Colonial history and independence

Photo: Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of the independent Republic of Kenya


The independent Republic of Kenya was formed in 1964.

The roots of the colonial history of Kenya go back to the Berlin Conference in 1885, when East Africa was first divided into territories of influence by the European powers. The British Government founded the East African Protectorate in 1895 and soon after, opened the fertile highlands to white settlers. Kenya was officially declared a British colony in 1920.

The Mau Mau Movement played an essential role in the resistance to colonialism and the fight for freedom from British rule. The first President of the Republic of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, was charged with directing the Mau Mau and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.