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Kenya History Timeline

Prehistory
  • (4.4 million years ago) Australopithecus ramidus evolved in Eastern Africa
  • (3 mya) Australopithecus afarensis evolved in Eastern Africa
  • (2 mya) Homo habilis evolved in Eastern Africa
  • (500 BC) Beginning of the Bantu migration into Eastern Africa began
600 AD - 1800s
  • (600 AD) Arabs settled the coastal region and developed trading posts
  • (900) The port of Mombassa is established
  • (1200) Swahili culture and language dominated the coast, while Bantu and Nilotic speakers commanded the inland region
  • (1498) Vasco de Gama arrived at Mombassa after traveling around Africa
  • (1500s) Portugal briefly took command of the Swahili ports before being forced out by the Swahili states
  • (1630s) Omani Arab traders settled along the coast
  • (1698) Omanis gained control of the entire coastline
  • (1822) Much of East Africa is ruled by the Sultan of Oman
  • (1895) The British East African Protectorate is formed
1900s
  • (early 1900s) British settlers moved into the highlands; a railway was built from Mombasa to Lake Victoria
  • (1920) Kenya's inland region falls under the control of the British Crown Colony
  • (1944) The Kenyan African Union (KAU) is formed as a campaign for African independence
  • (1947) Jomo Kenyatta is named leader of the KAU
  • (1952) A secret Mau Mau guerrilla group staged a violent campaign against the British settlers; a state of emergency is declared, Kenyatta is arrested
  • (1953) The Kenyan African Union is banned after Kenyatta is charged with leading the Mau Mau
  • (1956) The Mau Mau rebellion is suppressed after thousands are killed
  • (1960) The state of emergency is lifted; plans are announced for Britain to prepare Kenya for majority African rule; the Kenya African National Union (KANU) is formed
  • (1961) Kenyatta is freed from jail and named president of KANU
  • (1963) Kenya gained independence with Kenyatta as prime minister
1900s
  • (1964) The Republic of Kenya is proclaimed, Kenyatta is appointed president with Oginga Odinga as vice president
  • (1966) Odinga backed out of Kanu after an idealogical split with Kenyatta and formed the rival Kenya People's Union (KPU)
  • (1969) Assassination of government minister Tom Mboya soarked ethnic unrest; KPU is banned and Odinga is arrested
  • (1974) Kenyatta is re-elected
  • (1978) Kenyatte dies in office and is succeeded by vice president Daniel arap Moi
  • (1982) Kenya is officially declared a one-party state and a new constitution is declared
  • (1987) Opposition groups against Moi are suppressed; the government is criticized for political arrests and human rights abuses
  • (1989) Political prisoners are freed
  • (1990) The public is outraged following the suspicious death of foreign minister Robert Ouko
  • (1991) The Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD) is formed by opposition leaders, including Odinga
  • (1991) Leaders of FORD are arrested and the party is outlawed
  • (1992) Ethnic violence erupted in western Kenya, nearly 2,000 people are killed
  • (1992) FORD is split into FORD-Kenya (led by Odinga) and FORD-Asili (led by Kenneth Matiba)
  • (1992) Moi is re-elected president

Kenya Photographs

Photos used are from public domain sources and from en.wikipedia.org

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.