At independence in 1963, Kenya’s new leaders under President Jomo Kenyatta encountered various political, economic and social challenges, which they lacked experience in handling. They however took up bravely the task of seeing Kenya into prosperity.

Explain how national unity was fostered in Kenya by 1964. (Explain the measures taken to defuse the difference between KANU and KADU by 1964.)

  • By December 1964, most of the prominent Kadu leaders, under Ronald Ngala and Masinde Muliro, voluntarily crossed over to Kanu.
  • Paul Ngei of the APP was absorbed into Kanu and was made Chairman of the Kenya Maize and Marketing board. He later became a Minister in the Cabinet. This made Kenya a defector one-party state, although the constitution had a provision for a multiparty system.
  • Parliament abolished the regional constitution that Kenya had at independence.

Explain the political developments witnessed in postcolonial Kenya. (Explain the political successes realized in Kenya since independence.)

Change of Kenya from a multiparty state to a defector One-Party state (one-party state by fact). Kenya became a dejure One-Party state (One-party state by law) in 1982 but returned to multipartism in 1991 following the repeal of section 2A of the Constitution of Kenya.

National Unity. By December 1964, most of the prominent Kadu leaders, under Ronald Ngala and Masinde Muliro, voluntarily crossed over to Kanu, which ended the divisive trend that Kenya would have otherwise followed.

The 1964 Republican Constitution, by which Kenya became a republic with an executive President, who was also the head of the government, state and the ruling party. This brought Kenya closer to the strong unitary government that Kanu had always wanted.

  • Though the President was given wide-ranging powers, he was closely bound to an elected Legislature, of which he had to be one.
  • Kanu’s control over parliament and the country as a whole was strengthened in spite of continuous splits in the party along ideological lines.
  • There were various constitutional amendments and bills in parliament to ensure that Kenyans would no longer live under oppression and discrimination of any kind.
  • Since independence, Kenya has remained under an elected government in spite of various unsuccessful coupattempts such as that of 1st August 1982.
  • Kenya has remained free from political instability in spite of political assassinations such as that of Tom Mboya in 1969 and Robert Ouko in 1990. this makes Kenya suitable for civilians and other people to live in.
  • Disbanding of tribal welfare organizations. This took place during the reign of President Daniel Arap Moi.

Explain the political challenges/difficulties experienced in postcolonial Kenya. (Explain the political setbacks encountered in Kenya since independence.

  • Suspicions between various ethnic groups E.G the smaller ethnic groups that supported Kadu and the larger ethnic groups that supported Kanu.
  • Conflict between the political leaders E.G between Jomo Kenyatta and Oginga Odinga.
  • Threat of neocolonialism as Western nations and communist countries sought to dominate Kenya’s policies.
  • Political assassinations E.G those of Tom Mboya, J.M Kariuki and Robert Ouko, which left the nation divided.
  • Death of the founding President (Mzee Jomo Kenyatta) in 1978, which created fears over the transition.
  • The 1982 attempted military coup.
  • Prodemocracy protests that led to the scrapping of section 2A of the constitution in 1991.

Explain the factors that contributed to the clamour for multipartism in Kenya. Explain why Kenyans eventually demanded multipartism.

  • Rampant corruption in government such as the Goldenberg scam and the grabbing of public plots and buildings.
  • Rigging of elections, especially through the Queue voting system, introduced in party nomination in 1988.
  • The collapse of One-party states in eastern Europe in 1989, which encouraged the struggle for democracy.
  • The success of multipartism in other parts of Africa E.G in Zambia.
  • Pressure from donor institutions and countries.
  • Pressure from the Clergy.  Pressure from the civil society.

Explain the challenges/disadvantages of multiparty democracy in Kenya. (Explain the problems facing multiparty democracy in Kenya.)

Many politicians and senior government officials were not ready for multipartism. They incited their supporters to kick out opposition supporters from their regions.

Ethnic clashes of  1991 particularly in the Rift valley, due to political animosity.

  • Some public servants were used by the executive arm of government and the ruling party to frustrate the opposition by denying politicians licenses to hold political rallies.
  • Many of the political parties formed were ethnic based.
  • Many selfish politicians were paid to defect from their parties and join others.
  • The ruling party used the police force and the  government-owned media to its advantage.  The opposition parties lacked financial support from the state, enjoyed by the ruling party.
  • There was inadequate civic education for the electorate.
  • The international community interfered with the running of the country and openly sided with certain politicians and parties.
  • Due to poverty, many citizens were compromised to vote for incompetent leaders.
  • Most political parties have experienced leadership wrangles.

 Explain the role/importance of political parties in Kenya since independence. (In what ways have political parties fostered good governance in postcolonial Kenya?)

  • They formulate policies and programmes on how to run the government more efficiently.
  • They select candidates for public office and nominate candidates for parliamentary and civic seats.
  • They mobilize the people to participate in political affairs E.G elections.
  • Opposition parties check the excesses of the government by pointing out its mistakes. For instance, in 2004, Ntonyiri MP: Maoka Maore pointed out two financial scandals involving misuse of government funds.
  • They initiate political debate on important issues.
  • They provide civic education to the masses.
  • They ensure that there is a government in-waiting in the event that the ruling party is unable to govern.
  • They serve as training ground for political leadership.
  • They provide an opportunity for ethnic groups to associate politically, encouraging unity.
  • Opposition parties take part in Watch-dog committees of Parliament such as the Public Accounts Committee and the Public Investments Committee.
  • Opposition parties provide an alternative approach to the management of political and economic affairs of the country through their contributions in debates.

Explain how the existence of many parties has promoted democracy in Kenya since 1991. (In what ways has existence of many parties promoted democracy in Kenya since 1991?)

  • They have promoted freedom of Association by providing alternative parties for people.
  • They have provided people with a forum to express their views on how the country should be managed.
  • They have made the government more accountable to the people.
  • They have provided checks and balances in government.
  • They have provided a system of scrutinizing government expenditure through the Public Accounts committee and the Public Investments Committee.
  • They have enabled people to form political parties.



The economic developments experienced in postcolonial Kenya included introduction of Land and Industrial policies aimed at strengthening the economy. The sessional paper NO.10 of 1965 made a number of proposals to rejuvenate the economy.

Describe the land policies/reforms adopted by the government after independence in Kenya. (Describe the policies/reforms adopted by the government in postcolonial Kenya.)

In the colonial period, a lot of land was snatched from Africans by white settlers and the colonial government. At independence, the Kenya government arranged to resettle landless Africans on land formally owned by white settlers. Various policies were adopted by the government to achieve the resettlement.  Such policies were as follows:

  • The Kenya government obtained a loan from Britain, which it reloaned to Africans to enable them to buy land in the former “White” highlands.
  • The government established and expanded settlement schemes all over  the country through the Ministry of Land and Resettlement, which was formed in 1963.
  • Cooperatives and land-buying companies were formed to purchase land for Africans.
  • The government came up with a Land adjudication and registration programme to convert the traditional African land-tenure system to Registered Freehold Tenure. Originally, it was based on land consolidation, whereby fragmented plots of land owned by one person in a particular area were consolidated into one holding before registration. Today, the programme is concerned with normal registration of land. The Land Adjudication and Registration programme was very important in speeding up subsequent agricultural development, especially in development of ranches for livestock improvement in arid and semi-arid areas.
  • The Agricultural development Cooperation (ADC) was established to manage large-scale farms. It has retained several farms for the production of certain key inputs such as highbred seeds and high-quality breeding stock.
  • The government has diversified the agricultural sector to avoid reliance on only one or two crops as was the case in the colonial period. Crops like wheat, sisal, pyrethrum, horticultural crops and sugarcane were added to coffee and tea,  which formed the backbone of the colonial economy.
  • Through the Ministry of Agriculture, the government established Kenya Agriculture research institutes at Muguga near Nairobi, Tigoni, Bogoria, Embu and Bukura among others. Also, organizations that conduct research work on specific crops  were set up, such as  the coffee and Tea Research foundations and the horticultural crop research stations. This led to increased food-production due to high yields and pest-resistant varieties of highbred crops and animals that have been introduced all along.
  • Several irrigation schemes were set up in marginal or arid areas, which was necessary since 80% of Kenya’s land area is dry land. Examples of such irrigation schemes are: The Bura Scheme in Tana River District, the Ahero Irrigation Scheme in Nyanza Province,  Mwea Irrigation Scheme in Central Province  and Pekera Irrigation Scheme in Rift Valley Province. These schemes have boosted production of crops such as rice, cotton, fruits and vegetables.
  • The government established Development Authorities for coordination and proper use of resources in each water catchment area. Examples are the Tana-Athi River development Authority, Kerio Valley and Lake Basin Development Authorities.
  • The Kenya government has carried out studies meant to assess the area of potential drainage that can be reclaimed E.G Kano Plains, Yala Swamps and Lambwe Valley.
  • The government has had to take increased action to arrest land degradation due to major changes in land-use.

Explain the benefits of land reforms/policies that were adopted/introduced in Kenya after independence.

  • Farmers acquired Title deeds, which they used to acquire farming loans.
  • Many landless people acquired land.
  • People conducted economic activities with a lot of confidence.  Living standards improved due to economic growth.
  • The country’s economy improved due to dairy farming and cultivation of cash crops.

Describe two main types of settlement schemes established by the government in postcolonial Kenya.

(Describe two types of settlement schemes established after independence in Kenya.)

  • Low-density schemes, which were sold to people with farming experience, for such schemes had big farms.
  • Those who bought land in such schemes also received loans for purchase of farm-inputs.
  • High-density schemes, for resettlement of as many landless African families as possible. Here, small-scale farming was practiced on farms created through subdivision of large-scale farms formerly owned by white settlers.

(Name the settlement schemes that were established in Kenya after independence. (Identify examples of settlement schemes that were established in postcolonial Kenya.)

  • The Million-Acre Scheme,
  • Haraka Scheme,
  • Harambee Scheme
  • The Shirika Scheme.

Identify the major changes in land-use that the Kenya government has had to deal with in order to arrest/address the problem of land degradation. (Describe the changes that have caused land degradation in Kenya.)

  • Destruction of forests through clearing for cultivation or timber, firewood or building materials in water catchment areas.
  • Poor cultivation methods, especially on hill-sides.
  • Reduction of water and grazing areas, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas.
  • Successive crop failure and diminishing crop-yields.
  • Overstocking and cultivation along river-banks.

Identify the possible solutions that the Kenya government adopted to alleviate/deal with the problem of land degradation. (In what ways has the government tackled the problem of land degradation in Kenya?)

  • An agro-ecological Zone mapping, compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture to correlate information on rainfall, water and soil topography for possible cropping patterns.
  • A permanent Presidential commission on soil conservation and Afforestation, created by President Moi in 1981. It was aimed at coordination and mobilization of the efforts of various agencies in soil and water conservation as well as afforestation throughout Kenya.
  • A tree planting day was decreed by President Moi, aimed at a better climate for conservation in Kenya.

Explain the challenges encountered by Kenyans in the agricultural sector. (Explain the problems experienced Kenyans in the agricultural sector.)

  • Droughts and famines E.G in 1984 and 2006.
  • The population has grown faster than the gains made in the agricultural sector, which has resulted in many Kenyans remaining landless.
  • World market prices of Agricultural commodities have fallen drastically since the 1970s.
  • Corruption and mismanagement of cooperatives, resulting in meager earnings for tea, coffee and pyrethrum farmers.
  • Corrupt government officials have grabbed research-land.
  • Poor infrastructure, which has frustrated farmers as they are not able to access the market.
  • Politically instigated clashes E.G in the Rift valley in the 1990s, which discouraged farmers from intense cultivation.
  • Poor technology, which has contributed to poor yields, especially due to reliance on natural rains.
  • Destruction of farm produces by pests after harvest.
  • The cost of farm-inputs like fertilizers and pesticides has become too high for most farmers.
  • Competition from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) member-countries and from the more industrialized countries like the USA, which has frustrated Kenyan farmers, mainly because some of the competitors’ produce is cheaper than that of Kenyan farmers due to subsidies to farmers in rich countries.

Explain the steps taken by the Kenya government to promote agricultural development.

  • The government started a number of African settlement schemes on land acquired from the white settlers.
  • The process of land consolidation and registration was accelerated to give farmers title deeds for their land.
  • The government encouraged small-scale farming of coffee and tea to improve the standards of living in the rural areas.
  • Africans were encouraged to acquire grade-cattle, which they were forbidden to keep during colonialism.
  • Agricultural development co-operations (ADC) were started to manage large-scale farms belonging to the state. These farms were established in Western Kenya, Rift valley and Coast province. The farms acted as models for Kenyan farmers and were also used for production of seeds.
  • Research stations such as the Kenya Agricultural research institutes (KARI) were established to conduct agricultural research on pests, production of more drought-resistant crops and better breeds of livestock.
  • A number of irrigation projects were established, such as Bura, Ahero and Pekera to boost irrigation in marginal areas.
  • A number of development authorities were created to effectively manage the water catchment areas E.G the Tana and Athi River development Authority (TARDA), the Kerio valley Development Authority (KVDA) and the Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA).
  • Agricultural education has been included in the education curriculum, right from the Primary school level to improve the sector through education.
  • A farmers’ bank: The Kenya Farmers Association (KFA) was set up to lend money to farmers.  Farmers were encouraged to form Producer Cooperatives to jointly market their commodities.

Explain the importance/benefits of Producer cooperatives to Kenyan farmers.

  • They help in marketing the produce of farmers more efficiently.
  • They provide seasonal credit to small-scale farmers.
  • They assist farmers to access farm-inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides.
  • They develop the infrastructure in their areas of operation E.G by constructing access roads in rural areas to assist farmers in delivering their products to the markets.
  • They have assisted rural communities to increase their incomes and improve their living standards.  They assist in processing farmers’ produce apart from facilitating transportation of the produce to the markets. A good example of such cooperatives is the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (KPCU) that deals with coffee.

Explain the problems that producer cooperatives in Kenya face. (Explain the challenges/setbacks encountered by Producer cooperatives in Kenya since independence.)

  • Commodity price fluctuations in the world market, which have reduced the profits of producer societies since the 1980s.
  • The depreciation of the Kenya shilling, particularly in the 1990s, which rendered the costs of farm-inputs prohibitive to most farmers.
  • Corruption and embezzlement of farmers’ funds, which often lead to splitting up of Cooperatives as was in the 1990s.
  • Due to interference in the elections of management committees by politicians, good managers are not always elected to run the affairs of the societies.
  • Since the ownership of shares by individuals is usually small, many do not take keen interest in the affairs of the societies.

Analyse/discuss the cooperative movement in Kenya. (Discuss the development of the cooperative movement in Kenya.)

  • The cooperative movement was started by European settler-farmers in Kenya in early 20th century to service their agricultural and dairy needs. Among them were The Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and the Kenya Farmers Association (KFA). Through such cooperatives, farmers could market their produce, purchase farm-inputs and provide research services.
  • In 1913, the government brought all cooperative societies under its control through the Cooperative Societies Ordinance.
  • Through another Cooperatives Ordinance in 1948, the Department of Cooperatives was established. The 1948

Cooperatives ordinance also allowed Africans to form their own cooperatives such as the Women’s groups in Nyanza, which sold eggs to the colonial government. However, African cooperatives declined because they lacked leaders with managerial skills and were looked down upon by educated Africans as inferior organizations. The Maumau rebellion and the declaration of the state of emergency also caused such decline. By 1950, there only were 75 African cooperatives out of the 200 that had been started. But towards the end of the state of emergency, cooperative movements started picking up due to introduction of Land-consolidation programmes, by which land could be freely developed without restriction or communal control.

After Kenya’s independence, the government created the Ministry of cooperative development to facilitate growth of Cooperatives and streamline their management. As a result, many cooperative societies were formed, especially by African farmers in order to market their produce and to acquire farm-inputs and relevant knowledge on farming.

  • Through the cooperative Societies Act that was passed in 1966 and revised in 1967, the government outlined rules and regulations to guide the operations of the cooperative societies and promote their popularity and growth.
  • In 1968, the Cooperative Bank was established to provide loan facilities to help cooperative societies to finance their operations.
  • In 1969, The Cooperative Societies rules empowered the Commissioner of Cooperation development to control misappropriation of funds and to improve the overall efficiency of the cooperative movement by dismissing committees that were not effective.
  • In the sessional paper NO.8 of 1970, the government demanded and diversified the cooperative movement. As a result, many types of Cooperative societies were formed, E.G agriculture-related cooperatives, credit cooperatives and Consumer cooperative societies, which handle distribution of consumer goods.

What are the functions of cooperative societies in Kenya? (Explain the importance of cooperative societies in Kenya.)

  • They assist members to invest their money in tangible assets, E.G Mwalimu savings and Credit Society, whose building in Nairobi earns income, with profits shared out to members.
  • They give advance loans to members to enable them to attend to their personal financial commitments at manageable loan-repayment rates.
  • Agriculture-based cooperatives (as earlier stated) assist farmers to market their produce and increase the profit margin of their sales and to obtain farm-inputs at reduced rates. A good example is the Kenya Grain Growers Association.
  • They provide essential services to the members at minimal rates to enhance output, E.G Extension fieldworkers, who advise farmers on how to farm with maximum yields and assist by establishing essential services like cattle-dips and storage facilities.
  • They educate members to create general awareness regarding their activities and attempt to achieve this through organizing long and short training courses, regular seminars and workshops at its training college in Lang’ata and through field or correspondence in various parts of Kenya.
  • Creation of and providing job opportunities by employing many people in the various sectors of the cooperative movement.
  • They play an important role in defending the interests of members. Moreover, members earn dividends from the profits of the cooperatives’ investments like houses and land.

Explain the challenges/problems facing cooperatives in Kenya.

  • Rampant cases of fraud, dishonesty and favouritism in the management.
  • Lack of experience or understanding concerning business principles. The societies are unable to recruit experienced staff at competitive salaries.
  • Inefficiency in the management of some cooperative societies.
  • Fluctuation of world-prices of some agricultural products, which have badly affected agriculture-based cooperative societies.
  • Mismanagement and embezzlement of societies’ funds, bringing some cooperatives to their collapse.

What are Statutory bodies?

  • Statutory bodies are state-owned public operations established to perform specific socioeconomic roles. They are also known as Parastatals. They are established by acts of parliament, which clearly spell out their functions and terms of reference.

Name the parastatals that were established in Kenya during the colonial period.

Parastatals have been in Kenya since the colonial period, during which they mainly served the interests of the White settlers. Parastatals established during the colonial period include:

  • The Dairy Board,
  • The Kenya Meat Commission,
  • The Maize and Produce Board.

 Identify the parastatals that were created in Kenya after independence.

At independence, the Kenya government deliberately broadened existing parastatals and established new ones to stimulate Kenya’s economic growth by promoting African participation in them. Parastatals established after independence include:

  • The Industrial and Commercial Co-operation,
  • The Kenya National Assurance Company,
  • Agricultural Finance cooperation,
  • The Kenya Commercial Bank,
  • The Central Bank of Kenya.

State/explain the reasons for establishment of parastatals in Kenya. (Why were parastatals established in Kenya?)

  • Indigenization of the economy, which was predominantly in the hands of White and Asian communities. Indigenization was accomplished by providing Africans with loans and some skills to enable them to establish industrial and commercial enterprises and to enable African farmers to buy settler farms. The Industrial and Commercial Development Cooperation and Agricultural Finance cooperation were in charge of promoting indigenization.
  • To issue and regulate the flow of money and influence the direction of the country’s economy. Here, the central Bank of Kenya was instrumental.
  • To generate direct income to the government by making profit through competition by producing competitive goods and services to compete with private organizations. The Kenya Commercial Bank and the Kenya National Assurance Company helped in this objective.
  • To enhance state control of certain essential services, such as transport and communication. Here, the Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Cooperation, the Kenya Railways Cooperation and others of their kind are instrumental, for, through them, the government provides the public with telecommunication services, sometimes at subsidized cost. Most remote parts of the country have been opened up by these parastatals.
  • To ensure equitable distribution of certain essential commodities like sugar throughout the country by buying and evenly distributing the commodities. That is why the Kenya National Trading Cooperation was established.
  • To provide employment, training opportunities and relevant skills of self employment to many Africans, which also boosts the “Jua Kali” sector.

 Explain the problems/setbacks encountered by parastatals in Kenya. (Explain the factors that hinder/undermine parastatals in Kenya. Or: What factors make parastatals ineffective?)

  • Lack of qualified personnel to manage the organizations since the colonial government had not trained Africans for managerial tasks.
  • Mismanagement, favouritism and dishonesty in addition to overemployment of workers, which has led to gross financial mismanagement. This has caused some parastatals to be declared bankrupt and to be put under receivership.
  • Duplication of roles, whereby more than one parastatal are given the same task, which has caused tension between the organizations and frustration to the management staff.
  • Some parastatals have very little or nothing to do since there are too many of them.
  • Interference in the management of some cooperations by political leaders and other influential persons, which has led to employment of unqualified personnel and misappropriation of funds.

Natural disasters such as pests and prolonged drought, which affect yields and production and hinder the performance of Agriculture-based parastatals.

Internal and international economic conditions, e.g. high inflation rates that have led to increased production costs and low returns for parastatal organizations.

Explain how the Kenya government controls/monitors the activities of parastatals.

To enhance management and production, the government monitors/controls the activities of parastatals in the following ways:

  • Members of the board of directors in charge of running parastatals are directly appointed by the Minister under whose portfolio the organization falls. Every board is headed by a chairman directly appointed by the President.
  • The Inspectorate with State Cooperation in the Office of the President monitors the activities of parastatals and advises them on government policies.
  • Parastatals are required to prepare and submit to parliament detailed annual reports about their activities, sources of revenue and nature of expenditure. Parliament discusses the reports to ensure that the organizations are properly run.
  • All the accounts of parastatals are audited by the Controller & Auditor General of cooperations, who then prepares detailed reports of discussion by parliament.



What measures has the Kenya government taken to ensure that the country is industrialized? (State the measures taken by the Kenya government to bring industrial progress to the country.)

Various measures have been adopted by the Kenya government to industrialize the country since independence as follows:

  • The Sessional paper NO.10 of 1965 affirmed the policy of a free Market system in which foreign investors were welcomed to start industries in Kenya.
  • In 1963, the government created the Development Finance Company of Kenya (DFCK) and the Industrial Commercial Development Cooperation (ICDC) to finance indigenous Kenyans to establish industrial projects.
  • In 1964, the foreign Investment act provided an incentive to foreign investors by allowing them to repatriate their profits.
  • In 1966, the Kenya Industrial Estates (KIE) was established as a subsidiary of ICDC to facilitate small-scale industries by Kenyans. This led to expansion of industrial estates in Kakamega, Kisii, Kericho, Embu, Machakos, Malindi, Nyeri, Murang’a and Voi.
  • In 1970, a mechanism was established to protect local industries from imports. These included introduction of NO-OBJECTION certificates to vet imports.
  • The government established a number of statutory bodies (parastatals) such as the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Cooperation and the Kenya Pipeline Company to facilitate industrialization through port facilities, telecommunications and fuel provision respectively.
  • The government has promoted the Tourism industry through the creation of the Kenya Tourists board to market Kenya as a tourist destination.
  • Vocational training and higher institutions of learning were started to produce competent technical staff to industrialize the country.
  • The government has established export processing zones which specifically manufacture products for export. These firms have provided employment to many Kenyans in addition to providing a market for their products such as cotton and wool.
  • Foreign investors have been licensed to prospect for and exploit minerals to expand industrialization. In 2003, the Tiomin mining company from Canada was given the rights to mine Titanium in Kwale at the Kenyan coast.

The government embarked on a rural electrification programme since the 1990s to expand agro-based industries.

Explain the factors that have facilitated industrial development in Kenya since independence. (Explain the reasons for industrial expansion/growth in postcolonial Kenya.)

  • Existance of natural raw materials like Trona in lake Magadi.
  • Water surfaces like the Indian Ocean and lake Victoria, which provide fish for fish-processing industries apart from serving as waterways for sea/water transport.
  • Forests, which produce timber for papermaking and other requirements.
  • The beautiful scenery and game-parks, which have facilitated the tourism industry.
  • The permanent rivers, which have provided water for hydro-electric power.
  • The population, which has provided labour and a domestic market.
  • Rich agricultural farmland, which provides raw materials for agro-based industries.
  • Roads, railways and airports, which have provided the means of transport for both raw materials and passengers.

 Explain the impact/results of industrial development in Kenya since independence.

  • Many people have got jobs (salaried employment).
  • Diversification of the economy to avoid over-reliance on agriculture.
  • Infrastructure in the country has improved.
  • Urban centers have sprung up near major industries.
  • It has promoted self-reliance in some products such as cooking oil.

Explain the setbacks/hindrances to industrial development in Kenya. (What factors undermine Kenya’s effort to industrialize? Or: Explain the challenges/problems facing the Kenya government in its efforts to industrialize.)

  • Repatriation of capital by most multinational co-operations to their home-countries instead of investing it in Kenya.
  • Many companies use imported materials for their operations, E.G Motor-vehicle manufacturers.
  • The senior managerial positions of most large firms are taken up by foreigners, who pass policies that are not friendly to Kenya.
  • The majority of the big industries are located near major urban centers. Thus, the ripple effects of industrial expansion does not reach the rural areas.
  • Mismanagement of major industries, which leads to their collapse. A good example here is the Kenya Meat Commission, which was revived in 2006 after it collapsed in the 1980s.
  • The Kenya Industrial Estates lacks finances to support entrepreneurs.
  • Kenyan industries are adversely affected by competition from the more industrialized countries, which sell their goods cheaply.
  • The domestic market in Kenya is small, mainly due to low purchasing power.



Since independence, Kenya has made great social development in education, health, housing and recreation.


The education system inherited at independence was not suitable in developing skilled manpower needed in the civil service, commerce and industry.

Identify the education commissions and committees that were set up in Kenya after independence.

(Describe the education commissions and committees that were set up in postcolonial Kenya.)

The Kenya government set up several commissions and committees, each of which made elaborate reports on the required educational reforms. Among such commissions were:

The Kenya Education Commission (also known as the Ominde Commission), Chaired by Professor Ominde in 1964.

The National Committee on Education Objectives and Policies (1976), chaired by Peter Gachathi (also known as the Gachathi commission).

  • The Presidential working Party on the second University (1982), chaired by Professor Mackay (it was also known as the Mackay Commission).
  • The Kamunge commission (1988).
  • The Davy Koech Commission (1999).
  • The Karira Commission (1983).

 What were the results of establishment/setting up of education commissions and committees in Kenya after independence?

Most of the changes recommended by these commissions were used, due to which:

  • Education was expanded at all levels. For instance, by 1986, there were 10354 primary schools compared to 6058 at independence.
  • Harambee institutes of science and technology have been established in almost every district to equip secondary school-leavers with skills that would enable them to secure employment.
  • Postsecondary school training colleges and institutions were opened up to train middle-cadre personnel in agriculture, veterinary, water and technology, medicine, mass communication, ETC.
  • Three national polytechnics were established in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret to offer middle and highlevel technical training to produce personnel skilled to serve in schools, colleges, industries and in some government departments where their technical knowledge is needed.

Describe the departments and institutions that were established by the Ministry of Education in Kenya after independence.

To polish up the system of education,  the Ministry of Education established the following departments and institutions:

  • The Inspectorate, which supervises implementation of educational reforms and recommends various teaching and learning materials to institutions of learning.
  • The Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) which develops relevant curriculum and teaching & learning materials for use in schools and colleges.
  • The Kenya National Examination Council, which develops, administers and certifies national examinations.
  • The Kenya Literature Bureau, which publishes materials for use in schools and colleges.
  • The department of Adult education, which was set up by the Ministry of Culture and Social Services to develop and supervise the implementation of adult education programmes in order to help the government in eliminating illiteracy among adults, who would then be meaningfully involved in nation building.

 Discuss the educational changes introduced by the Kenya government after independence. (Describe/explain the changes that were made by the Kenya government in the Education sector after independence.)

  • The Kenya government set up several commissions and committees, each of which made elaborate reports on the required educational reforms.
  • The Ministry of education established various departments and institutions such as the Ominde Commission and the Department of Adult Education to polish up the system of education.
  • In 1985, the 8-4-4 system of education was effected to offer a curriculum that emphasizes practical and vocational subjects such as Crafts, Artwork, Metalwork, agriculture, Carpentry and home-science.
  • The 8-4-4 curriculum was designed to enable school leavers to acquire vocational skills to enable them to secure employment in the formal and informal sectors or be self-employed altogether.
  • In the funding of education, free primary school education was introduced. Due to increased expenditure as a result of tremendous expansion in education, the government was compelled to introduce cost sharing at all levels of education, especially from secondary school upwards. Free primary school education was re- introduced in 2003, after the NARC government assumed or took over leadership of this country after 40 years of the Kanu government.

In what ways have health services been expanded in Kenya since 1963? (Explain how health services in Kenya were expanded after independence.)

Since independence, health services in Kenya have been expanded in many ways Such as:

  • Training of many health personnel and building of hospitals in district headquarters, with dispensaries and health-centers in locations and sub locations.
  • Improvement in the quality of healthcare through programmes such as immunization against preventable diseases, provision of Family Planning services and education on the value of improved nutrition.
  • Provision of health services to the rural population through Harambee efforts and private initiative. Because of this, life expectancy has increased while infant mortality has fallen.
  • Provision of health services by some municipalities for their residents through health-related departments E.G Environmental health, which organizes inspection of food premises such as hotels and kiosks as well as restaurants.
  • Licensing of organizations and individuals to run clinics, nursing and maternity homes and hospitals. Their services compliment those of the government.
  • Establishment of Community Health-Worker support units by nongovernmental voluntary organizations such as African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) to support public health projects in Kenya.
  • Formation of a special national fund for the disabled to provide financial assistance to the associations of the disabled.
  • Continuous assistance by international health agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Organization. (UNO) of various health projects for alleviation of various health related problems in Kenya.
  • Establishment of medical research institutes all over Kenya, which have greatly contributed to the improvement of health services. Such institutes include the Clinical Research Centre of Nairobi, the Alupe Leprosy research centre in Teso and the Malaria and other Protozoal Research Centre in Kisumu. These and others are coordinated by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

 Explain how the Kenya government re-affirm the right and freedom of the individual in propagating national culture. (In what ways is national culture expressed/exhibited in Kenya?)

Because of cultural problems created by the colonial experience, the Kenya government has emphasized the role of culture in many official documents such as the Kenya Constitution to re-affirm the right and freedom of the individual in propagating national culture in various ways such as:

  • Music and Dances. Today, there are many traditional Music & Dance groups and also instrumentalists, several of which perform in hotels to entertain and introduce guests to Kenyan culture by reciting and singing traditional poems and songs accompanied by traditional instruments like the drum, the Lyre and the Harp among many others.
  • Annual Drama and Music festivals involving teachers, training colleges, secondary & primary schools and other groups outside the School system are organized by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Culture in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services.
  • The Kenya National Theatre promotes theatrical performances by staging local and foreign plays using professional and amateur groups such as the Traveling Theatres of Nairobi and Kenyatta University, the Little Theatre Club in Mombasa and the Ramogi Cultural Society in Kisumu.
  • Kenyan sculptors have produced pieces of sculpture that have penetrated the Sculpture Market locally and overseas, which has attracted several talented young Kenyans to Creative Art and made Kenya famous internationally. Famous pieces of sculpture from Kenya include The Kisii soapstone Carvings, the “bird Of Peace” and the  “Fruits Of Independence”.
  • Painting & Art. The Department of Culture in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services has assisted young artists to exhibit their work in local art galleries. Several art-exhibitions have been stepped up all over Kenya to enlighten the public on the importance of appreciating and preserving  Kenyan contemporary and traditional art which has attracted local and international demand.
  • Crafts. The department of culture in collaboration with interested agencies has and still is encouraging traditional skills of production such as basketry and pottery and researches on traditional medicines and foodproduction. Of late, the Ministry of  technical training and applied technology has been established to promote local craftsmen, particularly those of the Jua-kali sector.
  • Cultural festivals. The Department of culture supports local annual festivals like those held in Kisii, Busia and Vihiga, which depict the culture of the participants. The department has constructed rural and urban cultural centers to ensure that future generations have a cultural base  upon which the Kenyan nation is built.
  • Research and Documentation. The department of culture has embarked on research and writing down our traditional ways of life and knowledge I.E aspects of oral tradition such as traditional songs and dances, stories, proverbs, riddles and others. Most cultural and historical research  is done by the University of Nairobi,  especially at the Institute of African Studies.
  • Cultural Exchange Programmes. The Kenya government signed cultural exchange agreements with Russia, Germany, France, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the USA, Britain, Ethiopia and others. This has resulted in mutual exchange of artists, especially musicians and dancers.
  • Social change and cultural contests have brought about modern types of music, dance, games and sports. Kenya has had to join the rest of the world in upholding them.
  • The Cinema. Through the Films cooperation and the Institute of Mass communication, the Kenya government encourages making and showing of local films alongside foreign ones to Movie-goers in urban centers and film-watchers in the rural.
  • In the past, Kenya could not participate in many sporting events due to lack of facilities for training. The Ministry of culture and social services then embarked on the construction of facilities like Stadia all over Kenya E.G Moi International Sports centre in Kasarani and the Nyayo national Stadium. Kenya is famous worldwide for its outstanding sportsmen and women, who have set new World records in the Olympics, Commonwealth and All-Africa games in Athletics, Boxing, Hockey, ETC. In fact, Kenyan runners have dominated all races by sometimes scooping all the medals.

What major sociocultural challenges/setbacks has Kenya encountered since independence? (Describe/explain the social and cultural difficulties/problems experienced in postcolonial Kenya.)

  • The fast-rising population, which presents challenges of food, health  and education provision.
  • Spread of H.I.V & AIDS, which has increased the Health bill.
  • Some cultural practices such as female Circumcision and Early marriages, which have retarded
  • Corruption, which has led to the depletion of the few resources available.
  • Increase in crime-rate.
  • The fact that most Kenyans, particularly the youth, ape or try to take up foreign cultures at the expense of traditional ones. Some of such foreign culture interferes with rather than perfecting the behaviour of many Kenyans, leading to a lot of deviancy and permissiveness.

However, with the promotion of Kenyan cultural programmes in the mass media (particularly on radio and Television), it is hoped that almost all these challenges will be remedied, putting Kenya back on her cultural feet. The youth need to be assisted to be aware that failure stems from a broken focus and that as Africans, they are purposed to exist and that Black Is Beautiful in its own right.

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