Full name: The Republic of Kenya
Population:40.8 million (UN, 2010)
Area: 582,646 km² (224,961 sq miles)
Major languages: Swahili, English
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 56 years (men), 57 years (women)
Monetary unit: 1 Kenya shilling = 100 cents
Main exports: Tea, coffee, horticultural products, petroleum products
International calling code: +254
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa. Lying along the Indian Ocean to its southeast and at the equator, it is bordered by Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, South Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south.
Lake Victoria is situated to the southwest, and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. With its capital city in Nairobi, Kenya has numerous wildlife reserves containing thousands of animal species. It has a land area of 580,000 km2 and a population of nearly 39 million residents, representing many different peoples and cultures.
The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa’s highest mountain peaks.
Kenya is a country of 47 districts, each with its own government semi-autonomous to the central government in the capital, Nairobi. The country’s geography is as diverse as its people. It has a long coastline along the Indian Ocean and as you advance inland the landscape changes to savanna grasslands, arid and semi-arid bushes. The central regions and the western parts have forests and mountains while the northern regions are near desert landscapes.
As part of East Africa, Kenya has seen human habitation since the Lower Paleolithic. The Bantu expansion reached the area by the 1st millennium AD, and the borders of the modern state comprise the crossroads of the Nilo-Saharan, the Afro-Asiatic and the Bantu linguistic areals of Africa, making Kenya a truly multi-ethnic state. European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but European exploration of the interior began only in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, from 1920 known as the Kenya Colony. The independent Republic of Kenya was formed in December 1963.
Kenya’s capital, Nairobi is a major commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. The country traditionally produces world renowned tea and coffee, and more recently became a major exporter of fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is driven by the telecommunications sector. Kenya is also a major and world-renowned athletics powerhouse producing such world champions as Paul Tergat and most recently David Rudisha.
Last updated: 27.01.2012