya (14%) and the Kamba (11%). The Nilotic tribes include the Luo (13%) and the Kalenjin (12%) to the paranilotic language group. The Maasai in the south of the country make up one to two percent of the population. Non-African groups (Asians, Arabs, Europeans) form minorities.

About 73% of the Kenyan population are followers of Christianity, mostly Catholics. An estimated 19% of Kenyans practice natural religions, 8% are followers of Islam. The official languages ​​are Swahili and English, which is the language of business and communication. Around 30 other languages ​​are also spoken.

Population growth is 2.5% per year, although the rate of HIV infection (around 8% of the adult population) and infant mortality (6.1%) are high. Due to the numerous AIDS diseases, the completely inadequate health care and the great poverty (over half of Kenyans live below the poverty line), life expectancy is only 48 years. Schooling is compulsory for children between the ages of seven and 15. The literacy rate is 85.1%.

Political system

Kenya is a presidential republic based on the 2010 constitution. The head of state is the president (Uhuru Kenyatta, since April 2013). Both the government and the armed forces are subordinate to him. The President is directly elected for a term of five years (re-election possible once).

The legislature rests with the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has 349 MPs, 290 of whom are directly elected by the people for a five-year term and 59 are appointed by the President. The Senate has 67 members, 47 of whom are also elected every five years and 20 are appointed.

The Kenyan state is subdivided into 47 districts.

economy

Kenya is the most productive economy in East Africa, but over half of the population lives below the poverty line. The crisis that emerged after the December 2007 elections only temporarily dampened Kenya's economic prospects.

The most important sector is now services with a share of the gross domestic product (GDP) of 55%. An important source of foreign currency income in Kenya is tourism, with around one and a half million holidaymakers annually.

Agriculture generates over a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). Almost eight percent of Kenya is available as arable land. Almost three quarters of the workforce are employed in this area. The most important crops are tea and coffee, which are grown in large farms for export, as well as cotton, sugar cane and vegetables (beans, peas). Grain, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava and bananas are grown in small businesses for personal use. In livestock farming, the dairy industry is particularly important. The fishing in the fish-rich inland waters serves the self-sufficiency of the population.

The industry (17% of GDP) has been growing continuously since the beginning of the 1990s and concentrates on the processing of local raw materials, mainly textiles, paper and tobacco products, cement, chemical products, machines and vehicles. In terms of raw materials, Kenya has deposits of soda ash, iron ore and gold. The main customers are Uganda, Great Britain, Tanzania, the USA and the Netherlands.

Kenya mainly imports machinery, oil, iron, steel and pharmaceutical products; the main import trading partners are India, China, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Kenya's road network covers around 65,000 km, of which around 7,800 km are paved. Around 3,000 km of rail are available, the most important connection being the line between Mombasa and Nairobi. There are international airports in both cities.

The currency is the Kenyan shilling (= 100 cents).