I’ll tell you why Kenya is more famous than most other African countries. Its not the wildlife, the athletes, history, tourism or all that staff people claim. It is because YOU ARE NOW TALKING ABOUT KENYA AND NOT THOSE OTHER “MORE FAMOUS” COUNTRIES. It is the Kenyas who shape what is said about them. They write their own stories and the rest of the world reports what Kenyans said.
Kenya has no natural resources:
You see all African countries; South Africa has the economy, Nigeria has the population, Egypt has the history but Kenya only has its people. The Kenyan human resource is what makes Kenya noticeable in a pool of Africans nations with great economies, rich history, vast natural resources[Oil, Gas, Diamond, Copper,Gold etc](Kenya has none)
In a country of no resources, Kenyans are forced to take more aggressive and innovative ways to be competitive and provide jobs for its population. This is why her economy is highly diversified. From mobile money, technology cities, tourism, vibrant media and finance industry: Kenya’s service industry is the most vibrant in Africa. In 2016, Kenya overtook South Africa as the country with most businesses investments in other African countries.
Businesses amongst Kenyans are highly profitable. If your product is good, all Kenyans will buy it. Take a look at MTN(South Africa) and Safaricom(Kenya) for example. MTN was founded in 1994 and is present in 24 countries. Safaricom was founded in 1999 and only operates in Kenya. As of 1st September 2018 MTN had a market capitalisation of $10.5 billion while Safaricom had a market capitalisation of $11.5 billion. MTN shares on the same day sold at $5.5 while Safaricom shares sold at $0.28, which tells you that Safaricom is highly undervalued.
Internet penetration and literacy
Kenyan online community is not the largest in Africa. Nigeria has more people using the internet than the entire Kenyan population. 30 miliion out of 50 million Kenyans have smartphones. You dare not pick a fight with Kenyans online. Kenyans will take on South Africa and up next jump to Nigerians online in disagreements mainly because of how a Kenyan was treated by Nigeria immigration at the Lagos Airport or a South African politician said something bad about a Kenyan singer. In 2014, CNN was forced to issue an editorial apology and send its chairman to meet with Kenyan Foreign Affairs minister over some #HotbedOfTerror remark a CNN reporter made about Kenya. This goes back to the idea of how Kenyans want to be seen or represented. They hate bad press.
Real Estate (Tallest buildings in Africa)
Real estate is a section that cannot go unnoticed. Kenya has experienced a real estate boom in the past 2 decades. As South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt continue to struggle with economic depression and inflation, Kenya economy registered 5.7% growth. with an already oversupply of Malls in Kenya, the skyline of cities in Kenya is changing with tallest building in Africa already under construction in Nairobi. Actually if you look at the buildings under contraction in Africa , it almost looks like by year 2021 the top 10 tallest towers will be dominated by Kenyan towers. This goes back to the people. Its not the great recourses, not the history, just the people.
Its very misleading to assume Kenya was never famous.. The queen of England herself received news of her father’s death whilst in Kenya! The fame Kenya can associate with can be attributed to many reasons among them:
- Politically Kenya enjoys a comfortable position in global politics, allied to most of the developed nations which has in turn yielded to increase in popularity. This can be due To Jomo Kenyatta’s foreign diplomatic policies carried out post independence, culminating to the construction of UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya
- Geographically Kenya is located at an ideal position which can be seen in the vast natural ecosystem, just like all other African countries only this time the equator splits Kenya into 2 distinctive halves. The Mara ecosystem, lake nakuru ecosystem and of course Mt Kenya ecosystem are some of the famous examples of this. This climate also is conducive for farming making Kenya a leading tea and horticulture exporter. The beaches along Kenyans coast are some of the best in the world and the proximity of the Port of Mombasa to major Inernational seaways makes it an ideal destination for revelers.
- The people of Kenya are truly a unique people. They have shown reselience over the years even when most of the African nations were plunging into civil war, coups. The innovative nature of the Kenyans have given them recognition, mpesa for instance, a technological tool for money transfer that’s more accessible and efficient than banks, cheaper and safer too. Providing money lending platform right at the palm of anyone who can buy a phone, using the subscriber phone number as the bank account. Genius!. Twitter, Kenyans enjoy one of the fastest internet connections in the world! Yes the internet in Kenya is faster than USA and most of the world with a ranking of 14 globally! This fast internet does not go to waste Kenyans on Twitter KOT as they are referred to as as lethal as any land force, they are an impulsive and angry lot who will tear each other down but are violently united to fend of anybody saying anything negative about their country which they hate so much yet fight so dearly to protect. The silicone savannah as Kenya is referred to is as a result of the government policy on technology, consistently pumping billions into the sector and always adopting new forms of technology to make life easier for their people.
- kenyas foreign policy. This is the age old policy culminating from independence and consistently applied till date. With a policy that ensures it maintains a high bargaining power in most global and regional debates. It has hosted most of the international conventions bringing most world leaders to its soil more than any other African country and this is in the past 2 years alone. Including the holy see! This has given it a status quo in the African continent as a major ally with solid relationships with Washington through to London all the way to Mumbai into Moscow and closer home to Kampala, JoBurg, Lusaka and of course the world’s biggest economy, China. This can be the biggest brother who spoils you silly Kenya would need, cheap loans, good roads, name it the Chinese have it and with a global command like china’s Kenya can ride the tide too.
- Lupita nyongo, eliud Kipchoge, Kip keino, wangari mathai, Collins Injera, SAUTI SOL, Barack Obama, Peter tabichi, David Rudisha, Victor wanyama, Julius yego, Uhuru kenyatta 😅, ngugi wathiongo, Eddie Gatheri, sport pesa, mpesa, Larry madowo, lion King. Res ipsa liquitor
- Al shabaab. Just like Presidents bush decision to invade America changed world geopolitics, when Kenya invaded Somalia it changed regional politics and the world noticed. This culminated to extensive arms race in the region giving Kenya the convenient reason to arm its military even more, a step that the incumbent president is keen to keep pursuing. Joint military deals with the world superpowers can give Kenya a niche above the rest. Sadly with this incursion came at a heavy cost. Suffering from hundreds of fatalities Kenyans remember the 147 students who were killed in Garissa university, the 71 shoppers and workers including children at Westgate shopping mall, the 21 residents and shoppers including 5 attackers at Dusit D2 Nairobi, the 60 residents of mpeketoni, the hundreds of soldiers killed in an ambush attack on their military base deep in AL shabab territory, the car bomb that detonated in Mombasa town killing 13 people, the soldiers killed in action, policemen killed in the line of duty, children at a cooking contest. The world also remembers.
I cannot pin point an exact reason why Kenya is famous but by the looks of it, it seems Kenya has somewhat a Midas touch that whatever they touch either blossoms ravishingly or withers dispairingly. For Kenyans anything worth doing is worth overdoing, moderation is foreign to us.
Kenya is a bit of an enigma in Africa.
It is (allegedly according to Western measures) one of the most corrupt countries in Africa yet somehow it …
- Is one of the most stable peaceful countries on the continent. We’ve had some tough disagreements in the past but we seem to talk things out and keep moving forward.
2. has possibly the most robust democratic environments in Africa. Try mess with a Kenyan journalist, actor, celebrity or blogger.
3. has one of, if not the most diverse economies on the continent. Kenya has an increasing number of robust cities from its coastal, tourist port cities like Mombasa, Malindi, and Lamu, to its commercial cities like Nairobi, Eldoret, and Kisumu as well as its resort cities like Nakuru, Naivasha, and Nanyuki and college cities like Meru, Embu, and Kakamega.
4. leads in technological advancements among the best on the continent. Heard of M-Pesa? Yes, that was developed in Kenya. We figured out how to create a real virtual economy that allows every stratum of society to access banking, savings, credit, and investment through simple SMS infrastructure. We also have some of the fasted internet speeds in the world allowing a young generation to become global citizens.
5. leads globally in the adoption of renewable energy (now at 97%). Our last mile program has faced challenges but Kenya has the highest number of Africans not just accessing stable power but renewable power from geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind sources making it a world leader in renewable energy.
6. Has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies (top 100). It is part of the East African Federation growth metric despite hurdles like early development corruption and primary infrastructure struggles. The country is a center of global investments from fintech, Agritech, infrastructure, and social enterprise.
7. Has the 84th fastest internet in the world, 3rdfastest in Africa (2020 metrics) This is one of a trifecta of reasons why information from Kenya spreads across the world very quickly.
8. has one of the topmost vibrant free media environments in Africa This is another reason why information from the country spreads around the world very fast. If you want a typically stereotypical story about Africa’s challenges, take a comfortable flight to Nairobi, Stay at a 5-star hotel in any of the major cities, and a short uber ride later you can get all the footage you need to paint an African narrative. Major global media houses have headquarters here and they can report on anything anywhere without any government restrictions unlike much of the continent.
9. Has top talents in, world politics, Athletics, film, technology, design, and finance. It would be unfair to have a conversation about Kenya without mentioning the global talents it has produced. From the U.S government to Hollywood, the U.N., Athletics, Silicon Valley, and the global catwalk., a Kenyan will find their way no matter the circumstances.
10. is the first in Africa and third in the world to ever nullify a presidential election through a judicial process. Then a strange coalition happened where what was to be a civil war turned into a lasting bromance between the government and opposition leaders.
11. is a key ally for America in the middle-east and Africa. The U.S. and Kenya are tied at the heap. Part of Kenya’s fundamental industries: Agritech, healthcare, and security are rooted in U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. foreign security policy in East Africa, Central Africa, and the MiddleEast depends on its bases in Kenya and Partnerships with Kenya’s military and government.
12. is ironically a key partner to China in Africa besides 11 above. Kenya has ventured into commercial partnerships with China in infrastructure and technology. The country, like much of the rising East African federation, is risking a balancing act between the east and the west. It has spread its fundamental investments between Eastern and Western powers taking on a wide variety of credit risks.
All that and I haven’t even mentioned a word about the scenic beauty, wildlife, robust culture, and all the conventional things the country is famous for.
It also doesn’t hurt that the first black man to become the most powerful man in the Morden world was a Kenyan American. It is important to understand who that dark-skinned woman in yellow is between Barrack and Michelle Obama. She is a Nobel Laurette, who has had a significant impact on East Africa’s environmental policies. She went through hell in a dark part of our history but today, I enjoy lush, beautiful highlands full of vegetation thanks to the ‘Green Belt Movement’ She established. She is one of my greatest heroes in world history. The Late honorable Professor Wangari Mathai.