The diverse natural resources, varied terrain and highlands of Kenya comprise one of the most successful farming regions in Africa. However, arid climate means the country’s main economic driver of agriculture is highly dependent on seasonal rainfall.
In 2014, the World Bank reclassified Kenya as a lower middle-income country, but poverty, food insecurity, undernutrition and income inequality remain high; 45.6 percent of Kenyans live below the national poverty line.
The most severe conditions exist in the arid north, which is underdeveloped, drought-prone and often disrupted by local conflicts. There are high rates of undernourishment with acute malnutrition among children aged 6 months to 59 months often exceeding 15 percent. Stunting stands at more than 25 percent in some counties. Enrollment in primary education in arid counties is still below 50 percent.
The 2010 Constitution devolved governance in an attempt to address these developmental issues.
In addition, Kenya hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than 500,000 currently living in the country.