Kenya has a diverse media scene, supported by a sizable middle class that sustains a substantial advertising market.
A handful of major players dominates the industry. One of them, Nation Media Group, has extended its operations to neighbouring countries.
The state-run Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) is funded from advertising revenue and a government-provided budget.
Television is the main news source in cities and towns. The spread of viewing in rural areas has been slower, hampered by limited access to mains electricity. A switchover to digital TV is under way.
The main satellite pay-TV platforms are South Africa’s MultiChoice and its Kenyan rival Wananchi Group, which operates Zuku TV.
Situated on the equator on Africa’s east coast, Kenya has been described as “the cradle of humanity”.
In the Great Rift Valley palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest evidence of man’s ancestors.
In the present day, Kenya’s ethnic diversity has produced a vibrant culture but is also a source of conflict.
The Islamist militant Al-Shabab movement, active in Somalia, has also been launching a growing number of attacks in Kenya, including the 2013 Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi and the 2015 attack on Garissa University College in northwest Kenya.
Other pressing challenges include high unemployment, crime and poverty. Droughts frequently put millions of people at risk.
The Republic of Kenya
Population: 42.7 million
Languages: Swahili, English
Life expectancy: 57 years (men), 59 years (women)
Currency: Kenya Shilling (1 ZAR = 7.6 KES)
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