December 11, 2017

Country Profile: Kenya

Marbella Plus are spending 3 weeks (hard earned by the way) in sunny Kenya and so here is a little bit about the country we will spend Christmas and the New Year.

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. In the present day, Kenya’s ethnic diversity has produced a vibrant culture but is also a source of conflict. Here are a few political facts from Auntie Beeb.

After independence from Britain in 1963, politics was dominated by the charismatic Jomo Kenyatta. He was succeeded in 1978 by Daniel arap Moi, who remained in power for 24 years. The ruling Kenya African National Union, Kanu, was the only legal political party for much of the 1980s.

Violent unrest – and international pressure – led to the restoration of multi-party politics in the early 1990s. But it was to be another decade before opposition candidate Mwai Kibaki ended nearly 40 years of Kanu rule with his landslide victory in 2002’s general election.

Despite President Kibaki’s pledge to tackle corruption, some donors estimated that up to $1bn had been lost to graft between 2002 and 2005.

Other pressing challenges include high unemployment, crime and poverty. Droughts frequently put millions of people at risk.

With its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife, Kenya is one of Africa’s major safari destinations.

Kenya was shaken by inter-ethnic violence which followed disputed elections in 2007. Several prominent Kenyans stand accused of crimes against humanity for allegedly inciting the violence, and the authorities are increasingly sensitive to any attempts to stir up communal tension.

The next elections, in 2013, passed off without violence and resulted in victory for Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of independence leader Jomo Kenyatta.

Kenya’s military entered Somalia in October 2011 to curb the threat of the Islamist militant al-Shabab movement, which it accused of the kidnap and killing of tourists and aid workers. Kenyan troops are now largely integrated into the overall African Union forces in Somalia. There have been some reprisal attacks in Kenya itself as we have sadly seen in recent news.

Well I suppose many of you think that all sounds very depressing, but to be fair its nothing different from most countries in the world, including my beloved Spain, don’t forget the Spanish wrote the book on corruption and brown envelope swapping.

The Kenya I have seen so far is a country full of smiling faces and what seem to be the happiest peeps on the planet.

Tomorrow I shall lighten the mood with some words on the finer things in Kenya like it’s amazing wildlife and of course my favorite thing…TEA

Source Johnny Gates and BBC Africa

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