• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Prior to colonialism, the area comprised African farming communities, notably the Kikuyu and the Masai. From the 16th century through to the 19th, they were loosely controlled by the Arabic rulers of Oman. In 1895 the British declared part of the region the East Africa Protectorate, which from 1920 was known as the Colony of Kenya. The influx of European settlers was resented by Africans not only for the whites’ land holdings but also for their exclusive political representation in the colonial Legislative Council. A state of emergency existed between Oct. 1952 and Jan. 1960 during the period of the Mau Mau uprising. Over 13,000 Africans and 100 Europeans were killed. The Kenya African Union was banned and its president, Jomo Kenyatta, imprisoned. The state of emergency ended in 1960. Full internal self-government was achieved in 1962 and in Dec. 1963 Kenya became an independent member of the Commonwealth. In 1982 Kenya became a one-party state and in 1986 party preliminary elections were instituted to reduce the number of parliamentary candidates at general elections. Only those candidates obtaining over 30% of the preliminary vote were eligible to stand. On the death of Kenyatta in Aug. 1978 Daniel T. arap Moi, the vice-president, became acting president and was elected in 1979, and then re-elected in 1983, 1988, 1992 and 1997.


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Further Reading

  1. Anderson, David, Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire. 2005Google Scholar
  2. Elkins, Caroline, Britain’s Gulag. 2005; US title: Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of the End of Empire in Kenya. 2005Google Scholar
  3. Haugerud, A., The Culture of Politics in Modern Kenya. 1995CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kyle, Keith, The Politics of the Independence of Kenya. 1999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Miller, N. N., Kenya: the Quest for Prosperity. 2nd ed. 1994Google Scholar
  6. Murunga, Godwin R. and Nasong’o, Shadrack W., Kenya: The Struggle for Democracy. 2007Google Scholar
  7. Ogot, B. A. and Ochieng, W. R. (eds.) Decolonization and Independence in Kenya, 1940–93. 1995Google Scholar
  8. Throup, David and Hornsby, Charles, Multi-Party Politics in Kenya. 1999Google Scholar
  9. National Statistical Office: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 30266–00100 GPO, Nairobi.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2013

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  • Barry Turner

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