History and Politics:
Kenya attained its independence from the British in 1963 and became a republic in 1964 with the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as its first president. Other past presidents include H.E Daniel Arap Moi and H.E Emilio Mwai Kibaki while the current president is H.E Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Kenya is a multi-party democracy in which general elections are held every five years to elect the people's representatives. The Kenyan government is organized into two levels, the National Government and the County Governments. Currently there are 47 semi-autonomous County governments each headed by an elected governor. The National Government has three arms namely; the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary which work based on the principle of separation of power. The executive arm is headed by the president who exercises executive power as the head of state, head of government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. Kenya has a bicameral parliament consisting of the National Assembly and the senate each headed by a speaker and role of the legislature is to make laws. The Judiciary is headed by the Chief Justice who is also the President of the Supreme Court.
Kenya lies on the equator on the eastern coast of Africa, bordering the Indian ocean. It is a medium sized country covering and area of about 580,367km2 bordered by Somalia and the Indian Ocean to the east, Ethiopia to the north, South Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south and a coastline approximately 550km long, facing the Indian Ocean.
Kenya has a tremendous topographical diversity, including glaciated mountains with snow-capped peaks, the Rift Valley with its scarps and volcanoes, ancient granitic hills, flat desert landscapes and coral reefs, a coastline composed of white sand beaches, inland plateau that rises gradually to the central highlands, and to the west, there is Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world.
Kenya is one of the six(6) countries of the East Africa Community(EAC) and is widely regarded as the business hub for financial, Communication and Transportation services hub for East and Central Africa. The Country is active member of the great lake states (14 countries), IGAD (7 countries), Nile Basin States (8 states) and COMESA (19 states).
It has a market-based with a few state owned infrastructure enterprises and maintains a liberalized external trade system. Major industries include energy, tourism and financial services. As of 2015, Kenya had a GDP OF 69.977 billion USD making it the 72nd largest economy in the world, per capita GDP was estimated at 1,587USD.
The Government of Kenya is generally investment friendly and has enacted several regulatory reforms to simplify both foreign and local investments, including the creation of an export processing zone(EPZ). The export processing zone is expected to grow rapidly through input of Foreign direct investments. An increasingly significant portion of Kenya's foreign inflows are remittances by non-resident Kenyans who work and live abroad, Middle East, Europe and Asia. Compared to its neighbors', Kenya has a well-developed social and physical infrastructure. Kenya has become a world pioneer in mobile money service and its famous M-Pesa mobile service has gone beyond Kenya.
Kenyan economy has been growing in the recent years with economic growth going above 5% largely because of expansions in telecommunications, transport, construction and a recovery in Agriculture. These improvements are supported by the large pool of English-speaking professional workers with a high level of computer literacy, especially among the youth.
Kenya is a multi-ethnic state inhabited primarily by Bantus and Nilotic populations, Cushites with minorities of Arabs, Indians and European populations.
The main cities of Kenya are: Nairobi which is the capital city, Mombasa the second largest city, followed by Kisumu at the shores of Lake Victoria, followed by Nakuru city which hosts many factories in the country, and that is followed by Eldoret, Machakos and Kakamega.
The constitution of Kenya guarantees freedom of religion and worship to its people, however the Predominant religion in Kenya is Christianity followed by Islam.
Kiswahili and English are the two languages widely used, with English being the official Language and Kiswahili the national language spoken by the majority of people.
Kenya has one of the best education systems in the region with over 50 universities and several tertiary colleges, secondary and primary schools. The country has high literacy levels and as at 2015, the Kenyan adult literacy level stood at 78%.
Kenya has a good healthcare system that is split into public sector, private sector and faith-based organizations. Kenya's healthcare system is structured in a step-wise manner so that complicated cases are referred to a higher level.
Kenya is a multi-cultural society with over 43 ethnic groups with different languages and cultural practices. Though not a representation of the cultures in Kenya, the Maasai culture is easily singled out among others since it remains preserved. The foods that are universally in Kenya are ugali, sukuma wiki and nyama choma. There is no agreed upon national dress and as such there are lots of variants depending on the culture but Kitenge and Khanga are the most popular. Generally, Kenya has no dress restrictions to its visitors and the general public.
Globally, Kenya is mainly known for its dominance in the middle-distance and long-distance races. It has produced award-winning athletes who have scooped several awards at major global sport competitions, however most world sports-golf, football, rugby and cricket, to name a few, have taken root in Kenya and are fast growing in popularity and participation and as such Kenya actively participates in world sports.