Timeline of Kenya

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This is a timeline of the History of Kenya comprising important legal and territorial changes as well as political, social, and economic events in Kenya, read more at History of Kenya.



2.6 - 1.7 MYA Oldowan industry in Koobi fora, Kanjera and Mount Homa. These are amongst the earliest hominin tools ever found. [1] [2]
1.2 MYA - 490 kyr Olorgesailie Aechulean hand axe culture. [3]
320 kyrFindings at Olorgesailie in Southern Kenya indicate that advanced middle stone age technology and long distance trade was established by this time. [4] [5]
~40 kyrOstrich shell bead jewellery and obsidian tools dating to this time are found at Enkapune ya Muto in the Central rift valley. The rock shelter is occupied in phases until 1,300 years ago. [6]
~21 kyrDispersal of the common ancestors of East African Hunter gatherers (related to the San people) in the peak of the last glacial maximum. [7]
~10 kyrAn ancient massacre occurs at Nataruk in Turkana County. The remains of 27 men, women and children are found with some showing lesions consistent with blunt and sharp force trauma. These findings call into question the origins of human inter-group conflict. [8] [9]

3rd millennium BC

3300 BCE - 700 BCE East African Pastoral neolithic culture spreads. Key features include pastoralism as a means of food production and the construction of stone cairns at burial sites:

Savanna Pastoral Neolithic [10] [11]

Elmenteitan culture [12]

3000 BCE - 1000 BCE Cushitic speakers settle across East Africa. [13]

Eburran hunter gatherers, who have occupied the area around the Ol Doinyo Eburru volcano complex near Lake Nakuru for nearly 10,000 years, gradually adopt domestic animals. [6]

~3000 BCE Hyrax Hill in Nakuru is settled by a savanna pastoral neolithic people. [14]
3000 BCE - 2300 BCE Lothagam North Pillar Site: East Africa's earliest and largest monumental cemetery. [15]
3000 BCE - 2000 BCEThe Kansyore culture becomes East Africa's earliest ceramic producing group of hunter gatherers. This culture was located at Gogo falls in Migori county near Lake Victoria. [16]

2nd millennium BC

~2000BCE - 1000 ADThe East African Rock art tradition thrives with sites at Mfangano Island, Chelelemuk hills, Namoratunga and Lewa Downs. The rock paintings are attributed to the Twa people, a hunter gatherer group that was once widespread in East Africa [17]

1st millennium BC

1000BCE - 500BCE Southern Nilotic speaking communities move southwards from the Sudd into western Kenya. [18]
1000 BCE-1000 AD Bantu Groups migrate into Kenya bringing with them iron age technology. The Urewe culture, one of Africa's oldest iron smelting centres, settle in the great lakes region including western Kenya. Other groups settle in Southern Kenya [19] [20] [21]

1st century BC

100BC - 300ADThe earliest settlements in the Swahili coast appear on the archaeological record in Kwale in Kenya, Misasa in Tanzania and Ras Hafun in Somalia. [22]

Bantu speaking communities in the great lakes region develop iron forging techniques that enable them to produce carbon steel. [23]

1st century AD

~1AD - 50ADThe Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, a Graeco-Roman manuscript is written. It describes the East African coast (Azania) and an existing Indian Ocean Trade route. [24]

4th century AD

300AD - 1000ADGrowth of Azanian and Zanj settlements in the Swahili coast. Local industry and international trade flourish. [22]

7th century AD

614AD - 900ADStarting with the first Hijrah (migration) of Prophet Muhammad's followers to Ethiopia, Islam spreads across Eastern, Northern and Western Africa. [22] [25]
630AD - 890ADArchaeological evidence indicates that crucible steel is manufactured at Galu, south of Mombasa. Metallurgical analysis of iron artefacts indicates that the techniques used by the inhabitants of the Swahili coast combined techniques used in other African sites as well as those in West and South Asian sites. [22] [26]

11th century

1000 - 1500Emergence of the Swahili City States. The earliest gravestone found at Gedi Ruins dates to the earlier part of this period. [22] [27]

The oldest Swahili texts in existence date to this period. They are written in old Swahili script (Swahili-Arabic alphabet) based on Arabic letters. [28]

12th century

1100 - 1400 Hyrax Hill in Nakuru is settled by the Sirikwa. [29] [30]

Oral histories recall the settlement of Shungwaya found north of the Tana River. Several coastal and central Kenyan Bantu groups are said to have migrated from this settlement due to pressure from Oromo speaking groups. [31] [32]

14th century

~1331 Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta visits Mombasa on his way to Kilwa. [33] [34]

15th century

1418 Chinese Admiral Zheng He visits Malindi. Some of his ships are reported to have sunk near Lamu Island. Recent genetic tests done on local inhabitants confirmed Chinese ancestry [35] [36]
1490-1517 Southern Luo people migrate into Western Kenya from present day Uganda. [37]
1498April Vasco da Gama travels to Mombasa and Malindi. Attacks on merchant ships led to a hostile reception in Mombasa. In Malindi the reception was friendlier. He established trade relations, erects a pillar and hires a guide to travel to India. [38] [39] [22]

16th century

1500-1900 Thimlich Ohinga and other dry-stone walled enclosures in the Lake Victoria Basin are built. [40]
1500-1940The Kayas - Mijikenda fortified settlements are built then abandoned. Now revered as sacred sites, they are a UNESCO world heritage site. [41]
1505 The Portuguese Empire establishes a presence in Mombasa

Most old Swahili texts dating to this period and earlier are destroyed. [28]

1506 Portuguese naval commander Tristão da Cunha is sent to conquer Socotra and establish control of Indian Ocean trade. He leads a blockade of Lamu which capitulates to Portuguese control. [22] [42]
1593 Fort Jesus is built in Mombasa to solidify Portuguese hegemony [43]

17th century

1698 Omani Arabs capture Fort Jesus and Zanzibar.

Arab traders settle in Zanzibar and Pemba.

The slave trade grows exponentially with a large slave market based at Zanzibar. [44] [45]

18th century

1700-1800Complex water furrows for irrigation are constructed by the Marakwet to facilitate intensive agriculture. Clan owned and communal, these irrigation systems are still in use. [46]
1728One of the oldest surviving manuscripts in Swahili, an epic poem titled Utenzi wa Tambuka (The story of Tambuka), is written at the Royal Court of Pate Sultanate. [46]

19th century

1840 Sultan Seyyid Said, ruler of the Omani empire moves his capital to Zanzibar. The growth of clove plantations drives demand for slaves. [47]

Slave caravan routes into the interior of Kenya reach as far as the foothills of Mount Kenya, Lake Victoria and past Lake Baringo into Samburu country. [48]

184625 AugustThe first Christian mission is founded by Johann Ludwig Krapf in Rabai. Many freed slaves rescued by the British Navy are settled here. [48]
1850East and Central Africa is mapped by European explorers. [49]
1874Frere Town settlement in Mombasa is established. This is another settlement for freed slaves rescued by the British Navy. Despite pressure from the British to stop the East African slave trade, it continues to persist. [48]
1875 - 1884The peak of the slave plantation economy in East Africa. 43,000 – 47,000 slaves are present on the Kenyan coast (44 percent of the local population) [48]
1884 - 1885The Berlin Conference is convened by Otto Von Bismack. Britain stakes claims in what is today Kenya and Uganda. [50]
1890 - 1906The Nandi resistance against colonial rule is led by Koitalel Arap Samoei [51]
1895Following the financial ruin of the Imperial British East African Company which administered the territory that is now Uganda and Kenya, the British Government steps in by proclaiming the Uganda protectorate and the British East African protectorate to maintain its sphere of influence. [52] [53]

Significant numbers of South Asians migrate into modern Kenya. Through Indian Ocean trade, there has been an Indian presence on the East African Coast since antiquity. [54] [55] [22]

1898The Tsavo Man-eaters, two male lions, terrorise workers involved in the construction of the Uganda railway, halting construction for several months. This saga is depicted in the 1996 film, The Ghost and the Darkness [56] [57]

20th century

190122 January Queen Victoria dies, Edward VII is Kenya's new monarch
1902The southern areas of the eastern portion of Uganda Protectorate are transferred to East Africa Protectorate [58] [59]
1903The Ugandan Railway is completed [60]
1905 Nairobi is established as the capital of the British East African Protectorate
1909Slavery is abolished in East Africa [44]

Witchcraft is illegal in East Africa [61]

19116 May Edward VII dies, George V becomes the new monarch
1912 - 1915 Mekatilili Wa Menza leads the Giriama people in a rebellion against colonial authorities. [62]
1914Kenya participates in the first world war. Approximately 11,000 British and 95,000 Africans were killed in the east African campaign with 45,000 of these Africans coming from Kenya [63] [64] [65] [66]
1920The British East African Protectorate is transformed to the Kenya Colony [67]

Young Kikuyu Association is started by Harry Thuku. Advocating for African suffrage, he was inspired to start a nationalist movement. Thuku renamed his organisation the East African Association, as he was striving for multi-ethnic membership. He included the local Indian community and reached out to other tribes. The colonial government accused Thuku of sedition, arrested him and detained him until 1930. [68]

Kikuyu Central Association is formed Led by Joseph Keng’ethe and Jesse Kariuki. Johnstone (later Jomo) Kenyatta was the secretary and editor of the associations’ publication Mugwithania (The unifier). [69] [68]

Sir Edward Northey becomes the first Kenyan ruler (governor) [70]

1921The ‘Piny Owacho’ (Voice of the People) movement in Kavirondo culminates in a large mass meeting advocating for land rights, fairer taxes and fairer treatment by the colonial authorities. [68]

Archdeacon W. E. Owen, an Anglican missionary and prominent advocate for African affairs, starts the Kavirondo Taxpayers Welfare Association. [68]

1924The British Empire cedes part of Jubaland to the Italian Somaliland [71]
1926The second portion of Uganda Protectorate is transferred to Kenya. This constitutes largely the present-day Turkana County. [59]
1930Vittorio Merlo Pick, an Italian missionary, observes and records a traditional Kikuyu poem 150 stanzas long narrated through the use of a memory device and rattle gourd, the Gicandi. Most pre-colonial history in East and Central Africa was recorded orally. The best known memory device from this region still in use is the Lukasa memory board from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. [72] [73]
1935 Makhan Singh pioneers the trade union movement in Kenya by starting Labour trade union of Kenya. He organised the Railway workers strike in 1939 which was heavily suppressed by the colonial government. [68]
1936 George V dies, Edward VIII becomes the colony's new monarch until December 1936 when he abdicated. His younger brother George VI ascends to the throne.
1939 - 1945Kenya participates in the second world war. African World war II veterans such as Bildad Kaggia, Fred Kubai and Stanley Mathenge would become central figures in the anti-colonial struggle. [68]
1944 Kenya African Study Union is founded by Harry Thuku [68]
1945-1950 Benga music, a popular genre that originated in Kenya is born. Starting as a blend of Luo traditional string music, Congolese guitar picking styles and Cuban rumba, Benga becomes one of the most popular Kenyan and Pan-African musical genres. [74] [75]
1947 Jomo Kenyatta is new president of Kenya African Union (KAU)
1952 George VI dies, Elizabeth II ascends to the thrown while on a royal tour in Kenya.

Jomo Kenyatta visits Kisumu in an effort to gain nationwide support for KAU. This visit inspires Oginga Odinga, the Ker (Chief) of the Luo Union, to join KAU. [68]

Multiracial pattern of quotas allowed

Mau Mau Uprising begins [76]

Members of the Forty group, a militant group of World War II veterans including Bildad Kaggia, form part of the core leadership of the uprising. [68]

195221 OctoberThe Kapenguria six, core leaders of the Kenya African Union are arrested. They include Jomo Kenyatta, Paul Ngei, Kungu Karumba, Bildad Kaggia, Fred Kubai and Achieng Oneko [68]
19538 AprilJomo Kenyatta is jailed [77] [78]
1953 - 1960 Tom Mboya emerges to become a key figure in the anti-colonial struggle. Through the trade union movement (Kenya Federation of Labour), he gains local and international admiration and respect, becoming the first Kenyan to feature on the cover of Time magazine. [68] [79]
195621 October Dedan Kimathi, a key leader of the Mau Mau uprising is captured. This effectively event marks the defeat of the Mau Mau. [80]
1957The first election for African members of the legislative council (MLC) is held. Oginga Odinga and Tom Mboya are elected. Daniel Arap Moi is the only previously nominated MLC who gets elected. [68]
195825 June Oginga Odinga calls for the release of Jomo Kenyatta at a Legislative council debate. He endures months of persecution for taking this stand. It then becomes the rallying call for the African nationalist movement. [68]
1959 - 1963The Kennedy Airlift scholarship program is started by Tom Mboya and William X Scheinman to address the shortfall of skilled African labour in soon to be independent Kenya. Nobel prize winner Wangari Maathai, Barack Obama Sr. and George Saitoti are amongst the beneficiaries of these airlifts. The program lasts until 1963. Over 800 students from East Africa benefit from this program. [81]
19596 MarchThe colonial government attempts to crush Tom Mboya's Nairobi People's Convention Party. This is the most organised and effective political party in Kenya at a time when national African parties are banned. Mboya's home is raided by the police and over 40 party members are arrested and sent to their tribal homes. This is the biggest round up since the Mau Mau emergency. [82] [68]
1959May Tom Mboya is honoured by Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Martin Luther King affirms the connection between the American civil rights movement and the African Liberation Movement. [83]

Tom Mboya and Martin Luther King share a podium at a civil rights rally held in Washington DC. [84]

1960The Nairobi People's Convention Party merges with the Kenya Independence Movement and Kenya African Union to form the Kenya African National Union (KANU)

Mau Mau Uprising ends [85]

1960 - 1963The Lancaster House Conferences are held in London to discuss Kenya's independence and constitutional framework. [68]

Thurgood Marshall, American Lawyer and civil rights activist, is consulted by Mboya and Odinga to help draft the first constitution. [81]

1960 - 1989 Kenya and the Cold war. The pan-continental wave of African nationalism attracts Cold war interests. For Kenya, this peaks between 1963 and 1969 when a proxy cold war plays out in local politics. [86] [68] [87] [88]
196121 August Jomo Kenyatta is released [68]
1961September Bildad Kaggia is released from prison. [89]
1962 KANU-KADU coalition government is formed
1963 - 1967The Shifta War. This was a war of Secession between the Northern Frontier District Liberation Movement and Kenyan government. [86]
196312 DecemberKenya becomes a sovereign state but remains a member of the commonwealth realm [90]

Jomo Kenyatta becomes Kenya's first Prime Minister and head of government serving Elizabeth II

Malcolm MacDonald becomes Kenya's last Colonial governor [91]

1964 UNESCO's General History of Africa is launched aiming to tackle ignorance of Africa's history. Kenyan historian Bethwell Allan Ogot plays a key role in its production. [92]
196420 October Malcolm X attends the Kenyatta Day parade in Nairobi. The American Civil rights leader first visited Kenya in 1959. Earlier in the year, Malcolm X attended the OAU meeting in Cairo to convince African states to raise the question of persecution of African Americans at the United Nations. [93] [94] [95]
196412 DecemberKenya becomes a republic with Jomo Kenyatta as the first President of Kenya
196528 JanuaryThe Kenyatta government sends the Kenya army to Meru district, where Mau Mau fighters are gathered under the leadership of Field Marshall Mwariama and Field Marshall Baimungi. These last Mau Mau leaders had been insisting that they should get land and be absorbed into the civil service and Kenya army. Both leaders and several Mau Mau fighters are killed [96] [97]
196524 FebruaryAnti-colonial activist and socialist politician, Pio Gama Pinto is assassinated. This is independent Kenya's first political assassination. [98]
1966 Bildad Kaggia and Oginga Odinga accuse the Kenyatta government of pursuing corrupt land distribution policies that did not favour the poor and the landless. [68]

Kenya's vice president, Oginga Odinga, leaves the ruling party KANU and starts a left leaning party, the Kenya People's Union. 29 members of parliament including Kaggia defect from KANU to KPU. [68]

196611 and 12 JuneThe 'Little general election' is held. These by-elections are called following the defection of 29 members of KANU to establish the Kenya People's Union. [99]

Outside Nyanza Province, most KPU candidates, including Bildad Kaggia, lose in this election. [68]

1966JulyA security Act is passed in Parliament that permits the government to carry out detention without trial. This act is used against KPU members who are arrested in round up a few weeks later. Those arrested include Ochola Mak'Anyengo (Secretary-General of the Kenya Petroleum Oil Workers Union), Oluande Koduol (Oginga Odinga's private secretary) and Peter Ooko (Secretary general of the East African Common Services Civil Servants Union) [100] [101]
1967 East African Community formed

Kenyan pro-divisions founded

1968 Richard Leakey leads a preliminary search of Koobi Fora. This archaeological site yields a wealth of stone tools and hominin fossils that shape the understanding of human evolution and development. [102]

Naftali Temu wins the 10,000 metres race at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City becoming Kenya's first gold medalist. [103] [104]

19695 July Tom Mboya, widely considered as heir apparent to Kenyatta, is assassinated. [105]
196925 OctoberThe Kisumu Massacre occurs. Two days later, all KPU leaders are arrested and detained without trial and KPU is banned. Oginga Odinga is placed under house arrest. Kenya becomes a de facto one party state. [106]
1970The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) is started by Kenyan entomologist, Thomas Odhiambo. Through the years he becomes known for his research on Insect physiology and non-chemical methods of agricultural insect control [107]
1971 Oginga Odinga is released from house arrest [108]
19725 June United Nations Environmental Program is founded with its headquarters in Nairobi. Kenyan scientist Reuben Olembo plays a key role in starting it and becomes the deputy executive director. He later becomes the assistant UN secretary general (1994-1998). [109]
1973The Lokiriama Peace Accord is signed by Turkana people and Matheniki of Uganda [110]

Lufthansa Flight 540 crashes

197414 October General elections are held in Kenya. Former KPU members including Odinga are prevented from running for office. [111]
1975March Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, a popular left leaning politician and gadfly critical of the Kenyatta government is assassinated. [112]
1977 Ngugi Wa Thiongo, renowned Kenyan writer is detained without trial. His play Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want) provokes government authorities to arrest him. Continuous harassment after his release in 1978 forces him into exile from 1982 until 2002. [113]

East Africa's first woman to receive a PhD, Wangari Maathai starts the Green Belt Movement. This organisation aims to mobilise the community to conserve the environment and reduce poverty. [114]

Rhamu incident occurs

1978Jomo Kenyatta dies [115]

Daniel Arap Moi becomes new Kenyan President

1980 Garissa massacre takes place
1982 Oginga Odinga attempts to start a new political party. Section 2a of the Kenyan constitution is amended making Kenya a de jure one party state therefore preventing his efforts.

A coup attempt by Kenya Air Force soldiers in August, led by Hezekiah Ochuka is foiled. Oginga Odinga is expelled from KANU and imprisoned for several months. [116] [108]

The General Service Unit is formed

1984The first case of HIV is recorded in Kenya. Despite evidence to the contrary prominent leaders are initially in denial of the extent of HIV in Kenya. By 1994, the Ministry of Health would estimate that 200,000 people died of AIDS [117]

Wagala Massacre occurs committed by Kenyan troops

1986A documentary series - The Africans: A Triple Heritage premiers on the BBC and PBS in the United States. This series is produced by one of Africa's most prominent public intellectuals, Prof. Ali Mazrui. He was born in Mombasa; a member of the prominent Mazrui family. [118]
1987 Barack Obama visits Kenya for the first time to meet his father's family. [119]

Kenya hosts the All African Games

199013 FebruaryThe body of Robert Ouko, the Kenyan Foreign Minister, is found. Initial police reports stated that his death was a suicide but forensic evidence suggests that he was murdered. Public pressure forces President Daniel Arap Moi to involve Scotland Yard in the investigation. [120]
1990JulyThe Saba Saba protests - pro-democracy uprisings - engulf the country. Kenneth Matiba and Raila Odinga are amongst the many opposition leaders arrested and detained without trial. [121] [122]

Nelson Mandela visits Kenya with the intention of visiting the grave of Dedan Kimathi. His request is turned down by government authorities. Dedan Kimathi was buried in an unmarked grave in Kamiti Maximum Prison after his execution in 1957. His grave site would not be identified until 2019. [123] [124]

1991Local and International Pressure mounts leading to the repealing of section 2a of the constitution. Kenya becomes a multiparty state. [125]

The Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD), an opposition political party led by Oginga Odinga, Kenneth Matiba and Martin Shikuku is formed.

1992AugustThe Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) splits up following internal wrangling into FORD-Asili, FORD-Kenya and FORD-People. [126] [127]
199229 DecemberThe 1992 Kenyan general elections are held. This is Kenya's first presidential multiparty election. This election is marred by irregularities and targeted ethnic violence in Rift Valley Province. President Daniel Arap Moi retains his seat. [126]
199420 January Oginga Odinga dies. [128]
1996 Professor Leah T. Marangu is appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University (ANU). She becomes the first Kenyan woman to head a University [129]
1997January Kenyan hip hop group Kalamashaka release the hit song "Tafsiri Hii" produced by Tedd Josiah. Their modern hip hop style combined with Swahili lyrics to give a message of hope despite the social and political issues bedevilling Kenya inspires a generation of urban youth and local talent. [130] [131]
19977 JulyThe Saba Saba anniversary confrontation leaves 10 people dead and several injured at the hands of government authorities. The run-up to the 1997 election is marred by violence against the opposition [121]
199729 DecemberPresident Daniel Arap Moi is elected again in Kenya's second presidential multiparty election. These elections attract widespread criticism over irregularities and ethnic clashes. Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga (Oginga Odinga's son) are his main challengers. [121]
19987 AugustThe US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya's capital and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania leave 224 people dead and over 4000 people injured. Al-Qaeda and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad are implicated. [132]
2000President Daniel Arap Moi sets up the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission. Yash Pal Ghai is installed as the chairman. This is Kenya's first major constitutional reform since independence. [133]

21st century

2002Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina wins the 2002 Caine Prize for his short story "Discovering Home". Shortly afterwards he starts the literary magazine, Kwani? (So what?) which launches the careers of several writers including Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (winner of the 2003 Caine Prize) and Uwem Akpan (Nigerian author, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize). [134] [135]
200228 NovemberThe 2002 Mombasa attacks occur. Paradise Hotel and an Arkia airline owned flight are attacked. Both are Israeli owned. The attack on the airline fails but 13 people are killed and 80 are injured at the hotel. [136]
200227 DecemberThe 2002 general election is held. 62% of voters reject KANU's presidential candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta (Jomo Kenyatta's son), voting in the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) into power. Mwai Kibaki becomes President of Kenya.

Daniel Arap Moi, the longest serving president in Kenya's history, steps down from power. [137]

200314 SeptemberDr. Crispin Mbai, the head of a key and contentious committee in Kenya's constitutional reforms is murdered. Many perceive this as a political murder [138] [139]
20048 October Wangari Maathai becomes the first African woman and first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. [140]
20057 February John Githongo, journalist and whistle-blower, resigns from his position as Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics. He later names top politicians involved in the Anglo-leasing scandal, a government procurement scam. Following threats to his life he moves to the UK in exile. [141]
2005September Kimani Maruge, the oldest elementary school student in the Guinness book of World Records, addresses the 2005 United Nations world summit in New York City on the importance of free primary education. A former Mau Mau fighter, he took the opportunity to enrol in primary school after Kenya started free primary education in 2003. His story was told in the 2010 biographical film, The First Grader. [142] [143]
200521 NovemberThe 2005 Kenyan constitutional referendum is held. Widely perceived as a referendum against President Mwai Kibaki, 57% of voters reject the draft constitution. Two days later, Kibaki dismisses his entire cabinet. [144]
2006The Murumbi gallery opens at the Kenya National Archives. Joseph Murumbi, former Kenyan Vice President, was one of the worlds foremost collectors of African artefacts and historical documents. He sold his collection to the Kenyan government in 1977. [145]
2007 Prof. Miriam Were, a prominent public health expert and HIV/AIDS researcher, receives the Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal for Outstanding contributions to International Public Health and Supporting the Health Needs of Disadvantaged people. Despite downward trends in the national prevalence of HIV in Kenya, in 2007, approximately 1,400,000 persons are living with HIV. [146] [147] [148]
2007March Safaricom and Vodafone launch MPesa, a mobile phone based money transfer system, following successful trials in Thika in 2006. By 2019, this service will have 42 million active customers over 7 countries. Millions of people with limited access to banking services, through their mobile phones, gain access to financial services. [149] [150]
200727 DecemberThe 2007 general elections are held. The campaign and election period are heavily polarised along ethnic lines. The results are contested by the Orange Democratic Movement, led by Raila Odinga as the Party of National Unity led by Mwai Kibaki is declared victorious.

The post-election crisis of 2007–2008 begins shortly after the election. At least 1,133 people are killed and more than 600,000 are displaced [151] [152]

20086 NovemberPresident Kibaki declares this day a public holiday following the election of Barack Obama to become the first African American president of the United States. [153]
2009the UN Secretary general Kofi Annan handed names of the main suspects of the 2007 Post-election violence to the International Criminal Court [154]
2010MarchEntrepreneur and blogger Erik Hersman starts iHub, an innovation hub and hacker space. This quickly becomes a central pillar of the Silicon Savannah (the Kenyan tech scene). Between 2010 and 2019, 170 companies are formed out of iHub. [155]
2010MarchThe Kenyan music group Just a band releases Kenya's first viral music video - Ha He - which tells the exploits of Makmende, referencing blaxploitation and kung fu motifs. The viral response highlights the uptake and penetration of technology and social media in Kenya [156]
20104 AugustKenya holds a constitutional referendum. 68.6% of voters approve the new constitution [157]
2010DecemberSix prominent Kenyans are accused of crimes against humanity by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Luis Moreno Ocampo. Education Minister William Ruto, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey, secretary to the cabinet Francis Kirimi Muthaura, former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali and radio executive Joshua Arap Sang [158]
2012January 23The Pre-trial chamber of the ICC confirms charges against Kenyatta, Muthaura, Ruto and Sang. [159]
2012First LGBT pride event held in Kenyan US embassy [160]

George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode are killed in a helicopter crash [161]

2012March Anglo-Irish firm, Tullow Oil, discovers oil in Northern Kenya. President Kibaki calls the find a major breakthrough [162]
20129 AugustIn what was dubbed "The Greatest 800 Meter Race Ever", David Rudisha wins the gold medal in the 2012 London olympics 800m race and breaks the world record. [163]
2013SeptemberThe Westgate terror attack. Four gunmen kill over 60 people and injure approximately 200 in an attack on an upscale mall, Westgate shopping mall. Al-Shabaab claim responsibility for the attack in retaliation for Kenya's incursion into Somalia in 2011 - Operation Linda Nchi. [164]
2013 Uhuru Kenyatta is voted in as the fourth President of Kenya with William Ruto as his deputy president following the 2013 Kenyan General Elections [165]
20142 March Lupita Nyong'o wins the best supporting actress Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards for her role in 12 Years a Slave. She becomes the first African to win an Oscar. [166]
2014OctoberKenya rebases its economy increasing in GDP size by 25.3 per cent. Newly classified as a middle-income country, Kenya becomes Africa's ninth largest economy, up from 12th. [167]
2014DecemberThe prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Fatou Bensouda withdraws charges against President Kenyatta due to lack of evidence. [168]
20152 AprilThe Garissa University attack occurs. Gunmen claiming to be from Al-Shabaab kill 148 people and injure over 70. This is the second most deadly terrorist attack on Kenyan soil. [169] [170]
2016AprilThe International Criminal Court drops its case against the deputy president of Kenya, William Ruto [171]

A Huruma building in Nairobi collapses. 52 people are killed and several injured. The high demand for Housing in Nairobi leads to some developers bypassing safety regulations. [172] [173]

The Kenya rugby sevens team beats Fiji to win their first Sevens World Series title [174]

2016September Mark Zuckerberg visits iHub [175]
20178 AugustThe 2017 Kenyan General Elections are held. Nine days prior to the election, Chris Msando, the head of IT at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is found murdered. The election is highly contested with allegations of rigging. The incumbent, Jubilee Party candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, is declared winner but the results are challenged in the Supreme Court by Raila Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement [176] [177]

Afterwards, protests erupt in Nairobi, Western Kenya and the Coastal region. The police response is lethal. Over the next weeks after the election, at least 12 people are killed and over a hundred injured. Police operations include door to door crackdowns in areas not involved in the protests. The tragic death of 6 month old Samantha Pendo ignites an uproar over police brutality. [178] [179]

201720 SeptemberThe Supreme Court annuls the election results. Fresh elections are called for within 60 days. [180]
201726 OctoberThe 2017 second Presidential election is held. Raila Odinga refuses to participate in these elections citing uncorrected issues within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Kenyatta is declared winner with 98% of the vote with a voter turn-out of 39%. [181]
201830 JanuaryAmidst a media black-out, Raila Odinga is sworn in as the "People's President" in an effort to persuade Uhuru Kenyatta to come to the negotiation table. Kenyan lawyer Miguna Miguna officiates the ceremony. He is deported in February following treason related charges and the legality of his citizenship is brought to question. [182] [183] [184] [185]
2018MarchAn investigative report reveals that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm, played a critical role in President Uhuru Kenyatta's two campaigns, in 2013 and 2017. [186]

After months of political uncertainty, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga make peace with "The Handshake". Raila Odinga is later appointed as the African Union's High representative for Infrastructural Development. [187]

2018May Wanuri Kahiu's film, Rafiki, receives a standing ovation at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The Kenya Film Classification Board bans this film for its subject matter. This is the first Kenyan film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival [188]
201915-16 JanuaryThe DusitD2 complex which hosts an upscale hotel and several other offices is attacked. 21 people are killed and several injured. Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for the attack stating that it was a response to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel [189] [190]
201923 MarchKenyan science teacher and Franciscan Friar, Peter Tabichi, wins the Global Teacher Prize. [191] [192]
2019OctoberUS-based Kenyan scientist and inventor, Prof. Benson Edagwa is named the Emerging Innovator of the year at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for his work on developing long acting Antiretroviral treatments for HIV. [193]
202013 MarchKenya confirms first Covid 19 infection. [194]
20229 AugustThe 2022 Kenyan General Elections are held in which William Ruto was elected as the 5th president of Kenya with Rigathi Gachagua as the deputy president. [195]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Kenya</span>

A part of Eastern Africa, the territory of what is known as Kenya has seen human habitation since the beginning of the Lower Paleolithic. The Bantu expansion from a West African centre of dispersal reached the area by the 1st millennium AD. With the borders of the modern state at the crossroads of the Bantu, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic ethno-linguistic areas of Africa, Kenya is a truly multi-ethnic state.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenya African National Union</span> Political party in Kenya

The Kenya African National Union (KANU) is a Kenyan political party that ruled for nearly 40 years after Kenya's independence from British colonial rule in 1963 until its electoral loss in 2002. It was known as Kenya African Union (KAU) from 1944 but due to pressure from the colonial government, KAU changed its name to Kenya African Study Union (KASU) mainly because all political parties were banned in 1939 following the start of the Second World War. In 1946 KASU rebranded itself into KAU following the resignation of Harry Thuku as president due to internal differences between the moderates who wanted peaceful negotiations and the militants who wanted to use force, the latter forming the Aanake a forty, which later became the Mau Mau. His post was then occupied by James Gichuru, who stepped down for Jomo Kenyatta in 1947 as president of KAU. The KAU was banned by the colonial government from 1952 to 1960. It was re-established by James Gichuru in 1960 and renamed KANU on 14 May 1960 after a merger with Tom Mboya's Kenya Independence Movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mau Mau rebellion</span> Insurgency in Kenya from 1952 to 1960

The Mau Mau rebellion (1952–1960), also known as the Mau Mau uprising, Mau Mau revolt, or Kenya Emergency, was a war in the British Kenya Colony (1920–1963) between the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA), also known as the Mau Mau, and the British authorities. Dominated by Kikuyu, Meru and Embu fighters, the KLFA also comprised units of Kamba and Maasai who fought against the European colonists in Kenya, the British Army, and the local Kenya Regiment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jomo Kenyatta</span> President of Kenya from 1964 to 1978

Jomo Kenyatta was a Kenyan anti-colonial activist, revolutionary, political theorist and politician who governed Kenya as its Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as its first President from 1964 to his death in 1978. He was the country's first president and played a significant role in the transformation of Kenya from a colony of the British Empire into an independent republic. Ideologically an African nationalist and a conservative, he led the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party from 1961 until his death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenya</span> Country in Eastern Africa

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa. A member of the Commonwealth with a population of more than 47.6 million in the 2019 census, Kenya is the 28th most populous country in the world and 7th most populous in Africa. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest and second largest city, which until 1907 was also Kenya's first capital city, is the coastal city of Mombasa which includes Mombasa Island in the Indian Ocean and the surrounding mainland. Kisumu is the third-largest city and also an inland port in the Winam Gulf which, along with its numerous bays and human settlements, is one of the important maritime transport, fishing, farming, commercial, history and tourism hubs on Lake Victoria. As of 2020, Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa and hosts the United Nations, UNEP and UN-HABITAT headquarters in Africa. Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast and is host to two of the world's largest Refugee camps at Dadaab and Kakuma. Kenya's geography, climate and population vary widely, ranging from cold snow-capped mountaintops with vast surrounding forests, wildlife and fertile agricultural regions to temperate climates in western and rift valley counties and further on to dry less fertile arid and semi-arid areas and absolute deserts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenya African Democratic Union</span> Political party in Kenya

The Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) was a political party in Kenya. It was founded in 1960 when several leading politicians refused to join Jomo Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union (KANU). It was led by Ronald Ngala who was joined by Moi's Kalenjin Political Alliance, the Masai United Front, the Kenya African Peoples Party, the Coast African Political Union, Masinde Muliro's Baluhya Political Union and the Somali National Front. The separate tribal organisations were to retain their identity and so, from the very start, KADU based its political approach on tribalism. KADU's aim was to defend the interests of the so-called KAMATUSA as well as the British settlers, against the imagined future dominance of the larger Luo and Kikuyu that comprised the majority of KANU's membership, when it became inevitable that Kenya will achieve its independence. The KADU objective was to work towards a multiracial self government within the existing colonial political system. After release of Jomo Kenyatta, KADU was becoming increasingly popular with European settlers and, on the whole, repudiated Kenyatta's leadership. KADU's plan at Lancaster meetings was devised by European supporters, essentially to protect prevailing British settlers land rights.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Uhuru Kenyatta</span> President of Kenya from 2013 to 2022

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is a Kenyan politician who served as the fourth president of Kenya from 2013 to 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenya African Union</span>

The Kenya African Union (KAU) was a political organization in colonial Kenya, formed in October 1944 prior to the appointment of the first African to sit in the Legislative Council. In 1960 it became the current Kenya African National Union (KANU).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Mboya</span> Kenyan politician that played a major role in the founding The Sovereign Kenyan State

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya was a Kenyan trade unionist, educator, Pan-Africanist, author, independence activist, and statesman. He was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of Kenya. He led the negotiations for independence at the Lancaster House Conferences and was instrumental in the formation of Kenya's independence party – the Kenya African National Union (KANU) – where he served as its first Secretary-General. He laid the foundation for Kenya's capitalist and mixed economy policies at the height of the Cold War and set up several of the country's key labour institutions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luo people</span> Nilotic ethnic group in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda

The Luo of Kenya and Tanzania are a Nilotic ethnic group native to western Kenya and the Mara Region of northern Tanzania in East Africa. The Luo are the fourth-largest ethnic group (10.65%) in Kenya, after the Kikuyu (17.13%), the Luhya (14.35%) and the Kalenjin (13.37%). The Tanzanian Luo population was estimated at 1.1 million in 2001 and 3.4 million in 2020. They are part of a larger group of related Luo peoples who inhabit an area ranging from South Sudan, southwestern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Uganda, southwestern Kenya, and northern Tanzania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Caroline Elkins</span> American professor and historian (born 1969)

Caroline Elkins is Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, the Thomas Henry Carroll/Ford Foundation Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Affiliated Professor at Harvard Law School, and the Founding Oppenheimer Faculty Director of Harvard's Center for African Studies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenya–United States relations</span> Bilateral relations

Kenya–United States relations are bilateral relations between Kenya and the United States. Kenya and the United States have long been close allies and have enjoyed cordial relations since Kenya's independence. Relations became even closer after Kenya's democratic transition of 2002 and subsequent improvements in human rights.

The Black Man's Land Trilogy is a series of documentary films on colonialism, nationalism and revolution in Africa, filmed in Kenya in 1970 and released in 1973, and still widely used in African studies programs internationally. The three titles are White Man's Country, Mau Mau, and Kenyatta.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Australia–Kenya relations</span> Bilateral relations

Bilateral relations exist between Australia and Kenya. Both Australia and Kenya were formerly part of the British Empire, although not simultaneously, and are current member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. As of 2020, both Commonwealth nations have maintained bilateral relations for 55 years.

The Kisumu massacre occurred when the presidential guard and police forces shot and killed several civilians in Kisumu Town, the capital of Nyanza Province in Kenya. This took place on 25 October 1969. The official death toll from government sources stands at 11 fatalities but other sources place this number at closer to 100. Victims included women and children, some of whom were shot 30–50 km away from the epicentre of the riots. According to media reports, the government of the day made attempted to cover up the extent of the massacre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Wasawo</span>

Professor David Peter Simon Wasawo was a Kenyan zoologist, conservationist, and university administrator. After studying at Uganda's Makerere University he earned an M.A. at the University of Oxford and a PhD at University of London. He taught at Makerere University, and was Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Nairobi, and later chancellor of Great Lakes University of Kisumu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Youth Service (Kenya)</span> Organisation under the Government of Kenya

The National Youth Service (NYS) is an organisation under the Government of Kenya. It was established in 1964 to train young people in important national matters. In 2019, the organization was transformed from a state department to a fully fledged semi-autonomous state corporation after enactment of NYS act, 2018] by the Kenyan parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ochola Ogaye Mak'Anyengo</span> Kenyan trade unionist and politician (1930-1990)

Ochola Ogaye Mak'Anyengo, also known as George Philip Ochola (1930–1990) was a Kenyan trade unionist and Member of Parliament for Ndhiwa, South Nyanza, Kenya. He was involved in the fight for Kenya's independence and was a beneficiary of the Mboya-Kennedy airlifts.

The Nairobi People's Convention Party (NPCP) was a Nairobi based political party formed in 1957 by Tom Mboya. This party played a crucial role in the fight for Kenya's independence. Despite attempts at suppression from the colonial government, the NPCP managed to mobilise Africans in Nairobi to further the nationalist cause and fight for independence from Britain. Following Jomo Kenyatta's release from detention in 1961, the NPCP merged with the Kenya African Union (KAU) and Kenya Independence Movement (KIM) to form the Kenya African National Union (KANU).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Squatting in Kenya</span> Residential occupation in farms and cities

During the colonial occupation of Kenya, Black Africans working on farms owned by white settlers were called "squatters" by the British. As of 1945, there were over 200,000 such squatters in the Highlands and more than half were Kikuyu. The Mau Mau rebellion began amongst these squatters in the late 1940s and after independence in the early 1960s, peasants started squatting land in rural areas without the permission of the owner.


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