A glance at Kenya

AP News
Posted: Sep 22, 2013 4:56 PM

More than 68 people are confirmed dead as of late Sunday in an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and an unknown number of hostages are still being held by al-Qaida-linked militants. Here's a look at some facts about Kenya:

GEOGRAPHY: The sub-Saharan country covers 224,080 square miles — roughly twice the size of Nevada — on the East Coast fronting the Indian Ocean, with Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, South Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south.

DEMOGRAPHICS: Kenya's population of about 43 million people is relatively young — more than two thirds are younger than 35 — and it's projected to grow to about 67 million by 2030. There are a large number of educated, multilingual professionals, and a strong entrepreneurial tradition. The adult literacy rate is 87 percent, and the average life expectancy is 61.8 years for a man and 64.8 years for a woman.

POLITICS: The former British colony has been independent since 1963, and the president of the republic is Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the son of Kenya's founding father and first president. Uhuru Kenyatta won election in April despite facing trial at the International Criminal Court, where he is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity arising from the violence which occurred after 2007 presidential elections. The trial is scheduled to start in November.

The country scores 27 out of 100 on the Corruption Perceptions Index, which indicates the perceived level of public service corruption, with 100 perceived as very clean.

ECONOMY: Kenya is the most developed economy in eastern Africa, and the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub.

Over the past three years, Kenya has experienced strong growth in response to significant economic reforms, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of nearly 6 percent this year.

Kenya is the world's leading exporter of black tea, and it also exports coffee, cut flowers and vegetables. The agricultural sector is the country's largest employer.

The services sector, primarily tourism, contributes the bulk of growth domestic product. About half of Kenya's people live below the poverty line, and the country's GDP per capita is about $1,800.

The discovery of oil in March 2012 was a major breakthrough that could nevertheless takes years to become commercially viable.

Sources: Department of State, CIA World Factbook, Transparency International, The Economist, International Monetary Fund.