Background Kenya lies across the equator in east-central Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Kenya borders Somalia to the east, Ethiopia to the north, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, and Sudan to the northwest. In the north, the land is arid. The southwest corner is in the fertile Lake Victoria Basin, and a length of the eastern depression of the Great Rift Valley separates western highlands from those that rise from the lowland coastal strip. Paleontologists believe people may first have inhabited Kenya about two million years ago. In the 700s, Arab seafarers established settlements along the coast, and the Portuguese took control of the area in the early 1500s. More than 40 ethnic groups reside in Kenya. Its largest group, the Kikuyu, migrated to the region at the beginning of the 18th century. The land became a British protectorate in 1890 and a Crown colony in 1920, called British East Africa.


Nationalist stirrings began in the 1940s, and in 1952 the Mau Mau movement, made up of Kikuyu militants, rebelled against the government. The fighting lasted until 1956. Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo Kenyatta Kenya from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 until 1982 when the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) made itself the sole legal party in Kenya. Moi acceded to internal and external pressure for political liberalisation in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 and 1997, which were marred by violence and fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President Moi stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections.

Mwai Kibaki running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform. Kibaki’s NARC coalition splintered in 2005 over a constitutional review process. Government defectors joined with KANU to form a new opposition coalition, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which defeated the government’s draft constitution in a popular referendum in November 2005. Kibaki’s reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from ODM candidate Raila Odinga and unleashed two months of violence in which as many as 1,500 people died. UN-sponsored talks in late February 2008 produced a power-sharing accord bringing Odinga into the government in the restored position of Prime Minister. In August 2010 Kenya adopted a new constitution that eliminates the role of Prime Minister after the next presidential election.


Kenya has a population of 43,013,341 (July 2012 est.). Estimates for Kenya explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected. Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major ethnic and linguistic groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, Christians, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75 % of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is Harambee, meaning “pull together.” In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.


Although the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, Kenya has been hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have remained low. Low infrastructure investment threatens Kenya’s long-term position as the largest East African economy. Kenya has enjoyed a long history of economic leadership in East Africa as the largest and most advanced economy in the region. However, ethnically-charged post-election violence in January/February 2008, which left 1,200 dead and 300,000 displaced, caused many to reassess Kenya’s investment climate. Since then, the economy has rebounded but serious concerns about corruption and governance remain.

Government and Politics

The Kenyan legal system is based on English common law and the 1963 constitution. A new constitution was approved in a referendum in August 2010; its implementation is currently underway.


Burundi(pronounced [buˈɾundi]), officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its size is just under 28,000 km² with an estimated population of almost 8,700,000. Its capital is Bujumbura. Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika.



Visit Rwanda

"The land of a Thousand Hills", Rwanda is a green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and tea plantations. It offers tourists a one of a kind journey - home to one third of the world remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s bird’s species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserve, resorts and islands on the expansive lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.

Rwanda is a thriving, safe country with one of the lowest crime rates in Africa. All major attractions are located within 1-5 hour drive from the capital, Kigali. In a short vacation, a tourist can reach volcanoes, rainforests, savannah, lakes and the beautiful city of Kigali.

Located in the heart of Central and East Africa with easy access to bordering countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo as well as to Kenya, Rwanda is an ideal location for travel within the region for conference tourism. A visit here can easily expand to include many of the great African destinations. For more information, log on to


Visit Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country bordered by Kenya in the east, Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west, Rwanda in the southwest and Tanzania in the south.

Uganda’s total land area is 241,559 sq km. About 37,000 sq km of this area is occupied by open water while the rest is land. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria, which it shares with Kenya and Tanzania.

Uganda is located on the East African plateau, averaging about 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) above sea level. The plateau generally slopes downwards towards Sudan explaining the northerly tendency of most river flows in the country. Although generally equatorial, the climate is not uniform since the altitude modifies the climate.

Uganda’s elevation, soil types and predominantly warm and wet climate impart a huge agricultural potential to the country. They also explain the country’s large variety of forests, grasslands and wildlife reserves. Uganda has a total population of about 32 million people.


The United Republic of Tanzania includes the Indian Ocean islands of Pemba and Zanzibar and the mainland territory, covering a total area of 1,0219,090 km², and is located on the east coast of Africa between the great lakes of the African Rift Valley system in the central part of the continent and the Indian Ocean. Tanzania has a common border with Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.

The country encompasses a variety of physical features; from a narrow coastal belt with tropical beaches it rises to an extensive plateau covered by savannah and bush at an elevation of about 1,000 meters above sea level. The plateau region is fringed by narrow belts of forested highlands, which includes the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (5,897 meters above sea level), the highest mountain in Africa. Lakes Tanganyika, Nyasa and Rukwa partly occupy the floor of the Great Rift Valley system. At 358 meters below sea level, the floor of Lake Tanganyika is Africa’s lowest point.

Tanzania is a tropical country that includes four main climatic zones: the hot, humid coastal plains; the hot, arid zone of the central plateau; high, moist lake regions; and temperate highlands. The climate is governed by two monsoons. The north east monsoon from December to March brings the year’s hottest temperatures, and when the winds shift to the south from March to May, they bring the heavy intermittent rains of the south west monsoon, which extends from June to September bringing relatively cool, dry weather. A smaller wet season occurs in November and December. Rainfall varies from an annual average of 1,250mm in the wettest 3 % of the land area, the south eastern slopes of the great volcanoes, to below 600mm in the central area of the country.

The total population of Tanzania is estimated at 50,586,000 (latest census). There are over 120 ethnic groups, each with its own language or dialect. Indigenous Tanzanians make up 99 % of the population, while other ethnic groups include Asians, Europeans and Arabs. Kiswahili is the official, universally-spoken language in Tanzania. English, also an official language, is the language of commerce. The capital has been Dar es Salaam since 1974, and is the largest city with a population of about 2,500,000, and serves as the main port, dominant industrial centre, and the focus of government and commerce. Elections are held every five years, with the first multiparty election being held in November 1995. The President is the Head of State for a maximum of two terms in office.

Tanzania is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 46 % of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), provides 75 % of exports and employs 80 % of the total workforce. Agriculture is the backbone of the Tanzanian economy, with principal cash crops including cotton lint, cashew nuts, tobacco, coffee and tea. The country has diverse mineral deposits, including precious minerals such as gold, diamonds, tanzanite and rubies as well as industrial minerals such as iron, tin, copper, nickel, cobalt, lead, limestone, titanium, vanadium, uranium, phosphate and gypsum. It also has deposits of coal and natural gas.

Tanzania is considered to be one of the premier tourism destinations in Africa. The country has bountiful natural resources, including extensive tracts of wilderness and a rich diversity of scenery. There are 12 National Parks, including the famous Serengeti, 34 Game Reserves, and 38 Game Controlled Areas. The prime tourist attractions include Mount Kilamanjaro, Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site and clean white sand beaches fringed by palm trees.

Department of Regional Cooperation,

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

P.O. Box 9000,



Tel : (+255) 22 2120532

Fax : (+255) 22 2120529

Mobile : (+255) 784 511 626