Kenya gained independence from the British in 1963. Following political instability, a new constitution was adopted in 2010, which reduces the autonomy of the president as well as gives more powers to the local governments, in the 47 counties of Kenya. Kenya is a founding member of the EAC (East African Community) which aims to boost regional trade and commerce.
Kenya is the biggest economy and the most industrialized country in East and Central Africa. A sizeable majority of the Kenyan population had access to potable water in 2010. Since 2010, the Kenyan economy has consistently maintained a growth rate of over 5 percent, except in 2012. Kenya is the first East African country to grow from low-income status to middle-income status and finally turn into one of Africa’s top 10 economies. The major contributors to the economy are small-scale consumer goods, agricultural products, processing, and tourism; however, Kenya was not among the most popular African countries among tourists in 2016. The highlands of Kenya are one of the regions with the highest agricultural production in Africa, with tea and horticultural produce being the most valuable exports. Agriculture, including forestry and fishing, generates a third of the country’s GDP, and provides employment for over three quarter of Kenyans.
However, the Human Development Index places Kenya still very low on the list, mainly due to the low per-capita income. The major export partners of Kenya are Uganda, the United States, and Tanzania. Kenya’s inflation rate is predicted to be more or less stable over the next five years, after a sudden increase in 2017, while the trade deficit does not show signs of decrease.