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Kenya is a country located in Eastern Africa, bordered by Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the northeast, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, Sudan to the northwest, and the Indian Ocean along the southeast border. The country is named after the significant landmark mountain, Mount Kenya. Mount Kenya is the highest point of this country and reaches 17,057 feet. In the southeast, low plains rise to central highlands, these central highlands are bisected by the Great Rift Valley, which a is fertile plateau in the west. The climate ranges from tropical along the coast to more arid in the interior of the country. There is a great deal of sunshine year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year.

The framework of Kenya politics is a presidential representative democratic republic where the President is head of state, head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government, Legislative power is vested in government and the National Assembly, and the Judiciary is independent of both. Under the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, efforts have been focused on generating economic growth, combating corruption, improving education, and rewriting its constitution. These goals have been accomplished with primary education being free and soon secondary education will be free. Kenya is divided into 8 provinces and each is headed by a Provincial commissioner that is appointed by the president. In Kenya, local governance is practiced through local authorizes, which are known as county councils.

Kenya is a very diverse country, some of the most popular cultures including the Swahili on the coast, pastoralist communities in the north and the well known Maasai culture. The Maasai are a minor tribe but have experienced heavy exposure due to tourism. The official language is Swahili, however several other languages are spoke throughout the country. The different communities of Kenya have their own significant food dishes, there is not one particular dish that describes Kenya. Popular items include: Nyama choma, which is roasted meat, sweet potatoes, taro root, yams and legumes which are like beans. The clothing also varies from community to community but popular African dress is Kitenge; a cotton fabric made into various colors and decorated with tie dye and heavy embroidery. Regarding music, the most popular instrument is the guitar. There is a wide range of music in Kenya from, imported popular music, afro-fusion and benga and even traditional folk songs.

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Quick Facts

Population: 43,013,341
Capital: Nairobi
Per-capita GDP: $ 1800
Size: 580,367 km2
Time Zone: (GMT + 03:00 hours) Baghdad

US State Department

Travel Warning: YES
See :
Country Specific Info.

Country information is adapted from public domain resources including the CIA World Fact Book and www.Wikipedia.org.
Please report errors or concerns to questions@abroadoffice.net.

Xavier University of Louisiana Center for Intercultural and International Programs