The 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.