Middle East & Africa: Kenya


The geography of Kenya, located in East Africa, varies from tropical low coastal plains along the Indian Ocean, to central high plains marked by the Great Rift Valley, to mountains that include the second highest peak in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kenya has diverse ethnic groups, including Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, and others. More than 75% of the population is Christian. About 85% of the population is literate, with English and Kiswahili as official languages.

The country continues to be ravaged by HIV/AIDS. It has had the fourth largest number of AIDS related deaths in any one year (behind South Africa, India, and Nigeria). It is estimated that 700 Kenyans die from AIDS-related diseases every day. More than one million AIDS orphans live in Kenya. This has a major impact on the productivity of the country. The per capita GDP is estimated at $1,600. It is considered that half the population lives below the poverty line, with more than 40% of the population under the age of 14 years. The median age in Kenya is just over 18 years.