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The East African country on the equator between the Indian Ocean to the east and Lake Victoria in the west covers an area of 582 646 km2 (compared to Austria with 83 871km2) and has a population of around 37 million. The official languages are Swahili (or also Suaheli, Kisuaheli, Kiswahili) and English, which naturally makes our communication with the athletes so much easier.

The reason for English being an official language goes back to the days of the former British Empire. It was only on 12 December 1963, after several years of bloody rebellion, that Kenya was finally able to free itself from British colonial rule and declare independence. After many years of one-party political system under Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi, the election of Mwai Kibaki as president in 2002 signified an economic upturn for the country. The election in 2007 resulted in a stalemate between the government and the opposition and subsequent sad period of unrest in Kenya. The situation gradually returned to normal in most parts of the country and resulted at the political level in a power-sharing arrangement between President Mwai Kibaki and the new Prime Minister Raila Odinga from the opposition party.

The background for the unrest lies in the diverse tribal structure in Kenya. There are around 52 different ethnic groups with over 61 different languages and dialects, which inevitably can lead to communication problems. The Kikuyu with roughly 22% are the biggest group although the overwhelming majority of Kenya’s top runners come from the Kalenjin from the west of Kenya. The run2gether Kenya running team, to which all of the athletes at our running camps belong, has a significant role here as a uniting influence and serves as a positive example of cooperation among the different ethnic groups. Thus the team has members of the Kalenjin as well as Kikuyu and other ethnic groups.

The capital and the largest city of the country is Nairobi with more than 3 million inhabitants. The main centre of tourism is the national parks (such as the Maasai Mara), the Mount Kenya range (with its highest point of 5199m) and the coastal region around Mombasa.

Official name: Republic of Kenya
Capital: Nairobi
Area: 582.646 km2
(roughly as large as France)
Independence: From the UK on 12 December 1963
(which also Kenya’s national day)
Population: approx. 30,7 Mio.
Average life expectancy: approx. 51 Jahre
% of population who cannot read or write: approx. 19.5 %
% of population who live below the subsistence level: approx. 26.5 %
% of population with access to drinking water: approx. 44.0 %
Kenya has borders to: Ethiopia and Sudan to the north, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south and Somalia to the east
Longest river: Tana, 604 km
Highest mountain: Mount Kenya, 5.199 m
Largest lake: Lake Turkana, 6.405 km2
Railway network: 2.778 km
Road network: 63.800 km (of which 8 868 km are asphalt roads)
Other: Kenya is also considered by many to be the “cradle of mankind” as some of the oldest human remains have been found on the shores of Lake Turkana

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