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Facts about Kenya

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Author: John Kani

Kenya

Kenya has a wide variety of climatic conditions although there are no great extremes. The temperature remains comfortably warm year-round except for a month or two when it can get very cold - though nothing compared to Winter! Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the principal medical research institute in Kenya, has been a collaborating institution with the UW AITRP since 1989 when the first of 7 KEMRI researchers participated in long-term training at the UW. KEMRI operates the referral laboratory for East Africa and has a 40-bed research ward. Kenya's economy is reasonably diversified, though most employment depends on agriculture, which contributes 2 percent of GDP. Kenya is the world's third largest exporter of tea, which, together with coffee and horticultural products, contributed about 53% of total merchandise exports in 2002.

Kenya is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (VCCR), and is required by the VCCR to ask any detained American citizen if he/she would like the U.S. Embassy to be notified and to notify the U.S. Kenya is famous for many handicrafts, which are often the signature of a particular tribe or region. Look for Kisii stone (soap stone) carvings, Maasai jewelry, Mkonde wood carvings, Lamu chairs and batiks. Kenya's geography is marvelously varied. While much of northeastern Kenya is a flat, bush-covered plain, the remainder of the country encompasses pristine beaches, scenic highlands and lake regions, the Great Rift Valley, and the magnificent Mount Kenya.

Kenya borders Somalia to the east, Ethiopia to the north, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. In the north, the land is arid; the southwest corner is in the fertile Lake Victoria Basin; and a length of the eastern depression of the Great Rift Valley separates western highlands from those that rise from the lowland coastal strip. Kenya Railways is operating under a long-term management concession, and the government sold 25% of Safaricom (10 billion shares) in 2008, reducing its share to 35%. Accelerating growth to achieve Kenya's potential and reduce the poverty that afflicts about 46% of its population will require continued de-regulation of business, improved delivery of government services, addressing structural reforms, massive investment in new infrastructure (especially roads), reduction of chronic insecurity caused by crime, and improved economic governance generally. Kenya is planning to quickly expanding its geothermal capacity, and neighbouring Rift Valley countries up to Djibouti are examining their own potential. As technology improves and costs fall, solar will also enter the mix.

Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population. Kenya does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Kenyan dual nationals who are arrested or detained. Kenya requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is ongoing risk.

Kenya's biggest city, Nairobi , with the baddest of reputations, is sidestepped by many visitors, but, in fairness, has an interesting urban appeal with its cafes and nightlife. Kenya faces numerous development challenges, including poverty, HIV/AIDS, and governance. Currently life expectancy is 47.5 years, and 62.3 percent of the population live on less than two dollars a day. Kenya.com will not accept screenshots or other purported evidence of a lower price that cannot be independently confirmed by Kenya.com personnel. Nor will Kenya.com verify any request that it believes, in its sole discretion, is the result of a printing or other error or is made fraudulently or in bad faith.

Kenya has an area of 224,961 square miles, slightly smaller then Texas with a population of 31,138,735 and growing. The capital is Nairobi holding a population of 2,200,000, seventy percent of which are African. Kenya (5,200 m), Mt Elgon (4,322m) and the Aberdare Ranger (rising to over 3,963 m). The plateau is bisected from north to south by the Rift Valley, part of the great geological fracture that can be traced from Syria through the Red Sea and East Africa to Mozambique.


   
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