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Country Information


The shilling, denoted by KES, is the official currency of Kenya. Banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 Shillings; smaller values are issued as coins with 1 Shilling = 100 Cents. The current notes were issued in several series, starting in 1980. Notes of 10 and 20 Shillings are being replaced by coins. Some older notes are redeemable.

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S&P Rating


Travel Notes:

Local currency import and export is limited to one million   Shillings.Foreign currency may be imported and exported for free,  although amounts equivalent to 5000 USD must be declared.

Sovereign Ratings for Kenya

Kenya is not rated.

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Political Structure

The government of Kenya is a republic, consisting of executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch is made up of the president (who serves as the chief of state and the head of government) and the cabinet. The cabinet is appointed by the president, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. In addition to receiving the largest number of votes in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25% or more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven provinces and one area to avoid a runoff. The legislative branch is made up of the unicameral National Assembly, also known as Bunge. The Assembly has 224 seats, 210 of which are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, with 12 so-called "nominated" members who are appointed by the president but selected by the parties in proportion to their parliamentary vote totals. There are also 2 ex-officio members. The judicial branch encompasses the Court of Appeal, whose chief justice is appointed by the president, and the High Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephen Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008); Head of Government President Mwai KIBAKI (since 30 December 2002); Vice President Stephen Kalonzo MUSYOKA (since 10 January 2008); note - the roles of the president and prime minister are not well defined at this juncture; constitutionally, the president remains chief of state and head of government, but the prime minister is charged with coordinating government business Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president and headed by the prime minister, who is the leader of the largest party in parliament Elections president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); in addition to receiving the largest number of votes in absolute terms, the presidential candidate must also win 25% or more of the vote in at least five of Kenya's seven provinces and one area to avoid a runoff; election last held on 27 December 2007 (next to be held in December 2012); vice president appointed by the president Election Results President Mwai KIBAKI reelected; percent of vote - Mwai KIBAKI 46%, Raila ODINGA 44%, Kalonzo MUSYOKA 9%

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

Kenya is considered the regional hub for trade and finance in East Africa, but its strengths are hampered by corruption and by reliance upon several primary goods whose prices have failed to rise over the years. In 1997, the IMF suspended the nation's Enhanced Structural Adjustment Program in response to government failure of maintaining reforms and curbing corruption. In 1999, a severe year-long drought compounded Kenya's problems, reducing overall agricultural output and causing water and energy to be rationed. In turn, the GDP contracted 0.2% in 2000. Though the IMF supported Kenya during its drought, it halted lending in 2001 when the government failed to institute further anticorruption measures. Growth lagged at 1.1% in 2002 because of erratic rains, low investor confidence, meager donor support, and political infighting up to the elections. In the key elections of December, Daniel Arap MOI's 24-year-old reign ended, and a new opposition government took on the formidable economic problems facing the nation. In 2003, progress was made in rooting out corruption and encouraging donor support, with economic growth approaching 1.7%. GDP grew at 2.2% in 2004.

Key Industries:

Small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, oil refining, aluminum, steel, lead, cement, commercial ship repair and tourism.

Agricultural Products:

Tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, pork, poultry and eggs.

Import Commodities:

Machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics.

Export Commodities:

Tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish and cement.

Exchange Rates



Hotels Rating Rate
Wasini All Suite Hotel
Church Road, Westlands, Nairobi, 75362-00200, KE
5 Avg. Nightly
Ole Sereni
Mombassa Road, Opp. Zain offices / Parkside Tower, Nairobi, 18187-00500, KE
4.5 Avg. Nightly
Sankara Nairobi
5 Woodvale Grove, Nairobi, KE
5 Avg. Nightly
Villa Rosa Kempinski
Chiromo Road, Nairobi, 00800, KE
5 Avg. Nightly
The Sarova Stanley
Corner of Kenyatta Ave. and Kimathi St., Nairobi, 00100, KE
5 Avg. Nightly
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