Natural resources and energy
Kenya has quite a few deposits of minerals.
After many years of searching for oil and natural gas,
however, oil deposits were found in 2012 and hopes are
there of getting a profitable export started. The
country's most important asset is fertile agricultural
land as well as nature and the rich wildlife that
Lake Magadi in the Rift Valley, near the border with
Tanzania, has high levels of sodium carbonate. Here is
Africa's largest producer of crystal soda, which is the
most important export mineral. Flux spat is also
extracted, as is iron ore, salt, limestone, vermiculite,
gold and precious stones, mainly rubies and sapphires.
In the late 1990s, a large deposit of titanium and
zircon was discovered south of Mombasa. However, plans
for exploitation were put on ice following protests from
Major exports by Kenya with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
The London-based oil company Tullow Oil found oil in
the Turkana region in northwest 2012 and has since made
several discoveries. Up to a billion barrels are
estimated to exist. Plans exist for extraction and
export, although falling world market prices from 2014
make plans uncertain. In 2015, Kenya and Uganda agreed
to jointly build a 150-km oil pipeline to Lamu on the
coast. It will be the world's longest heated pipe, due
to high wax content in the oil.
Household energy needs are largely covered by
firewood. Domestic electricity comes mainly from
hydropower. There are several power plants in the Tana
River and one in the Turkwelf River. Oil power plants,
geothermal heat and electricity imports from Uganda
account for the rest. Electricity shortages are a major
problem and power outages are common. Companies and
private individuals who can afford often rely on
gasoline-powered generators to secure access to
Rapid logging is one of Kenya's most serious
environmental problems. The forest area was halved by 30
years and was down a couple of percent of the country's
area in the early 2000s, although the trend has now
reversed thanks to reforestation efforts. Forest
harvesting and increased agriculture contribute to soil
erosion. Extensive flower growing around Lake Naivasha
threatens the water supply in the lake, which is the
second largest in Kenya.
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FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
527 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
171 kWh, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
14 287 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.3 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
72.7 percent (2015)
ODM wants to change the BBI report
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his former rival Raila Odinga announce that
their major joint project, Building Bridges Initiatives (BBI) (see
November 27, 2019), will again be discussed abroad in the country via
the so-called BBI Commission, which raises some surprise. The proposals in BBI
have been drawn up in a process that included the views of meetings in 47
counties and 7,000 interviews. Later, in front of Odinga's party, the Orange
Democratic Movement (ODM) that it wants to make some changes to the BBI report,
including that a new prime minister should be given greater powers than
Ten dead in attacks in northern Kenya
Ten people, including seven police officers, were killed in an attack in
northern Kenya when traveling between the cities of Wajir and Mandera. The
militant Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab takes on the deed.
Nairobi's governor arrested, accused of corruption
The Kenyan Chief Prosecutor orders Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and several
other people to be arrested on suspicion of being guilty of financial crime,
including for allegedly stealing public property and money laundering . Sonko
was a controversial person already when the ruling party appointed him his
candidate in the governor election in 2017, when he served prison terms and was
subsequently accused of drug trafficking. However, he is popular with many poor
Kenyans, not least because he has his own fire trucks and ambulances that are
used to assist people living in slums. Sonko is later released against the bail.
New reform proposal meets criticism
A new post as prime minister is to be created. It shall be taken from the
party which has a majority in Parliament (the National Assembly), be elected by
Parliament and be approved by the President. More money will go to regional
governments that are responsible for basic schooling and care. Anyone who comes
second in a presidential election must be appointed leader of the opposition in
parliament. It also promises to take action against corruption and create new
jobs for young unemployed people. These are some of the most important points of
the reform proposal presented by the government with the aim of trying to end
the violence that often erupts in the context of political elections.March
2018). However, the new reform proposal has already met with harsh
criticism for being a superficial way to shed light on the great contradictions
that exist, where more people can find ways to sneak in at the expense of
ordinary Kenyans, when there is a need to take action against the widespread
corruption that makes that there is less money for things like care and
education. Some analysts also warn that the proposal may help to lessen ethnic
tensions rather than counteract them.
Former ICC prosecutors are criticized for dealing with Kenyan cases
In an internal report, harsh criticism is directed at the ICCFormer Chief
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for handling the charges against several
high-ranking Kenyans, including current President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Vice
President William Ruto, who were suspected of involvement in the extensive
violence that erupted after the 2007 election. a large part of the
responsibility for the legal processes could not be carried out on internal
problems in the prosecutor's office, which was largely due to leadership
problems. Moreno-Ocampo must have pushed for the prosecution to be brought
despite deficiencies in evidence and he should not have accepted that anyone
opposed it, He himself says that the biggest problems were caused by the
defendants having such high positions.
At least 56 dead after severe rains
Severe torrents trigger landslides that require at least 56 lives in the West
Pokot region of Kenya's western parts. At least 30 people are still missing and
hundreds have lost their homes.
Somalia and Kenya agree to normalize relations
Kenya and Somalia have agreed to normalize contacts after a lengthy dispute
over sea rights in an area believed to be rich in oil and gas. At the beginning
of the year, the conflict led Kenya to call its ambassador for consultations and
invited Somalia's embassy to leave Kenya (see February 2019).
After Ethiopian mediation, diplomatic relations were resumed in March, but only
now is it possible again to obtain a travel visa to the neighboring country
directly at the border. The country's presidents, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and
Uhuru Kenyatta, promise at a meeting to try to find ways to strengthen
diplomatic and bilateral relations. The dispute over sea rights is already
handled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ)) in The Hague. In October,
following a request from Kenya, CJ agreed to postpone the process for one year.
Kenya's population has grown by nine million in ten years
The census conducted in August shows that Kenya's population has grown to
almost. 47.6 million. This means that the Kenyans have become nine million more
since the last census in 2009. About 23.6 million of the inhabitants are men and
24 million are women. For the first time, intersexuals (people who do not see
themselves as men or women) are also registered, amounting to 1,500 people.
According to the census, the capital Nairobi has 4.4 million inhabitants.
Kenya made on Fridays
Kenyan public servants are ordered to wear Kenyan-made clothing at work on
Fridays. The measure is designed to strengthen the domestic tech industry. It is
part of the program called the Big 4 Agenda, which aims to boost the domestic
Exchange of banknotes should fight corruption
Kenya received new banknotes in June and all old banknotes must have been
replaced at the coming month, as they can no longer be paid for. The country has
also urged neighboring countries not to receive any old 1000 shillings (1000
shillings is almost US $ 10). The banknote change is, among other things, a way
to reach those who have accumulated large sums illegally, through money
laundering and corruption, and those who have hidden their assets in order to
avoid paying taxes. According to official data, only 24 individuals have
exchanged banknotes worth more than two million shillings. At the same time,
reports that many large purchases have been made in recent days and that many
have paid in cash.
Controversial dam construction is stopped
President Uhuru Kenyatta cancels the construction of the Kimwar Dam in
western Kenya. This is done with reference to an investigation which shows that
it is not sustainable, neither technically nor financially (the construction
would have cost $ 214 million). According to the report, no plans have been made
for how the landowners in the area should be compensated and that the design had
technical deficiencies. The dam construction has been particularly controversial
as large sums that would have gone to the construction have disappeared into
corruption, which, among other things, led to Kenya's Finance Minister Henry
Rotich being arrested in August suspected of interference (see August
2019). At the same time, President Kenyatta gives the clear sign for
the construction of the Arrord dam in the same area. Since Rotich was dismissed,
Ukur Yatani has been appointed acting finance minister.
Pilot project against malaria begins
Kenya becomes the third African country to start vaccinating children against
malaria. The work will start in western Kenya, in the area closest to Lake
Victoria. In the first stage, 120,000 children will be vaccinated. According to
Kenyan health authorities, more than one in four children are infected with the
disease over five years. Previously, similar pilot projects have been initiated
in Malawi and Ghana.
The finance minister is arrested in corruption
Kenya's Finance Minister Henry Rotich and 27 others are being arrested for,
among other things, fraud and abuse of power in connection with major dam
construction in western Kenya. The contract to build the two ponds had been
awarded to an Italian company, CMC Di Ravenna, who had previously failed to
complete similar projects. The entire building would cost the equivalent of $
450 million, but that amount has gradually been raised to over $ 600 million.
According to the AFP news agency, about $ 180 million has already been paid out
without much building. Rotich has a close relationship with Vice President
William Ruto. The arrest is said to contribute to increased tensions between
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto.
Kenya exports crude oil for the first time
Kenya exports for the first time 200,000 barrels of crude oil extracted in
the country. President Uhuru Kenyatta describes this as an important event in
the country's history. The oil, which brings in $ 12 million, has been purchased
by a Chinese company ChemChina and shipped to Malaysia.
Three are sentenced to long sentences for involvement in terrorist attacks
Three people are sentenced to long prison terms for involvement in the
terrorist attack against Garissa University in northeast Kenya 2015. The longest
sentence is given to a Tanzanian citizen who is sentenced to life imprisonment,
while two Kenyans are sentenced to 41 years in prison each. In June, they were
jailed for membership in the Somali militant Islamist group al-Shabaab.
According to the court, there is evidence that the three men before the act had
been in contact with the four al-Shabaab who carried out the assault that
claimed 148 lives.
Three are convicted of assisting in terrorist attacks
Three people are convicted of assisting the assailants who killed 148 people
at Garissa University in northeastern Kenya in 2015. A fourth defendant is
acquitted. The act is believed to have been carried out by the Somali terror
Homosexuality is still a crime in Kenya
24th of May
Kenya's High Court decides not to decriminalize homosexuality. Groups working
for gay rights had hoped that the court would approve a law change after
addressing the issue of criminalization contrary to the country's constitution.
In its decision, the court cited concerns that decriminalization would threaten
Kenya's culture and family values.
Controversial film is rewarded in Burkina Faso
Samantha Mugatsia, starring in the Kenyan movie Rafiki, wins the award for
Best Female Actress at the Fespaco Film Festival in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.
Rafiki is controversial because it is about lesbian love and it was forbidden to
appear in Kenya in 2018 with reference to propaganda for lesbianism. After a
judge temporarily suspended the ban for a week in September and it was shown to
sold out houses in Nairobi. Homosexuality is prohibited in Kenya and can be
punishable by imprisonment for up to 14 years.
In May, the court decides whether law prohibiting homosexuality should be
The High Court postpones its decision on whether Kenya should abolish a
colonial law banning homosexuality. This is done with reference to the large
amount of documents in the case. Instead, decisions must be announced on May 24.
As it is now, same-sex relationships can be punished with up to 14 years in
prison. Between 2013 and 2017, 534 people were arrested for violating this law.
LGBTQ activists in Kenya have long campaigned for the abolition of the law,
which claims it is contrary to Kenya's progressive constitution, which
guarantees citizens equality, dignity and the right to privacy. At the same
time, a number of churches oppose a law change, among other things, by claiming
homosexuality in African.
Border disputes create tension between Somalia and Kenya
A border dispute between Somalia and Kenya over a sea area equivalent to
100,000 square kilometers which is believed to be rich in oil and gas creates
tensions between the countries. This has happened since Kenya accused Somalia of
having auctioned oil and gas rights in the disputed area in early February. The
Somali government claims the allegations are wrong, but Kenya calls its
ambassador from Mogadishu for "consultations" and calls on Somalia's ambassador
to leave the country. In 2014, Somalia turned to the International Court of
Justice (ICJ)) in The Hague in the Netherlands to settle the matter, after talks
about the border collapsed. The dispute is causing a number of Khat traders in
Somalia to stop buying the drug from Kenya. According to the BBC, Somalia
imports around 50 tonnes of khat a day. After Ethiopian mediation, diplomatic
relations resume in March of the same year.
Matiangi's promotion strikes against Vice President Ruto
30th of January
President Kenyatta decides to grant new powers to Interior Minister Fred
Matiangi, including as chair of the committee that oversees all development
projects and where almost all ministries are represented. It is considered to
run against Vice President William Ruto's ambitions for the next presidential
election and judges speculate on whether the ruling Jubilee Party (JP) will
crack. Ruta should have been promised to become JP's presidential candidate in
At least 21 dead in Nairobi attacks
At least 21 people are killed in a terror attack on a hotel complex in
Nairobi, which houses both a luxury hotel, shower D2, and office space. About 50
people get stuck in the building overnight, and even the next morning, gunfire
is heard in the area. But on Wednesday morning, according to President Uhuru
Kenyatta, Kenyan security forces have stormed the hotel and killed five
assailants. Initially, 14 victims are killed, eleven Kenyans, one American and
one British must have been killed. 19 people are still missing, according to
information from the Kenyan Red Cross, and nearly 30 people have been injured.
The militant Somali group al-Shabaab assumes responsibility for the act, which,
according to Reuters news agency, claims to have taken revenge for US President
Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.