What Is The Capital Of Kenya?

The Supreme Court of Kenya in Nairobi.
The Supreme Court of Kenya in Nairobi.

Where Is Kenya?

Nairobi, the most populous city of Kenya and the country’s established hub for business and culture, is the capital city. Nairobi is a bustling and energetic urban metropolis and is the fifth largest city in Africa. The city is relatively modern, having been founded by the British.

Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa and shares land borders with Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, and South Sudan. The country is the 49th largest country in the world with an area of 581,309 km2. Kenya also lies on the Indian Ocean coastline. Named after Mount Kenya, the country gained independence in 1963 from Britain. About 45 million inhabitants lived in the country in 2014.

What Type Of Government Does Kenya Have?

Kenya is a presidential republic as stipulated in the 2010 constitution. The country’s government is devolved, where there is a national government and country governments. The national government is comprised of the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislature. The President is the head of the Executive and is directly elected after five years. The president is both the head of government and head of state and the duties include appointing the Cabinet, Attorney General, High commissioners and Ambassadors subject to Parliament approval. The Senate and the National Assembly assume legislative responsibilities while the Judiciary is headed by the Chief Justice.

The 47 Counties in Kenya are headed by governors and their deputies. The governors appoint County Secretaries who oversee various concerns such as health and finance. The Counties are further divided into wards headed by Members of the County Assembly. The County Assembly acts as the legislative arm of the county governments.

What Is The Capital Of Kenya And Where Is It Located?

The official capital of Kenya is Nairobi. The city is situated in the south-central part of Kenya at the Nairobi River. Nairobi is 500 km west of the Indian Ocean, and it lies between Mombasa and Kampala in Uganda. The city is referred to as the ‘city in the sun’ due to its sunny tropical climate. Nairobi has over 2 million inhabitants representing all of Kenyan ethnic groups, and it has an area of 689 km2.

History Of The Capital City Of Kenya

The name Nairobi translates to the Maasai word meaning cool water, ‘Enkare Nyrobi.' Before British occupation, Nairobi was an uninhabited swamp. During construction of the Uganda Railway by the British, Nairobi was founded as a supply depot, a residential area for the laborers and as a crucial hub for the supply of water. Nairobi has been particularly significant since it occupied a central position between Kampala and Mombasa. Nairobi began growing rapidly and unexpectedly until a plague outbreak and fire required the town to be rebuilt.

By 1900, Nairobi had been incorporated as the Township of Nairobi. Its growth was so significant that it was made the capital of the newly formed British East Africa in 1907. After becoming a Municipality, Nairobi was declared a city in 1950 by the Royal Charter of Incorporation. Nairobi assumed an integral part in the fight for Kenya’s independence and it was the capital city of the newly formed Republic of Kenya.

Present-Day Role Of The City As The Capital Of Kenya

Nairobi is the administrative center of the country, being home to the National Assembly, Ministries, Judiciary, President’s residence and numerous government corporations. Nairobi boasts the largest economy in East and Central Africa, with the bulk of the region’s multinational headquarters. The Nairobi Stock Exchange is one of the largest in Africa while the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport links East Africa with the rest of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Nairobi is also significant for the United Nations, hosting the UN-Habitat and UNEP headquarters. Banks, five-star hotels, and multiple industries are present in the city.

As a tourist center, Nairobi is home to the Nairobi National Park, Nairobi National Museum, and Nairobi Railways Museum among other attractions. The city is dotted with green spaces such as Uhuru Park. Nairobi is also the main sports, music and literary center in Kenya.


More in Society