Colonial History: Modern-day Kenya was first colonized by the Imperial British East Africa Company as the British East Africa Protectorate on 1st July 1895.
Under British rule, Kenya was subject to harsh social, economic, and political policies. Racial discrimination protected under the law was also widespread. Large amounts of land were set aside only for White Europeans, and blacks were forced to work for minimal wages on poor settler farms. However, these conditions strengthened the Kenyan’s desire for independence, so the British colonial government produced constitutional proposals to let the Africans directly elect their representatives.
In the elections of 1957, the first election under this new constitution, eight prominent African leaders (including the future President Daniel Moi) were elected. They then formed an organization to fight for independence, called the Kenya African National Union (KANU). Eventually, due to massive pressure from KANU and the Kenyan people, the British granted Kenya its independence on December 12, 1963.Political Organization: Kenya is Representative Democracy and Presidential Republic. The nation has a multi-party political system with three branches – the legislative, which consists of Parliament, the judiciary, which consist of the seven-member Supreme Court, and the executive, which consists of a President (Uhuru Kenyatta), a Deputy President (William Ruto), and a Presidential-appointed Cabinet. The National Assembly and the Senate are the two chambers that make up Kenya’s Parliament, the legislative branch of the country. The National Assembly’s 349 members plus the Speaker are each elected by the voters of single-member constituencies. Forty-seven women are also elected from the counties, and twelve members are nominated to represent the disabled, the young, and the workers of the country.
The Senate consists of sixty-seven members plus the Speaker. The Senate contains forty-seven members each elected by the voters of the counties, sixteen members who are nominated by political parties, two members representing the young, and two members representing the disabled. Both MPs of the Assembly and Senators serve a five-year term.Shape and Boundary:Kenya has a total of 3,457 kilometers of land boundaries plus a 536-kilometer long coastal border with the Indian Ocean.
It borders a total of five countries: Tanzania (for 775 km), Ethiopia (for 867 km), Uganda (for 814 km), Somalia (for 684 km), and South Sudan (for 317 km). Kenya’s national borders were mostly arbitrarily drawn by British colonialists. However, in certain places, the border is defined by natural topography. For example, the border follows the Dawa River along Ethiopia for a few hundred kilometers.
Additionally, the Tanzanian-Kenyan border is also defined by a piece of topography, Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest peak in Africa), of which the border cuts through. Kenya is divided into forty-seven counties that are headed by governors. These counties form the first-order divisions of Kenya. Constituencies are an electoral subdivision and the current second-order division in Kenya. There are a total of 349 Assembly constituencies and 67 Senate constituencies.
Kenyan local authorities mostly do not follow common division boundaries. They are classified as either cities, municipalities, or towns. Some local authorities divide their area further into wards.International Trade: Kenya is the 107th largest export economy in the world according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). The top exports of Kenya are Tea ($1.
15B), Cut Flowers ($653M), Petroleum ($389M), Coffee ($227M) and Legumes ($151M). Its top imports are Refined Petroleum ($2.18B), Cars ($517M), Packaged Medicines ($447M), Video Displays ($438M) and Delivery Trucks ($387M).
The top five export destinations are the United States ($556M), Uganda ($534M), the Netherlands ($431M), the United Kingdom ($391M) and Zambia ($390M). The top five import nations are China ($5.92B), India ($3.18B), Japan ($892M), Tanzania ($793M) and South Africa ($604M).International Organizations:Some examples of international organizations that Kenya is a member state of is the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC), the United Nations (UN), the East African Development Bank (EADB), and the World Health Organization (WHO).