Notes on Nairobi (1): the country

Two months ago, our son Richard, his wife Emily and their daughter Catrin relocated to Nairobi in Kenya as a result of his work. He is now the Head of Strategic Advocacy for an organisation called Well Told Story.

So this week, Vee and I are going to visit them for the first time.  It may not be the best time weather-wise to go over there – the rains are starting – but we are travelling there to coincide with Catrin’s half-term.

In my bucket list, I have the dynamic objective of – as long as I am able – having visited as many countries as my age in years. I am 67 and Kenya will be my 68th country.

I’ll try blog each day about our experiences.

Meanwhile a few facts and figures on Kenya:

  • Situated on the equator on Africa’s east coast, Kenya has been described as “the cradle of humanity”. In the Great Rift Valley, palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest evidence of man’s ancestors.
  • The country obtained its independence from Britain in 1963.
  • Today the population of Kenya is about 45 M (two thirds that of the UK). It is a very young population with half under the age of 18 and almost two thirds under the age of 25.
  • Although Kenya is the biggest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa, and has an affluent urban minority, it has a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.519, ranked 145 out of 186 in the world. The important agricultural sector is one of the least developed and largely inefficient, employing 75% of the workforce. 
  • Following the election in 2007, there were serious ethnic riots in which an estimated 1,300 died and some 600,000 were forced to flee their homes. Subsequently, in 2011, the International Criminal Court indicted six prominent figures for crimes against humanity committed during the post-election rioting.
  • The current president of the country – elected in March 2013 – is Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the first president of independent Kenya Jomo Kenyatta.


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