Kenya is arguably the most important country in East Africa, because of its dominant economy, urban center of Nairobi and working port at Mombasa. Nearly 85% of all goods that flow in and out of East Africa travel through Nairobi.
The country is just under 217,000 sq. miles, about half the size of Tanzania and roughly the size of Arizona and New Mexico combined. There are 37 million inhabitants, almost the same as twice as large Tanzania. The country's dominant economic position in East Africa is a legacy of its colonial upbringing.
The country's geography is poorly suited for development, with less than 14% of the country arable; the rest is desert. But that 14% produces some of the finest coffee, tea and other agricultural exports, from all of Africa, as the farming industry is well developed for a Third World country. But Kenya is known principally for its tourism, which remains its most important source of foreign reserves. Recently, China discovered oil reserves in the far northern deserts and is developing them.
Serious political turmoil at the end of 2007 during a presidential election have been mostly resolved. Kenya has always had civil disobedience with every democratic election held, although the December, 2007, ones were the most severe. Nonetheless, the political settlement brokered by former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Anan, has proved strong and lasting.