Country Profile

General Data

Official Name               : Republic of Kenya

Capital City                  : Nairobi

Population                   : 46.05 million (2015)

Surface Area                : 582,646 km2, (11,230km2 – water; 25,334km2

National Parks; and 546,082km2 others)

GDP                             : $63.40 billion (2015)

GDP growth                  : 5.6% (2015)

Independence/National Day: 12th December, 1963

Official Languages          : Kiswahili and English

Official Currency             : Kenya Shilling

Main Religions: Protestant, Catholic, Muslims, Hindu, and Traditional Beliefs

Administrative Structure: National and 47 County Governments



Main Economic Sectors: Agriculture and forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and water supply, construction, wholesale and retail, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication, financial intermediation, real estate, renting and business services

Natural Resources: Limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife and hydropower etc.

Kenya is classified as lower middle income economy a status it achieved after rebasing its Gross Domestic Product in 2014. It is the ninth largest economy in Africa, and the fourth largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Kenya’s strategic position serves her as a regional hub thus making it easy for traveling into Kenya and therefore appropriate for hosting conferences.

Tourism in Kenya is the second-largest source of foreign exchange earner. The country is well endowed with 22 National Parks, 28 National Reserves and 5 National Sanctuaries. Other attractions include the renowned scenery of the Great Rift Valley; snow capped peaks of Mount Kenya; diverse bird species; and the beaches along the Indian Ocean.

Kenya is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which  was formed in December 1994 to replace the former Preferential Trade Area (PTA) from the early 1980s in Eastern and Southern Africa. COMESA was created to serve as an organization of free independent sovereign States that have agreed to cooperate in developing their natural and human resources for the good of all their people. In this context, the main focus of COMESA has been on the formation of a large economic and trading unit to overcome trade barriers faced by individual States. The objectives of COMESA reflect its priorities to promote sustainable economic development:

  • to attain sustainable growth and development of the member States by promoting a more balanced and harmonious development of its production and marketing structures;
  • to promote joint development in all fields of economic activity and the joint adoption of macro-economic policies and programmes to raise the standard of living of its peoples and to foster closer relations among its member States;
  • to co-operate in the creation of an enabling environment for foreign, cross border and domestic investment including the joint promotion of research and adaptation of science and technology for development;
  • to co-operate in the promotion of peace, security and stability among the member States in order to enhance economic development in the region;
  • to co-operate in strengthening the relations between the Common Market and the rest of the world and the adoption of common positions in international fora; and
  • to contribute towards the establishment, progress and the realisation of the objectives of the African Economic Community.

The organizational structure of COMESA consists of the following Organs:

  • The COMESA Heads of State and Government (COMESA Authority);
  • The Council of Ministers
  • The COMESA Court of Justice
  • The Committee for the Heads of Central Banks
  • The Intergovernmental Committee
  • The Technical Committees;
  • The Secretariat.

COMESA has established a number of institutions to support the private sector. These include:

  • The Trade and Development Bank for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA- Bank);
  • The COMESA Clearing House;
  • The COMESA Leather and Leather products Institute (LLPI);
  • The COMESA Re-Insurance Company (ZEP Re);
  • The COMESA Monetary Institute (CMI);
  • The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI);
  • The COMESA Competition Commission (CCC);
  • The COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA);
  • The COMESA Business Council (CBC)
  • The Alliance for Commodity Trade for Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA);
  • The Federation of National Associations of Women in Business.


The member States of COMESA are: Burundi, the Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Selected regional indicators for COMESA (2014)

GDP $657.4 billion
GDP per capita $1,335.0
Area (sq. km) 12 million
Total population 492.5 million
Total imports $183 billion
Total exports $95 billion

Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development statistical database (2016)[1]

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The East Africa Community (EAC)

Kenya is a member of the East African Community (EAC) which is a regional intergovernmental organization of the Republics of Kenya, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Burundi and Republic of Rwanda with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC is home to 150 million citizens, of which 22% is urban population. With a land area of 1.82 million square kilometres and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 146 billion (EAC Statistics for 2016), its realisation bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects for the renewed and reinvigorated EAC.

The work of the EAC is guided by its Treaty which established the Community. It was signed on 30 November 1999 and entered into force on 7 July 2000 following its ratification by the original three Partner States – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18 June 2007 and became full Members of the Community with effect from 1 July 2007. The Republic of South Sudan acceeded to the Treaty on 15 April 2016 and become a full Member on 15 August 2016.

As one of the fastest growing regional economic blocs in the world, the EAC is widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in various key spheres for their mutual benefit. These spheres include political, economic and social.

At the moment, the regional integration process is in full swing as reflected by the encouraging progress of the East African Customs Union, the establishment of the Common Market in 2010 and the implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol.


Current status

The process towards an East African Federation is being fast tracked, underscoring the serious determination of the East African leadership and citizens to construct a powerful and sustainable East African economic and political bloc.

Quick Facts about EAC

Area (incl. water): 1.82 million sq. km
Population: 145.5 million (2015)
GDP (current market prices): US$ 147.5 billion (2015)
EAC Headquarters: Arusha, Tanzania
First established: 1967
Re-established: 7 July 2000
Official language: English
Summit Chairperson: H.E. John P. J. Magufuli
Council Chairperson: Amb. Dr Augustine P. Mahiga
Secretary-General: Amb. Libérat Mfumukeko

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The United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) is one of the four United Nations Centres globally. The other three are based in New York, Geneva and Vienna. Two fully-fledged UN Agencies have headquarters in Kenya namely; the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The country also hosts 22 Regional United nations Agencies and provides the organizations with an enabling environment to c arry out their respective mandates.

The United Nations Office at Nairobi, the UN headquarters in Africa, was established by the General Assembly in 1996. The office is headed by a Director-General, at the Under-Secretary-General level, serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General in Nairobi and performs representation and liaison functions with permanent missions, the host-country and other Governments, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in Nairobi, as well as other organizations of the United Nations system in Kenya; facilitates cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations; provides administrative and other support services to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); provides joint and common services to other organizations of the United Nations system in Kenya, as applicable; and manages and implements the programmes of administration, conference services and public information and provides security and safety services for United Nations staff and facilities in the United Nations Office at Nairobi.

United Nations Office at Nairobi