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Kenya Replace Pictures Of Leaders on Coins With Animal

Kenya Replace Pictures Of Leaders on Coins With Animal


  • GS 2 || International Relations || International Politics || Africa & it’s Issues

Why in News?

  • The Central Bank of Kenya has launched (11th December) a new series of circulating coins that removed presidential and political portraits from all future circulation type coins and banknotes in exchange of images of famous animals.
  • Previous coins were printed with images of Kenya’s three former rulers – Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arapMoi and MwaiKibaki and many Kenyans saw this as an attempt by their leaders to promote themselves.

Reaction of citizens of Kenya

  • Some are supporting the step by saying that this will not glorify the political leaders as earlier, but some are criticizing the step and saying this is not the right time for this type of step as the country is undergoing financial crisis.

Why  is the step taken?

  • In order to comply with the 2010 Constitution, which says Kenyan currency cannot bear the image individual.
  • To stop self glorification by the political leaders and promote the wildlife heritage.
  • To mint the new currency in a way so that the visually impaired can also use them.

Which denomination coins are available?

  • The coins will be available in following denominations with mentioned features on one side and the Kenyan coat of arms on the other.

Sh1 coin = Image of a Giraffe

Sh5 coin = Image of a Rhino

Sh10 coin = Image of a Lion

Sh20 coin = Image of an Elephant

Geographical facts about Kenya

  • Kenya (capital Nairobi) is the country situated in the African Continent.
  • Kenya, an East African nation, spans more than 224,000 sq. miles (582,000 sq. Km), making it only slightly smaller than the state of Texas in the United States.
  • Kenya is situated on the equator and is bordered by five countries: Uganda (to the west), Sudan (to the northwest), Ethiopia (to the north), Somalia (to the northeast), and Tanzania (to the south).
  • Along its southeast edge, Kenya’s tropical coastline connects the country to the Indian Ocean.
  • Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is located in the southwest. Other major cities include Mombasa (situated on the coast), Nakuru and Eldoret (found in the west central region), and Kisumu.
  • Kenya is blessed with a wide range of topographical features – from the low plains found along the coast, bisected by the Great Rift Valley, to the fertile plateau in the west.
  • Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, is located along the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The second highest mountain – Mount Kenya – can be found at the country’s center.

Kenya’s Challenges

  • As a developing nation, Kenya has many challenges to overcome. The government is still striving to provide adequate services to the rural communities and corruption in the private and public sector remains rampant. Unemployment is a constant challenge, as well as crime, disease and poverty.
  • However, as Kenya continues to make a place for itself on the world stage, its abundant agricultural and natural resources, educated manpower, diverse yet cohesive population and vision for the future will see it emerge as a leader among African nations.

Post-Independence History

  • Kenya under President Jomo Kenyatta
  • Kenya got its independence on 12th December 1964. The elections held in May 1963 and KANU won the majority of the seats and JomoKenyatta became the first president of independent Kenya. In 1966, a small but significant leftist opposition party, KPU (Kenya People’s Union), was formed by JaramogiOgingaOdinga, a former Vice President and Luo elder. KPU was banned shortly thereafter and its leader detained in 1969 and Kenya became a “de facto” single party state. At Kenyatta’s death in August 1978, Vice President Daniel ArapMoi became President.
  • Kenya under President Moi
  • On June 1982, Kenya officially declared a one-party state by the National Assembly after the amendments made in the constitution and this started the period of the second liberation in Kenya. In August 1982, the section of Kenya’s air force attempted to overthrow the President Moi’s government, but the Army suppressed air force coup attempt and from 1982 to 1990 the suppression spread to the democratic space in Kenya and people who were believed to oppose the government were banned by the party resulting in detention of many. The fight for second liberation intensified, culminating in the formation of FORD (Forum for the Restoration of Democracy) in 1991.
  • Multiparty Democracy is born
  • In 1992, the parliament revoked the section of the constitution that made Kenya one party state and in December Kenya held its first multi party election resulting in the winning of President Moi and began his 5 year term under the new amended constitution. In 1997 elections Moi won again. In 2002, the main opposition parties united under one coalition.
  • Kenya today
  • After the 2013 elections that the landmark Supreme Court ruling that upheld Uhuru Kenyatta (son of Jomo Kenyatta) as the new President under the new constitution amended in 2010.

Mains Question

  • Discuss geographical facts of Kenya.