Kenya Population, Economy and Politics

Population. – The population of the colony at the 1931 census was 3,106,000 residents, Which corresponds to a density of only 5 residents per sq. Km. It includes 16,900 Europeans, mostly English, 39,600 Indians and 12,200 Arabs.

The indigenous population of the colony appears to be composed of very different elements in origin or affinities and in culture. In the arid territories of the north and east, towards Lake Rodolfo and Juba, some groups of Turcana (Elgumé), Nilotic Negroids, and various tribes of Hamitic shepherds, Galla and Somali nomadic: one of the Galla tribes (the Barraretta), having lost the herds, it has settled in the Tana valley. Towards the mouth of this it seems there is a group of Wabonis, called by some informants pygmoids, however very different from the Suaheli negroes who are established on the coast. The plateau between the eastern valleys and Lake Victoria is occupied by dense settlements of Ethiopian populations (see Ethiopians), who speak a special type of Nilotic having an affinity with the Masai, but also notable Hamitic intrusions. Active and skilled farmers, they also raise some livestock and carry out various industries, especially the extraction and processing of iron, that of leather, and ceramics; nor do they disdain hunting the abundant game of the region. They are mainly the Nandi, the Lumbua, the Sotik, the Kamasia (El-tuken), the Elgoni, on the slopes of Mount Elgon, the Suks, in the SW. of the Rodolfo Lake. The territory of the colony also includes some Masai groups and part of their caste of hunters, the Andorobo (Ndorobo).

Centers. – The capital of the colony is Nairobi, located inland at 1675 meters above sea level, with 47,600 residents (including 5200 Europeans and 8000 Asians). Main port is Mombasa, with 56,000 residents (of which 1200 Europeans, 7600 Indians and 7600 Arabs). Other notable centers are Malindi (2900 residents) And Lamu (6500 residents), Also on the coast.

Economic conditions. – The economic resources of the colony consist mainly of agricultural and forest products. The forests, which have a considerable extension in the highlands, are made up especially of conifers which provide valuable construction timber and wood for pencils. Along the coast, where the particular coastal vegetation of the mangroves develops, we find ebony and coppale walnut.

The natives cultivate, mainly for local consumption, especially durum, then rice, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, legumes, peanuts. The Europeans, whose migratory flow began to be considerable in 1902-1903 and which resulted in 16,900 in 1931, cultivate especially coffee, agave, sisalana, maize and wheat. In 1929 they had cultivated 230,000 hectares. The main resource of the colony is coffee, known commercially under the name of Nairobi coffee and mainly cultivated between 1600 and 2000 m. The Kikuyu region is the one that produces the largest quantities. This crop has made great progress in the colony: in fact, while in 1914 it spread over 2400 hectares, in 1931 it occupied about 39,000 hectares. The production, therefore, has been growing strongly from year to year, rising from 4400 q. from 1914 to 141,000 q. of 1931. In 1928 there was a maximum of 211,000 quintals.

In 1907, the cultivation of sisalana agave was introduced, which has become widespread and now covers 44,000 hectares. In 1929 the production was 15,700 tons. of fibers (600 tons in 1918). Corn is grown on about 100,000 hectares, and wheat on 26,000. For now, sugar cane and tea crops are of limited importance. The cultivation of coconut is noteworthy in the coastal area. From the forests, still minimally exploited, wood and rubber are obtained (this is also obtained from plantations).

Livestock farming is especially developed in the Great Rift Valley and on the central highlands, west of M. Kenya. The livestock patrimony of the colony was estimated in 1929 of 3.5 million cattle, 2.9 million sheep and 3.7 million goats. Skins and wool are exported.

Mineral resources as a whole are not important; it should also be remembered that large quantities of soda carbonate are extracted from Lake Magadi, near the border with the Tanganyika territory (for a value of over 220,000 pounds in 1930). It is estimated that there is about 200 million tons.

Trade. – According to Top-Medical-Schools, the external trade of the colony in the last decades, hand in hand with the development of agriculture and livestock and with the progress of communications, have made giant steps. Their value was £ 150,000 in 1896, rising to £ 1.3m in 1907, and nearly £ 16m in 1929 (including Uganda’s trade, which is done most of all via Mombasa). The value of imports (cotton fabrics, iron and steel objects, cars, wheat and flour, tobacco, fuels, cars, etc.) usually exceeds that of exports (coffee, sisal, maize, soda ash, skins, etc.). 70-75% of exports go to countries of the British Empire (Great Britain mainly: 43% in 1930), from which about 60% of imports come. Trade with the United States is also noteworthy,

Communications. – For railway communications, the colony of Kenya is the East African country that is in the best conditions. The main line, the Kenya and Uganda State Railway, was begun in 1896 and completed in 1901: it starts from Mombasa and, entering Uganda, reaches the shores of Lake Victoria in Jinja (1325 km.); in Nakuro there is a branch off which also goes to Vittoria, to Kisumu (210 km.); another branch connects the Kenya railway with the Tanga-Arusha in the Tanganyika Territory; with other minor sections the overall development of the railways reaches 2500 km. about (1930). All lines are dependent on Kenya and Uganda Railways and Lake Services, which also maintain regular shipping lines on Lake Victoria. Automotive transport is rapidly developing; it is estimated that in the dry season more than 14,000 km can be traveled with vehicles. of roads. The main port of the colony, as mentioned, is that of Mombasa, which in recent years has been very well and modernly equipped. In 1930, 663 ships (of 3.8 million tons overall) called in, 56% of which were British and 10% Italian. Ports of completely secondary importance are those of Lamu, Malindi, Vanga, Kilifi and Gasi.

Political and administrative order. – According to the administrative political order of the colony, established with the constitution of January 5, 1924, the colony is governed by a governor appointed by the king, assisted by an Executive Council of 11 members appointed by him and by a Legislative Council composed of members, part of governorial nomination, elective part (of which 11 Europeans, 5 Indians, I, Arab and 1 indigenous). A strong movement has long been manifested for a wider participation of the Arab and indigenous element in the administration. The purpose of a more intimate union, also political, between the colony of Kenya (formerly united to Uganda by customs) and the neighboring territories, all placed under British jurisdiction, of the protectorates of Zanzibar and Uganda, of the Sudanese condominium and of the mandate on the territory of Tanganyika.

Administratively, the colony is divided into 10 provinces.

From the colony proper the coastal strip is distinguished with the name of protectorate of Kenya for the width of 16 km. that from the mouth of the Umba goes up to the height of the island of Lamu (1 ° 30 ′ lat. S.); this coastal strip had been leased by the sultan of Zanzibar until 1885.

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