Kenya celebrates its National Day

0
100
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan felicitating the Republic of Kenya on its Independence Day

Nairobi, 13 December 2021 (TDI): The Republic of Kenya celebrated its independence day on 12 December 2021. Kenya is a country in East Africa. It is bordered to the north by South Sudan and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia, to the west by Uganda, to the south by Tanzania, and to the southeast by the Indian Ocean. Its neighboring countries are Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It is also the largest and most populous city in Kenya. Mombasa is the second-largest city and the biggest port in the country. With an area of 591,971 square kilometers, Kenya is bisected horizontally by the equator and vertically by longitude 38° E.

POPULATION

The Population of Kenya is estimated to be 51 million (2018).

HISTORY

The first people to settle in Kenya were indigenous African people who migrated from various parts of the continent. Trade and exploration brought traders, explorers like Vasco Da Gama from various parts of the world such as Portugal, Arabia, the Roman empire, India, and Greece to Kenya.

Kenya

Trade, farming, fishing, and the craft industries gave rise to Coastal city-states such as Siu, Pate, Lamu, Malindi, Gede, Mombasa, and Vanga. The items of trade were clothes, beads, wines, iron weapons, porcelain, handicrafts, ivory, timber, gold, copper, rhinoceros horns, animal skins, and slaves.

The industrial revolution resulted in the need for new markets for industrial goods as well as the need for raw materials for industries. This resulted in the scramble for territories in Africa. The scramble for Africa caused frictions and conflicts among the European powers. To promote peace, Chancellor Bismark of Germany assembled the European powers in the Berlin conference.

At the Berlin conference, African territories were shared amongst the European powers. After the 1884/85 Berlin conference, Great Britain acquired the territory known today as Kenya. A British trading company, Imperial British East Africa Company, was set up and posted to administer Kenya under the name British East Africa Protectorate.

The British administration of Kenya was characterized by punitive economic, social, and political policies that were unfriendly to the indigenous Kenyan people.

As a result, the people were hostile and made the territory ungovernable for the Imperial British East Africa Company. The British declared the country a colony and Protectorate on 1st July 1895.

The first Governor, Sir Arthur Hardinge, was posted to the colony to establish a formal British administration. The lives of the indigenous Kenyan people were not any different in the administration.

As a matter of fact, colonial rule in Kenya was characterized by punitive economic, social, and political policies that were hinged on racial discrimination. Huge fertile lands were set aside for white settlement.

Harsh labor laws were enacted to force the Africans to work under deplorable conditions at low wages on settler farms and public works.

As a result of this ill-treatment, protest movements began in earnest from the early 1920s. Several political associations, including the Young Kikuyu Association, East African Association, Young Kavirondo Association, North Kavirondo Central Association, and Taita Hills Association, were formed to agitate against forced labor, low wages, heavy taxation, continuing land alienation, and racial discrimination. The pressure and agitation intensified after the Second World War.

In 1944, the first countrywide nationalist party, Kenya African Union (KAU), was formed. From 1952 – 1960, there was an uprising known as the Mau Mau rebellion.

The major grievances and agitations of the Kikuyu people who were mostly involved in the rebellion were the loss of land to white settlers, the expulsion of Kikuyu tenants from settlers’ farms, racial discrimination, and lack of political participation.

The unrest in Kenya forced the colonial government to come up with constitutional proposals to address the situation. Under the Lyttleton constitution of 1954, Africans were allowed to directly elect their representatives to the Legislative Council.

The elections were held in 1957, and eight African leaders – Ronald Ngala, Tom Mboya, Daniel Arap Moi, Mate, Muimi, Oginga Odinga, Oguda, and Muliro, were elected. The agitation for widened representation and independence intensified.

The Kenya African National Union (KANU) was formed in March 1960 at Kiambu town, and it was registered as a mass political society on 11th June 1960. The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) was formed on 25th June 1960.

These unions were formed to crush colonialism entirely in Kenya. Kenya became an independent country on 12th December 1963, with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta as its first president. After its independence from Britain, the independent republic of Kenya joined Commonwealth in 1963.

Government

The head of state and government of the independent republic of Kenya is President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya is a unitary state with a multi-party system with the hallmark of parliamentary democracy.

Language

According to the ministry of the East African community and regional development, there are 42 tribes with different languages and cultures in Kenya.

The three main language groups in which the tribes in Kenya are divided into the central Bantu, the Nilotic speaking tribes, and Cushitic speaking tribes. The official languages in Kenya are Swahili and the English language.

Religion

In Kenya, Christianity is the religion of most Kenyans. According to the U.S Department of State, 85.5% are Christians, 11% are Muslims, while less than 2% of the Kenyan population practice Hindus, Sikhs, traditional religion.

According to this source, 33% of the Christians constitute non-evangelical Protestants; the Roman Catholics constitute 21%, while African instituted churches and orthodox churches constitute 32%.

Labor Force

Kenya’s labor force was reported by World Bank to be at 23738918 in 2020.

Economy

According to World Bank, the GDP of Kenya stood at 98.84 billion USD as of 2020. Agriculture contributes greatly to the growth of Kenya’s economy. Kenya was named the largest economy in East Africa by the national treasury and planning.

Aside from Agriculture, the industrial sector and Tourism also contribute positively to the growth of Kenya’s economy.

Agriculture in Kenya

Kenya is richly blessed with fertile soil, which promotes the practice of Agriculture. The Agricultural sector employs more than 40 percent of the total population and more than 70 percent of Kenya’s rural people.

Agriculture in Kenya

Also, the Agricultural sector accounts for 65 percent of the export earnings and provides livelihood (employment, income, and food security needs) for more than 80 percent of the Kenyan population.

Export and import

According to trading economics, agricultural products are central to Kenya’s export industry, with horticultural and tea being the most important. Other export items are textiles, coffee, tobacco, fish, cut flowers, iron and steel products, petroleum products, cement.

Kenya is the world’s leading exporter of black tea and cut flowers. Asides from countries in Africa, Kenya also exports its agricultural products to the United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States, and Pakistan. The Commonwealth of Nations pointed out that Kenya’s main imports are machinery, transport equipment, petroleum, iron, steel, resins, and plastics.

Industry

Kenya has a large manufacturing sector that serves both the local market and international markets, that is, exports to the East African region. The sector contributed approximately 13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2004.

The contributions of the manufacturing sector to Kenya’s economy have improved over the years as a result of improved power supply, increased supply of agricultural products for agro-processing, favorable tax reforms, and tax incentives, more vigorous export promotion, and liberal trade incentives.

Education

Kenya’s educational system was rated in 2017 by the World Economic Forum as the strongest on the African continent. In 2018, Kenya was ranked the top African country for education by World Bank. Education in Kenya is structured on an 8-4-4 model.

This implies eight years of basic education, four years of secondary education, and a four-year undergraduate curriculum. In Kenya, formal schooling begins at age 6, with compulsory and free basic education to the age of 14.

Rivers and Lakes

The major lakes of Kenya are Lake Nakuru , the Tana and Galana rivers, Lake Victoria. The Nzoia river, Yala river, Mara river, Nyando river, Lake Rudolf, Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu river, and Buffalo Springs are some of the major rivers in Kenya.

Kenyan National Parks and Reserves

The Nairobi National Park, the popular Giraffe Centre, the National Museum, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru, Hells gate national park, Tsavo East, West National park, National Park Mombasa, Mount Kenya National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park. Some of the animals found in these parks are Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos.

Beaches

Popular beaches are Watamu Beach and Malindi Beach.

World Heritage sites

UNESCO divided the world heritage sites in Kenya into cultural and natural sites. The cultural sites are; Fort Jesus, Mombasa Lamu old town, Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, and Thimlich ohinga archeological sites. The natural world heritage sites are; Kenya lake system in the great rift valley, lake Turkana national parks, mount Kenya national park/natural forest.

All in all, on the occasion of Kenyan independence day, it will not be incorrect to say that Kenya is one of the country with a lot of chances to flourish in today’s global economy. With great leadership Kenya can become one of the biggest economy in Africa and in the world.

Leave a Reply