The British colonial administration in Kenya was established in two levels to provide basic administration in Kenya. There was a central government and local government.

The Central government

For each administration, the country or proctor ate was divided in provinces, districts, divisions and locations.

Hierarchy of the Colonial Administration in Kenya

1. Colonial secretary

Political help o the British administration

Based in London

Member of British cabinet and parliament

He coordinated all colonial British policies

2. Governor

Represented the British government in the colony

He was responsible for the colonial secretary and advisory council.

In the country headed the executive council which executed colonial policies or government.

Laws passed by the Legco only became effective after he asserted to them.

3. Provincial commissions

They represented the government at the provincial level.

They implemented the policies and laws amended by the Ledgco.

Other responsibilities; supervising the work of DCs, Dos and the entire provincial administration as a whole.

4. District commissioners

In charge of policy implement within the District

Maintain law and order and security.

Provided over or chair the district advisory committee.

Coordinated the work of DOs and chiefs

District officer

Implemented orders from DC

Coordinated the work of DC in the division level



The main link between the local people and governor at top

Maintain law and order in the location

Coordinated the work of headmen



They serve as the link between the people and the Central government at the grass root level

Mobilized their people for development within the village level

Collection of taxes and labour recruitment for public work

Local government

The main reason to establish the local government was to involve the local people in the training of the government however only the European was represented in their government on earlier period.

The main purpose was to involve the Africans in the government

The European settlers spearheaded the Africans to their desire to safeguard some privileges for themselves.

Colonial secretary

The central government created the district advisory committee; the members of this committee were appointed by the central government later on they were renamed District Advisory councils. These councils were made up of the members either nominated by central government elected by European settlers basically by the District was still European themselves.


The provincial of a legal forum from where the local people could make decisions toughing on their affairs.

To make use of the available resources to achieve development.

Provide a link between the central government and the local communities/people.


District councils

Local native councils

These were formed when the African leaders had requested for the form through which colonial

Government would address their grievances.

It as the district advisory council that was renamed the Local native councils.

Objectives of the Native councils

  1. Encouraging and developing a sense of responsibility in developing a country.
  2. Through which Africa would be forwarded their grievances.
  3. To ensure the restrictions of Africans in their reserves.
  4. To provide a means through which a central and colonial government could better understand Africa and control it better.

Impacts of Local government

  1. Increased exploitation of resources
  2. Increased initiatives in development
  3. Improved a link between Central government and local people.
  4. Increased the maintenance of law and order.
  5. Effective suppression of Africa resistance from around 1901.
  6. Increased development of infrastructure.
  7. Increased taxation for Africa
  8. Improved social services such as schools and hospitals
  9. Through the local government solutions of disputes were easened.

The success of local government in the colonial government were undermined by many

Functions such as:-

  1. Shortges of well trained persons to carry out these activities
  2. Poor/inadequate resources to carry out day to day activities.
  3. There was rivalry between European settlers and central government in their works.


Effect of colonialism on African culture

1. Effect on Africa in religion

Africa change of worshipping

Change from worshipping gods to worshipping God

Africans began to use the bible

2. Effects on family life

Practice of polygamy was reduced among African families

Christian marriages were introduced

The pride of having large families declined as a result of colonialism

3. Effects on moral laws

Inheritance of wives reduced

The extended families reduced



This has been defined as a strength sense of authorization and dedication of a common goal that unites a group. It may also mean the state of spirits of a person or group as shown by confidence, cheerfulness, discipline and willingness to perform a given task. It is a degree of mental confidence, self control and discipline of a person or group.

Many Africans were now employed in industries, European firms there by changing their economic lifestyle.

In the urban centres that Africans moved to there was great employment leading to improved standards of living.

Many Africans who moved to the urban completely lost their cultural traits;

The economic activities in the rural areas disrupted since the young people migrated to urban in search of employment.



During the colonial period, formal education was introduced. It was promoted mainly by:-

1. Christian missionaries

2. Colonial government through local councils

3. Africans themselves

4. Community organization came up with formal education

Missionary Education


  1. It was elementary
  2. Major subjects; CRE, Arithmetic, Writing and Reading
  3. Industrial and technical the main approach e.g. trained Africans on carpentry, masonry, agricultural
  4. It was denominational; every denomination had their own schools where their followers went to and taught church doctrines.

Objectives of missionary education

  1. To impact in African’s agricultural skills in order to promote food supply
  2. Impact basic technical skills
  3. To train Africans as catechist to enhance Christianity
  4. To provide Africans with basic literacy

In order to fulfill these objectives, the missionaries undertook the following:-

  • Establishment of secondary schools e.g. Mangu, Alliance, Precious blood, Starehe etc.
  • African teachers were trained and moved to African schools
  • They offered financial and material support for the schools

Role of Africans in provision of Education

  1. Africans through the so called African Independent Churches established their independent school; this was mainly a reaction to protect some of their cultural practices e.g. female genital mutilation and polygamy.
  2. They also wanted to have a access to higher level of education as opposed to technical and industrial education as restricted by the missionaries; this is because they wanted to compete for the white collar jobs with the Europeans.
  3. Africans also wanted to use their schools as form where they could air their grievances and spread the political awareness.

In Nyanza Nomiya Luo mission established their independent school; in Central there were established the Kikuyu Independent Association at the Kikuyu Kirinyaga Association.


Community organizations especially Asian provided community education especially in urban areas where Indians and Africans were settled; some of these communities were established through individual families e.g. Arya Shamaji and Aldina Visram.

Muslims also set up their own schools and institutions to provide higher education.

Development in Health services

As the missionaries were coming to Africa they suffered tropical diseases e.g. cholera as a result, the missionaries set the health state by building health centres and providing health facilities and services.

  • When they began work in Mombasa they first set the health centres in Kaloleni, Kaimosi, Maseno and the Thogoto mission hospital in 1907.

Reasons for the Establishment of Health centres

  1. To eradicate diseases such as smallpox, malaria etc.
  2. To train medical personnel on Western medicine
  3. To improve the health and hygiene for Asians in the town and Africans at large.
  4. Medical centres to train nurses, midwives, pharmacist etc.
(Visited 112 times, 1 visits today)
Share this:

Written by