Geographic and Governmental Profile of Kenya

Background
Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when President Daniel Toroitich arap MOI took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 until 1982 when the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) made itself the sole legal party in Kenya. MOI acceded to internal and external pressure for political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 and 1997, which were marred by violence and fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. KIBAKI's NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over a constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which defeated the government's draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. KIBAKI's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate Raila ODINGA and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February 2008 produced a power-sharing accord bringing ODINGA into the government in the restored position of prime minister. Kenya in August 2010 adopted a new constitution that eliminates the role of prime minister after the next presidential election.
Location
Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates
1 00 N, 38 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
580,367 sq km
rank:
49
land:
569,140 sq km
water:
11,227 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
Land boundaries
total:
3,477 km
border countries:
Ethiopia 861 km, Somalia 682 km, South Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km
Coastline
536 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate
varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
Terrain
low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Mount Kenya 5,199 m
Natural resources
limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
8.01%
permanent crops:
0.97%
other:
91.02% (2005)
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Irrigated land
1,030 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
30.2 cu km (1990)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
1.58 cu km/yr (30%/6%/64%)
per capita:
46 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons
volcanism:
limited volcanic activity; the Barrier (elev. 1,032 m) last erupted in 1921; South Island is the only other historically active volcano
Environment - current issues
water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers are found on Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Kenya
conventional short form:
Kenya
local long form:
Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya
local short form:
Kenya
former:
British East Africa
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Nairobi
geographic coordinates:
1 17 S, 36 49 E
time difference:
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
7 provinces and 1 area*; Central, Coast, Eastern, Nairobi Area*, North Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western; note - the constitution promulgated in August 2010 designates 47 yet-to-be-defined counties as first-order administrative units
Independence
12 December 1963 (from the UK)
National holiday
Independence Day, 12 December (1963); Madaraka Day, 1 June (1963); Mashujaa Day, 20 October (2010)
Constitution
27 August 2010; the new constitution abolishes the position of prime minister and establishes a bicameral legislature; many details have yet to be finalized and will require significant legislative action
Legal system
mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law; judicial review in High Court
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephen Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008);
head of government:
President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephen Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008); Prime Minister Raila Amolo ODINGA (since 17 April 2008); note - according to the 2008 powersharing agreement the role of the prime minister was not well defined; constitutionally, the president remains chief of state and head of government, but the prime minister is charged with coordinating government business
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president and chaired by the prime minister, who is the leader of the largest party in parliament
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in addition to receiving the largest number of votes in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25% or more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven provinces and one area to avoid a runoff; election last held on 27 December 2007 (next to be held in March 2013); vice president appointed by the president; note - the new constitution sets elections for August 2011 but this date is expected to slip
election results:
President Mwai KIBAKI reelected; percent of vote - Mwai KIBAKI 46%, Raila ODINGA 44%, Kalonzo MUSYOKA 9%, other 3.4%
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Bunge usually referred to as Parliament (224 seats; 210 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, 12 nominated members appointed by the president but selected by the parties in proportion to their parliamentary vote totals, 2 ex-officio members); note - the constitution promulgated in August 2010 changes the legislature to a bicameral parliament consisting of a 290 member National Assembly and a 94 member Senate; parliament members will serve five year terms
elections:
last held on 27 December 2007 (next to be held in March 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ODM 99, PNU 46, ODM-K 16, KANU 14 other 35; ex-officio 2; seats appointed by the president - ODM 6, PNU 3, ODM-K 2, KANU 1
Judicial branch
Court of Appeal (chief justice is appointed by the president); High Court; note - the constitution promulgated in August 2010 specifies three superior courts consisting of a Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and High Court, and three subordinate courts consisting of Magistrate courts, Kadhis courts (sentences according to Muslim law), and Courts Martial
Political parties and leaders
Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya or FORD-Kenya [Musikari KOMBO]; Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People or FORD-People [Reuben OYONDI]; Kenya African National Union or KANU [Uhuru KENYATTA]; National Rainbow Coalition-Kenya or NARC-Kenya [Martha KARUA]; Orange Democratic Movement or ODM [Raila ODINGA]; Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya or ODM-K [Kalonzo MUSYOKA]; Party of National Unity or PNU [Mwai KIBAKI]; Shirikisho Party of Kenya or SPK [Chirau Ali MWAKWERE]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Council of Islamic Preachers of Kenya or CIPK [Sheikh Idris MOHAMMED]; Kenya Human Rights Commission [L. Muthoni WANYEKI]; Muslim Human Rights Forum [Ali-Amin KIMATHI]; National Muslim Leaders Forum or NAMLEF [Abdullahi ABDI]; Protestant National Council of Churches of Kenya or NCCK [Canon Peter Karanja MWANGI]; Roman Catholic and other Christian churches; Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims or SUPKEM [Shaykh Abdul Gafur al-BUSAIDY]
other:
labor unions
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Elkanah ODEMBO Absalom
chancery:
2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone:
[1] (202) 387-6101
FAX:
[1] (202) 462-3829
consulate(s) general:
Los Angeles
consulate(s):
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador J. Scott GRATION
embassy:
US Embassy, United Nations Avenue, Nairobi; P. O. Box 606 Village Market, Nairobi 00621
mailing address:
Box 21A, Unit 64100, APO AE 09831
telephone:
[254] (20) 363-6000
FAX:
[254] (20) 363-410
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a large Maasai warrior's shield covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center; black symbolizes the majority population, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green stands for natural wealth, and white for peace; the shield and crossed spears symbolize the defense of freedom
National symbol(s)
lion
National anthem
name:
"Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (Oh God of All Creation)
lyrics/music:
Graham HYSLOP, Thomas KALUME, Peter KIBUKOSYA, Washington OMONDI, and George W. SENOGA-ZAKE/traditional, adapted by Graham HYSLOP, Thomas KALUME, Peter KIBUKOSYA, Washington OMONDI, and George W. SENOGA-ZAKE
adopted 1963; the anthem is based on a traditional Kenyan folk song
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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