The African country, Kenya was colonized by the British in the late nineteenth century. By the middle of the twentieth century, Kenya aspired to gain its independence in attempt to begin to unify an independent Africa. They also desperately wanted independence to fix economic and social neglect, along with the injustices of the colonial era. The colonial system did not help Africa to further develop and the British took some of the money that the Africans made from trade (B. A. Оgot 8).
Kenya began fighting the British in the 1950s because they banned Mau Mau, an ancient Kikuyu society. This was due to its violence and strict rules. To push back the fighting from the Mau Mau, the British brought in their army. However, the Mau Mau continuously attacked them in attempt to wear them down. There were about 12,000 men fighting for Mau Mau and the British had a difficult time attacking them since they were hidden in the woods. Once the British were able to attack them in the woods, the Mau Mau began to lose the battle.
By 1956, the Mau Mau were defeated by the British, but their cry for independence was heard (“decolonization campaigns”). British concluded from the fight that it was necessary to include the Kenyans in political and economical pieces of the society and by 1963 Kenya would have gained its independence (“Decolonization & Independence in Kenya, 1940-93” 48). Kenya wanted independence so that they could be in charge of their land, take part in politics and create a prosperous, growing economy.
Kenya was a successful nation-state by 20 years after it gained independence because its economy grew and people became more educated which in turn resulted in a higher standard of living. Kenya was also accepting of religious and cultural differences which resulted in less conflict. Kenya fought for a long time before it was granted its independence. One particular fighter was Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya once it was decolonized. Kenyatta wrote a letter in The Times of London in March 1930 to express five issues about what would need to improve with the British colonial government.
He wrote, “(1) security of land tenure and the return of lands allotted to European settlers, (2) increased educational facilities, (3) repeal of hut taxes on women, which forced some to earn money by prostitution, (4) African representation in the Legislative Council, and (5) noninterference with traditional customs” (Jomo Kenyatta). Kenyatta continued to express in his letter, that the lack of these five essential things would result in disaster. In addition to writing this letter, Kenyatta also contributed to gaining independence by helping to create the fifth Pan-African Congress.
The group met on October fifteenth for four days in Manchester, England. The chair was W. E. B. Du Bois from the United States. The group discussed how to gain independence through nationalist movements and made plans so that Kenya, and other African countries could be released from their colonial rulers. In April of 1953, Kenyatta was sentenced to serve seven years in prison since he was falsely charged with managing the Mau Mau group. Kenyatta was held in jail until 1961, upon release he was able to take his position as president of the Kenya African National Union.
Kenyatta was elected for this position while he was still imprisoned, but the spot ot was saved for him to fill once he was released (“Jomo Kenyatta”). After an extended period of hard work and suffering for Kenya, the British decided to gradually grant the country its independence. On December 12th, 1963 Kenya received its independence and Jomo Kenyatta was chosen to be the prime minister. There were many provisions that took place within the government at the time as well.
The Kenya African Nationalist Union was proclaimed the only legal political party by the national government and national assembly was the only governmental body in addition to the president. One more big change was the position of prime minister became an executive president with the majority of power. Kenya made these changes in attempt to establish a strong central government where all the power was generally in one place, the president (“Kenya”). The government in Kenya was also a one-party republic, but they were inclusive since they appointed members of different ethnic groups to government positions.
The government also had very good political stability while relying on a free market economy. Kenyatta was given a lot of power as president, he was able to detain his political opponents after arresting them without trial if he thought they were detrimental to order and public peace. While this was a lot of power, Kenyatta used it rarely but effectively. In the midst of the growing economy, foreign investment with the West and other countries was encouraged. The standard of living also increased under Kenyatta’s rule likely due to the growing economy and increase in education.
There was also a high rate of population growth during the time and many considered the decolonization a success. Kenyatta’s rule brought stability and prosperity to Kenya after the country gained its independence (“Jomo Kenyatta”). Once Kenyatta died, Daniel Arap Moi moved up from the vice president position to become the president of Kenya. In this position Moi continued to implement the policies for the economy and educational systems that Kenyatta had put into action which further continued the country’s success (“Daniel Arap Moi”). The growing economy of Kenya largely contributed to the country’s success as an independent nation-state.
Under Kenyatta’s rule the GDP of Kenya grew to be nearly five times as big as it had been before as a result of his policies. While the country relied heavily on a free market economy, it was successful as the economy continuously grew. Kenyatta’s economic policy included both privately owned and state-run rises that contributed to the economic success of Kenya These enterprises used a lot of foreign investment, especially from the West to flourish. The country also developed ent economically through parastatals that it owned some of or all of (“Kenya”).
One source said, “Kenyatta made Kenya the most stable black African country and one of the most economically dynamic” (“Kenya”-Britannica). Since the British were no longer taking portions of the money that Kenya made off of trade, the country was able to use this money to prosper, especially economically. Jomo Kenyatta contributed many ideas and economic policies that led to the success of Kenya while in its first years of independence (“Kenya”). Daniel Arap Moi, the president that followed Kenyatta’s rule once Kenyatta had died, continued to used the same economic policies that Kenyatta had implemented leading to more economic success.
One source claimed that, “His continuation of Kenyatta’s proWestern policies ensured significant sums of development aid during the Cold War (1947-91), and under Moi’s stewardship Kenya emerged as one of the most prosperous African nations”(“Daniel Arap Moi”). Once Kenya managed to gain its independence, more of the population became educated since Britain had never focused on the education of Kenya’s indigenous people. Due to the rapid economic growth that swept over Kenya after it was granted its independence, the country had enough money to expand on many important things.
Primarily, public education, health services and transportation (“Kenya”). Kenyatta valued education so, it was a priority of his that it was affordable and available to everyone. Under his rule, the primary and secondary education systems grew since it was offered to a wider group of people. In addition, Jomo Kenyatta promised free primary education to all citizens in 1963, however by 1974 only the fees for the first four years of primary school were abolished. While Kenyatta’s goal was not completely met, he was able to make a large improvement from where the educational system had been before the termination of British colonial rule.
The changes that Kenyatta made to develop the educational system in Kenya resulted in a drastic increase in the number of educated citizens throughout the country (“Kenya”). Once Moi was in rule after Kenyatta’s death, he continued Kenyatta’s work on education since he saw the value of it. This was likely because as the country transitioned to independence, Moi was minister of education in the transitional government (“Daniel Arap Moi”). The educated population brought up the standard of living in Kenya and while the labor force in the country had been lacking educated workers, after the expansion of education there were too many.
While this did increase the unemployment a bit, the economy grew and Kenya emerged as a strong, educated, independent country. The increase of education in Kenya created a stronger labor force which aided the country in many aspects politically and economically (“Kenya”). Once Kenya was established as an independent country they cooperated to create an inclusive environment culturally and religiously for all citizens. This resulted in less conflict throughout the country, especially politically. The constitution of Kenya ensured multiple rights such as freedom of worship, speech and assembly.
There are multiple languages spoken throughout the country of Kenya and there is not one official language of the country. There are three languages that are most commonly spoken in Kenya which are Bantu, Niho-Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic. Bantu is the most popular of the languages spoken in Kenya and the speakers generally live in the South of the country. Niho-Saharan is the second largest language in Kenya and the majority of its speakers live in the upper and lower parts of the Western Plateau.
The smallest group of speakers is the Afro-Asiatic group. People who speak this language in Kenya generally reside in Arid and semiarid areas. While the people of Kenya spoke three different languages, the country was generally accepting of each group at the time of independence. While there may have been minor conflicts and issues between individuals, as a whole the country did not let its diversity stand in their way of succes. In addition to having multiple languages spoken throughout Kenya, there were also multiple religions