About Kenya

NEW READING LIST!  An outstanding reading list on Kenyan issues and mission in general has been developed by Kenya Mission Network Council member Dr. Bobby McCutcheon.  Click here to access the list.


Africa - click on map for larger version.

Kenya Facts

  • Population: 48.5 million people
  • Full name: The Republic of Kenya    Capitol: Nairobi
  • Area: 582,646 square kilometers - about the size of Texas
  • Major languages:  Swahili, English, Tribal Languages
  • Major Religions: Christianity 80%, Islam 10%
  • Life expectancy: 63 years (men), 69 years (women)
  • Nominal annual GDP per capita: $1,790 US
  • Currency: Kenya Shilling - in early 2018, $1 US = 101 Kenya shillings

Kenya - click on map for larger version.

Kenya History

  • Pre-history - The cradle of humanity is likely the Rift Valley
  • Early centuries AD - Civilisation base of farming, fishing, trade on the Coast
  • 1500-1600s - Portuguese attempts at foothold driven off by Swahili states
  • 1895-1963 - British colonial rule - punitive economic, racial, political policies
  • Early 1900s - Scottish missionaries, rise of Christianity, formation of PCEA
  • 1950s - Mau Mau rebellion, thousands killed, campaign for independence
  • 1964 - Jomo Kenyatta elected first President of independent Kenya
  • 1978-present - Presidencies of Daniel Arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta
  • 2000s - Contentious elections, new Constitution, high economic growth

Kenya satellite view - click on map for larger version.

Kenya Geography and Climate

  • Nation is named for Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain
  • A very wide diversity of landscapes and climates
  • Coastal area on Indian Ocean is tropical, North and East are arid
  • Highlands and central plateau, including Nairobi (5,900') are much higher, cooler
  • Two rainy seasons - long rains March-May, short rains October-December
  • 10% of land is arable, 37% pasture, 6% forested
  • Much of the country is subject to cyclical drought and flooding
  • Masai Mara - north portion of the Serengeti - hosts world class wildlife population