uhuru wa kenyattaThe Republic of Kenya or "Kenya" for short (named after Mount Kenya), is an East African country bordering the Republic of Tanzania to the south, the Republic of South Sudan to the north-west, the Republic of Ethiopia to the north, the Republic of Uganda to the west and the People's "Republic" of Somalia to the north-east. The Republic of Kenya lies on the equator with the Indian Ocean to its south-east.

The Republic of Kenya has a total land area of about 580,367sq.km (about 11,227 sq km of which is covered by water) with about 536km of coastline. Just around 9.5% of Kenya's total land area remains arable ( land good for farming). Kenya has a total population of about 51 million people (as of 2018) with the population growth rate hovering around 2.6%.

About 25% of Kenya's population lives in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Nairobi (The capital. Nairobi contains about 3.5 million people) and Mombassa (another major city with a population of about 1 million people). The rate of urbanization hovers around 4.4%. In other words, a greater part of Kenya's population lives in rural and sub-urban areas.

The Republic of Kenya is one of the most culturally rich countries in all of Africa with a beautiful blend of several different cultures and ethnic groups. There are at least 40 different ethnic groups living in Kenya today with the Kikuyu (the most populous ethnic group) forming about 22% of the total population. Others include Luhya (The Luhyas make up about 14% of the total population), Luo (forming about 13% of the total population), Kalenjin (about 12% of the total population, Kamba (About 11% of the total population), Kisii 6%, Meru 6% with the other ethnic groups forming the remaining 16 percent of the total population etc. Although several indigenous languages are spoken in Kenya today, English and Kiswahili remain the two official languages spoken in Kenya today.

In terms of religion, Christianity reigns supreme in Kenya today with about 82.5% of the population being Christians (this includes Protestants 47.4%, Catholics 23.3%, other 11.8%). Muslims make up about 11.1% of the total population with traditional African believers forming just about 1.6% of the total population.

In terms of education, Kenya has perhaps one of the best literacy rates in Africa today. Kenya's current literacy rate hovers around 87% for the entire population with the female literacy rate hovering around 84%. In other words, about 87% Kenya's population above age 15 can at least read and write which is far better than in most African countries today.

Kenya just like Tanzania and other neighboring countries, is blessed with abundance of natural resources. Limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, abundance of wildlife, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, hydropower, etc. to name but a few.

However, despite the abundance of natural and human resources, Kenya like most other developing countries in Africa today is crippled by so many problems (both natural causes and man-made). Although literacy rate in Kenya is far better than in most other African countries, quality education is something hard to come by in Kenya today. So at the end of the day, most students graduate from school with degrees upon degrees but unable to apply what they've learned in school to help better their living conditions. Instead, most end up on the streets jobless with nothing but despair. About 50% of Kenya's population lives below poverty line according to a recent UNDP multidimensional poverty index (developed by Oxford University) with the unemployment rate hovering around 40%.

Like in most other African countries, about 75% of Kenya's population is into subsistence farming. Subsistence farmers mostly grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families. Sadly, in times of crop failure, most of these families go starving. The unpredictable climatic conditions in Kenya today sometimes worsen the situation. From the tropical regions along the coast to the arid interior regions of Kenya, natural havocs such as recurring drought and unpredictable flooding during the rainy seasons sometimes put many rural families in nothing but absolute poverty.

Although youth education (especially girl-child education), is helping a lot in breaking the cycle of new HIV/AIDS infections in Kenya, Kenya has one of the highest HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rates in Africa today. According to the World Health Organization, there were at least 1.6 million people living with HIV in Kenya in 2016 with just 65% (of those with HIV) on antiretroviral treatment. Kenya's HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate hovers around 5.4%.

Kenya remains one of the most corrupt countries in Africa today. Corruption in Kenya has gotten so bad to the point where people on the streets consider corruption "normal" part of everyday life. From the President to the Archbishop. From the Chief Justice to the Shoe Shine Boy. From grandparents to little children. Almost everybody collects bribes in Kenya today. Not just that, incompetent leadership and poor governance (by career politicians) continue to tear Kenya into pieces.

Foreign interference in Kenya's electoral and other democratic processes by outside forces, individuals and powers (take the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal for example),  remain a major threat to democracy, peace and stability in Kenya today. Many Kenyans don't trust and many have lost hope in their government.

Roger Leopold
#6 Roger Leopold 2018-10-07 13:46
I visited Kenya a few years ago and while staying in Nairobi, Maua, and Meru; was able to meet some of the most beautiful people I have ever known. However, there is incredible corruption in Kenya. Perhaps the solution to the problem will come from agriculture and the 75% of Kenyans who farm the land. Through the use of International micro business loans and cooperative farming, Kenyan people could finance seeds and fertilizer, maximize their crop production, and get a better price in the market. It is possible and could put money directly in the hands of the individuals who earned it and need it so desperately.
Kelvin Quinn
#5 Kelvin Quinn 2018-10-07 12:30
I am a worried young Kenyan just about to graduate soon and yet there is nothing promising out there to fetch, to a point you even wonder why do all you are doing if its going to make you suffer more in future. the leaders speak and we listen, they promise so much but forget to deliver. we struggle to give them all they want but they never reciprocate it back to us. they are definitely to blame for everything that's happening. quid pro quo Kenyans, something for something. if only we try and rise together, we surely will end this problems and prevent many more but with the greed of wanting to gain alone, we shall be worse than we are.
Kwaku Ananse
#4 Kwaku Ananse 2018-10-04 08:25
Loans are not "free money". Loans are not grants. Loans are money you pay back with interest. Lending is a money-making business and that is why banks and other financial institutions get involved. Kenya's public debt has more than doubled in the last 5 years. Kenya’s public debt load surpassed the 5 trillion shillings mark ($50 billion) somewhere in March this year and China is now by far, Kenya’s largest lender, accounting for about 75% of bilateral debt. What this means is that, China is now a major stakeholder as far as the "business" of Kenya is concerned. In other words, China now owns a part of Kenya and Kenya must either obey China or pay back the loans with interest. That is how loans cripple economies.
Philista Onyango
#3 Philista Onyango 2018-09-30 23:06
Our country should not be run and managed as personal or family properties, where incompetent relatives,ranging from wives, sons, daughters,nephews nieces and friends are given jobs. Our country should not be a place where political leaders look to en mass wealth, as reflected on the salaries they earn, the cars they drive, properties they own among many. Our leaders should not have the appetite of inheriting countries as they inherit wives in some cultures in Africa. Above all, they should differentiate leadership from ruling for us to develop and catch up with other parts of the world.

We need few people in parliament and leaders who go there should serve, maybe for 4 years and go home, not to make politics a profession where people go to eat and refuse to leave. The huge salaries these leaders earn should be reduced to match our subsistent economy to allow the taxes go for the development of our country than for individuals. More importantly, let our political leaders and the armed forces learn something from what has taken place in Zimbabwe. My only advice to those celebrating in Zimbawe is that, they should learn from Kenya's experience where in 2002, Kenyans removed a dictator of some 24 years through a popular vote, only to hand over to tribalists.
Philista Onyango
#2 Philista Onyango 2018-09-30 09:52
This is a challenge which political leadership should pay attention to. Apart from a huge population eking their livelihood in subsistence agriculture, there is also tribalism which Kenyans should accept and deal with. The corruption denies Kenyans to have credible elections, making political leaders use constitution the way it fits them and even intimidate the judiciary that simply may incapacitate the decisions that institution makes.. Kenya is one of those countries in sub- Saharan Africa with very poor records of development from the many reports of UN agencies. All these reports point to common sense things, which our political leaders must take very seriously and accept.
Giddie Korir
#1 Giddie Korir 2018-09-27 00:17
Solution is simply put as below:
1."Lynch" corrupt leaders
2.Control ever growing population
3. Increase manufacturing/industrialization
4 change education system to embrace more of technology and self employment
without this, trust me,a Kenyan youth stares at a horrible hard future