William RutoThe Republic of Kenya (or "Kenya" for short) 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 Federal 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 580,367 squared kilometers (about 11,227sqkm 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).

The Republic of Kenya has an estimated population of 57.5 million people 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 Mombassa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Ruiru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kikuyu and Ngong. The metropolitan area of Nairobi (Kenya's capital) is home to about 5.5 million people with about 3.6% annual rate of change. Mombassa, Kenya's oldest and second-largest city, has metro area population of about 1.4 million people with about 3.5% annual rate of change.

A greater part of Kenya's population lives in rural and sub-urban areas mostly as subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families.

The Republic of Kenya is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Africa today with a blend of several ethnic and racial groups. There are at least 40 different ethnic groups living in Kenya today. Kikuyus, the most populous ethnic group in Kenya today, make up about 22% of the total population. Others include Luhya (about 14% of the total population), Luo (about 13% of the total population), Kalenjin (about 12% of the total population), Kamba (about 11% of the total population), Kisii (about 6% of the population) and Meru (about 6% of the total population).  Other minor ethnic and racial groups make up the remaining fraction of the population.

Although English and Kiswahili are the two official languages spoken in Kenya today, the Republic of Kenya is a linguistically diverse country with several other local and foreign languages.

In terms of religion, Christianity reigns supreme in Kenya today with about 82.5% of the population identifying as Christians (this includes Protestants 47.4%, Catholics 23.3%, other 11.8%). Muslims together make up about 11.1% of the total population. Traditional African believers (voodoo worshippers) and other minor religious groups together make up the remaining fraction of the population.

In terms of education, Kenya has one of the highest 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% of Kenya's population (those above age 15) can at least read and write. Also, about 84% of Kenya's female population above age 15 can at least read and write.

Kenya, just like Tanzania and other neighboring countries, is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, wildlife, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, hydropower, etc.

However, despite the abundance of natural and human resources, Kenya, like most other developing countries in Africa today, is crippled by so many political, social, and developmental challenges.

Although the literacy rate in Kenya is far better than in most other African countries, quality education is something hard to come by in Kenya today. In other words, most students work very hard in school just to graduate. Most graduate from school with degrees and certificates but unable to apply the knowlege they've acquired to better their lives. Most graduates end up on the streets with nothing better to do.

According to World Bank statistics, about 36.1% of Kenya's total population lives below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. In other words, about 36.1% of Kenya's population lives on less than 1 dollar and 90 cents a day. In fact, the International Poverty Line has increased to $2.15 which means the percentage Kenya's population living below the international poverty line is 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 however, in times of crop failure, most of these families are left with nothing but absolute poverty. 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 droughts and unpredictable flooding during the rainy seasons, sometimes put many rural families in nothing but poverty and despair.

Deforestation (rampant cutting down of trees mostly for timber, firewood, charcoal, etc), poaching (severely affecting wildlife population), land degradation (mostly due to overpopulation, poor farming practices, industrial pollution, etc), water pollution (mostly from industrial runoffs), etc. are some of the major environmental challenges facing Kenya today.

Although youth education, especially girl-child education, is helping a lot in breaking the cycle of new HIV/AIDS infections, the Republic of 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. However, just about 65% of those with the virus have access to 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 down down to the Shoe Shine Boy on the streets, almost everybody engages themselves in bribery and corruption.

Foreign interference, especially in Kenya's electoral and other democratic processes by outside forces and individuals (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 electoral processes, government and democracy in general.

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Philista Onyango
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.
Philista Onyango
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.

K. Ananse
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.
Kelvin Quinn
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.
Roger Leopold
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.
Benard Rotich
Kenya is facing a major crisis of corruption which is crippling the economy of this great nation. Policies on integrity need to be streamlined to curb this destructive problem of corruption. Population growth rate is on the run yet resources are declining. Unemployment rate is what endangers Kenyan economy with many graduates with no jobs leading to various social crimes. Kenyan government need to wake up and face the reality of where this great nation is heading
Ralph polycarp
I think the solution is simple.... we as Kenyan citizens should take Kenya as ours and make decision as one people, we should first do away with politicians who have taken politics as their profession running Kenya as their own. They have stuck in public office just to embezzle public funds then borrow just to leave Kenyans with debts to pay. Public offices should be reduced and the salaries reduced to a reasonable amount. This leaders should be vetted by the public before voting and corruption would no longer be a major problem. If found guilty of corruption, they should be taken to court, charged and locked in prison for years.
Edwin Kariuki
Graft suspects should be nipped to the bud. However my wary is how can the vice be terminated if top government officials are the one's spearheading it. On unemployment, The government should create more job opportunities. On religion, rogue pastors should be tamed down. On education, transition pace should match with that of school infrastructure.
Korir Cyprian
The only solution to corruption is to behead every corrupt person in public for the rest to learn a lesson, recover every stolen government shilling from them politicians. Once all iconic corrupt individuals are dead, corruption will be on its way to a fall. See China
Brankin koech
Corruption is a monster that is in every economic sector .I think the only solution to end corruption is that everyone to be responsible for his /her action and be alert to do what constitution of Kenya requires
Miss Mwendia
it is so sad that despite Kenya having so many natural resources and also even though the largest population of Kenya are literate we still are a third world country.The country need to stand together and work toward the transformation of the country by contributing towards both the input and output of the country.The people of Kenya ignore what is happening around in the country since most of them feel it doesn't have direct imp-act on them but at the end of the day these negative impacts catch up with us in one way or the other.The citizens of Kenya should hold the government of Kenya accountable. People should come out and call upon the government to deliver to its people.Corruption is one of the vices that is bringing the country down since all the development funds are embezzled.People only care for themselves and their family.I think its high time we realized that we as Kenyans are one and it is our common goal to develop our country.We should come together and work towards that without being corrupt on basis of gender or ethnic because and start looking at quality since we are all having the same goal.
Greg Brooks
If you can build infrastructure, highways, a shipping port, this is what Germany did, Hong Kong too, I like to reference the free port of Hamburg.
Gideon bett
I think the solution this monster which is corruption is that,we as Kenyan citizens should do is that everyone to be responsible for his/her action and to be ready to do what our country needs.
Charles Munene Elijah
The challenges Kenya is experiencing are mainly created by Kenyans themselves and the solutions to these challenges can emanate from Kenyans. Major issue that needs to be tackled with serious policy induced approaches is malaise of corruption in high echolens and its tentacles network through legislation , civic education, and legal framework and fast dispension of justice to the coffer looters with maximum deteriant sentence. Kenya will arise again to high strides and command respect in league of nations. Use all available means to fight corruption which is heavily entrenched in our ways lives.
I believe that, presently, corruption is impossible to stop...it has taken root in every part of the country, in major cities and remote areas, offices, churches, homes, businesses...simply everywhere...the only way to salvage this affliction is to teach and impart our future generations with the understanding that we should be living in a corruption-free society
Giddie Korir
Solution is simply put as below:
1. "Lynch" corrupt leaders
2. Control ever growing population
3. Increase manufacturing or industrializati on.
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.

Kigen Jedida
I believe in transparency and accountability it's a major weapon against corruption.
Ben W
This is a replicated by the fact that we vote based on tribal lines instead of merit-based voting. it's high time that we need to get out of our tribal cocoons. My prayer is that these tribal henchmen should be the last in our generation. Our children and their children deserve the best in posterity, and it can only be done if we lay a good foundation NOW by having the right people in higher offices. Far from me that i will ever vote with my eyes closed.
Njeri Francis
Kenya as a country is improving as much as we are facing inflation and economic instability, I highly feel we are headed in the right direction as long as every citizen does their part, and works towards the greater good of themselves, which will in later turn out to be the greater good of the country. With the new leadership, all hope is not lost. And as a youth in the country, we should focus on making ourselves better to rise and shine above all this. We have the opportunity and power to change the challenges that face us as a country and as individuals. I believe in Kenya as a nation and its citizens, and with the right practices and morals, we shall rise above us and make this nation a great one.