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The First World War (1914 – 1918)

Before World War I, Britain, France, Russia and Germany were the most powerful countries in the world. However the war changed the equation.

Causes of First World War

  1. Economic rivalries – Britain’s rapid industrialization led to serious economic rivalry between her and Germany. Germany speeded up her industrial growth and by 1914 she had overtaken Britain. This led to serious competition between the two industrial powers for markets and sources of raw materials. The economic rivalries let to tariff wars between nations such asItaly and France between 1888-1889, Russia and Germany between 1879-1894 while Austria and Serbia waged tariff wars between 1906-1910.This competition strained relations between the two countries and led to international tension in Europe.

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  1. 2. Colonial rivalry. European powers sought colonies as sources of raw materials and for prestige. When Germans joined in the search for colonies in 1871, she became more aggressive than the British and the French. This led to a quarrel between Germany and France over Morocco (Moroccan crisis) leading to tension among the French and the British.


  1. 3. The First Moroccan Crisis 1905-1906. In 1904 France and Britain reached an agreement whereby in order to settle old scores, the French would recognize the British occupation of Egypt and Britain would recognize the French occupation of Morocco.

Unfortunately, Germans Kaiser (ruler) alsohad interest in Morocco. He visited Tangiertown in Morocco and incited the Morocco sultan against the French by assuring him that the Germans would support the Moroccans need for independence.

A conference named the Algeciras was then convened in Spain in January 1906 to decide who should control Morocco. In the meeting, French, Russians and the British took a united stand against the interests of the Germans in Morocco.

They resolved that France and Spain should police Morocco while Germany was to control the state bank together with France, Britain and Russia. The Germans left the conference bitter than when they had come. This led to a crisis.

  1. 1. The second Moroccan crisis 1911. After the Algeciras conference, the French settled in Morocco. The French replaced the Pro-Germany sultan of Morocco.

In 1911 an uprising took place against the new sultan who was supported by the French but was unpopular among the Moroccans. The French responded by sending forces to Fez,the Moroccan capital. German Kaiser then sent a gun boat known as the Panther to the port of Agadir in Morocco ready for war.

To avoid war, Germans were promised a part of the French Congo in return for French possession of Morocco. The crisis increased tension between the two powers.


  1. TheItalo-Turkish colonial dispute over Libya. In Europe, there was political tension between Italy and Turkey over ownership of Tripoli in North Africa. In 1911 Italy declared war on Turkey which was facing political problems.Within one year, Italy had annexed Tripoli and Libya for possession. This annoyed Germany which was eyeing Libya. Moreso, the Germans were strong supporters of Turkey. This increased political tension between them.


  1. The Arms race. The hostilities among the European powers due to the colonial disputes motivated each of the powers to start building stronger armies and navies in preparation for war.The efforts of Czar Nicholas II of Russia to stop arms buildup were ignored by the European powers that carried on with their military programmes.

In 1906, Britain and the Germans built the Dreadnoughts, a first class big battleship.French and Russia began expanding their armies by lengthening the conscription service and calling up trained reservists. This competition in armament caused suspicion and tension on the international scene.


  1. Systems of Alliance. The rivalry among the European nations led to the formation of alliance system. The first alliance was initiated by Otto Von Bismarck, the German chancellor who came up with a Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary in 1879.

In this, each party was to assist each other in the event of an attack by their traditional enemy, the Russia. They were also to remain neutral in the event of an attack by any other power.

Bismarck initiated this alliance in order to protect Germany from the French who wanted to recover Alsace and Lorraine provinces which Germany had annexed during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871.

Later on, the Italians also joined the dual alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary-Italy therefore making it a triple alliance.

The formation of the triple alliance worried Russia and France who felt isolated by the other European powers. The two therefore signed the Franco-Russian Alliance in which they were to come to each others aid in case of an attack by Germany.

Later, British joined France and signed a Dual Entente, the term Entente means ‘understanding’. Japan too was to be assisted by British incase of attack. In 1904, Russia joined and it became the Triple Entente.

The formation of this two opposing alliance systems fuelled international tension therefore threatening global peace.


  1. Need for Revenge also led to international tension e.g. the French had a deep seated desire to revenge against the Germans for their defeat during the Franco-Prussia war of 1870-1871 where she lost the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.

France wanted to get colonies in large numbers whether they were productive or not with the aim of boosting her ego. This made her long for an opportunity to settle her old scores with Germany.

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  1. Most countries wanted their independence. In the 2nd half of the 19th century, Germany and Italy united becoming World powers, Belgium broke away from Holland becoming independent, Norway broke away from Sweden, the Ottoman Empire disintegrated into several independent nations namely Greece, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.Those ruled wanted to be liberated and those liberated were busy pursuing their own national policies and in the long process they clashed with one another. This led to bloodshed in the Balkan.


  1. The Balkan wars 1910-1913. By the 19th Century Turkey citizens wanted a change in government. There was increased corruption and inefficiency of the government.

The Young Turks movement was formed. It agitated for radical change in the government. It gained support and attracted members of sultan Abdul Hamid’s Army. This forced the Turkish government to give in to some of their demands which were

  1. A Parliament
  2. A modern constitution
  3. Granting Christian subjects privileges equal to those of Muslims.

However due to this state of confusion in the Turkish government, a number of subjects began to declare their independence led by Bulgaria. Austria disintegrated into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1912 a union of the Balkan composing Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Montenegro attacked the Turkish government on the pretense that the Young Turks movement was persecuting Christians in Macedonia. This led to the Balkan war which was concluded with the Treaty of London in 1913 where Macedonia and Adrianople were curved from Turkey.

However, Bulgaria and Serbia felt that the carving out ofMacedonia was unfair. This led to the 2nd Balkan war whereSerbiawas helped by Greece and Turkey to get Macedoniaand Adrianopleback. Serbia wanted to unite all Serbs in the Balkan under one rule.

Bulgaria was left hurt and was yearning for a chance to recapture her losses.


The hostilities between the Serbs and the Austria intensified as the Serbians were bitter after being denied occupation of Albania by Austria-Hungary during the 1st Balkan war. This set stage for the outbreak of World War I in 1914.


The immediate causes

Assassinations in Sarajevo

On 28th June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austrian throne and his wife Sophie were assassinated at Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia by a young Bosnian student called GavriloPrincip who was booked by a secret organization popularly known as the Black Hand.

The Black Hand was founded in Belgrade with the aim of realizing the national ideal i.e. the union of all Serbs. This union was too radical and militant.

The assassination of Ferdinand and his wife activated the alliances that were already in place. Germany responded quickly assuring Austria-Hungary of full support. On 22nd July 1914, Austria presented Serbia with a stiff ultimatum which contained the following demands:

  1. That Serbia should explain the assassination of the archduke and his wife
  2. Apologies to Austria-Hungary
  3. Suppression of all anti-Austrian publications and organization
  4. Participation of Austrian officials in the inquiry
  5. Dismissal of all officials whom Austria objected to
  6. Allowing Austrian police to enter Serbia territory to ensure that the demands are fulfilled

All the demands were accepted by Serbia except the demand that Austrian officials investigate the crime. Finally Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28th July 1914. Serbia got the support of Russia. Germany issued a twelve hour ultimatum to Russia to leave Serbia. She got no reply and then she declared war on Russia and France. She then went on to invade Belgium which was neutral. As a result, British also declared war on Germany.


The course of World War 1

The war was fought on two main fronts

  1. Western Front (mainly in France and Belgium.
  2. Eastern Front (in Russia and the Balkans)


War on the Western Front

The Germans had a lot of confidence in the SchlieffenPlannamed after Alfred Von Schlieffen the German chief of general staff. She invaded and overrun Belgium and Luxemburg. The French tried to launch their attack against the German at Alsace-Lorraine but failed. The British send a force to assist the French but it still failed.

By 1914, a month after the war broke out, the German forces advanced upto 50 miles away from Paris. The French government fled to Bordeaux in panic. Germany was forced to retreat by the British and French who attacked them. They pulled back across the Marne River.


The trench warfare

After pulling across the Marne River, the German began digging trenches which were reinforced by barbed wire to stop advancement of British.The French and the British did likewise. This meant that little advance could be made by either side.  The trenches extended from the Belgian coast to the Alps.

To counter the digging of underground trenches, new weapons were developed which included

  1. Poison gas used by Germans in 1915
  2. Used aeroplanes to bomb enemy camps
  3. Use of tanks by the British in 1916.

By 1916 the British had lost 19,000 soldiers while 36,000 soldiers were seriously injured by the Germans.


Expansion of military alliances

Due to increase in membership of alliances, the triple Alliance (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy)changed its name to the ‘Central Powers’ while the triple entente (Russia, France, Britain, and Japan) became the AlliedPowers or simply the Allies.


War on the Eastern Front

The Russians mobilized forces quickly and then invaded Austria and Germany at the same time. They succeeded to occupy the Austria for some time. However, the Germans recalled their retired general, General Hindenburg who presided over the Russian defeat at the battle of Tannenberg in August 1914 and Masurian Lakes in September 1914. During these battles, the Russian force lost over six million important manpower and equipment.

Turkey joined the war in 1915 and weakened the position of Russia by cutting off the main supply and trade route through the Dardanelles strait.

In an effort to assist Russia open up the Dardanelles, the allied forces launched the Gallipoli campaign which failed due to two reasons.

  1. The Anglo-French naval attack failed as their ships were destroyed by mines
  2. Failure of New Zealand and British troops since they were late.

In October 1915,Bulgaria joined the war in support of the Central Powers. She defeated Serbia and besieged the British troops in Baghdad.

In 1916, the Russians under general Brusilov attacked the Austro-Hungarian forces, taking more than 250,000 captive. This prompted the Romanians to join the allies. The Romanians were soon defeated by the Central Powers.

In 1917 Russia withdrew from the war weakening the Allied powers. The Russian army was faced with many problems e.g. lack of arms, insufficient food supplies, clothing, transport and communication and incompetence in leadership.


War in the seas

The fiercestbattle ensured between the allies and the central powers in the sea. In 1914 the less feared Germany navy upset the British naval supremacy in the Pacific although it was defeated at the battle of the Falklands Islands.

In 1916 Germans main fleet was stationed in the North Sea to attack the British ships, which didn’t succeed as British was prepared. There were many casualties on both sides. Germans lost 11 ships, while the British lost 14. However, British managed to be more supreme in the seas.

However this was important to the Allies for several reasons.

  1. The British were able to block the Central Powers especially the Germans from getting raw materials and food from any other parts of the world.
  2. The naval supremacy of the British enabled them to capture the colonies of the Central Powers.
  3. The sea blockade enabled the allies to maintain uninterrupted communication with other allied forces as well as safeguard the British food and raw materials supplies.

The Germans facing severe shortages of food caused by the British blockade were getting desperate hence they embarked on unrestricted submarine warfare.


End of World War I

Two major events led to the decisive end of the war.

  1. Russian withdrawal from the war after the great Russian Revolution
  2. Declaration of war by the USA against the Central Powers.

The USA refrained from interfering in the European affairs because

  1. They believed in isolationist policy in international affairs.This was in line with the terms of the Munroe Doctrine of 1923 which discouraged USA from getting into the affairs of Europe
  2. USA was sensitive to the fact that some of her citizens were of Germany origin therefore she didn’t want to offend them.
  3. Up to 1916, the war had not interfered directly with the interests of the USA, hence President Woodrow Wilson took a neutral stand.


Factors that motivated the U.S.A to join the war

  1. Pressure from the government to join the war on the sides of the Allies. This was because the sympathizers of the allies had relatives and friends in France and Britain therefore they wanted to support them against the Germans.
  2. Discovery of a secret telegram sent to Mexico by the Germans urging them to forge an alliance with the Germany and attack the USA. This annoyed the USA.
  3. USA realized that the defeat of the Allies would cost her industrial and financial loses in the form of contracts and loans. Britain and France did a lot of business with USA.
  4. The British and USA intelligence linked some of Germanys sympathizers with industrial sabotage e.g. some blasts experienced in the factories were linked to that
  5. Germany declaration that the seas around British Isles were a war zone in which all enemy vessels would be sunk. This policy of unrestricted submarine warfare implied that any ship could be sunk in the high waters especially the Atlantic.

The USA entry into the war gave the Allies the upper hand. The unrestricted submarine warfare spearheaded by the Germans created a food crisis in France and Britain therefore the American association was godsend.

The final phase of the war began in 1918 in which a battle was fought in France whereby Germany and her allies were defeated.

It was then followed with the collapse of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

In Germany the soldiers began a mutiny.The German leader (Kaiser) was deserted by his generals. He then fled to Holland and his democrats and socialists politicians declared Germany a republic.

In November 1918 Germany was given the following conditions by Ferdinand Foch

  1. Germany was to withdraw from all occupied territories including the overseas colonies.
  2. All Germany forces west of the Rhine to be withdrawn
  3. All German warships to surrender to the Allies
  4. Allies to occupy some parts of Germany
  5. All Allied prisoners of war to be released.

The Germans were given 72 hours to either accept or reject these stiff conditions.

With the British blockade threatening their country with starvation, the Germans had no choice. They signed armistice on 9th November 1918, though bitterly. On 11th November 1918, the guns went silent. The World War I ended.


Reasons why the Allies won the war

  1. They had more manpower than the central powers, e.g. they had 25 states among them Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Portugal and U.S.A. British had a large empire that gave her moral and military support, including self-governing dominions such as South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
  2. The Allies had financial and industrial resources not only in Europe, but also in her colonies.
  3. The Allies had powerful weapons and used them with unmatched skills e.g. they used tanks, aircrafts and battleships
  4. The Central powers were hated for invading the neutral Belgium. They were then regarded as arrogant and unreasonable. So the Allies were granted food, fuel and even landing space by other countries.
  5. The Allied sea power enabled them to enforce naval blockade to the Central powers leading to food shortage among the Central powers.
  6. The Allied powers had good political leadership which was very competent and focused e.g. Britain’s Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau, the French Premier.
  7. The Allied powers were united under General Foch to the disadvantage of the central powers.
  8. Germany was let down by her colleagues e.g. Italy decamped, while Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary had to be assisted all the time. Turkey easily accepted defeat. Germany had to face her enemies alone.
  9. Entry of the U.S.A led to the fast defeat of the Central Powers who were already fatigued.


The Peace Settlement

After the war, five different peace treaties were signed with each of the five Central powers. The treaties were generally referred to as the Treaty of Versailles. A peace conference was held in Paris in January 1919. The conference raised a lot of expectations in Europe.

In 1918 the U.S.A President Woodrow Wilson outlined the 14 principles on which peace with Germany would be based.

  1. Abolition of secret diplomacy
  2. Free navigation at the sea for all nations in war and in peace
  3. Removal of economic barriers between states
  4. Reduction of armament
  5. Adjustment of colonial claims in the interests of the people concerned
  6. Vacating of Russian territory by German forces
  7. Restoration of independence to Belgium
  8. Restoration of the freedom of France and the return of Alsace and Lorraine provinces.
  9. Adjustment of Italian frontiers on the basis of nationality
  10. Self-determination for Austria-Hungary
  11. Evacuation of Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, and provision of access to the Sea for Serbia
  12. Self-government for non-Turkish peoples in the Turkish empire and the opening of the Dardanelles
  13. Independence of Poland and provision of access to the sea
  14. Creation of an association of world nations to preserve peace.

Results of the Peace Treaty

The treaty blamed Germany for the outbreak of the war; therefore Germany was to be punished in the following ways:

  1. Germany lost all her colonial possessions including African colonies which were taken over by the League of Nations. These included Rwanda, Burundi, Tanganyika, Togoland, Namibia and Cameroon.
  2. Germany was forced to pay war reparations of over 65 million sterling ponds to the Allies
  3. Germany was totally disarmed and was only to retrain a force of 100,000 men. Her air force was also banned, and no military conscription was allowed. She was to own only six battleships and no submarine.
  4. Austria was allowed to remain independent despite her large German population, while Italy acquired Stria, the Italian speaking region of Austria.
  5. Poland received a third of the territory that had been taken by German during the war.
  6. Danzig Port was made a free city from Germany and the Poles claims.
  7. The Saar region that was part of German was taken over by League of Nations for 15years after which people would vote to belong to German or France.
  8. The Rhineland was to be permanently demilitarized. German troops were not allowed there.
  9. Alsace and Lorraine were surrendered to France.
  10. New states emerged. Bosnia, Herzegovina and Matia became part of Yugoslavia. Czechoslovakia emerged. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became independent from Russia.

As much as Germany was devastated by the treaty of Versailles, French negotiator Georges Clemenceau felt the punishment was lenient. Germany had destroyed her richest farming land and industrial facilities. He suggested that

  1. Germany be broken into several states to weaken it
  2. Her military capability and economy be completely destroyed.

Finally the map of Europe was revised and new boundaries emerged.


Results of the treaty of Versailles

  1. Germany representatives were forced to confess that they were the cause of the war. They felt the treaty was used as a weapon to humiliate and punish them. They were shocked and were bitter. They formed the Nazi Movement.
  2. The interests of the colonial people as presented to European powers in Paris were ignored. Former colonial possessions of Turkey and Germany in Africa and Middle East were given to Britain and France as mandated by League of Nations.
  3. The Allies ignored the interests of the minority in Europe e.g. Austria was forbidden from merging with Germany yet it was the feeling of the voters in Austria.
  4. Italy was considered a major power and was given a raw deal in the settlement e.g. She was only given Stria the Italian speaking region belonging to Austria, while the British and the French got a lion’s share of the territories they got from the central powers. This made the Italian delegation walk out of the conference bitter.
  5. President Woodrow Wilson of the U.S.A proposed that the League of Nations be formed yet the U.S.A constitution clearly prohibited commitment to such as organization. Thus the US senate refused to ratify the charter of the League of Nations.


Results of the World War I

  1. Death of many people. In total more than 13 million people died. Women were widowed and children were orphaned.
  2. People contracted diseases due to the war e.g. the Soldiers got infected with STDs, Pneumonia and influenza.
  3. It led to massive starvation as most of the productive people were sent to war. The fighting powers had to import food from other countries
  4. Destruction of property of great value e.g. cities, villages, schools, factories, railways, roads and bridges were all destroyed.
  5. Huge sums of money were spent on the acquisition of war related equipment e.g. guns and ammunition, tanks, aircrafts and submarine. Money was used to recruit, feed, treat and transport the soldiers.
  6. It made USA to emerge as a leading world power. This was due to the fact that her farms, industries all worked to supply the European powers as war with their needs. The later on turned to USA for financial and industrial needs.
  7. It led to the change of boundaries of Europe e.g. turkey was reduced when some of her territories regained independence (Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia)
  8. It reduced European domination of the overseas colonies e.g. many Africans and Indians who came back home after the war spread the need for self-determination and leadership in Africa. This led to the fight for independence.
  9. The war led to the displacement of millions of people, many of whom became refugees.


Positive Effects

  1. It led to the formation of an international organization that could ensure preservation of international peace and security i.e. the League of Nations which later became the United Nations Organization.
  2. There was advancement in surgery and manufacture of pharmaceuticals due to the many injuries and ailments of the war.
  3. Widespread use of motorvehicles and aircrafts which eased transport in many parts of the world.
  4. It promoted gender equality as more women began to work in many parts of the world.


The League of Nations

The idea of creating an international organization that could help in the maintenance and preservation of World peace by settling international disputes peacefully was introduced by Woodrow Wilson, President of USA, Lord Robert Cecil of Britain, Jan Smuts of South Africa and Leon Bourgeois of France.

The League came into force during the first meeting in London on 10th January 1920. It was established as a permanent institution whose main objective was to preserve international peace.


Aims of the organization

  1. To prevent war. In line with this, the members recognized the need to reduce armaments.
  2. To settle international disputes peacefully.Certain procedures were laid down to prevent war. A threat of war was to be reported to the league for arbitration.
  3. To secure and maintain fair human conditions of labour as one way of maintaining peace in the world.
  4. To supervise the territories taken over from the Central Powers during the Paris peace conference.

The Structure of the League of Nations

The League of Nations began with 42 member states and had 55 by 1926 when Germany was admitted.

Original members included Belgium, Britain, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece,Italy,Netherlands, Norway, Poland,Portugal, Romania,Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia etc

The main bodies of the League were

  1. The Assembly

All members of the League of Nations were represented in the Assembly. They met annually at the headquarters in Geneva Switzerland where deliberations took place though they met at any time a need arose.

The Assembly elected its president at every session on the basis of simple majority. Each member had one vote in the Assembly and none could send more than three delegates.

Functions included

  1. Control of the budget of the organization
  2. Admit new members
  3. Form treaties
  4. Supervise the work of the League of Nations council
  5. Appoint 15 judges of the permanent court of International Justice
  6. Giving approval to the appointment of the secretary General
  7. Amendment of the covenant.


  1. The Council

Initially it was composed of five permanent members (Britain, France, Italy, Japan and USA) and four non-permanent members. USA later quit when Congress was against any commitment of the country to assist a future victim of aggression.USA operated on a policy of isolation.

The council met three times a year. Its functions included

  1. Implement the recommendations of the Assembly
  2. Appointing and controlling various committees of the League
  3. Appoint the Secretary General with the approval of the Assembly
  4. Prepare the agenda for the assembly
  5. Deal with issues affecting global peace.


  1. The Secretariat

It was concerned with the day to day running of the organization. It was based in Geneva and was headed by the Secretary General.

The first secretary was Eric Drummond of Britain. Its expenses were met by members of the league. Its functions were

  1. Prepare the agenda for the assembly and council meetings.
  2. Collect the required materials before the actual proceedings of the assembly and council meetings.
  3. Carry out all correspondence related to the League.
  4. Publish relevant reports
  5. Carry out research
  6. Implement the decisions of the league e.g. registration, treaties
  7. Provide continuity between one meeting of the Council and the next.


  1. Permanent Court of International Justice

It was set up between 1920-1922. Its court is based at The Hague in Netherlands. It is made up of 11 judges and four deputy judges of different nationalities elected to serve for nine years.

The main duty of the court was to settle disputes between states and gave advice to the Council and the Assembly with regard to international disputes.


  1. International Labour Office

It was set up in 1919 as an independent agency of the League of Nations. The aim was to promote the welfare of workers. Today it exists as the International LabourOrganization.

  1. Specialized Commissioners and Committees

They dealt with specific problems which arose after World War I. The main ones included

  1. The mandates
  2. Minority groups
  3. Disarmament Commissions

There were committees responsible for international labour, Health, Economic and financial organization, Child welfare, drug related problems, women welfare.

The International labour Committee was charged with the task of securing and maintaining good working conditions for men, women and children

Achievements of the League of Nations

Though the League was criticized and dismissed as a useless toothless body, it achieved the following

  1. The ICJ did well in the maintenance of international peace and security. The parties that were involved in the disputes accepted their verdicts gracefully.
  2. It managed to maintain peace and security in the city of Danzig inspite the hostility between the Poles and the Germans.
  3. It brought to the attention of the international community the need to treat minority and other war victims in a human manner e.g. the refugees were given assistance and prisoners of war in Russia were taken back home. Victims of Nazi persecution in Germany were assisted by the league.
  4. Through the mandate committee, the league helped in the administration of trust territories by supervising the standards of colonial administration in Tanganyika, Togo, S.W Africa, Rwanda-Burundi and Cameroon.
  5. It solved several interstate disputes peacefully e.g. in 1927 it handled 26 disputes i.e.
  6. The Frontier dispute between Turkey and Iraq over Mosul province 1924-1926
  7. Dispute between Poland and Germany over N. Siberia
  8. Dispute between Columbia and Peru over Leticia trapezium1931-1935
  9. It helped Austria to settle down financially after World War I.
  10. It enforced controls on private manufacture and sale of arms. It held disarmament meetings with the aim of promoting peace.
  11. It enforced the signing of peace pacts to promote security e.g. the Locarno treaties of 1925 and Kellog-Briand treaty signed in Paris in 1928.
  12. It helped to promote international cooperation in the World through technical and social organizations such as
  13. International Labour Committee which improved the working conditions of workers in Europe, though elsewhere, slave labour continued. It fixed maximum working hours per day, specified minimum wages, introduced sickness and unemployment benefits and introduced old age pensions.
  14. The Health organization helped coordinate the research efforts of various European governments to combat epidemics such as Typhoid, Cholera, smallpox, Diabetes, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
  15. The committee on intellectual cooperation helped states to promote education
  16. It helped to eradicate vices such as trade in women and children as well as drug trafficking. All this ideas were later inherited by UNO.




Failures of the League

The League failed in the prime objective of maintaining international peace and security in several instances:

  1. The Sino-Japanese dispute which involved the Japanese invasion of the Manchuria region of China which was rich in coal, iron ore and agricultural resources. China appealed to the League which responded by appointing a commission of inquiry. It also recommended that the Japanese withdraw from Manchuria. Japan rejected this recommendation and even pulled out of the League.
  2. In 1935, Benito Mussolini, Italian Emperor invaded Ethiopia which was under Emperor Haile Selassie I to revenge Italian defeat by Menelik II at the battle of Adowa in 1896. Italy rejected the requirement of the League to pull out and even quit the League.
  3. The League failed to stop Germany from violating the terms of the peace conference in Paris. Germany began to manufacture arms and also established a navy and airbase.
  4. Nations began to make defensive pacts in total disregard of the Treaty of Versailles.
  5. Germany invaded regions such as Poland and Austria between 1935-1936 while Russia invaded Finland in 1939 in disregard of the League of Nations.

Why the League of Nations failed to preserve World Peace

  1. Many of the members understood that the organization was dominated by the Allied Powers since it operated along the terms of the Versailles peace settlement
  2. It was rejected by the USA. This was a big blow since USA benefited it psychologically, financially and militarily. The USA senate also rejected the Versailles peace settlement in 1920. USA believed in the foreign policy of isolation.
  3. The League was not complete e.g. several major powers such as USA, Germany and USSR remained outside
  4. The sabotage at the conference of the ambassadors in Paris in which they frustrated the work of the League by giving Vilna to Poland yet the League wanted it to go to Lithuania. The League then accepted this change therefore causing the members embarrassment.
  5. Most nations followed their own interests since they were concerned with their independence at the expense of the international community therefore the League got less support.
  6. There was open fear for upcoming dictators such as Italy, Germany and Japan by Britain. She gave in to their selfish interests in order to avoid confrontation.
  7. The League constantly run short of funds therefore was not able to implement her programmes.
  8. It lacked a military wing to effect its decisions therefore it relied on the goodwill of its members.
  9. Nationalism hindered the league from exercising its policies i.e. the quest for colonies, markets was in conflict with the ideals of the League especially the maintenance of peace and security.


The Second World War (1939 – 1945)

The punishment given to Germany for causing World War I annoyed her. She embarked on a campaign to revive her glory through acts of aggression in violation of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.


Causes of World War II

  1. Growth of Nationalism. Germany led by their Chancellor Adolf Hitler came up with a desire to dominate the whole world. He encouraged the Germans to acquire more land as they deserved to live in one country. He encouraged the 3.5 million German speakers in Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia to demand for their independence. Hitler attacked
  2. A meeting between British Prime minister Neville Chamberlain, Mussolini of Italy and Edward Daladier of France was held whereby Sudetenland was given the Germany.

Japan too acquired land in the Far East claiming that she was providing more land to her people.

Italy too invaded Ethiopia in a bid to return her lost glory and pride after she lost in the battle of Adowa. Such excess nationalism created a warlike attitude that threatened international peace.

  1. The Great Depression 1929-1931. It led to increased unemployment, reduction of industrial production, low wages, hunger and social discomfort.

In order to revive their economies, the European nations began to protect their markets and sources of raw materials. The Allied powers had imposed high tariffs and low quotas on their imports making competition unfavourable. This made the Central Powers to aggressively search for colonies so as to get a share of the world’s wealth. This led to hostilities between the Central and the Allied Powers.

  1. Violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The terms of the Treaty resulted in Germany being hit with poverty, inflation, shortage of land and raw materials and unemployment. Her pride was wounded. The Germans became bitter and they even refused to repay the reparations to France.

Hitler therefore adopted the policy of aggression. He re-introduced compulsory military service, built an airforce and ignored the restriction on the size of the naval base.

In 1936 Hitler led his troops to Rhineland claiming that the area was vital for Germany’s security. Britain and France took no action.

He then collaborated with Mussolini and Japan and signed an agreement known as the Berlin-Rome-Japan Axis where they agreed to work together in their foreign policy.

In another development, German and Italy assisted General Franco recapture Spain after being overthrown by Republic Revolution in 1936. Spain therefore joined world dictators. The Spanish war gave Hitler opportunity to test his military weapons, i.e. aircrafts and tanks.

Hitler also invaded Austria in 1938, yet their union with Austria had been ruled out by the Treaty of Versailles


  1. The policy of Appeasement. The British and the French were out to prevent the world against another war. They then adopted the policy of appeasement whereby they gave in to Hitler’s demands. They hoped that his demands would end and he would be appeased enough to give up his ambition in Western Europe.

However eventually the policy of appeasement encouraged Hitler, Mussolini and other dictators to continue with acts of aggression, hence the activities of Germany alarmed the world.


  1. A weak League of Nations. This organization was weak in that it had failed to prevent the rearmament of Germany, Italy and Japan. This was evident when Germany continued with her military programmes. Japan invaded Manchuria, Italy invaded Ethiopia.


  1. Emergence of Dictators. Hitler of Germanyopposed communism and took the lead to stop spread of communism by Russians. Hitler founded the Nazi Party through which he created a totalitarian government. He began amassing weapons and building submarines. All these activities threatened world peace.

Mussolini founded the National Fascist Party in 1921 and set up a dictatorial government in Italy, and he was eager to expand his trade in East Africa by avenging for her defeat in Ethiopia.


  1. Formation of Alliances. After World War I, European countries formed alliances which created mistrust and suspicion. For example Hitler and Mussolini formed a pact known as the Berlin-Rome Axis in which if either party was attacked by an enemy, the other powers would join in the war in her support.

They were later joined by Japan to form the Berlin-Rome-Tokyo axis in which they agreed to work together and accept a common foreign policy. The alliance of the Axis powers intensified aggression as they assured each other’s support in the case of war.


  1. Rise of Adolf Hitler and his Ambition. Adolf was an Austrian who worked in Vienna, the capital of Austria before joining the Germany army in 1914. He rose to the rank of a corporal during World War I.

In 1921 he became a founder member of the German Socialist Party popularly known as the Nazi which was

  1. Authoritative
  2. Anti-communist
  3. Against the terms of the treaty of Versailles

On 8th November 1923, he organized for an uprising known as the Beer Hall Putsch with the aim of controlling South Eastern Germany and later the whole of Germany. He was then arrested after the abortive coup and was imprisoned.

While in prison for nine months, he wrote a book known as Main Kampf in which he related the problems of Germany to

  1. the terms of the treaty of Versailles
  2. hatred of France towards Germany

He argued that Jews were evil and declared that the Germans were the finest men in the world and therefore had the right to rule the whole world.

However the great depression of the 1930s made the Germans look for an opportunity to restore their economy and glory and Hitler emerged as their savior, and his party won more seats in parliament.

In 1934 Hindenburg, leader of Germany died and Hitler took over. He was ready to adopt the expansionist policy that would restore the glory of Germany.

Hitler and the Nazis were popular and powerful because they promised the people property, repudiation of the treaty of Versailles and the liberation of the Germans who were scattered in other countries. The party’s anti-communist ideas attracted the business community.

As an individual, Hitler had gifted oratory skills and many Germans rallied behind him. He used the slogan ‘one state, one people, one leader’ He banned all opposition to his rule and stated that the Germans required a living space, so the Jews,Poles, Slavs and blacks had to give space as they were racially inferior to the Germans.

The government censored the press, controlled education, abolished trade unions and they used the secret police known as Gestapo to hunt down enemies of the state.

All these activities of Hitler threatened peace in Europe. He was encouraged bythe support of Germans.


Course of the World War II

Germany forged a union with Austria on 10th March 1938. She went ahead and claimed Czechoslovakia which had a large population of German speaking people. Germany put a puppet government in Czechoslovakia. Italy too invaded Albania. Hitler made claims over Danzig city and invaded Poland on 1stSeptember 1939. Britain and France asked Germany to withdraw from Poland, which Germany refused. On 3rd September, Britain and France declared war on Germany sparking off World War II.



War in Western Europe

Hitler attack on Poland found her ill prepared hence her airforce was destroyed as Germans swept through the city of Warsaw by 8th September. Russia joined Germany a week later. Poland was occupied.

On 30th November 1939, Russia attacked Finland and defeated them by February 1940. Though Britain and France had declared war on Germany, for 8 months there was no actual fighting. Hence the name ‘phoney War’

During this period,attempts made to bring peace were unsuccessful

On 9th April 1940 German forces invaded Denmark. British were unable to repulse Germany. As a result, a revolt in Britain made Chamberlain to resign and Winston Churchill took over on 10th May 1940.

German then attacked and defeated Belgium and Luxembourg using aircrafts. British and French troops had to move out marking a major defeat of the Allies in Europe.

On 14th June 1940, Germans captured Paris, Alsace and Lorraine. French surrendered after signing a peace agreement on 22nd June. French were defeated because they were not psychologically prepared for war, their military was weak and there was poor communication between their airforce and the army.

In July 1940, Hitler attacked Britain. He used Luftwaffe airforce to attack shipping lines in London. British got assistance from America. German sank nearly 4 million tons of British shipping in 1941. He didn’t get much success so he delayed his attacks on Britain.


War in North Africa

Italians under Mussolini captured French and British Somaliland. They failed to capture Egypt because of Commonwealth troops assisted by British troops.

British under General Bernard Montgomery captured Malta frustrating the plan of Germans to attack Egypt through Libya.

On 8th November 1942, British and American forces invaded Morocco and Algeria making it impossible for Germans to continue expanding. By May 1943, Germans had surrendered.


War in Eastern Europe

On 22nd June 1941, Germany launched an attack on Russia. He wanted Russia because of her rich natural resources and space for living. He destroyed a third of Russians 6000 planes and advanced into Leningrad, Moscow, Kiev and Smolensk. When Germans moved into Stalingrad by November, the met resistance and lost over 300,000 men. The winter season also weakened them. They surrendered as they were defeated in July 1943 in the Battle of Kursk. Germany lost 70,000 men, 2,900 tanks and over 1,300 aircrafts.


U.S.A joins the war

In July 1941, Japan began an aggressive policy in South East Asia to acquire raw materials. She captured French-Indo China. This move threatened the British in Malaysia and the Dutch East Indies and the America controlled Philippines.

In response to this, the British and the Dutch imposed a trade embargo on Japan in terms of items such as oil, rubber, tin and on shipping. The Americans closed the Panama Canal for Japanese Ships.

Negations began and the Japanese launched a sudden aerial attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbour on the Hawaiian Islands. It was the attack that dragged the U.S.A in to the war.

Japan sank the British battleships, captured Hong Kong, Malaysia and a great naval base at Singapore. She then continued to occupy Burma, the Dutch East Indies, Philippines and part of West Pacific Islands.


War in Far East

Between 1940-1943, the allies moved to East Asia. The British used their bases in India to attack Japan. A group of guerrilla fighters under the command order of Wingate were sent to Burma to harass the Japanese.     In 1944 Japan attacked India and was defeated at the battle of Kohima.


The defeat of Italy and Germany

The Allies attacked Italian Island of Sicily in July 1943. At the same time, a political turmoil in Italy saw Mussolini overthrown and replaced by Marshal Badoglio. Musolini was rescued from prison by Germany.

In 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenbower became the commander of the Allied forces. He landed in France on 6th June 1944 (D-Day) and liberated France from Germany on 25th August 1944, and Belgium on 2nd September 1944.

He then entered Germany from the west in 1945 forcing Hitler to take refuge in an underground bunker in Berlin where he committed suicide in April 1945.

The Russian Red Army moved fast and liberated Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia from Germans. Germans under Admiral Karl Doenitz agreed to an unconditional surrender on 7th May 1945 ending the war in the west.


Defeat of Japan

USA attacked Japanese islands despite the Japan use of suicide bombers in attacking US ships. Allied forces went ahead and liberated Burma, China, Malaysia and Singapore. Okinawa was also defeated and Japan was asked to surrender, which Prime Minister Admiral Suzuki Kantaro refused.

On 6th August 1945, the US tested its atomic bomb by dropping it on Hiroshima killing 78,000 Japanese. Another one was dropped on Nagasaki on 9th August killing more than 40,000 people. Russia had also attacked Japan on 8th August. Japan surrendered on 15th August ending the Second World War.


Why Axis Powers were defeated by Allied Powers

  1. Allied powers had a large army due to many supporters compared to Axis powers
  2. Germany was unable to effectively control her conquered territories, which turned to Allied powers for liberation.
  3. USSR rearmed herself after recovery and turned against Germany
  4. USA entry into war boosted the Allies with vast resources and military power
  5. The use of superior weapons such as atomic bomb which no other country had helped.
  6. Shortage of raw materials such as rubber, cotton, nickel and oil to sustain military and the economy disadvantaged the Axis powers.
  7. By attacking Britain, Germany didn’t realize they had few military men to sustain the fight. They were stretched beyond their capacity.
  8. The failure of Axis in tact, e.g. Hitler didn’t prepare for the winter in Russia while Japan didn’t make aircraft carriers and concentrated on battleships. Hitler concentrated on V-rockets as opposed to jet aircrafts which could have countered bomb attacks.


Results of the World War II

  1. Loss of lives. France lost 600,000 people, Britain 390,000, Italy 400,000. Others were maimed and wounded depriving the world of productive manpower.
  2. Destruction of property by the bombs e.g. towns, industries, schools and farmlands were destroyed. Moreso railway lines, roads, aircrafts and harbours were also destroyed.
  3. It led to widespread suffering in West Europe. Many became homeless. More than one million French men became refugees. Others suffered emotional and psychological torture.
  4. Rise in debt. Britain depleted her savings and had a debt worth 6 billion pounds, Soviet union had 100 billion dollars debt. Military operation cost an estimate of 1.5 million dollars.
  5. Partition of Germany into East Germany under South Union and West Germany under France and Britain. Berlin was also divided into west and East. Germany became bitter.
  6. Emergency of the U.S.A and U.S.S.R as superpowers. The two were recognized for their superior economic and military resources. They replaced Germany and Britain as superpowers. The USA dominated West Europe by initiating an economic recovery plan under the Marshall Plan. Through this plan, the US lent out 7 trillion US dollars to many countries on condition that they adopt Americas capitalist ideas.

On the other hand the USSR dominated East Europe by spreading communism. However the spread of the two ideologies led to hostility, competition and strained relation between USA and USSR.

  1. It led to political changes in Europe in which the citizens lost confidence in the existing government and began to call for changes. It also led to the fall of dictators in Germany and Italy. The situation got worse as they also lost the countries that they had also colonized.
  2. It caused displacement as people moved to look for peaceful areas of settlement. This included the Poles, Slavs and Jews who moved to USA and Eastern Europe. In 1948 the state of Israel was created to settle the displaced people.
  3. It led to the rise of nationalism in Asia and Africa whereby soldiers who returned began to demand for the independence. Pakistan and India in 1947, Burma 1948, and Ghana 1957.
  4. The western countries after the economic destruction realized that they could only recover through economic co-operation. This led to the formation of the European Economic Community in 1957.
  5. The European nations became dependent on their colonies for the supply of raw materials for their reconstruction programme. They then put up industries in their colonies to manufacture goods for them
  6. It led to the setting up of communist governments e.g. Russia set up communist government in Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia.
  7. The status of women changed, with regard to Jobs and decision making. They took over the role of men and served in various capacities during the war.
  8. It led to the growth of military technology and industries for the production of arms and ammunitione.g. the dreadnoughts, rockets, jet aircrafts and atomic bombs were developed.
  9. It led to the formation of the United Nations Organization. After the failure of the League of Nations, there was the need to form an international organization in order to maintain peace and to prevent the outbreak of another war.




International Relations refer to the cooperation or interaction between individuals or groups of nations of the world. It involves economic and humanitarian assistance, sports, diplomacy (peaceful means of relationship between nations) technical and military aid. Therefore we have Economic relations, Diplomatic relations, Political relations and Socio-cultural relations.

It is a state where sovereign nations from different continents of the world interact politically, economically and socially forming organization.

 Reasons for International relations

  1. Given that countries are closely-knit and depend on one another socially and economically, then there is need to relate internationally.
  2. No country is self-reliant to the extent that it will in no way depend on others.
  3. Modern forms of transport and communication has made the world a global village hence it has enhanced human interaction and movement of goods.
  4. The happenings in one country affect others, e.g. Hiv and AIDS, terrorism, pollution etc which have necessitated international relations.


Levels of relations between nations

  1. Economic relations through trade, loans etc
  2. Diplomatic relations e.g. Ambassadors who encourage good relations between countries
  3. Political relations where countries with same ideologies and systems of government relate closely
  4. Socio-cultural relations where countries exchange programmes such as education, theatre, sports, dance troops etc


Benefits of International relations

  1. It promotes economic growth in the world
  2. Developing countries get financial and technical assistance from developed countries speeding up their industrial development
  3. It has enhanced peace and security amongst nations. It is a diplomatic policy of most nations that disputes be settled peacefully.
  4. World understanding has been promoted through cultural exchange.
  5. Some problems of global concerns had been solved collectively due to good international relations e.g. environmental pollution.


Types of International Organizations

  1. International Governmental Organizations – created by two or more sovereign states e.g. UN. Membership can be global or regional.
  2. International Non-Governmental Organizations – created by individuals or private organizations e.g. Amnesty International.


Roles of International Governmental Organizations

  1. Provides member states with a forum to consult and tackle problems of concern
  2. Acts as regulators in their fields to ensure the welfare of humankind.
  3. Enhance peace and security through peace keeping missions.
  4. Contribute to charity and facilitate equitable distribution of resources in the world.


United Nations Organization

It was founded after the World War II after the collapse of the League of Nations.

The member states are united by the principles of the UN Charter i.e. an international treaty that spells out their rights and duties as members of the world community.

UN was formed during a conference held on 25th April 1945 by delegates from 50 nations in Francisco, USA. They drew up the 111-Article charter which was adopted on 25th June 1945. It began its official functions on 24th October 1945. Kenya joined UN on 16th December 1963. By April 2004, UN had 191 member states. The official languages of UN are English, Chinese, French, Russia, Spanish and Arabic.


Reasons for the formation of UN

The UN Charter set forth the aims of the organization to humanity as follows

  1. To unite our strength and maintain international peace and security
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations
  3. To promote respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms
  4. To promote social progress and better living standards of the people
  5. To promote cultural interactions between member states
  6. To prevent the occurrence of another war
  7. To protect the interest of minority groups such as children and women
  8. To promote economic development among member states as they work to reconstruct the world economy
  9. To promote international understanding and cooperation among nations

To achieve its aims, the UN spelt out in its charter the following principles

  1. It is based on the sovereign equality of all its members
  2. All members must fulfill all their charter obligations in good faith
  3. International disputes must be settled by peaceful means without endangering peace and security
  4. Members must refrain from use of threats or force in their relations
  5. They must give UN assistance to any action it takes in accordance with the Charter.
  6. UN to ensure that non-member states act in accordance with these principles insofar as necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.


Organization of UN

The UN Charter has the following six principal organs

  1. The General Assembly

It is the main deliberative body of UN where every member has one vote. It meets once a year unless there is an emergency issue. Its functions are

  1. Considers and makes recommendations on principles of cooperation in the maintenance of peace and security
  2. Discusses any questions relating to international peace and security
  3. Discusses and makes recommendations on any matter affecting the powers and functions of any organ of the UN
  4. It initiates, studies and makes recommendations to promote political cooperation, international law and realization of human rights and freedoms.
  5. Admits new members, suspends or dismisses members.
  6. Makes recommendations for the peaceful settlement of any situation that may impair friendly relations
  7. Receives and considers reports from the Security Council and other organs
  8. Considers and approves UN budget
  9. Elects non-permanent members of the Security Council etc
  10. Elects judges of the International Court of Justice and appoints Secretary General.
  11. To promote higher standards of living.


  1. The Security Council

It has 15 members, 5 of which are permanent (China, France, Russia Federation, United Kingdom and United States). These five have veto right whereby if one says no, a decision cannot be made. Members have one vote each. For a resolution to be passed, at least 7 members must vote in favour.

Functions include

  1. To maintain international peace and security. If their advice is not taken, sanctions are put in place.
  2. Investigates disputes/situations that can lead to friction
  3. Enhances settlement of disputes through negotiations, mediation or arbitration
  4. Recommends procedures to be followed in settling disputes
  5. Assesses dangerous situations and takes necessary measures to maintain peace.
  6. Admits, suspends or expels members
  7. May call upon members to provide forces to facilitate military action


  1. The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

It is based in The Hague, Netherlands. It deals with matters such as international borders disputes, treatment of diplomatic staff, fishing rights, nuclear tests and territorial water delimitation. It has 15 full time judges from different states. They serve for 9 years. Their decisions are final.


  1. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

It has 54 delegates elected by the General Assembly for a term of 3 years. The members meet twice in a year in New York and Geneva.

Its main task is to coordinate the economic and social activities of the UN and to supervise the operations of the UN Agencies.

To achieve this, the council has set up the following commissions

  1. The Statistical commissions
  2. The population commission
  3. The Commission for social Development
  4. Commission on the status of women
  5. Commission on Narcotics Drugs

Its functions include

  1. Making or initiating studies and reports with respect to international, economic, social cultural, educational health and related matters
  2. Making recommendations for the purpose of promoting, respect and observation of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
  3. Drafting conventions and presenting them to the General Assembly
  4. Convening International Conference on economic and social issues
  5. Coordinating the activities of specialized agencies such as W.H.O and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  6. Offering NGO the opportunity to bring their expertise to the UN thus maintaining links with the civil society.


  1. The Trusteeship Council

It has 5 permanent members and 6 non-permanent appointed by General Assembly. It was given the responsibility to promote political, economic, educational and social advancement of the inhabitants of trust territories (Mandated territories) under colonial rule. Those territories got independence, e.g. Ghana 1957, Somalia 1960, Togo 1960, Cameroon 1960, Tanzania 1961 etc. These territories were taken from Axis powers. Since then, it has promoted decolonization.


  1. The Secretariat

This is the staff at the UN headquarters inNew York. It is the main administrative organ of UN. It is headed by the Secretary–General who serves for 5 years. The first secretary General was Sir Eric Drummond of Britain. Trygve Lie of Norway 1945-1953. Kofi Annan of Ghana was the Secretary General from 1997. B. Kimoon took over since then.

The Secretariat is made up of more than 25,000 men and women

Duties include

  1. To notify Security Council of any problem that threatens peace and security.
  2. Administer peace-keeping operations and mediate disputes
  3. Survey economic and social trends and problems
  4. Prepares research on subjects such as human rights
  5. Organizes international conferences on issues of worldwide concern
  6. Monitor implementation of UN decisions
  7. Register treaties
  8. Implement the policies laid down by other organs
  9. Draw the world’s attention to global issues from development to human rights.


Specialized Agencies

They are related to UN by special agreements. They report to Economic and Social Council. The most common are

  1. International labour organization based in Geneva (ILO)
  2. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based in Rome
  3. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),Paris
  4. World Health Organization (WHO) 1948 based in Geneva
  5. International Monetary Fund (IMF), 1945.
  6. United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNICEF)
  7. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)


Achievements of United Nations Organization

  1. Promotion of world peace and security. This has been done through
  2. UN peace keeping missions dispatched to conflict areas
  3. UN observers fact finding missions, mediators and special envoys to negotiate for peace
  4. UN sanctions imposed against states that defy its resolutions
  5. The ICJ under the principles of justice and the international law settles disputes among states
  6. The UN peace messengers – UN Peace Studies coordinate peace efforts in conjunction with NGOs.

UN intervened in Afghanistan 1980-1991, Cambodia 1979-1998, Congo 1960-1963, Iraq-Kuwait 1990-1992.


  1. Disarmament efforts. It has facilitated the drawing and signing of arms control agreements such as
  2. Antarctic Treaty 1959 which provided for demilitarization of Antarctica
  3. South Pacific Nuclear Zone Treaty 1985 which forbade testing and dumping of nuclear weapons and materials.


  1. Human rights agenda. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 spells out universal rights and freedoms of the individual. UN through Transparency International and Amnesty International promotes human rights by creating awareness on human rights abuses.

UN has protected refuges through UNHCR by focusing on torture, arbitrary detention of suspects and disappearance of suspects which has forced governments to improve on their human rights.

It has also focused on rights of Children, Protection of Migrant workers and their families, Elimination of Child labour and has implemented projects to improve lives of street children.


  1. Promoting the rights of women. UN has been spearheading change and raising awareness of the rights of women by empowering them to have greater control in making decisions that affect them. UN also adopted the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women.
  2. Humanitarian assistance. UN has helped in alleviating human suffering through charity work. It has protected refugees and assisted them with food, clothing, education and medical care. It has helped in improving shelter for the poor through the UN Centre for Human settlement based in Nairobi. It has provided disaster relief through World Food Programme. It has also provided emergency relief services for victims of war, earthquakes, floods, political strife etc.
  3. Promotion of Democracy and good governance. UN has contributed to elimination of colonialism e.g. among Trust territories which finally got independence and also apartheid system in South Africa which was eliminated. It also sends observers to monitor elections and political transitions in some countries e.g. Namibia and El Salvador.
  4. Development agenda. The United Nations Development Programme provides multi-lateral and technical assistance to developing countries in the form of skilled manpower and consultancy. UN prepares plans to promote socio-economic development through effective use of natural resources. It supports more than 5000 projects with a budget of 1.3billion US dollars.
  5. International cooperation in dealing with global issues. UN mobilizes countries in addressing global issues like pollution, desertification and energy crisis. This is through UNEP based in Nairobi which promotes environmental preservation. The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro resulted in treaties on bio-diversity and climate change. UN also sponsored activities and conferences to create awareness and educate people on environmental matters.
  6. Combating terrorism. The UN International Convention for the suppression of Terrorist Bombings 1997 provides that states either prosecute or extradite those accused of terrorist bombings.
  7. Ridding the world of landmines. The 1997 Ottawa Convention provides for the total ban on the production, export and use of landmines. It has also campaigned to clear landmines in former battlefields like Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Rwanda and Somalia.
  8. International protocols. UN agencies e.g. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have helped in setting safety standards for sea and air travel.
  9. Health care. UN has been involved in vaccination, prevention, cure and general health care of world population. They succeeded in eradication of smallpox, fight against parasitic diseases, provision of ARVs, universal immunization etc.
  10. Cultural exchange. UN has encouraged scholarly and academic cooperation, networking of institutions and promotion of cultural experiences. It has also preserved historic, cultural sites e.g. ancient monuments in 18 countries e.g. Greece, Italy, Egypt and Cambodia.

Challenges of the UN

  1. The different forms of government and ideologies pursued by countries have led to differences among nations. Issues in world are discussed in line with the ideologies of capitalism and communism, and this undermined the importance of international cooperation.
  2. Inadequate funds. Many of the programmes of UN have not been implemented due to lack of funds from member states. Some members do not remit their contributions to UN.
  3. Lack of effective machinery or army. UN depends on goodwill of members, which at times just ignore its resolutions
  4. The veto power of the Big Five has undermined implementation of some of UN policies. In case any one of the Big Five says no, decisions are delayed.
  5. The persistent border/regional conflicts all over the world have also hampered UN operations e.g. Arab-Israel conflicts.
  6. Loyalty to other international organizations who have similar aims to those of UN. This leads to conflict of interests. Example African Union and Arab League.
  7. The issue of nationalism whereby countries place their national interests first before the concerns of UN.
  8. Formation of an Afro-Latin American bloc which was meant to counter the power of the Big Five. They vote as a bloc, making the work of UN difficult. E.g. voting against terrorism was delayed as Arabs voted against it as a bloc in 1979.
  9. Increased natural disasters such as famine and epidemics have created an unexpected demand for economic resources which strain the UN’s resources.
  10. International terrorism has undermined UN operations and challenges its efforts to promote peace and security.
  11. Different levels of development of various states tend to militate against cooperation as some members feel there is little to gain from such cooperation.
  12. Arms race has undermined UN’s ability to promote world peace as states are struggling to rearm for fear of an attack by the enemy.
  13. The decisions of the UN have often been ignored and member states have frequently taken action without reference to UN, e.g. America/British invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  14. The UN Charter prohibition on interference in internal affairs of sovereign states is a setback. Internal wars have been fought without UN intervention e.g. Rwanda genocide.


The Commonwealthof Nations

It is a voluntary association of independent states which were formerly part of British Empire. They could have been British protectorates, colonies or dominions. It has 54 sovereign countries, Kenya and Tanzania being members.

It originated inBritain after publication of Durham Report of 1839 followed by the Statute of West Minister in 1931 when British relinquished her power over six former colonies(Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Union of South Africa, India and Pakistan) making them equal to her. The countries were referred to as British Commonwealth. India and Pakistan joined in 1947. South Africa withdrew in 1961 when members rejected her apartheid regime, and rejoined in 1994 after abolishing apartheid.

Members do not sign a charter, but agree to abide by certain rules and regulations. The Queen of England is the Head of the Commonwealth.

Aims and Principles of Commonwealth

  1. To promote world peace and international understanding
  2. To promote development in the poor member states
  3. To intensify cooperation between member states in areas like education, sports, transport etc.
  4. To ensure personal liberty and equality of rights to all citizens
  5. To fight social prejudice that threaten human race development
  6. To fight poverty, ignorance and disease to remove wealth disparities and raise living standards
  7. To oppose all forms of colonial domination and encourage self-determination.
  8. To enhance free international trade by removing trade barriers.
  9. To promote exchange of knowledge, professionalism, political, and legal issues.
  10. To combat injustices and facilitate development.

Characteristics of Commonwealth member countries

  1. They use English as a common language
  2. They maintain cultural ties e.g. participating in Commonwealth games.
  3. They cooperate in the field of education e.g. educational exchange programmes.
  4. They recognize the Queen of England as the Head of Commonwealth
  5. They have common military tradition based on that of Britain
  6. Members share common democratic institution like that of Britain e.g. parliamentary system of Government and legal system.
  7. They enjoy universal adult suffrage


Organization of Commonwealth

The structure of the Commonwealth comprises three organs

  1. Heads of State Summits

They meet for a week once every two years. They discuss economic and political problems affecting them. Decisions are reached by consensus.

  1. Ministerial meetings

Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Defense meet once every year, Health, Education and Law ministers meet once every 3 years.

  1. Secretariat

It is the main agency for consultation and the exchange of information among member states. It is headed by Secretary General. Arnold Smith of Canada was the first Secretary General. Chief EmekaAnyaoku of Nigeria (1990) was the first African Secretary General.

Functions of Secretariat include

  1. Coordination of cooperation programmes among member states
  2. Circulation of important information among member states
  3. Coordination of business by studying Commonwealth organizations that deal with economic and financial matters
  4. Organizes Heads of State Summit
  5. Encourages projects that are of benefit to members.


Commonwealth has specialized agencies like Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau, Youth programmes, Science Council, Press Union etc.

Operations are financed based on assessed or operating budget. Money comes from member states on an agreed scale based on the country’s population and income.

Functions of the Commonwealth

  1. It promotes partnership and cooperation in economic, social and political areas among its members
  2. It provides financial assistance to members from less developed countries
  3. It supports education and training by proving scholarships and grants for training
  4. It encourages trade among member countries by conducting surveys, trade fairs, marketing and trade negotiations
  5. It enhances cultural and social cooperation among its members
  6. It promotes understanding and tolerance through free exchange of ideas
  7. It promotes democracy and good governance through parliamentary meetings.
  8. It provides a forum for member states to air their views on international affairs with one voice
  9. It promotes respect and encourages trust an friendship among members to work towards economic prosperity
  10. It provides machinery for maintaining peace among members.
  11. It supports youth programmes geared towards national development.

Achievements of Commonwealth

  1. Members of commonwealth work together to produce results e.g. in building schools, AIDS awareness etc
  2. With common language, similar systems of law, public administration and education, Commonwealth has emerged as a vibrant and growing association of states in tune with modern world
  3. Prejudice, poverty and disease have been reduced through its activities
  4. It has advanced democracy, rule of law, gender equality, human rights etc


  1. It does not have executive powers over the member states, given that it is a voluntary organization
  2. Member states who belong to other organizations at times put interests of other organization before those of Commonwealth.
  3. Commonwealth lacks sufficient funds to meet its financial obligations
  4. States whose policies conflict with those of Commonwealth have at times withdrawn from it e.g. South Africa and Pakistan.
  5. Dominance by developed nations like Britain undermines decisions and policy matters.
  6. The state of turmoil in some states has affected their performance in the promotion of peace and good governance e.g. Sierra Leone.
  7. Race and colour discrimination divided the members. Even today, free movement of members has been restricted by new visa rules adopted by some countries, especially Britain.
  8. Ideological differences based on capitalism and communism made it hard for countries to work together in matters of international concern.



The Non-Aligned Movement

It’s a kind of neutralism or independence of policy and action in international affairs. It is the policy of not aligning with any of the power blocs (communists and capitalists)

Features of NAM

  1. It expresses freedom to decide to support or withdraw support for any other country on any issue.
  2. It upholds peaceful coexistence of nations with different political, economic and social system
  3. Maintaining friendly relations with all countries, whatever their ideologies.
  4. Not entering into military alliance with USA and USSR.

Non-Aligned movement was founded in the 1955in a conference in Bendung, Indonesia byJawaharlal Nehru of India together with Surkanoof Indonesia, Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Nasser of Egypt and Chou of China. Nehru defined it as ‘not entering into military alliances with any country, especially those practicing western capitalism or eastern communism.

NAM has 116 members. East African countries are members. The movement has observers such as China, Mexico, Antigua, UNO, African Union, Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Organisation etc. The observers attend NAM meetings, and are not permanent.

The members of NAM agreed that any country wishing to be a member should

  1. Have adopted an independent policy based on coexistence of states with different political and social systems
  2. Consistently support the movement for national independence
  3. Not be a member of a multi-lateral alliance e.g. NATO
  4. Any bilateral military alliance a country is involved in should not be in line with the great power conflict


Reasons for the rise of NAM

  1. The developing countries wanted to protect their independence and national interests.
  2. So as to get maximum aid from both blocs for economic development
  3. The independence policy approach was suitable in handling international affairs. They didn’t want to enter into US and USSR rivalry.
  4. They wanted to establish their own distinct identity in world politics
  5. Emerging nations did not want to be involved in cold war by aligning with any of the blocs
  6. They needed cooperation among countries to ensure peace so as to save the world from another world war.


Relevance of NAM

  1. With arms race, there is need for a forum which will continue to articulate the voice of justice and sanity in the world
  2. Since industrialized nations still lay their hold on third world countries, there’s need for a platform where the demand for a just world economic order can be raised.
  3. NAM has emerged as the Third World shield against the pressures of the two superpowers.



Aims of NAM

  1. To safeguard the sovereignty of member states
  2. To fight for decolonization of the 3rd World countries
  3. To work for disarmament of the supporters
  4. To discourage military alliances advocated by the superpowers
  5. To promote economic independence of countries so as to discourage neocolonialism
  6. To promote neutrality among member countries
  7. To fight racism in the world
  8. To pursue an independence policy of peaceful coexistence
  9. To make funds available for improvement of agriculture to ensure increased food production.


The structure and organization of NAM

NAM does not have a constitution. It has a unique administrative style that looks like this

  1. Coordination (Summit)

Administration has no hierarchy. The chair is rotational. The country that hosts the summit holds office until the next summit. Such a country will create the Foreign Ministry to deal with the NAM. The chair will also lead and coordinate the activities of NAM within the UN as well as in other international forum.

  1. The Coordinating Bureau. It reviews and facilitates the harmonization of the NAM working groups, contact groups, task forces and committees. These groups meet often.
  2. Non-Aligned Security Council caucus. They make sure NAM adopts unified position in decision making without interfering with sovereign rights.
  3. Joint coordinating committee. It promotes interests of developing countries in international fora.
  4. Coordination of non-aligned countries in other UN centres
  5. The Troika which is a meeting of foreign Ministers of NAM representing past, present and future chairs.
  6. Panel of Economists which assesses economic situation in the world and analyze major issues of concern especially in relation to developing countries.
  7. Preparation of documents of summit, conferences etc is done by the host country
  8. Decision making which is done by consensus. This has encouraged openness and extensive consultation.

NAM holds several meetings including conference of Heads of state and Government, Ministerial conference etc. Their 13th summit was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2003.



  1. It has helped speed up the attainment of freedom in states that were still under colonial bondage
  2. It has helped its members to safeguard their national security and territorial integrity
  3. It contributed to the relaxation of international tension by keeping clear of the two military blocs, USA and former USSR.
  4. It has provided an international forum where members’ voices could be heard.
  5. The movement has given members freedom to put their national interests before those of the power blocs.
  6. NAM has played a leading role in disarmament
  7. It has helped in international crisis management
  8. It has worked towards the creation of the new international economic order where members can trade with either bloc
  9. It cushioned members against the effect of sanctions imposed on apartheid South Africa by giving financial assistance to frontline states.
  10. NAM has also worked to crate the new scientific and technological order. Members can get economic, military and technical assistance from any bloc.


Challenges facing NAM

  1. The large membership has frustrated its ideological coherence and organizational solidarity.
  2. NAM does not maintain an army or a permanent institutional framework or machinery that can enable it to carry out its activities effectively.
  3. Wars and political instability between members have impeded their participation in NAM e.g. civil wars in DRC, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi etc.
  4. Differences over territorial boundaries have hampered cooperation of NAM members e.g. between Vietnam and Cambodia, Ethiopia and Somalia
  5. There is still military, economic and political dependency among Nam members on their former colonial masters. It’s therefore difficult to pursue independence policy in international affairs.
  6. Most developing countries are poor hence may not be able to meet NAM financial obligations
  7. Some member’s national interests have been in conflict with those of NAM, hence they put their interests first to those of NAM.
  8. Personality differences between leaders of member states have undermined the movement
  9. Membership of NAM states to other organizations like African Union has led to divided loyalty and commitment.
  10. The breakup of USSR bloc and end of cold war appeared to have overtaken NAM leading to its destabilization.


The cold War

Cold war was the struggle or hostility between the communist and the capitalist nations. After the Second World War, the Soviet feared that America would bomb her the way they bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This led to tension between the two.

USA and her allies adopted capitalism while USSR and her allies adopted communism. Each wanted to curtail the rival ideology and spread theirs. USSR managed to spread communism in Eastern Europe occupying Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany and Poland. This prompted Churchill, the British Prime Minister to urge the Americans to unite.

Joseph Stalin worsened the tension between the USA and USSR by asserting that the World War II was caused by capitalist imperialism meaning that a war would occur again.

Each side claimed superiority of its own political and economic systems and they built more powerful military forces. The powersembarked on means of weakening each other without going to actual war. The weapons used included propaganda, economic sanctions, military and financial aid to the enemies of the opposite side, and military support to the allies of the enemy.


Causes of the cold war

  1. Ideological differences. The two superpowers wanted to spread their ideological capitalism and communism. Both began to struggle to contain each other.
  2. Rearmament (arms race). The superpowers continued to manufacture arms, therefore threatening world peace. The twopowers failed to agree on arms reduction plan and continued to stockpile their atomic bombs. This led to hostility as one wasn’t sure as to when the other would strike
  3. Economic Rivalry. In 1947, USA president Harry S. Truman stated that it was the policy of the US to support free people who were resisting communism. The US congress voted 400 million US dollars to assist Greece and Turkey. TheMarshall plan gave financial assistance to countries devastated by war and within four years the countries got 12 million US dollars. The plan was rejected by Russians.

To counter this, Russians formed an economic cooperative plan for Eastern Europe Comecon which was equivalent to the Marshall Plan. In this, the communist states were to trade among themselves.This further heightened hostility between the East and the West.

  1. Formation of military Alliances and military support to opponent enemies. The USA formed a military alliance with Canada, Denmark, UK, Iceland, Italy and Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. This led to the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

In retaliation, The Russians signed the Warsaw Pact which was a communist military Alliance with East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Albania and Romania. This fostered hostility between the countries.

  1. Use of Russian veto in the UN. The UN was basically for the USA, a situation that the Russians hated. Russia used her veto power to defeat UN proposals. The power struggle to dominate the UN led to increased tension between them.
  2. Differences over Germany. The western Allies wanted a strong Germany to assist in the economic prosperity of other Western Europe nations such as Switzerland and Netherlands. The soviet Union wanted a politically and economically weak Germany so as to safeguard against another invasion

In July 1945 at the Potsdam Conference, it was agreed that Berlin, the capital of Germany be split into four sectors and the Supreme authority in Germany be left in the hands of the Allied control Council.Germany was to be treated as one economic and political unit. This led to the disunity of Germany therefore breeding hostility between the two powers


The Course of the Cold War in Europe

Two major development heightened hostility in Europe.

  1. The Truman Doctrine which stated that the USA was ready to support free people who were resisting dominion by the armed minorities.
  2. The Marshals Plan. In this, the US Secretary of State George Marshall stated that the US would make a major contribution to the economic recovery of Europe. In retaliation, USSR rejected Marshall plan claiming it interfered in internal affairs on nations. President Stalin established the communist information Bureau Cominform to enforce communism as an ideology. He also set up the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) which aimed at achieving what the Martial Plan was meant to do. However this did not succeed due to the weak Russian economy.


 The NATO and WARSAW Pact

The formation of NATO with its headquarters in Paris France was joined by other European nations and it became a defensive alliance against any form of aggression. This was a defense against the spread of communism. Russia condemned this military alliance which largely depended on the USA and her atomic weaponry. This also made Russia to explode her first atomic bomb on 29th August 1949. Soviet Union also signed the Warsaw Pact (14th May 1955) with East Germany and six Eastern countries.

The existence of the Warsaw pact and the NATO led to hostilities between the superpowers.


Berlin Blockade

Germany was divided into two zones, East and West. Trade between the two regions was curtailed. This led to starvation as East Germany was the chief producing area. Russia controlled East.  Britain, France and the USA handled west. They introduced a new currency in order to prevent inflation and speed up economic recovery.

In May 1948 Russia sealed all road and rail routes into West Berlin. For over a year the 2 million people of West Berlin were supplied with food, coal, medical supplies and other necessities by air lift. This was a very expensive to USA.

However the airlift saved the people from starvation and Russian domination. It also proved to the world that nations of the west had the determination and the strength to resist aggression. It also further fuelled suspicion and hostility between the superpowers.

The Partition of Germany

Partition of Germany into East and West Germany worsened the relation between the superpowers. On 23rd May 1949, the Western occupation zone became the federal Republic of Germany and Konrad Adenauer became the chancellor after the September elections.

On 7th October 1949 the Soviet Zone formed the Germany Democratic Republic. The division curtailed communication as East Germany erected fences and watchtower and also began armed protests to guard her border.

Many East Germany’s were attracted to West Germany which had developed economically. In 1961 the East Germanys built a wall along the border, dividing East Berlin from the rest of the city therefore stirring up greater hostility.


The Cold war inAsia

After World War II the Soviet Union was quietly involved in Chinas internal affairs. They helped Mao Tse Tung and his communist party to gain power by removing Kuomintang forces. This led to the Sino-Soviet treaty of friendship in 1950.

Korea was occupied from the South by American forces and in the North by the Russians. The occupying two powers failed to unify the two zones leading to the intervention of the U.N.

In 1948 the USA announced the formation of the independent Democratic Republic of Korea in the South.

The Russians formed the People’s Republic of Korea in the North.

In 1950 North Korea forces invaded South Korea in an attempt to reunite the country by force. This was quickly repulsed by the UN thus saving the world from another possible world war.

In Vietnam, the USA and the USSR supported different nationalist leaders. USSR supported Ho Chi Minh while the USA supported Ngo Dinh Diem. This led to the creation of the north and South Vietnam with each power supporting his region. The communists set up a communist government in South Vietnam while the capitalist established theirs in North Vietnam.

However the USA was not keen on controlling the spread of communism in the South therefore gave financial and material support to the south and to her disappointment the communists were successful, forcing the Americans to withdraw. This defeat strengthened American hostility towards the Soviet.

In Afghanistan, a section of the army got support from the USSR and overthrew the government in 1978.USSR then sent troops in December 1979 to strengthen the new government. The USA responded by giving the Afghan Muslim guerrillas (Mujahedeen) Holy warriors aid through Pakistan.

More so the USA and other countries boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics Games to protest USSR’s involvement in Afghanistan.


The Cold War in Latin America (Cuban Missile Crisis)

Fidel Castro overthrew Fulgencio Batista in 1958 and this move was welcomed by many countries. The new government was recognized by the USA, USSR, Britain and most states in Latin America.

By 1960, relations between Castro and the USA had begun to deteriorate because Castro had introduced the communist system of government and also begun nationalization of oil refineries and sugar industries. In response, the USA placed an embargo on Cuban sugar therefore severing diplomatic relations with the Island. USA also sponsored refugees to invade Cuba, which failed.

In 1962 Cuba was expelled from the organization of American states. In the same year the USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev placed intermediate range nuclear missiles base in Cuba as a means of countering an emerging USA lead in developing strategic missiles. Castro supported the USSR hence they began to secretly built missile installation in Cuba. For the rest of the year; there was a steady flow of arms from the USSR to Cuba in exchange for sugar.

The missile scare prompted USA president John Kennedy demand for the dismantling of Russian bases in Cuba and an American navy to blockade Cuba to search all vessels bound for Cuban ports.

However the naval quarantine prevented further shipment of the Soviet military weapons to Cuba. Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles from Cuba and also dismantled all her bases in Cuba therefore ending the most serious cold war crisis.


Cold War in Africa

In Africa, it was experienced in Ethiopia where Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974 and Mengistu Haile Mariam took over with the support of the USSR.

However secessionist activities from North Ethiopia and the withdrawal of Soviet assistance to Ethiopia forced Mengistu out of power in May 1991.

Angola attained her independence from Portugal on 11th November 1975 with the support of the Soviet Union. Shortly, there was a disagreement over which party was to lead, this plunged the country into a civil war. The USA supported the rebels led by Savimbi, while the movement for liberation of Angola MPLA was supported by the USSR and the Cuban troops

However in 1989, the USSR due to its internal problems reduced aid to Angola, which eased the tension between the two.

In DRC Congo, former president Mobutu received help from USA while the rebels got assistance from USSR.

Note that most of the aid given to African countries is given with unspoken understanding that after receiving the aid, the country will follow their ideologies. The same applies to scholarships.


Easing of the cold war

The death of Stalin led to alternating relaxation and confrontation including a cooperative phase in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s hailed by Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin his successor, and the US presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush as they began to engage into partnership as they addressed numerous global problems.The easing of the tension is termed as détente.

Factors that led to the easing of the cold war

  1. Death of Stalin. He was a hardliner who could not negotiate with the Americans.
  2. A series of negotiations. The USA and the USSR had summit meetings where they met and signed strategic arms limitations agreements. This led to the Nucleus Test Ban and suspension of bomb explosions.

In 1971 they signed The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT).

  1. Gorbachev policy. He liberalized policies that relaxed the cold war, which earned him a Nobel peace prize in 1990. Regan and Gorbachev held a series of summit meetings that led to arms reduction and facilitated a growing sympathy among the communists leaders. The two signed the strategic Arms reduction Talks (START) in 1991 that limited either side to 6,000 warheads hence ending the cold war.
  2. Collapse of the communist rule in Europe. The Russian President Boris Yeltsin recognized the independence of other republics of the USSR ad he embarked on a full scale economic reform programme to create a market economy. This weakened the position of Russia. Western democracy was introduced in Romania, Bulgaria,Poland and Czechoslovakia. This eased the tension between USA and USSR and created new friendship.
  3. Reagan policy. He played a leading role in diffusing tension during the cold war. He Russian leaders to consider easing the tension between their states.
  4. Unification of Germany. The crumbling of the Berlin wall on 9th November 1990 marked the end of the cold war. East Germany was reunited with West Germany in 1990 under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
  5. Russians support for the Gulf War. The campaign by Americans led allies to liberate Kuwait from Iraq in the Gulf war in 1991 had the support from the USSR. This was proof that the Soviet Union was willing to cooperate with the west. It was due to this cooperation of the USSR that the Securiy Council passed resolution against Iraq.
  6. Dissolution of the Warsaw pact. In November 1990, the Paris Charter was signed which dissolved the pact on 1st April 1991 after the fall of communism.
  7. Arms reduction. In 1991 at a Moscow Summit, Gorbachev and Bush signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty cutting their weapons by about a third. In 1993 the USA and Russia signed START II where they agreed to cut their nuclear warheads between 3,000 and 3,500 over the next decade.

The Soviet finally collapsed in 1991 and her satellite states declared their independence. Soviet states joined NATO. The cold war ended peacefully.


Although the cold war seemed to have ended in the 1990s, occasional periods of tension between communist and capitalist states have been experienced e.g. the 1995 crash-landing of a US spy aircraft in China indicates that  the USA still collects intelligence on the former communist states.  The USA invasion of Iraq in 2003 was seen as an attempt to install a pro-USA government in Iraq.


Effects of the cold War

  1. It undermined international peace and security as each of the superpowers struggled to dominate the world.
  2. It divided the world into two causing hostility, suspicion and mistrust among nations.
  3. It led to military technology e.g. space rockets and other lethal weapons were manufactured. Military industries also grew among nations.
  4. It led to actual wars e.g. in Korean and Vietnam. It also led to the Suez crisis and the Hungarian revolution.
  5. It led to the formation of economic and military alliances such as NATO, COMECON,WARSAW PACT and European Economic Union.
  6. Led to the spread of capitalism and communist ideologies. The USA adopted the policy of containment to check the spread of communism.
  7. Led to the formation of the Afro-Asian block that adopted the policy of non-alignment which saved them from joining the power bloc rivalry between the superpower





Scientific innovations in Europe inspired exploration and economic exploitation of the people of Africa by Europe. This exploitation triggered the need for co-operation in Africa so as to liberate it politically, economically and socially.

Co-operation in Africa refers to the ways in which African countries relate to each other through formation of organizations such as OAU.

African co-operation is seen in the following:



‘Pan’ stands for all and ‘Africa’ for the black people of Africa.


  • To unite all the people of Africa in the struggle for emancipation from social discrimination and colonial rule.
  • To challenge the ideology of white supremacy on which European colonization was based.
  • To improve African conditions in the Diaspora and in the African continent
  • To restore the dignity of the black people
  • To create a forum in which protests against European colonization could be channeled
  • To fight neo-colonialism in Africa

Causes of Pan-Africanism

  1. Africans who were forced into slavery in America during the Trans-Atlantic trade suffered a lot under the white people.
  2. Racism – Africans were despised and ridiculed on the ground of colour and hair texture. They were seen as inferior
  3. Colonization of Africa. Africans experienced a lot of oppression during colonial rule
  4. Educated Africans wanted to prove that Africans were civilized people with a rich history and culture
  5. European missionaries had discriminated against Africans. Africans formed independent churches contributing to the rise of Pan-Africanism.


It originated in America in the 19th century. It was formed by Africans in diaspora.

The founders included Martin Delaney, Alexander Crummell, and Bishop James Johnson among others. They wanted to uplift the lives of fellow Africans.

The leading Pan Africanists are


Marcus Garvey (1997-1940)

He was born in Jamaica on 17th August 1887 to a family of freed slaves.

As a child, he was discriminated against because of his dark complexion. As mullatoes formed a class of elites, the dark ones like Garvey became domestic servants

Marcus travelled in America and Britain and was appalled by the poor working conditions of Africans.

He read extensively and came up with the philosophy of Pan Africans where he sought to make Africans take pride in their blackness and cultural heritage. He was an orator and a great mobilizer of Africans.

In 1920 he formed the ‘Negro Empire’ in New York to have Africans enjoy economic and political progress. He organized a black convention and launched the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) to

  • Create universal fraternity among the black race
  • Promote African cultures.
  • Uplift the civilization of African communities
  • Establish a central nation for black race. He came up with ‘black is beautiful’ slogan.
  • Establish academies for African children

He founded a journal ‘the Negro world’ and the African Orthodox Church since he read the Bible extensively

He advocated for the ‘return to Africa’ and wanted colonial governments to leave African continent.

He believed in African economic empowerment. He mobilized funds and bought 3 ships for marine transport. However, the project didn’t succeed.

Garvey was witch-hunted due to his critical attitude against Europeans. He was arrested and convicted of fraud. He later on died in Jamaica in 1940


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

He was born in southern America to a slave family. He struggled to reach university level by raising his own school fees.

He began a school, the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama which became a model industrial institute for training blacks in Agriculture and industrial skills. He was the principal.

He encouraged Africans to work hard and also cooperate with the government, though he was criticized by Africans for his moderate policy

With the help of Andrews Carnegie, he founded the National Negro Business League with the aim of teaching virtues in business development to blacks.

He believed that Africans could attain equality with Europeans by working hard. He therefore got support from Europeans. He was an academician who influenced African schools in USA to emphasize technical education and agricultural skills. He died in 1915


W.E.B Du Bois (1868-1963)

He was a professor of History, Economics, Sociology and also a journalist.

He was born in 1868. He was the first African to attain a Ph.D at the Harvard University.

In 1905 he formed the Niagara Movement to protest against racial discrimination against blacks in USA

He maintained that capable Africans be allowed to pursue higher education like Europeans without discrimination.

He glorified African culture. He fought against slavery, colonial exploitation and repression by the African people.

He chaired the Pan African Congress at Manchester in 1945.

In 1961 he visited Ghana at the invitation of Kwame Nkurumah and then embarked on the compilation of the Encyclopedia Africana.

He died in 1963 as a citizen of Ghana.


Kwame Nkurumah

He was born in 1909 in S. Ghana. His father was a goldsmith who was always away from home. He was the only child and was brought up by his mother.

He went to a Roman Catholic mission school where he got converted to Christianity. He was baptized and given the name Francis.

He trained as a teacher at Achimota Teacher Training College in Accra. He met African intellectuals like Dr. KwegyirAggrey and Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe while at the college. Dr. Aggrey introduced him to Du Bois and Garvey where he learnt new ideas on African identity and personality.

Azikiwe who became Nigeria’s first president encouraged him to go for further studies in the USA where he went to the Lincoln University. He got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology. He later pursued a degree in theology and a master of science in education.

He loved reading the books of philosophy written by Marx, Hegel, Descartes and Kant until he was branded the title “Lenin of Africa” since he advocated for socialism.

He also went to Britain and pursued a law degree. He returned to Ghana in 1946 and led the United Gold Coast Convention (UGGCC) which was the political party for the Ghanaians. He became the secretary General.

In 1949 he disagreed with other leaders for being more radical and formed the Convention Peoples party which led the people of Ghana to independence in 1957.


His role in Pan Africanism

On Ghana getting independence,Nkurumah declared that this independence would be meaningless unless the rest of Africa was liberated. He inspired many African countries to struggle for political independence and the blacks’ civil rights movements in the USA to fight for their rights.

In 1958 he hosted a conference for all independent countries (Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Tunisia, Sudan and Libya) In December the same year; he hosted All Africa people’s conference in Accra.

He assisted SekouToure of Guinea with loans following the withdrawal of French support.

He also aided Patrice Lumumba of Congo where Belgium and western Countries were supporting the rebel leaders.

His fight against western domination led to him being overthrown in 1966 in a military coup that forced him into exile.

He died on 27th April 1972 in Bucharest, Romania where he had gone to seek treatment for cancer.


The Pan-African conferences 1900-1945

  1. The first Pan-African conference 1900 was held in Westminster Town Hall, London. It was convened by African Association. It discussed living conditions of blacks, human rights violation and racial discrimination. Its objective was to unite the Africans and end colonization. The term Pan-Africanism come from this conference.
  2. The second Pan-African conference 1919 was held in Paris after WWI. It investigated racial discrimination of Africans in France during the war. It resolved that international laws be put in place to protect Africans, and that African land should remain for Africans. Slavery and capital punishment should be abolished.
  3. The third Pan-African conference 1923 was held in London and Lisbon. It was attended by Africans in diaspora. Resolutions were same as those of 1919.
  4. The fourth Pan-African conference 1927 was held in New York attended by African American plus European philanthropists who supported Africans to uplift their living standards.
  5. The fifth Conference 1945 was held in Manchester. It was organized by Africans in Africa. It had 90 delegates and 11 observers. Du Bois was appointed president and NkurumahandPadmore were secretaries. It demanded political independence and called for unity among Africans. Kenyatta and Banda attended.


After 1945, Pan Africanism was reactivated due to the following reasons:

  1. World War II strengthened nationalism in the continent making Africans start demanding for political independence.
  2. The 1945 Pan-African conference in Manchester brought many African elites like Kenyatta, Kamuzu Banda together inspiring each other to join the movement.
  3. Attainment of political independence in Burma and India encouraged many nationalists in Africa
  4. The cold war and the USA control of the African Americans who had links with the USSR e.g. Padmore and slowed down the activities of African American in Pan-Africanism.
  5. Ghana’s independence in 1957 inspired other African countries to focus on the liberation of their countries rather than for the betterment of fellow Africans outside the continent.


Achievements of Pan-African Movement

  1. It created a sense of unity among Africans who realized they shared a common origin and experiences.
  2. It laid a basis for interest in research on African cultures, history, literature, music, religion, medicine etc
  3. The movement encouraged Africans to take pride in their ancestry and demand for their rights.
  4. Pan Africanism restored dignity and confidence of Africans by reminding them that being black is good.
  5. It provided a forum where Africans would discuss their problems
  6. The movement made African leaders to be more committed to African issues e.g. apartheid regime in S. Africa.
  7. It also contributed to the formation of OAU which later became AU.
  8. Pan-Africanism condemned Mussolini’s attempt to colonize Ethiopia by organizing protests in major towns e.g. New York, London etc.


Challenges encountered by the Pan-African movement

  1. Some of the leaders could not agree on the best strategy of uplifting the welfare of Africans e.g. Du Bois and Booker.
  2. Activities of pan-africanists like Garvey were fought by European groups.
  3. It was difficult for Africans in Africa to attend conferences since they were denied visas/permits by their colonial masters
  4. Many of pan-african projects failed due to lack of education and economic empowerment e.g. Garveys shipping project.
  5. Lack of effective support by Africans for leaders due to ignorance and illiteracy among them.
  6. The movement’s progress was hindered when its activities were restricted to African continent after countries attained independence in the 1960s.
  7. Division between radicals and moderates/conservatives in Africa weakened the spirit of the movement.
  8. Negative propaganda spread by European powers against the movement weakened it also.

Pan-African movement continued even after independence by holding conferences including

  1. The first conference of independence African states in Ghana in April& Dec. 1958
  2. The All-African Peoples conference in Tunisia January 1960
  3. The second conference of Independent African states in Addis in June 1960
  4. The Brazzaville conference of December 1960
  5. The Casablanca conference of January 1961
  6. The Monrovia Conference of 1961.


 Organization of African Unity (OAU) 1963-2002

OAU was formed on 23rd May 1963 during a meeting in Addis Ababa chaired by Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. It began with 32 members who increased to 54


Charter of OAU

OAU members have equal privileges and each has one vote.

Chairmanship is rotational to allow each member have an opportunity to hold office.

Objectives include

  1. To promote continental unity
  2. To coordinate efforts towards upliftment of African people
  3. To defend African sovereignty
  4. To eradicate colonialism
  5. To promote international cooperation

Fundamental principles of OAU

  1. Recognition of the sovereign equality of member states
  2. Non-interference in internal affairs of member states
  3. Respect for territorial integrity of members
  4. Peaceful settlement of disputes
  5. Condemnation of political assassination or subversion by one country in another.
  6. Dedication and emancipation of territories under colonial rule
  7. Adherence to the principle of non-alignment


Structure of OAU

  1. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government which makes and coordinates policies. It meets once a year. They discuss matters of common concern in Africa.
  2. The Council of Ministers which meets twice a year. It prepares agenda and budget for Assembly of Heads approval. It implements decisions made by the assembly.
  3. The Secretariat headed by Secretary General based in Ethiopia. He serves for 4 years. Salim Ahmed Salim was the last secretary. He provides administrative services.
  4. Commission for Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration. It settles disputes among member states.

OAU had 14 specialized agencies like Liberation Committee which deals with elimination of colonialism in Africa, Economic and Social Commission, Commission on education, science and culture and The Defense Commission.

OAU transformed into African Union in 2002.


Achievements of OAU

  1. It has enabled Africans to speak with one voice in international fora.
  2. It succeeded in supporting various liberation movements in Africa with finances, weapons, training facilities, shelter etc. Example Mozambique, Angola and South Africa.
  3. It provided forum where independent African nations could discuss their problems
  4. It advanced Pan-African interests by discouraging racism, genocide and colonialism against Africans.
  5. It solved various disputes among member states e.g. Ethiopia and Somalia over Ogaden, Rwanda and Burundi etc
  6. It promoted economic and technical cooperation in Africa e.g. by giving loans through African Development Bank.
  7. It played a role in developing postal, telecommunications, radio and Tv networks in Africa.
  8. It has helped to monitor and report on human rights through the African commission of human rights.
  9. It promoted social and cultural heritage in Africa e.g. All Africa Games held every four years. This promoted friendly relations.


  1. OAU failed to prevent the Rwandan genocide in the 1994.
  2. It failed to deal with the Congo crisis of 1964. Some members were supporting Patrice Lumumba and other MoiseTshombe
  3. Its charter was silent on democracy, peace, justice and human rights, hence most of OAU leaders became dictators.
  4. It failed to achieve total unity and peace in Africa as there was a lot of conflict between member states.

Challenges encountered by OAU

  1. Political instability in member countries e.g. military coups, and civil wars.
  2. Border disputes which have led to bitter quarrels among some members e.g. Togo and Ghana, Kenya and Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi, Nigeria and Cameroon.
  3. Personal differences between African leaders also weakened it e.g. Idi Amin and Julius Nyerere (1971-1977), Omar el Bashir of Sudan and Museveni (1996-2002)
  4. Interference by major powers in African affairs. USA, Britain and France have done so, e.g. USA discouraged other African states from relating well with Muammar Gadaffi of Libya
  5. Neo-colonialism whereby many African countries still relied on their former colonial masters for military, technology and education help. This made it difficult for OAU to help.
  6. Inadequate financial support from member states since some do not honour their financial commitment
  7. Non-existence of a military force to implement its decisions. It relies on member’s goodwill.
  8. The all-African scope and nature of the organization has led to conflicts between the Arab and European affiliated countries hence undermining OAUs success.
  9. Ideological differences between member states especially during the cold war period. Some were communist while others were capitalists.
  10. Most members give priority to their national interests at the expense of continental interests.
  11. Violation of human rights by leaders such as Idi Amin, Joan Bokassa of Central Africa Republic, Mobutu of DRC etc
  12. Lack of continuity due to constant change in leadership which affected its performance.


African Union 

It was formed following declaration made by heads of States and Governments of OAU at Sirte, Libya on 9th September 1999. They believed it would help in acceleration of the process of integration in Africa to enable the continent play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing social, economic problems affecting Africa.

It was formed in 2002 at a summit held in Durban, South Africa.


Differences between AU and OAU

  1. Unlike OAU which operated on principle of non-interference in internal affairs, AU allows for intervention in member states experiencing conflicts/human rights violations
  2. AU is a union of African people, while OAU was an association of heads of states and Governments.
  3. AU has a more ambitious development agenda i.e. NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) which aims at promoting growth and sustainable development, and also eradication of poverty in Africa. OAU was more political than economic.
  4. AU has accountability mechanism through conferences on security, stability, development and cooperation in Africa.
  5. It proposes to establish a peace and Security Council with law enforcement powers by creating a standing African military. OAU didn’t have a standing army.


AU Charter

Objectives of African Union

  1. To achieve greater unity and solidarity among the African people
  2. To promote research in all fields and eradicate diseases.
  3. To defend the sovereignty and independence of member states
  4. To encourage international cooperation.
  5. To promote peace, security and stability in the continent
  6. To promote sustained development at economic, social and cultural levels
  7. To promote and defend African common positions on issues of interest.
  8. To protect human and people’s rights in accordance with African Human and Peoples rights
  9. To raise the living standards of people
  10. To promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance


Structure of AU

  1. The Assembly comprising of Heads of States and governments and makes decisions by consensus of ⅔ majority. It decides on common policies for the union. It considers applications for membership. It adopts budget of the union. It directs the process of conflict resolution. It appoints judges for the court of justice.
  2. The Executive Council made up of Foreign Affairs ministers coordinates policies in various areas of interest to members e.g. trade, education, science and technology etc.It prepares materials to be discussed by the Assembly.
  3. The Commission/Secretariat which deals with administrative issues and implements decisions. It has Chairperson, deputy and 8 commissioners. It implements decisions by AU. It coordinates AU meetings and activities. It receives application for memberships. It initiate proposal for consideration by other organs.
  4. The permanent Representatives Committee comprising of the ambassadors to the African Union
  5. Peace and Security Council has 15 members who monitor and intervene in conflicts. It promotes peace and security. Early warning and preventive diplomacy. It does peace building and post conflict reconstruction. It also helps in humanitarian and disaster management.
  6. Pan-African Parliament ensures civil society participation in AU processes
  7. The Economic, Social and cultural council which performs advisory functions
  8. The court of Justice which rules on human rights abuses.
  9. The Financial institutions to provide funding for projects and programmes.
  10. Specialized Committees e.g. on Education, Culture and Human Resources.

Joining AU is based on simple majority vote. Governments which come to power unconstitutionally are not allowed to participate in AU activities.


East African Community

It was formed 6th June 1967 to replace East African common services. The treaty establishing it was signed by Jomo Kenyatta, Milton Obote and Julius Nyerere. Objectives included

  1. To promote trade among the three East Africa countries
  2. To promote common services in areas such as railway, harbor etc
  3. To provide for free trade of goods produced within East Africa and have a common currency
  4. To facilitate free movement of people within the three states
  5. To strengthen close ties and understanding between the member states
  6. To establish similar customs tariffs and duties to non-member states
  7. To provide forum where the three member countries could discuss issues of common concern to them.



  1. East Africa Authority is the main policy making body. Nyerere was its first chairman
  2. East Africa legislative Assembly. It has 27 members, 3 ministers and deputies. It makes laws concerning services provided by the community
  3. The secretariat was headed by Secretary General with headquarters in Arusha. It coordinated the work of common market council.
  4. The Common Market Council. It has 5 council, i.e. Finance, Communication, Common market, Economic consultative & planning and research & social council
  5. The Common Market Tribunal. It settles disputes between member states.
  6. East Africa Development Bank and other corporation which provides financial services.


Challenges facing EAC

  1. Perceived unequal gains whereby Uganda and Tanzania believed that Kenya benefited more from the EAC than them.
  2. National pride and interest. National interests of the respective countries were given priority to regional interests
  3. Ideological differences: – Tanzania was committed to socialist ideologies while Kenya and Uganda pursued capitalist ideologies.
  4. Political instability in Uganda from 1971 was a challenger to unity within EAC
  5. Personality differences between Nyerere and Id Amin over Tanzania giving refuge to Obote led to bitterness between the two, undermining EAC objectives
  6. Use of different currencies made transactions difficult
  7. Boundary closures i.e. between Tanzania and Uganda 1978-1979 interfered with trade

EAC collapsed in 1977 when Kenya and Tanzania began to nationalize the assets of EAC that were within its borders. Each country became responsible for its corporations.


Rebirth of the East African Community – 2001

It was born on 30th November 1999 following the signing of the treaty in Arusha by the heads of East African countries, i.e. Benjamin Mukapa of Tanzania, YoweriMuseveni of Uganda and Daniel Arab Moi.  Its main organs were :

  1. The Summit

Heads of state belong to it. It gives direction towards the realization of the goals and objectives of the community.

  1. Council of Ministers

It is the main decision making institution. It is made up of Ministers from the member states.

It implements the decisions and directives of the summit. It submits annual report to the summit. It prepares agenda for the summit.

  1. Co-ordination Committee

It is made up of permanent secretaries. It is responsible for regional cooperation and coordinates the activities of sectoral committees

  1. Sectoral Committees

They are created by the council. It monitors the implementation of programmes.

  1. East African court of Justice

Has 6 judges appointed by the summit. It ensures that community law is implemented and interpreted.

  1. East African Legislative Assembly

It has 27 elected members and 5 ex-office members. It provides a democratic forum for debate. It plays the role of a watch dog.Kenyan members are Rose Waruhiu, ProfessorKamarBiwott, Ochieng’ Mbeo and Jared Kangwana.

  1. The Secretariat

It is the executive organ of the community. It ensures that regulation and direction adopted by the council are properly implemented. Secretary General is appointed by summit on rotational basis for 5 years period. He/she is the secretary and the accounting officer of EAC.

Autonomous institutions established by EAC

  1. East African Development Bank (EADB)
  2. Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO)
  3. Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA)

The treaty for the establishment of the East African Community aimed at strengthening the members’ cooperation in economic, social,cultural, defense, security, research, legal and judicial affairs.

Consequently, member states have undertaken to establish a customs Union, monetary Union and a political federation. To achieve this, the EAC has the following aims

  1. Liberalization and development of trade
  2. Investment and industrial development
  3. Harmonize fiscal and monetary policies
  4. Development of regional infrastructure and services
  5. Development of human resources, science and technology
  6. Encourage free movement of persons,labour, services, rights of residence
  7. Cooperation in development of agriculture and provision of food security
  8. Development of areas of common interest e.g. Lake Victoria. Environment and natural resource management
  9. Development of tourism and wildlife management
  10. Development of health, social services and cultural activities and private sector
  11. Promoting the role of women in socio-economic development
  12. Cooperation in political, legal and judicial affairs


Principles applied by the Customs Union protocol of 2005

  1. Application of the principle of asymmetry
  2. Elimination of internal tariffs
  3. Elimination of non-tariff barriers
  4. Establishment of a common external tariff
  5. Rules of origin, dumping
  6. Security and other restrictions to trade competition
  7. Duty drawback, refund and remission of duties and taxes
  8. Customs cooperation
  9. Re-exportation of goods
  10. Simplification and harmonization of trade documents and procedures


Challenges of EAC 2001

  1. Suspicion still exists among member states that Kenya is a dominant partner
  2. Kenyan authorities complain that Tanzanian subjects their products to tariff barriers
  3. Trans-border smuggling e.g. Vehicles are stolen in Kenya an sold in Tanzania
  4. Poor relation among the member states e.g. the Kenyan fishermen are frequently arrested and their boats and fishing gear confiscated by both Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities
  5. Cattle rustling across the border have led to deaths of many innocent people especially among the Pokot and Karamojong and the Kuria on theKenya-Tanzania border.
  6. Membership to other regional economic organizationsleads to divided loyalty.


Achievements of the EAC 2001

  1. It has boosted the movement within the three member states due to the opening of the borders
  2. It provides a forum where leaders of East African states discuss issues harmoniously
  3. It has promoted improvement and expansion of transport and communication networks between the three countries e.g. passenger train services.
  4. Reduction of tariffs on industrial goods which has enabled citizens to invest within the community.
  5. Professionals, farmers, artisans and businessmen are able to interact more easily within the community
  6. Law Society of Kenya has been merged to form the law Society of East Africa. The Chambers of Commerce and Industry have formed the Business Council of East Africa
  7. It has promoted trade among member states by encouraging citizens to conduct trade in all the countries.


Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

It was established on 28th May 1975 in Lagos by a treaty. It is a regional group comprising 15 countries from Africa.

The member states are Liberia, Gambia, Mali, Cape Verde, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leon, Ghana, Senegal., Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Guinea



  1. Liberalize trade between member states
  2. Foster cooperation in specialized fields such as transport, communication, agriculture, trade, industry, Social and cultural affairs.
  3. To improve relations between member states
  4. Improve the living standards of people in the member states
  5. To create a customs union in the region
  6. To promote industrial development among member states
  7. Promote cultural integration among the member states


Organization of ECOWAS

  1. Authority of heads of states and Governments

It is the highest organ of ECOWAS. It meets once annually and is made up of heads of states and government. Its chairmanship is rotational

  1. Council of Ministers

It is made up of two representatives from each member state.  It manages the affairs of the community. It acts as an adviser of the organization

  1. Executive Secretariat

It is based in Lagos. It is charged with the responsibility of the day to day administration of the community. It implements the policies of ECOWAS.

  1. Tribunal

Interprets the treaty and settles disputes between member states.

  1. Specialized Commissions

It has 4 commissions namely

  1. a) Trade, customs, Immigration and monetary and payments
  2. b) Industry, Agriculture and natural resources
  3. c) Social and cultural affairs
  4. d) Defense council and Defense commission



  1. ECOWAS monitoring group was set up and has helped in the maintenance of peace in several member states e.g. Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea Bissau
  2. Heads of state are able to meet and resolveproblems facing the regions e.g. in December 1999 they signed a protocol setting up a mechanism for conflict resolution, management resolution peace keeping and security.
  3. It has provided a wider market for goods, tariffs have been removed and Nigeria has provided members with subsidized oil.
  4. It has stimulated the expansion of transport, economy and infrastructure e.g. all countries are struggling to link their road connections with their neighbours.
  5. Socio-cultural exchanges take place under the umbrella of ECOWAS therefore promoting good relations among member states.
  6. Citizens of member countries move freely from one country to another
  7. In the field of education, a joint examination syllabus is done standardizing education systems in the region.


Challenges facing ECOWAS

  1. It is difficult to coordinate the activities of the entire 15 countries effectively
  2. Poor transport network in the region makes it difficult for communities to transact their businesses
  3. Sharp divisions between the Anglo-phone, Franco-phone states in terms of language and administrative systems. This has slowed down activities and interactions between the member states.
  4. Nations still prefer to trade with their colonial masters e.g. the Francophones states.
  5. Political instability in the region has interrupted operations of the community.
  6. Foreign interference e.g., the presence of French soldiers in Cote d’Ivoire created a lot of tension between Cote and Guinea.
  7. Violations of the regulations of the organization e.g. Ghana closed her border with Togo while Nigeria extradited about one million Ghanaian nationals facing economic hardships in their country.
  8. Suspicion among member states e.g. Nigeria is regarded with suspicion and mistrust due to her immense wealth and population.
  9. Common border disputes among members e.g. border dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon over Bakazi and it was solved by ICJ.
  10. Divided loyalty e.g. some belong to European Union while others to the Commonwealth and others the French Community.
  11. Ideological differences e.g. during the cold war Guinea supported socialism while Cote favoured capitalism. This created tension between some members.


The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) 

COMESA was formed on 8th December 1994 to replace the P.T.A. It is an economic organization comprising 19 states namely Angola, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, D.R.C, Zambia etc

It is an organization of free sovereign states which have agreed to cooperate in developing their natural and human resources for the good for all their people.


Aims/Objectives of COMESA

  1. Attain growth and development of member states by promoting a balanced development of its production and marketing.
  2. To promote joint development in all fields of economic activity, to raise the standards of living of its people.
  3. Create an enabling environment for foreigners, cross-border and domestic investment including joint promotion of research and adoption of science and technology.
  4. To promote peace, security and stability among member states so as to enhance economic development.
  5. To strengthen relations between the common market and the rest of the world.
  6. To adopt a common position in the international forums concerning trade.
  7. To contribute towards the establishment of progress and the realization of the objectives of the African economic community.


All countries in Eastern and Southern Africa are eligible to join COMESA as long as they meet its requirements.


Principles of COMESA

  1. Equality and interdependence of member states
  2. Solidarity and collective self-reliance among member states
  3. Inter-state cooperation, harmonization of policies and integration of programmes.
  4. Non-aggression
  5. Recognition, promotion and protection of human rights.
  6. Accountability, economic justice and popular participation in development
  7. Recognition and observation of the rule of law
  8. Promotion and sustenance of a democratic system of governance.
  9. Maintenance of regional peace and stability through the promotion and strengthening of good neighborliness
  10. Peaceful settlement of disputes among member states


Structure and functions of COMESA

COMESA is made up of the following organs

  1. The Authority comprising of the heads of state. It is the supreme policy-making organ.They control the functions of other organs. It meets once every year.
  2. The Council of Ministers which monitors and ensure the proper functioning and development of the COMESA. It makes recommendations to the Authority. It makes regulations and issues directives. It considers and approves the budget of the secretariat and court. It makes staff rules, regulations and financial regulations for the secretariat.
  3. The Court of Justice adjudicates disputes and interprets the provisions of the treaty.
  4. The Committee of Governors of Central Bank which develops programmes and action plans in the field of finance and monetary cooperation.
  5. The Intergovernmental Committee consists of Permanent secretaries from member states. It monitors, reviews and ensures proper functioning and development of the Common market.
  6. The Technical Committees which prepares comprehensive implementation programme.
  7. The Secretariat headed by Secretary–General responsible for administration of the Common market. He submits reports on the activities of COMESA to the council and authority. He submits the budget of COMESA to the inter-governmental committee. Secretariat is based in Lusaka.Secretary is Erastus Mwencha, a Kenyan
  8. The Consultative Committee which provides a dialogue between the business community and other COMESA stakeholders.


 Achievements of COMESA

  1. Led to liberalization among member states making easier for members to trade with one another
  2. It promoted cooperation with regard to customs
  3. Measures have been adopted to improve on infrastructure among member states
  4. It has created a legal framework to encourage the growth of the private sector
  5. Has harmonized the monetary policies throughout the region
  6. Has provided a more competitive market
  7. Has increased agricultural and food security e.g. Egypt benefits from East Africa
  8. Has encouraged exploitation of natural resources for member countries
  9. Has encouraged members to practice good governance, accountability and respect for human rights
  10. Has provided employment of many people in the region


Challenges facing COMESA

  1. Divided loyalty to E.A.C, South African Development Authority
  2. Personality differences between leaders e.g. Museveni of Uganda and El Bashir of Sudan have differences over rebel activities in their two countries.
  3. Some countries have been accused of undermining their neighbours e.g. Uganda and Rwanda took part in the war in D.R.C.
  4. Boarder conflicts are common
  5. Civil wars have undermined the success of COMESA e.g. in DRC, N.R.A in Uganda, Sudanese peoples Liberation Movement Army in Sudan, Hutu and Tutsi in Burundi etc.
  6. Members have quarreled over trading rights under COMESA e.g. in 2003 Kenya and Egypt quarreled over duty free cement dumped in Kenya by Egypt.
  7. Competition from external players e.g. South Africa poses a big challenge due to her advanced industrial sector
  8. Poor transport between member states have hampered movement of goods in the region
  9. Tanzania and Namibia founder member states of COMESA have pulled out and joined the South African Development Community therefore undermining COMESA.





In 1963 President Jomo Kenyatta led Kenyans to independence. He was confronted with the task of building the nation. This required unity, patriotism, dedication and hardwork among the citizens.

Therefore the Kenyatta government had to formulate new development philosophies that recognized peace, unity and hard work as the basis for national unity.

A national philosophy is a system of ideological beliefs and values championed by the ruling party leadership and have been widely accepted within a country.

The three national philosophies that Kenya has had since independence are

  1. African Socialism

It is an African political and economic system that is positively African and not foreign but is capable of adopting useful ideas from any source.

It is a national philosophy coined by KANU upon attaining independence. Kenyan leaders had a great vision for the country; hence they complied their ideas in the 1963manifesto which was published as African Socialism and its application to planning in Kenya.


Origin and Development of African Socialism

The sessional paper No 10 of 1965 defines African Socialism as ‘An African political economic system that is positively African’

The system therefore aimed at

  1. Getting the best of African traditions
  2. Accepting new and rapidly changing circumstances
  3. Not putting its success on a satellite group of countries.
  4. It was free to acquire from both capitalism and socialism that were relevant to Kenyan needs.

Reason for adoption of African Socialism

  1. The leaders wanted to create a different society from the colonial society i.e. one free from socio-economic inequalities, racism, oppression and other social injustices.
  2. Leaders wanted to create a just and humane society in which all were considered equal before the law recognizing the traditional practice of national social responsibility, equal distribution of resources and freedom to own property.
  3. The leaders desired a united and free Kenya where individual rights and freedoms would be granted through a democratic political system.

African socialism rejected foreign values and ideologies imposed on Africans by colonialists, retaining only those that were relevant to Kenya.


Objectives of the Sessional Paper

  1. Political equality
  2. Social justice
  3. Human dignity and freedom
  4. Freedom from want, disease and exploitation
  5. Equal opportunities
  6. High growing income per capita, equitably distributed.

All this had to be achieved through African communism which was communal in nature. This called for the individual willingness to work for the good of the country without exploitation and other anti-social activities.


Characteristics of Africa Socialism

  1. It was communal in nature and not based on class struggle
  2. It called for responsibility for others
  3. To work for the good of the country
  4. It was opposed to exploitation
  5. It was flexible to ideas that enhanced its features without being communist or capitalist.


Main features of African Socialism

  1. Political democracy. It stresses that all people are politically free and equal and all have rights and freedoms regardless of gender, tribe, race, colour, creed and residence.
  2. Mutual Social responsibility. It demands that Kenyans be motivated by the spirit of service and not greed for personal gain. This is drawn from the African practice of the extended family and communal responsibility. It also stresses on hardwork for self-reliance and nation building. The government requires that people be continually and carefully informed of what the society expects of them.
  3. Various forms of ownership. A) Free enterprise which allows private and free ownership of property. B) Nationalization where the state controls and owns key industries e.g. airlines, electricity, railroads and postal services. C) Partnership where the state is in joint ownership with the private sector
  4. Diffusion of ownership. This is to avoid concentration of economic power on a few people in the country.
  5. Ensures that property is used in the mutual interest of society and its members e.g. it encourages the use of all arable land for mutual gain.
  6. Progressive Taxation. This is to ensure equitable distribution of wealth and income i.e. heavier taxation of the wealthier members of the society to avid economic disparity.


Other policies contained in the sessional paper.

  1. Controls on the use of resources meant to promote the African tradition of mutual social responsibility
  2. An enhanced role of the government and cooperatives in development
  3. To use planning techniques to mobilize the use of resources for development
  4. The extension of planning for local levels.
  5. Kenyanization of posts in government and private sector through training
  6. Use of government expenditure to increase the countries productive capacity so as to provide a base for future welfare services.
  7. To check on population growth through family planning
  8. Provide a national provident fund and the national Health Insurance
  9. Setting up of a central Bank
  10. Design measures to increase saving and investment
  11. Modification of the tax structure in order to increase government revenue, domestic savings and private investment
  12. Reduction of the burden on taxation on low income groups.
  13. Review of industrial incentives and protection with a view of promoting employment and expansion
  14. Taxation of idle resources and land as a way of encouraging the productive utilization
  15. Emphasizing on the development of agriculture in former African states, through land consolidation
  16. Reorganization of marketing boards with an aim of consolidating them
  17. Encouraging better form of management i.e. use of loans and cooperative farming and land consolidation
  18. Control of education and educational institutions in order to ensure uniform standards.
  19. Guiding students to take better courses at the university and helping them to secure better employment
  20. Expansion of in-service, on-the-job and apprenticeship training in all section of the economy to meet manpower shortages
  21. Setting up of cooperative college to train people in the fundamentals of producing, marketing, retailing and consumer cooperative
  22. Sourcing externally for shortages in manpower.
  23. Setting up a national trading cooperation
  24. Increasing staff and capital resources of the industrial and commercial development corporation
  25. Setting up of Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU)
  26. Provision of equal opportunities for people in the less developed parts of the country


Significance of African Socialism

This policy has contributed to social and economic development in Kenya. It has been applied in planning areas such as trade unions, cooperative movements, and equitable distribution of resources through the district Focus on Rural Development, Multi partysm, identifying the past with regard to the African culture, Africanisation, skilled manpower, agriculture, land tenure, education, commerce, industries and tourism among others.

The application of African socialism to planning has led to the following

  1. Promotion of democratic processes in governance. This has been witnessed through multi-partysm system of government, growth of the civil society, free print and electronic media, civic education and frequent free and fair elections.
  2. Rights and freedoms of citizens have been safeguarded
  3. The philosophy has encouraged unity and peaceful co-existence among Kenyan communities.
  4. The policy of mutual social responsibility through self-help has encouraged rapid development as Kenyans work together to build the nation
  5. It has promoted African culture and opposed foreign values imposed on the people by the colonialists
  6. It has led to the advancement of fairness and justice through the activities of the District Focus for Rural development programmes, taxation etc
  7. It has encouraged the ownership of property among the Africans through giving the Africans the right to take part in their economy
  8. It has encouraged agricultural development. This has been done through the setting up of settlement schemes such as the Kenyatta and Bura among others where both peasant and large scale farming of coffee and tea has been promoted.
  9. Has promoted social development in Education and health discrimination in schools hospitals and residential areas was stopped as uniformed system were adopted
  10. Has led to the establishment of the cooperative societies in Kenya which has largely provided social and economic development in Kenya.



After independence Kenyans were faced with three main problems, i.e. poverty, Diseases and ignorance.

Kenyatta realized that self-reliance in the spirit of Harambee was the solution to the problems the young nation faced.

Harambee is a Kiswahili slogan which means pulling together or working together. It is a call for hardwork. People are expected to contribute voluntary by way of money, labour or material towards development projects.

This later became a cost sharing strategy through which people supplemented government efforts in the development of the country.

In 1963, Harambee became the national motto. It was embedded in the African traditions and practices where communal spirit and communal work was highly valued.

Harambee is founded on the spirit of mutual social responsibility and is indeed African socialism in practice.

Harambeeimplied freedom and hard work (UhurunaKazi). It aimed at

  1. Promotion of development in all aspects through pooling resources together
  2. Promotion of self reliance
  3. Promotion of national cohesion
  4. Promotion of constructive nationalism

However inspired by its expansion since independence, the government set up Community Development Division in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services to coordinate and evaluate Harambee spirit in Kenya.

The Harambee projects can be categorize into

  1. Social projects such as educational institutions and facilities, medical centres, sports grounds, clubs, community halls and religious institutions.
  2. Economic projects such as construction of rural access roads, bridges, culverts, cattle dips, clearing of bushes etc.

The harambee spirit is guided by the following principles/characteristics

  1. Mobilizing people at the local level to take part in development
  2. There’s collective good as opposed to individual gain
  3. Sense of purpose. Projects to be put up are guided by the needs of the majority
  4. In the implementation of the projects, there’s maximum utilization of local resources such as labour materials and money.
  5. Volition:- There’s willingness of people to work whole heartedly without supervision

This spirit has further been strengthened by the nyayo philosophy of peace, love and unity


Role of Harambee in Development

  1. It has promoted a sense of mutual social responsibility i.e. cooperation or the spirit of working together is reflected
  2. It has promoted democratic participation in national development by individuals
  3. It has encouraged fairness and equal distribution of wealth and other resources.
  4. It has promoted unity among Kenyans
  5. It has boosted the development in education e.g. many schools, libraries, laboratories have been built and school buses bought.
  6. It has promoted agricultural development through construction of cattle dips, tree planting, terracing and gabion construction.
  7. Led to construction of bridges and access roads
  8. Has led to extension of medical services in the country e.g. hospitals and dispensaries
  9. Funds have been raised to assist the physically challenged e.g. in 1989 president Moi held a Harambee which raised 70 million for the disabled.
  10. It has promoted spiritual growth e.g. churches, mosques and other religious centers have been built.
  11. Harambee forums have also provided forum for leaders to educate the public.
  12. It has been used to raise the living standards of Kenyans e.g. provision of electricity, piped water, purchasing of farms etc.


Problems of Harambee

The philosophy has been undermined by

  1. Misappropriation of funds by the greedy
  2. Negative attitude from the public due to forced contribution and abuse of the Harambee spirit.
  3. Poverty among Kenyans has made many people fail to contribute. Also many harambees have led to poor contributions.
  4. Harambee has been a way of staging public shows between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’
  5. Some people have conned fellow Kenyans of their money in the name of Harambee.

Such situations influenced NARC to set up the KoigiwaWamwere led commission to assess the importance of Harambee. It had been abused by using it as an avenue for corruption. The findings indicated that people still valued Harambee. Political leaders and chief executives confirmed that they took advantage of the spirit for self gains.


Nyayo Philosophy

It was derived from the Kiswahili word ‘Nyayo’ which means footsteps, i.e. Moi pledged to follow the footsteps of his predecessor.

It means being mindful of other people’s welfare, calling for honesty, and commitment to duty and loyalty to the nation, president and government.

The philosophy condemns confusion, greed, immorality and cultural decay, but it promotes public education of the masses stressing on the value of being what we are by rediscovering our past.

The philosophy incorporates the Harambee spirit, African socialism and blends with the values of peace, love and unity.

Origin and development

  1. The Sessional paper No. 10 of 1965 that articulated African socialism which is based on collective responsibility and being mindful of other peoples welfare. It emphasizes on cooperative existence, sharing and unity of action.
  2. The biblical teachings of the 10 commandments summed up as Love for God, fellow men and oneself.
  3. Moi’s long political career inspired him to develop the philosophy. He realized that nation building required love i.e. love begets unity proceeds peace and peace is the beginning of progress.


Pillars of Nyayo Philosophy

Peace It refers to the state of being free from war and disorder. The Nyayo philosophy emphasizes on peace and discourages political instability which disrupts progress.

Where there is peace

  1. Trade will be promoted
  2. Encourages foreign investment
  3. Exchange of technology and research and innovation will be enhanced
  4. Encourages farmers to work on their farms hence increase in food production
  5. It will encourage social interaction and enhances international ccoperation

Love  It is a requirement for progress. It is vital because it brings trust and readiness to cooperate by working together to foster national development.

Lack of love disturbs peace creates disorder and destroys progress

It ensures respect for one another regardless of people’s differences. This can be summed up as ‘being mindful of other people’s welfare’

Unity   It is the cornerstone of nation building. Kenya has people of diverse cultural traits, religions, races and languages. Such a mix requires unity which brings strength, loyalty and security.

The philosophy is not inclined toward a particular religion, but it emphasizes on love as the sole weapon of fighting all kinds of segregation. Where there’s unity, there is strength.

The philosophy encouraged Kenyans to uphold integrity in their action and eradicate factors that foster corruption.



Role of Nyayoism

  1. Mutual social responsibility was promoted through the practice. This promoted unity by discouraging discrimination in allocation of resources.
  2. It has perpetuated the Harambee spirit e.g. Moi participated in Harambee activities and this was noted in the building of schools, roads and Nyayo wards.
  3. Has improved education and health services e.g. a number of schools have been named after him.
  4. Environmental conservation. A lot of emphasis was laid on afforestation, wildlife conservation etc.
  5. It has improved the agricultural sector e.g. by putting in place conservation measures such as building of gabions in Ukambani and setting up of Nyayo tea zones.
  6. Setting up of a fund for physically challenged persons, disaster fund to help disaster victims and their dependants like the Heart fund, famine relief fund and Disaster fund after the Nairobi bomb blast.
  7. The philosophy has promoted cooperation and unity among Kenyans. This has in turn encouraged good international relations with her neighbours.
  8. It has also encouraged the government to promote the Jua Kali Sector and create parastatals to promote employment opportunities.


Problems that faced Nyayo philosophy

  1. It failed to create a humane society where all are respected and nobody is left out or made to suffer
  2. Corruption as a vice became rampant during Moi’s reign which further slowed down the pace of development e.g. the Nyayo wards, Nyayo Tea zone and Nyayo buses were not realized throughout the country
  3. Withholding of foreign loans by the World Bank and IMF due to lack of transparency and poor governing affected the philosophy.
  4. The adoption of the one party system appeared to have antagonized the philosophy
  5. The ethnic clashes that were experienced in different parts of the country during Nyayo era created a lot of hatred among Kenyans.


Impact of National Philosophies

Social Impact

  1. It has promoted education. Through these philosophies, schools have been built to educate the youth, laboratories and libraries have also been put up.
  2. It has improved medical facilities
  3. Has encouraged cooperation, understanding and unity e.g. during the harambees Kenyans from diverse backgrounds meet to contribute towards a common course
  4. The philosophies have promoted spiritual and social welfare of thepeople by raising their living standards e.g. Kenyans have raised funds for others to build residential houses, conduct weddings, purchase land etc.
  5. Has looked into the plight of persons with disabilities e.g. Moi organized a national Harambee to create funds such as the Health Fund, famine relief fund etc
  6. They have also promoted African culture e.g. they encourage borrowing of relevant cultural values.

Economic impact

  1. Progress and the attainment of self-reliance have been improved by the philosophies. Kenyans have developed the initiative of taking over from foreigners and developing their country.
  2. Has led to the setting up of cooperative societies in agriculture and other sectors e.g. through the ministry of Cooperative Development and the Cooperative Bank, the country has immensely developed.
  3. Kenyans are encouraged to work hard to increase food production e.g. setting up of Nyayo Tea zones, Soil conservation measures such as tree planting and building of gabions.
  4. Transport and communication have also been improved e.g. rural access roads were built and Nyayo buses introduced to reduce transport problems
  5. The pillars of Nyayoism of peace, love and unity have created a conducive environment for the growth of tourism. The hospitality shown to foreigners and the preservation of our cultural heritage has encouraged more tourism.

Political Impact

  1. Kenyan national philosophies have promoted nationalism and Patriotism
  2. Has encouraged democratization as it champions political equality
  3. Has encouraged international cooperation and understanding. This has inspired Kenyans to spearhead peace initiative for other countries

However the philosophies have been accused of

  1. Promoting overdependence on foreign aid
  2. Fueling corruption e.g. leaders have abused Harambee for personal gain
  3. Giving leaders an opportunity to exploit the citizenry e.g. through forced harambees
  4. Lacking concrete solution to emerging issues such as Hiv/Aids, corruption and ethnic clashes




At independence in 1963, Kenya faced a number of challenges. While some were inherited from the colonial government such as the huge imbalance between Africans and Europeans settlers in land ownership, others resulted from the fast expanding population and the ever changing international socio-economic and political situation.


  1. Political developments

Kenya has witnessed a number of political challenges since independence which she has managed to handle without political disintegration. This is remarkable.

Kenya inherited the following major political problems from the colonial government

  1. Lack of African technocrats who could give political direction
  2. Suspicion and jealousy between different communities to the divide and rule tactic employed by the colonialists.
  3. An illiterate population, ignorant of its political responsibilities





  1. Political Developments from 1963-1991

At independence, Kenya had a federal constitution. There were two major parties, KANU and KADU. KANU was mainly supported by the Luo and Agikuyu, the two dominant tribes in Kenya that agitated for a unitary government.

KADU was supported by smaller communities, i.e. Kalenjin, Maasai and Abaluyia. It wanted a majimbo constitution because they feared that the smaller tribes would be dominated by the larger ones.

Kenyatta’sgovernment began to tackle the problems after independence

  1. By denying regional governments funds
  2. Wooing KADU members to join the government. KADU therefore got dissolved and joined KANU and therefore forming a unitary government in Kenya. Kenya became adefactonationfrom 1964 to 1966i.e. one party state under KANU.

Later on, sharp divisions emerged among the party’s top leaders. The radicals such as OgingaOdinga, Achieng’ Oneko and BildadKaggia accused Kenyatta and his supporters of lacking commitment to uplift the lives of the majority of Kenyans in the spirit of African Socialism.

They specifically cited the land policy which allowed the white settlers to continue owning large tracts of land while Africans remained landless.

On the other hand Kenyatta accused Odinga and his team of being on the payroll of communists.

Due to these quarrels, KANU held a delegates conference to elect officials in March 1966 at the Limuru conference Centre. It was here that Odinga was not re-elected as deputy President. His post in the party was also abolished and instead eight KANU vice presidents were appointed. Odinga faction failed to capture any seat in the party leadership.

Odinga left the conference a bitter man resigned from KANU in 1966. He formed Kenya Peoples Union, an opposition party.

KANU then amended the constitution and demanded that a member of parliamentwho defects from the party on whose ticket he/she went to parliament must forfeit his seat and seek a fresh mandate from the electorate.

This led to a mini-general election in 1966 in which all KANU Mps who resigned to join KPU had to contest their seats. KPU was lost as only a few candidates retained their seats.

Joseph Murumbi was appointed the country’s vice president in 1966 to replace OgingaOdinga. He resigned in 1967 paving way for the appointment of Daniel ArapMoi as vice president.

KPU remained a parliamentary opposition party until it was banned in 1969.


Political Assassinations

Pio Gama Pinto, an Asian who was detained during the state of emergency was murdered in 1965.  Pinto was the harshest critic of Kenyatta government even having been elected as a KANU member.

Tom Mboya, a brilliant young Luo politician and a Minister for Finance and Planning was gunned down in Nairobi in July 1969. This created tension between the Luo and the Agikuyu because the Luo blamed Kenyatta’s government for the murder. Later, Kenyatta visited Kisumu to open the New Nyanza hospital funded by the Russiangovernment. He was pelted with stones and rotten eggs. In response the presidential guard opened fire killing 43 people.

KPU was banned and OgingaOdinga was detained.

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki’s body was found in the Ngong Forest in 1975 half eaten by wild animals. This led to demonstrations and protests among the students of the university for they suspected the government of having played a role in the murder.


Crackdown on Government Critics

The killings led to severe criticism against the KANU government by backbenchers in Parliament. They accused the government of

  1. Not holding regular elections in the party
  2. Covering up the murder of J.M Kariuki
  3. Protecting the corrupt members in Kenyatta regime.

In October 1975, Martin Shikuku and Deputy Speaker of parliament Jean Marie Seroney were detained for openly stating in parliament that KANU was dead.

ChelagatMutai too was arrested and detained for two and half years and was accused of inciting her people to violence.

In 1977 George Anyonawas also detained after accusing the government of abetting corruption.


Change the Constitution clamor

In 1975 politicians from theGikuyu, Embu andMeru (GEMA) led byKihikaKimani, NjengaKarume and Jackson Angaine wanted a change of the constitution. They were worried of Kenyattas poor health;

The objective was to ensure that Vice president Daniel ArapMoi did not succeed Kenyatta as the constitution provided.

GEMA felt that if Moi took over, then their wealth and other powerful positions would be threatened. However Kenyatta did not heed their call.

On 22nd August 1978, Kenyatta passed away in his sleep at state house in Mombasa. Daniel Moi took over power in an acting capacity for 90 days. After the elections in parliament he was elected president unopposed, and Kibakiwho was the Minister for Finance was appointed vice president

Disbanding of Tribal and Welfare Organizations

Moi promised to follow the footsteps (Nyayo) of Kenyatta. In December 1978, he ordered release of political detainees i.e. Shikuku, Seroney and Anyona.

In July 1980, he banned all tribal organizations including GEMA, Luo Union, New Akamba Union, Kalenjin and Abaluyia associations.

He embarked on vigorous KANU membership recruitment and amended the constitution (Introduced section 2A) making Kenya a de jure (one party state).

His reign became authoritarian and was criticized by many.

On 1st August 1982 soldiers of the Air force led by senior private Hezekiah Ochukaattempted to overthrow the Moi government, but failed. There were riots and destruction of property. People died. Ochuka was hanged. Moi regime became more ruthless.

In 1983 a former Minister for Constitutional and Home Affairs Mr. Charles Njonjo was sacked from the government and was found guilty of being involved in the coup de tat of 1982, but was pardoned by the president.

1986 There was introduction of the KANU disciplinary committee led by David OkikiOmayo. It was meant to discipline errant party members through suspension or expulsion. Those expelled included Charles Rubia and Kenneth Matiba.

1986, MaendeleoyaWanawake organization was affiliated to KANU.

1988 the queuing system (Mlolongo) of voting was introduced in parliamentary and civic elections. There was a lot of rigging in the 1988 general elections. In 1989, Matiba resigned from cabinet over the rigging of Kiharu sub-branch KANU elections. He was expelled from KANU. The mlolongo system was abolished in 1990.

Rigging went hand in hand with looting of government assets such as land, and detaining of government critics. Many fled into exile, e.g. NjeruKathangu, Prof OumaOyugi, George Anyona, NgothoKariuki, KoigiwaWamwere, NgugiwaThiong’o among others.

16th February 1990, Dr. Robert John Ouko, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was found brutally murdered at Got Alila. There were widespread riots. The government was blamed for the murder. The Troon Report on the murder was released to the public in 1999 after 9 years. NARC government constituted the GorSungu Parliamentary Select Committee in 2003 which never identified Ouko killers.

7th July 1990, multi-party agitators waged war against one party system in Kenya. There weredemonstrations and rallies which led to riots.

1991, section 2A of the constitution was repealed and Kenya became a multi-party state. New political parties were formed including FORD and DP.

1992 There followed tensions between communities in the Rift Valley which resulted in tribal clashes. Many people were killed and property destroyed

1992 29th December General elections were held and all political parties presented candidates. KANU won and remained inpower under president Moi.


Constitutional changes 1963-1991

The most significant constitutional changes included

  1. Replacement of a federal system of government with a unitary system under an executive president elected by the people. (Dec 1964)
  2. 1966 amendment where bicameral legislature was replaced by a unicameral legislature chosen directly by the electorate. The president was give power to nominate 12 Mps.
  3. 1968 amendment lowered mandatory age for voters from 21 to 18 years, presidential candidates from 40 to 35 years and Vice president to assume office for 90 days upon death of a president.
  4. 1982 amendment that made Kenya a de jure state with KANU becoming the only political party.
  5. 1988 amendment that gave police powers to hold a suspect in custody for up to 14 days before taking him/her to court.
  6. 1991 amendment that reverted Kenya to a multi-party state thereby repealing section 2A of the constitution.
  7. 1991 amendment that limited presidential tenure to a maximum of two five-year terms.


Multi–party democracy in Kenya

A political party is a voluntary organization whose members share similar political interests and ideological believes and whose aim is to capture political power through constitutional means.

Multi-party democracy is where several political parties compete for power.

In December 1991 section 2A of the constitution was changed to allow for multi-party. This was due to the following factors

  1. Rampant corruption. People were unhappy with the embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds and the grabbing of public land, buildings and movable assets.
  2. Rigging of elections. The 1988 general elections that were presided over by provincial administration were massively rigged. Mlolongo system was even worse.
  3. Developments in Eastern Europe. Collapse of communism ended the cold war. USA did not need to protect dictatorial governments in Africa. This led to liberal reforms in governments, hence democracy.
  4. Multi-party success in other parts of Africa. In Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda’s party (UNIP) was defeated by Chilubas Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) in 1991. This encouraged multi-party activists in Kenya.
  5. Pressure from multilateral and bilateral donors. Donors demanded economic reforms and reduction in corruption as a condition for aid. Aid was suspended from Nov 1991 to April 1993 when Moi refused the conditions.
  6. Pressure from the church. Church leaders urged the government to create a good environment in which the public could discuss government issues with their leaders. Among the leaders were Alexander Muge, Bishop Henry Okullu, Rev. Timothy Njoyaetc
  7. Pressure from the civil society, lawyers and intellectuals. The law society of Kenya, universities, journalistetc put pressure of government to grant Kenyans their wishes. The crusaders of multi-party included OgingaOdinga, Matiba, Paul Muite, KiraituMurungi, RailaOdinga, Imanyara and Shikuku Martin.
  8. Repeal of section 2A. This made the government to give in for multi-partyism. FORD was the first party. It later split into FORD-Kenya and FORD-Asili. FORD was founded by OgingaOdinga. Others included DP, Social Democratic Party,Liberal Democratic Party etc. Later on in 2002, several parties merged to form NARC which won elections.
  9. KANUs intolerance for criticism. It failed to accommodate divergent views as required by democracy. Politicians who disagreed with KANU were expelled from the party.


Challenges of multi-party democracy

  1. It led to ethnic clashes in some parts of the country because some politicians were not ready for multi-party hence incited their people against those in opposition.
  2. Some members of the civil society sided with the government and frustrated the opposition. As a result, there was widespread rigging in the 1992 and 1997 general elections.
  3. Many political parties that were formed were ethnic-based and lacked nationwide support.
  4. Many greedy politicians were lured through bribes to defect from the opposition to Kanu further weakening the opposition
  5. The KANU government controlled the government machinery like the police, radio and Tv stations using them for their advantage.
  6. Lack of funding by the state: – most political parties are unable to compete for power due to lack of funds.
  7. Inadequate civic education as many citizens are not aware of the advantages of multi-partyism.
  8. The international community has continued to interfere in the running of the country. Some diplomats side with particular parties.
  9. Citizens are bribed by some politicians to vote for a particular party
  10. Interference by the government in the activities of the opposition parties e.g. police harassment and being denied licenses to hold political rallies.
  11. Leadership wrangles. Leaders in opposition parties keep on disagreeing and causing divisions in the political parties.


The role of political parties in Government and nation building

  1. Political parties formulate national policies and programmes on how to run the government efficiently and implements the policies through the civil service when they win elections.
  2. Political parties select candidates for public office. They also nominate leaders for presidential, parliamentary and civic levels
  3. Political parties play a role in mobilizing the people to participate in electoral processes and development projects. They unify the nation.
  4. Opposition parties check the excesses of the government by pointing out its mistakes e.g.MaokaMaore pointed out the Anglo-leasing scandal which saved the government of billions of shillings.
  5. Political parties serve as a link between the government and the people as they debate on important issues affecting the people.
  6. The parties provide civic education to the electorate. They create awareness on important duties and rights of the citizens and government.
  7. Parties ensure that there’s an alternative government in waiting in the event that the ruling party is unable to govern. (shadow cabinet)
  8. They act as a training ground for political leadership. They also broaden leadership base as they have leaders from the sub-location to national level.
  9. The opposition parties take part in decision making through debates in parliament and participates in parliamentary committees e.g. in PAC and PIC.
  10. Opposition provides an alternative approach to the management of the political and economic affairs of the nation through parliamentary debates.
  11. They help provide avenue for associations between different ethnic communities and social groups, thereby enhancing unity in the country.
  12. Opposition parties enhance freedom of expression through political rallies and magazines, and also work hard to establish free and independent trade unions and judiciary.

Disadvantages of political parties

  1. Opposition tends to keep on opposing the government whenever the ruling party strives to remain in power using all tactics at its disposal.
  2. Many parties create enmity between members of different parties leading to disunity
  3. Political favourism as ruling party tends to favour its supporters in employment and provision of public services.
  4. Opposition members are sidelined yet they are also tax payers and deserve equal treatment.
  5. Political parties may threaten peace in the country especially during campaigns where there is a lot of propaganda.


Economic challenges since independence

  1. Lack of capital since most settlers left with the money which could have been used for investment.
  2. Many Africans were landless since most arable land had been given to settlers
  3. There was uneven development in the country. Roads, electricity and piped water were only in the former settler-occupied highlands.
  4. Pressure on facilities in urban areas due to rural-urban migrations. Unemployment increased in urban areas
  5. Africans had been denied the opportunity to participate in the economic affairs of the country. Europeans controlled industries and large farms.
  6. There was lack of qualified manpower to run the technical sectors of the economy.

There was need to introduce change in the economy because

  1. The country lacked adequate infrastructure such as good roads
  2. The economy had been destroyed by maumau war and capital had been transferred abroad
  3. The new government wanted to diversify the Kenyan economy because it was based on agriculture
  4. The government needed to return the economy in the hands of Africans
  5. The government wanted to balance export and import with the introduction of local industries.


Landholding in Kenya

All the land in Kenya is belongs to the people of Kenya collectively as a nation, as individuals, and as communities.

Land tenure refers to the terms and conditions under which land is acquired, used or transferred. Before colonial era, land belonged to the community and was open to every member of the society to use. During colonial period, most communities lost their land to settlers. Africans were settled in reserves. This led or resulted into:

  • Widespread landlessness among Africans
  • Population pressure on the little land used by Africans
  • Deterioration of the quality of land due to fragmentation
  • Overstocking of land leading to soil erosion
  • Displacement of pastoral and agricultural communities leading to famine and livestock diseases
  • Disintegration of social and cultural institutions in the reserves due to ethnic boundaries.

Africans became bitter. Mau mau followed. The colonial government made some land reforms.      TheSwynerton Plan of 1954 reforms included

  • Land adjudication which involved verification of individual or group rights to land within a given area
  • Land consolidation which involved merging of fragmented land into one economic unit
  • Land registration where rights to land were recorded and a title deed issued.

This system was inherited after independence.


Land policies since independence

After independence, the government embarked on several reforms to solve economic problems. The reforms were characterized by two programmes

  1. Transfer of land from Europeans large scale farmers to Africans
  2. Land consolidation and registration

The government formed the Ministry of Lands and settlement in 1963 to deal with the settlement of Africans. A number of settlement schemes were established, e.g. The Million Acre scheme (1963), The Harambee Scheme (1969), The Haraka scheme and Shirika scheme (1971)

Wealthy Kenyans were given loans by the government to buy large farms from departing settlers

Cooperative and land buying companies were formed to help resettle as many landless Africans as possible.

The government encouraged small-scale farming of cash crops like coffee, tea and cotton which earned the country a lot of foreign exchange.

The government promoted diversification of agriculture. This involved the growing of different types of crops.

Large scale farming was encouraged by setting up of Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) to manage large-scale farms in Western, Coast and Rift valley. Kenya Tea Development Authority promoted the growth of Tea and setting up of tea factories and Nyayo Tea Zones.

The government established research stations like Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) to promote agriculture. They conducted research on suitable crops and livestock breeds.

The government also expanded irrigation projects in marginal areas e.g. Bura at Coast, Ahero in Nyanza, Perkerra in Rift Valley and Mwea in Central province.

A number of development authorities have been established to effectively manage water catchment areas e.g. TARDA, Kerio Valley Development Authority and Lake Basin Development Authority.


Benefits of the land reforms

  1. Farmers could use their title deeds to get loans from banks to expand their farming
  2. Land titles enabled people to purchase land with confidence. No one would alienate their land.
  3. The reforms enabled thousands of landless people to own land
  4. Dairy and cash crop production increased.
  5. Some Africans became prosperous and their standards of living improved as a result of land redistribution.


Problems facing agriculture (Challenges of land reform policies)

  1. Corrupt government officials have grabbed research land thereby affecting operations e.g. in Tigoni. There’s also illegal allotment of ADC farms and fraudulent acquisition of title deeds.
  2. The ever increasing population has led to the fragmentation of land and inadequate food.
  3. Corruption and mismanagement of cooperative societies has led to meager earnings for coffee, tea and pyrethrum farmers
  4. The world market prices for agricultural commodities fell drastically in the 1970s while input prices remained the same affecting farmers.
  5. Farmers produce is often destroyed by pests after harvest
  6. The spread of arid conditions and unreliable climatic conditions are a major challenge to land use.
  7. Poor transport and communication network hinders transportation of farm produce, especially during rainy season.
  8. Poor technologies as some farmers still rely on traditional tools and natural rainfall.
  9. The high cost of farm inputs such as fertilizers and low prices of agricultural produce discourage farmers.
  10. Competition from the COMESA member states and developed countries. The competitors subsidize their goods while in Kenya, goods are expensive.
  11. The rapidly spreading HIV and AIDS infection that deprive the agricultural sector of labour.
  12. Politically instigated ethnic clashes, since 1992 to 2007 discourage farmers from intense farming because of insecurity.

Currently, the land is categorized as

  1. Private land accounted for 6% of Kenya by 1990. Such land includes registered land held by a person under any freehold tenure, or leasehold tenure e.g. land in urban areas.
  2. Communal or customary. Such land include land registered in a name of group representatives, land declared to be community property by an act of parliament and land lawfully used by a community for grazing, shrines, hunter-gathering and forests.
  3. Public or state land. Government-owned land accounted for 20% in colonial days (crown land) Alienated land is land acquired from customary land owners by the government for its own use. Unalienated land is one that has not been leased or allocated by government for any use, but belongs to government. According to 2010 Constitution, public land includes land bought and used by government, land surrendered by individuals who had grabbed, land not claimed by anybody, Land with minerals and oil, Forests, game parks, water catchment areas, historical sites, roads, rivers, lakes etc. The county and national government administers such land on behalf of the people of Kenya. This is done through the National Land Commission.


Non citizens can only own land on leasehold tenure of 99 years maximum.


Principles of land policy (2010 Constitution)

  1. All members of the society should have equitable access to land
  2. Security of land rights shall be streamlined by the government through record verification and documentation.
  3. The government shall ensure sustainable and productive management of land resources
  4. Transparent and cost effective administration of land.
  5. Sound conservation and protection of ecologically-sensitive areas e.g. forests and water-catchment areas.
  6. Elimination of gender discrimination in laws, customs and practices related to land.
  7. Encouragement of communities to settle land disputes through recognized local community initiatives consistent with the constitution.

Functions of the National Land Commission

  1. To manage public land on behalf of the national and county government
  2. To recommend a national land policy to the national government.
  3. To advise the national government on a comprehensive programme for land registration throughout the country
  4. To conduct research on land use in the country and make recommendations to the relevant authorities
  5. To investigate present or past historical injustices, either on its own initiative or as a result of a complaint, and recommend appropriate action.
  6. To encourage the use of traditional methods of dispute resolutions in land conflicts
  7. To assess tax on land and premiums on immovable property in any area designated by law
  8. To monitor and have oversight responsibilities over land use planning throughout the country.


Role of Producer cooperatives in agricultural development

The government started cooperatives to help people pool resources towards a common goal. There are three types of cooperatives in Kenya

  1. Producer cooperative established to improve the production and marketing of their produce e.g. Kenya Planters Cooperative Union.
  2. Consumer cooperative which buy goods at wholesale prices and sell to members at existing market prices.
  3. Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). They provide loan facilities to their members, and also banking facilities. The Cooperative Bank of Kenya caters for cooperative societies.


Benefits of cooperative societies

  1. They help to market farmers produce more efficiently.
  2. They provide loans to small scale farmers
  3. They assist farmers to access farm inputs such as good quality fertilizers
  4. They develop infrastructure in their areas of operation
  5. Many people have been employed in various cooperatives.
  6. They defend the interest of members through co-ownership. Members also benefit from interest made by cooperatives in form of dividends.
  7. Cooperatives are democratically administered giving members equal opportunity to management.
  8. They educate rural folk through seminars and public meetings in better farming methods and account keeping.
  9. They assist in processing of farmers produce in addition to facilitating the transportation of the produce to the market.
  10. They have improved the living standards of members by helping them increase their income and savings.
  11. They encourage the spirit of self reliance by working together. Members stop relying on the government for financial assistance.


Problems facing cooperatives in Kenya

  1. Political interference. Election of the management committee is interfered with by some people with vested interests. Hence they suffer from mismanagement.
  2. Price fluctuation of some commodities in the world market have reduced the profits of producer societies e.g. coffee.
  3. Since the ownership of shares by the individuals is small, many do not take keen interest in the affairs of the society
  4. Decline of the value of the Kenyan shilling has led to increase of prices of farm inputs making them expensive for most farmers.
  5. Corruption and embezzlement of funds and asserts has lowered the morale of farmers, e.g. coffee farmers in the 1997 who wanted the cooperative to be split into small cooperatives for easy management.


Industrial developments since independence

At independence, industry was dominated by foreigners. There was need to Africanize industry while maintaining ties with major industrialized nations. Some of early industries include Magadi Soda Company, East African Breweries, KPLC etc. They employed about 50,000 people in 1963.

It was necessary to develop industries for the following reasons.

  1. Industries would provide employment opportunities
  2. Industries would earn foreign exchange
  3. They would utilize available local resources
  4. Creation of local industrial skills
  5. Attaining rapid growth in industrial output.


Factors that facilitated industrial development in Kenya

  1. The rich agricultural lands that produced agricultural raw materials e.g. sugarcane and coffee for agro-industries
  2. The existence of natural raw materials such as trona and fluorspar in different parts of the country
  3. Several water surfaces like Lake Victoria rich in fish for fish processing industries
  4. Timber from Kenyan forests for furniture and paper industries
  5. The rich scenery like Rift Valley which have promoted tourism industry
  6. Availability of HEP from the Kenyan rivers
  7. Population increase which has provided labour and market required for industry.
  8. Availability of transport and communication such as Kenya-Uganda Railway line that has helped in the movement of raw materials, manufactured goods and people.


Steps the Government has taken to boost industrial growth

  1. In 1963 the development finance company of Kenya (DFCK) and Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) were established to finance industrial projects in Kenya. ICDC assisted industrial projects.
  2. The passing of the Foreign Investment Act of 1964 which allowed foreign investors to repatriate their profits.
  3. Establishment of Kenya Industrial Estates to facilitate expansion of industrial estates in places like Kakamega, Kisii, Kericho etc.
  4. The setting up of Capital Issue Committee in 1971 to regulate the movement of capital from Kenya
  5. The government provided an enabling environment through which banks availed loans to Africans to start industries.
  6. The government set up parastatals like Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Railways Corporation to generate revenue, provide employment, provide essential services to citizens, help control key areas of economy and some to provide loans.
  7. The Kenya Power and Lighting Company was established to provide HEP for industries and other domestic uses. Seven Forks and Sondu-Miriu projects provide the power.
  8. The government encourages the growth of tourism industry. It is today the largest revenue earner. High class hotels have been established.
  9. The government encouraged the establishment of light industries, Jua kali industries and motor vehicle assembling in various parts of the country.
  10. In the 1990s Kenya liberalized her economy. The government stopped controlling prices for all trade goods and interest rates charged by banks. Part of government parastatals were also sold to the public. Export Processing zones were established to provide employment.



  1. The Kenya Power and Lighting Company. It was established in 1977. It provides electricity to industries and domestic uses.
  2. Postal Corporation of Kenya and the Communication Commission of Kenya provide essential communication services in Kenya
  3. Tourism Industry which provides direct revenue to the government
  4. The Kenya Railways Corporation which provides transport services
  5. Kenya Ports Authority maintains ports and regulates port operations. It supports industry in that
  6. It provides modern containers for handling all types of cargo destined for Kenya
  7. It handles Kenyas exports and imports
  8. It earns Kenya foreign exchange from the services it renders
  9. It is a source of employment for many Kenyans e.g. clearing and forwarding officials, Ship repairs etc
  10. It handles warehousing of goods by clients
  11. It builds and maintains navigational grids e.g. beacons
  12. It has stimulated local industries like oil refining, motor vehicle assembly etc

Reasons for setting up parastatals

  1. To generate revenue for the government
  2. To provide loans to the farmers and business people
  3. To create employment
  4. To help the government to control key sectors of the economy e.g. banking
  5. To provide essential services to the citizens e.g. transport.


Challenges facing industrial development in Kenya

  1. Most multinational corporations repatriate capital to their own countries
  2. Many large companies use imported materials for their operations e.g. motor assembly
  3. Some senior managerial positions in large firms are held by foreigners who make policies that are not friendly to the country
  4. Mismanagement of major industries has led to their collapse e.g. Kenya Meat Commission and Kenya Cashew nut Factory.
  5. Kenya Industrial Estates lack finances to support entrepreneurs
  6. Competition from industrialized countries which sell their goods more cheaply.
  7. Small domestic Kenyan market due to low purchasing power of Kenyans.
  8. Kenyan products are produced using low technology and therefore are small in quantities.
  9. Kenya lacks strategic raw materials such as petroleum and diamond.
  10. Poor transport and communication and inadequate supply of power negatively affect industries.
  11. The majority of big industries are located near major towns hence they may not benefit the rural people


Strategies to speed up industrial growth (Vision 2030)

  1. Improving local production capacity by encouraging consolidation of firms
  2. Encouraging development of industrial clusters so as to increase competitiveness of Kenyan firms hence improve quality and scale of production among them
  3. Attracting strategic investors to boost agro-based industries and increase exports
  4. Strengthening Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in order to improve their productivity.
  5. Boosting Science, technology and innovation by increasing investment in research and development and increase in skilled personnel
  6. Improvement of infrastructure e.g. ports, energy distribution, rural electrification, major highways etc
  7. Improvement in technology by creating inter-connection between Kenya and the world through the fibre optic cable that has improved telecommunication.


Effects of Kenya’s industrial development

  1. Increase in employment opportunities which have lifted the standards of living of many people
  2. It has enabled Kenyans to diversify her economy and reduced over-reliance on Agriculture
  3. Roads and Railways have been expanded to serve the industrial regions
  4. It has led to the utilization of mineral resources and agricultural raw materials
  5. It has contributed to the growth of urban centres
  6. Industrial expansion has increased cultural interaction
  7. It has enabled Kenya to be self-reliant in some products like soft drinks

Social developments and challenges

During the colonial period, education was organized on racial lines. There were schools for Africans, Asians and Europeans.

After independence, there was need to change the curriculum in schools to incorporate African culture and make it more relevant to African needs. Kenyans needed education in order to fight the three enemies that faced the young nation, i.e. poverty, ignorance and disease.

Measures taken by the Kenyan government to develop education since independence

  1. Abolition of racial school system
  2. The ministry of education was established to cater for education needs in the country
  3. Constitutional amendments were made to give Kiswahili a respectable place in the country. Kiswahili was introduced in schools.
  4. Several commissions were set up to streamline education in Kenya e.g.
  5. Ominde commission of 1964. It recommended the change of the curriculum in schools and colleges to make it relevant to Africans
  6. Gachathi report of 1976. It dealt with education objectives and policies
  7. Mackay Commission of 1982. It recommended the establishment of the 8-4-4 system of education and a second university. It proposed inclusion of vocational subjects like agriculture in curriculum.
  8. Kamunge Commission of 1988. It recommended the establishment of cost-sharing in schools and reduction of subjects in the 8-4-4 curriculum
  9. KoechCommission of 1999. It recommended the introduction of a totally integrated quality education and training.

The adoption of the recommendations from these commissions has resulted in expansion of education from nursery to the university.

  1. Elementary education was introduced covering pre-primary and primary education.

Elementary education was provided by NGOs, local authorities and individual investors until 1980. The government took over from local authorities and started training early childhood teachers in the 1990s.

Primary education was provided by the government from 1969. It was made free in 1974 and lasted 7 years. In 1978, school milk programme was introduced with an aim of increasing enrollment. It stalled by 1990.

In 2002, the NARC government introduced ‘free primary education policy leading to massif enrollment. It faced problems like inadequate teachers, shortage of learning materials and shortage of classrooms.

  1. Secondary education at independence was known as East Africa Certificate of Education (EACE). It changed to Kenya Certificate of Education (KCE), and later to Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) The advanced level in secondary schools was abolished under the 8-4-4 system. Schools were built by the local communities and churches in the spirit of Harambee. The government provided teachers and facilities. Schools to cater for students with special needs were also built by the government.

The government later on introduced free day secondary education during Kibaki era.

  1. The government also set up tertiary colleges such as Vocational institutions (polytechnics such as Nairobi and Mombasa), TTCs to offer certificates and diplomas (Kagumoand Kenya Science) and Agricultural based colleges such as Kabete andBukura.
  2. The government established Kenya Institute of Education to develop curriculum and do research in education. KNEC was established in 1977 to evaluate learners and award certificates. Adult education was also developed.
  3. The government also set up universities. Nairobi University was the only one at independence. Today we have 7 public universities and more than 12 private ones e.g. Daystar and Catholic University. Parallel degree programme was introduced. Students get loans through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB)


Challenges facing education sector in Kenya today

  1. Inadequate learning facilities like classrooms, laboratories etc
  2. Insufficient funds to adequately remunerate the teachers and develop learning facilities.
  3. High dropout in secondary schools due to lack of school fees and teenage pregnancy
  4. High population in Kenya and the free day secondary education has led to increase in demand for education which the government is unable to tackle
  5. Culture whereby some nomadic tribes are attached to their traditional way of life and have no value for modern education.
  6. Poor performance in sciences and Mathematics which makes the education system not to produce enough manpower in the technical field
  7. Education is expensive and costly hence out of reach of ordinary Kenyans e.g. the parallel degree programmes.
  8. Too many unemployed people with higher education and technical skills discourages the youth from pursuing higher education.
  9. Frequent changes and revision of curriculum which involves huge financial resources. The changes affect continuity in education system.


Health sector since independence

After independence, the government wanted to eradicate diseases and poverty. A healthy population was the fastest way to economic success and social security. The government has taken the following measures to improve health.

  1. It established the ministry of health under the director of medical services. It is responsible for national health policies and training of health personnel.
  2. Provincial hospitals were built in every province, and district hospitals in every district. Nyayo wards were constructed to ease the problem of congestion in hospitals. Kenyatta hospital is the major referral hospital in the country, followed by Moi in Eldoret.
  3. The government has been involved in massive primary health care programmes such as immunization against TB, Polio and Measles. Family planningprogrammes were also introduced to control birth rates.
  4. The government allowed the establishment of private hospitals and clinics by individual, churches, communities and non-governmental organizations.
  5. National Hospital Insurance fund (NHIF) for all government employees and self-employed workers was established. The insurance pays daily allowances towards the cost of inpatient of the employee and his family.
  6. Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) was established in 1980s to coordinate research, control programmes and possible cure of diseases. There is The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) at Kasarani and Alupe Leprosy Research Centre in Busia that collaborate to get rid of diseases.
  7. The government has established medical training centres e.g. Nairobi and Moi University offers programmes for training medical doctors. Private hospitals also train nurses and other medical personnel. Development of herbal clinics has also been encouraged.
  8. The government introduced cost-sharing to reduce the cost of providing health services


  1. Structural Adjustment Programmes imposed on developing countries by donor nations have created high cost of medical equipment and drugs
  2. Fast growing population has put a strain on the available health facilities
  3. HIV and AIDS has affected a large segment of the society and theres no cure
  4. Corruption has affected the procurement, distribution and provision of drugs
  5. The current NHIF is ineffective and has emphasized on investment in real estate instead of proper health care. It is also marred by corruption
  6. Brain drain. There is high migration of Kenya Medical personnel to other countries where there is better pay
  7. High rate of accidents and injuries in our roads is putting a strain on medical facilities
  8. Illegal abortions and early pregnancies is endangering the lives of mothers
  9. Poverty and malnutrition render many people vulnerable to diseases
  10. Pollution of the environment has created allergy-related ailments, some of which have no cure.
  11. Some cultural practices e.g. female genital mutilation (FGM) has made provision of medical services more challenging.

 Culture and Sports

The government was determined to promote the unique Kenyan culture at independence. Culture is expressed in songs, dance, drama, sports, religion, language, sculptures and paintings. Culture is important in that

  1. They entertain people
  2. They educate the masses
  3. They bring people from different parts of the country together, thereby creating unity
  4. They promote patriotism
  5. They create employment opportunities to people
  6. They reflect on the country’s political developments e.g. theatre.

To promote culture and sports, the government created the Ministry of Culture and Social services to be in charge of culture and sports.

The government also awards men and women who excel in sports

Physical education has been made part of primary and secondary education. Teachers are trained in the same.

Sporting facilities such as Moi international Centre Kasarani and Nyayo have been built.

The government is encouraging communities to participate in traditional sports and other cultural activities e.g. bull fighting.


Examples of people who have excelled in sports include: –

  1. KipchogeKeino who gave Kenya gold in 3000m steeplechase in 1972
  2. Julius Korir got gold in 3000m at Los Angeles 1984
  3. Julius Kariukietc won medals in 1988 Olympics in Seoul
  4. Women include TeclaLorupe, Catherine Ndereba, Paul Tergat, Kemboi etc.
  5. Henry Wanyoike, a visually impaired 2004 paralympic, Bernard Langat, Ezra Sambu, Joyce Chepchumba, Eric Kimaiyo among others have also been awarded for their medals.

Kenya has also done well in boxing, cricket, basketball, hockey and soccer.



  1. Kenyan sportsmen and women are being poached by foreign countries e.g. UAE.
  2. There is a lot of mismanagement in sports that demoralize our sportsmen and women.

Kenya is also rich in music and dances. The government organizes annual music and drama festivals where different institutions compete at the Bomas.

Many Kenyan hotels and resorts have trained teams of traditional dancers to entertain guests.

Tv and Radio stations also give time to local music and dance performance.

The government throughthe Kenya Film Corporation and Institute of mass communication encourages the making of local films.

Literature – Several Kenyan authors have also written books on Kenyan history and culture. Among them are NgugiwaThong’o, Jomo Kenyatta and Grace Ogot.

Kenya is also famous for sculpture among the Akamba, Basketry, Pottery, Iron smith paintwork and cultural festivals.




Social Economic and Political developments in DRC

DRC was a colony of Belgium and was also known as Belgium Congo under King Leopold II. After independence, it changed its name to Zaire and later DRC. Belgium made little effort to improve Congo, but exploited her ivory and rubber. Africans were mistreated and degraded through rape, murder and taxation.


Political Developments

Congo gained independence on 30th June 1960. However, Africans were not ready for independence, and Belgians were not willing to let go of Congo.

On 2nd July 1960 riots broke out in Kinshasa. On 5th July 1960 Africans in the army staged a mutiny demanding an end to Belgians domination in the army, replacement of Belgian officers with the Congolese and an end to discrimination in job allocation in the army. There was chaos in the country which came to be known as the Congo crisis. There were looting and the port of Matadi was bombarded. Many Europeans died.

The independence government was made up of a fragile coalition of Congolese National Movement (MNC) of Patrice Lumumba who was the Prime minister and Abako Association Party of Joseph Kasavubu who became the president. Lumumba wanted a unitary system of government while Kasavubuand Tshombewanted a federal system. This created division among leaders. Belgians took advantage of situation and accused Lumumba of racial hatred.

MoisheTshombe took advantage ofthe crisis in Congo and declared the secession of Katanga from the coalition government in July 1960. He had the support of Belgians.

Albert Kilonji declared the Kasai secession, further complicating the situation.

Lumumba called for the immediate assistance from the United Nations so as to restore law and order. In 1961 Lumumba was assassinated. Lumumba’s supporters withdrew from the government thus the coalition government collapsed.

The United Nations and African leaders intervened in Congo and a national coalition government under CyrilleAdoula and AntonineGizenga of Kisangani was formed under federal constitution.

UNs secretary General Dan Hammarskjold perished in a plane crash in Congo in 1961 while attempting to bring peace in the area. UN withdrew from Congo in 1964.

In 1964, Lumumba supporters opposed the federal constitution and the appointment of Tshombe as head of the government. They rebelled and formed the People’s Republic of Congo at Kisangani, leading to an outbreak of war.

On 3rdOctober 1965, Tshombe resigned and was replaced by Sylvester Kimba

In November 1965 the army led by General Joseph Desire Mobutu staged a coup against Prime Minister Kimba and President Kasavubu hoping to restore Congo’s lost glory.


Congo under Mobutu SeseSeko

Mobutu became the head of state and government and therefore centralized power. He embarked on the following reforms: –

  1. He banned all political parties. In 1967 he formed the People’s Revolutionary Movement and made it the only legal party
  2. He abolished the federal system of government and local assemblies. Parliament was stripped of its powers.
  3. Mobutu appointed himself president for life after the 1970 general elections
  4. He reduced the number of administrative regions to eight. Civil servants were to be directly appointed by central government.
  5. In 1971 he changed Congo’s name to Zaire. He also renamed major towns e.g. Leopold Ville to Kinshasa.

Zaire faced severe economic problems in the 1980’s and 1990s. There was a lot of public dissatisfaction. In 1993 war broke out between Mobutu and his opponents who were being supported by Rwanda and Uganda. This was after Mobutu dismissed Etienne Tshisekedi, the prime minister. He was forced to restore him.

Hutus who had fled Rwanda during the 1994 genocide started attacking Tutsis who were in Eastern Zaire. Soon, a movement in defense of Tutsi rebelled against Mobutu and entered Kinshasa. They forced Mobutu into exile in May 1997, where he died. Rebel leader Laurent Desire Kabila declared himself president of Zaire.


Congo under Kabila

He renamed the country Democratic Republic of Congo

He was assassinated in January 2001 before he could restore order.

His son Joseph Kabila took over after a power sharing agreement.

His first democratic elections were held in 2006 and Joseph defeated his opponent Bemba and won the elections.


Political Challenges in DRC

  1. Political upheavals from ideological differences, tribalism and colonial hangovers.
  2. Ethnicity made it difficult for the government to achieve national unity due to tribal political groupings
  3. Belgian administration retained high ranks in the army and civil service which made it impossible for Africans to be independent under African administration.
  4. Secession of Katanga and Kasai regions weakened the country.
  5. The foreigners in Congo turned to the former colonialists for support hence undermining Congo’s independence.
  6. The 1960 Sept. sacking of Lumumba by President Kasavubu, his arrest and later on assassination made the country to almost disintegrate
  7. Between 1960-64, the UN and Belgium interfered a lot with the country’s internal affairs.
  8. When Mobutu took over, there was a shift from democracy to military dictatorship e.g. one party system. Government critics were arrested and tortured e.g. Tshisekedi.
  9. Between 1977 to 1978, there was the Shaba rebellion and 200 soldiers died.
  10. Presence of rebel forces supported by Rwanda and Uganda which put an end to Mobutu’s suppressive rule in 1997
  11. Kabila was assassinated in 2001. His successor found it difficult to bring peace into DRC.
  12. The relationship between DRC and neighbours has remained tense with accusation and counter accusations by rebel groups opposed to each other. In August 2004, 160 refugees were massacred by Congolese rebels, Hutu forces and Rwandese forces operating in Congo.


Economic Developments in DCR

Economic development was minimal in independent Congo due to political instability. There was limited development of infrastructure and manpower to steer economic growth.

When Mobutu took over, he made the following steps:

  1. He nationalized industries and raised revenue for development
  2. He boosted the financial capacity for Union Miniere, a large mining corporation to exploit minerals.
  3. He encouraged foreign investments in key sections of the economy
  4. He enacted a law in 1971 that placed state finances and expenditure under him
  5. In 1976, he encouraged mutual corporation between private firms and the government in the extraction of copper, oil, diamond etc
  6. To develop the country through mineral exploitation, he asked for assistance from the West and East in form of money and experts
  7. He developed new roads and railways. He improved navigation on river Congo which led to rapid expansion of mining and agricultural sectors.
  8. He enhanced energy provision in the country by exploiting the petroleum resources and water resources for H.E.P. He built Luga HEP station to encourage local and foreign investors to invest in industry.


Economic challenges

  1. Political upheavals have hindered exploitation of Congo’s resources (water, mineral, forest and agricultural resources)
  2. Belgium has led other western nations in dominating the exploitation of Congolese mineral wealth. Profits are repatriated to Europe and Congolese have not benefited from mining activities on their own land.
  3. Excessive reliance on foreign aid from France and Belgium has created large debts which are hard to pay.
  4. There is trade imbalance between Congo and her partners and this has affected her economy
  5. The Angola war led to Congo’s exports not reaching the world market for the sea route via Benguela was closed due to insecurity.
  6. Mobutu ordered the massive printing of currency which made the currency worthless. Inflation increased as Mobutu became a multi-billionaire.
  7. Corruption and mismanagement of the country’s key sectors affected the economy. In 1990s the country had become the most indebted in the world.
  8. Poverty and lack of capital has hindered the exploitation of resources. Job creation has been slow.
  9. There is lack of a clear policy for economic recovery after the colonial exploitation.


Social Development in DRC

  1. She is endowed with a rich culture due to her multi-ethnic composition. She has a rich language and music. Her musicians dominate the world entertainment e.g. Lingala music.
  2. In 1971 Mobutu introduced a programme aimed at reviving Africa culture. He urged Congolese to drop their Western names. He dropped his name Joseph and became Mobutu SeseSeko.
  3. The government has improved African literacy levels. Curriculum has been revised. The secondary schools and universities have been improved.
  4. The government is providing health facilities in the rural and urban areas. More than 1000 hospitals and dispensaries were constructed. The national medical insurance programme and pension scheme for workers was introduced.
  5. The government allocated funds for the promotion of social activities e.g. sports and music.


  1. In the 1990s the country’s social system almost collapsed e.g. there was nonpayment of salaries to teachers and civil servants. Illiteracy level went high.
  2. Crime levels have increased due to frustrations and hopelessness
  3. Access to medical care is a dream due to poverty and low living standards.
  4. Political instability has made it difficult for international assistance to reach the needy e.g. orphans and refugees.
  5. Mass murder of both civilians and military population increased the problem of orphans and widows. Hunger, malnutrition, misery and insecurity has made Kabila government unpopular.
  6. HIV/AIDS continues to rise due to the sexual abuse of women and children. High poverty levels, insecurity and political uncertainty have aggravated the social ills.



Political developments since independence

Tanganyika did not have notable leadership conflicts. There was no dominant tribe because of  a strong Swahili influence. She attained independence in 1961 with Julius Nyerere as Prime Minster. The ruling party was Tanganyika African National Union (TANU)

In 1962 Tanganyika became a one party state with a republican constitution and executive president.

On 22nd April 1964, a union was formed between president Nyerere of Tanganyika and Karume of Zanzibar. Nyerere became the executive president andKarume the first vice president and Rashid Kawawa as the 2nd Vice president.

In 1967, Nyererelaunchedthe ideology of African socialism through the Arusha declaration. It was the strategy for Tanzanias political, social and economic development. It encouraged

  1. Self reliance by relying on local resources
  2. Communalism in nation building (ujamaa)
  3. Avoidance of all manner of discrimination
  4. Nationalization of the key sectors of the economy (put in hands of locals)

Tanzania stressed on good neighbouliness. She was a member of non-aligned movement, Common wealth, UNO, AU, EAC and SADC.

In 1972, Karume was assassinated and AboudJumbe took over as vice president of Tanzania and Zanzibar’s president.

In 1977 the Afro-Shirazi party of Zanzibar and TANU united to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Nyerere was the president and Jumbe the party’s vice president.

In 1978-79, Idd Amin, who had overthrown Obote in 1977 invaded Tanzania to annex the Kagera province which he claimed was Ugandan territory. Uganda accused Tanzania of habouring Milton Obote who was overthrown by Idd Amin. Ugandan troops were defeated.

In 1985 Nyerere retired and Ali Hassan Mwinyi replaced him. There was a constitution amendment which introduced the seat of a prime minister. Joseph Warioba became the first vice-president and the first prime minister of United Republic of Tanzania.

The country’s capital was transferred from Dar-es-Salam to Dodoma to provide services closely to the people.

Tanzaniagave moral, material and financial support to liberation movements in countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She was the headquarters of OAU liberation committee.

In May 1992, a constitutional amendment allowed a multi-party system of government in Tanzania.In 1995 Tanzania conducted the 1st Multi-party elections and Benjamin Mkapa was elected president.

In 2005 Chama cha Mapinduzi got another major victory during elections with Kikwete as the president.



  1. Political power was inclined towards the urban elite who were economically privileged and better educated. This led to drafting of Arusha declaration.
  2. Africanization of political institution was meant that decolonization of the administration was faster than local replacement could be obtained. This created power vacuums in many areas in the early years of independence.
  3. On 20th January 1964 there was an army mutiny. They were protesting low pay, poor terms of service and presence of the British in the army.
  4. There were ideological differences between Tanganyika who were pro-East and Zanzibar who were pro-west.
  5. Tanzania was forced to take sides in global issues and could not escape the pressure of the cold war.
  6. Political differences among the east African leaders led to collapse of East African Community in 1977. There were frequent border closures increasing tension.
  7. AbeidKurume’s assassination in 1972 created a lot of tension between Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.
  8. Mwinyi’s decision to join the African Muslim league almost broke the union for it meant Tanzania joining the Arab world.
  9. Pressure to adopt multi-party democracy was a major threat to the union
  10. The socialist oriented policy made the western donors pull their investment from Tanzania for they didn’t support USSR
  11. Hosting of political fugitives e.g. Obote was a major test to Tanzania’s foreign policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of other states.
  12. Tanzania has continued links with former colonial master, which is seen as neo-colonialism.


Economic Development in Tanzania

  1. In 1964 Nyererelaunched a 5-year plan to streamline project initiation and implementation, taking into account the needs vis-à-vis the available resources.
  2. There was expansion of industry and agriculture
  3. The Arusha declaration of 1967 was based on self-reliance and socialism which favoured public control of major means of production through the government and cooperatives.
  4. Tanzanias economy was agro-based. Increase in agricultural production led to the development of small-scale industries in rural areas.
  5. There was increase fibre crop production leading to development of sisal related factories, while cotton growing promoted textile industries.
  6. Non-agricultural industries like cement, oil and steel also developed.
  7. The launching of the national youth service led to the establishment of self-help programmes in rural areas leading to establishment of schools, settlements and income generating projects.
  8. Nationalization and Africanization enabled the transfer of businesses and enterprises formerly held by Europeans to Africans. All commercial banks, insurance companies etc were nationalized.
  9. Foreign investments were encouraged to develop railways, roads and pipelines. Mwinyi encouraged bilateral and multi-lateral economic relationship with rich countries. East African Cooperation was also revived in 1993 hence expanding her market.



  1. Widening gap between the rich and the poor. Also, most Africans were not educated enough to take over major companies.
  2. The Arusha declaration faced several problems e.g. people resisted‘villagization’ where the climate was good as they felt they could individually produce more than what a village could produce in the name of ujamaa.
  3. The abolishment of cooperative made producers to revert to black market or smuggling where prices were better.
  4. Farmers lacked farming autonomy, leading to foreign investors leaving the country
  5. Fluctuation of prices of agricultural produce such as coffee, sisal, tea and also prolonged drought and other natural calamities affected the economy
  6. Shortage of donor funds made some economic policies and programmes to fail. Nyereredidi not believe in foreign assistance for economic development.
  7. Mwinyi’s reforms onliberalization of the market were not well received by the people for they contradicted ujaaa. He liberalized the market, devalued the shilling and sold non-performing state corporations. He also introduced cost-sharing in service provision.
  8. The collapse of E.A.C in 1977 denied Tanzania a large common market for her goods. She did not also get financial assistance from the west due to her socialist policies.
  9. Salary reduction, having one job, not engaging in private enterprises and enlisting in the youth service was resisted by the elite.
  10. There has been scarcity of resources and poor infrastructure in the vast nation has been an economic hindrance.


Social developments

  1. There has been expansion of primary, secondary ad university education. The education system and curriculum was changed to incorporate socialist and traditional values. The education system included cooperation ideals, egalitarian (equal) living and selflessness.
  2. Health facilities have been improved. They are free. Sanitary facilities were also improved in the rural areas.
  3. There is freedom of worship in Tanzania. However, many of them are either Christians or Muslims.


  1. Lack of basic amenities like water, housing, education and health facilities in different parts of the country
  2. Rural-urban migration has led to unemployment
  3. There is increased crime rate especially smuggling and black marketeering.
  4. Illiteracy levels are still high due to difficulties in providing education
  5. Reliance on foreign support
  6. Frustration of the Africanization and Nationalization policies due to lack of human resources.


Social, economic and political challenges in Africa since independence


Social challenges

  1. Illiteracy: – access to basic education for all remains a problem in many countries. The search for an education system that suits the development needs of Africans is a big challenge. Access to education is still a problem in many countries.
  2. Inadequate health care: – Most Africans lack access to modern medical facilities due to poverty and low levels of technology. Sanitation is a big problem in slums. HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases has slowed economic growth. The exodus of medics from Africa to greener pastures in the developed world has beena problem
  3. Population explosion. The ever rising population has strained the provision of essential services such as water, medicine, literacy and housing.
  4. Crime rate has gone up due to unemployment and easy access to firearms as a result of regional conflicts, has fanned armed robberies in the cities. There is also increased drug abuse. There has been threat from terror movements e.g. in Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Libya and Egypt.
  5. There has been an influx of refugees in some countries as people flee civil strife. Kenya has refugees from Somalia and Sudan.
  6. Environmental pollution has been a challenge in major cities. This is due to poor environmental health policies, industrialization and population increase.
  7. This can be blamed on the thriving industrial sector and increased population.
  8. Unfavourable climate: Adverse climatic conditions have greatly curtailed food production among the agricultural communities
  9. Housing problems which have led to development of slums in towns.


Economic Challenges

  1. Low per capita income has meant low purchasing power, hence reduced economic growth. Many Africans rely on agriculture which is dictated upon by unpredictable weather patterns. There is the problem of large foreign debts.
  2. Colonial hangovers. Many African countries are still attached to their colonial masters. Donor’s aid, loans and grants have brought about a dependency syndrome, hence the debt crisis many African states are experiencing.
  3. Slow industrial growth. Over exploitation of natural resources during the colonial period accounts for the low level of industrial development. There is also shortage of technical support and trained manpower for industrial take-off.
  4. Poor infrastructure:- there is poor transport and communication network in Africa. Most areas have remained remote, leading to imbalance in economic development.
  5. Over reliance on primary export like coffee, tea, rubber, cotton, copper and soda ash means low income to the exporting country. Agricultural raw materials have been adversely affected by unfavourable climate.
  6. Corruption: – Bribery has replaced merit in access to services. Public funds are embezzled leading to the collapse of projects, e.g. in Nigeria, Cameroon and DRC. Smuggling and black marketeering have been rampant in many countries. There is lack of accountability and transparency in economic and political affairs.
  7. Poor economic planning: – The Africanization and nationalization programmes in Tanzania, Congo and Uganda tended to keep foreign investors at bay. Some countries printed money haphazardly which triggered inflation and high cost of living. Examples Uganda and Zaire.
  8. Unemployment: Job creation in many countries has been on the decline due to economic mismanagement and structural adjustment programmes (e.g. retrenchment)


Political challenges

  1. Conflict: – There has been strife between different communities due to economic resources, religious doctrines or tribalism. Authoritarian systems of government have also helped create rebel movements that waged war against governments e.g. in Sudan which finally split into north and South in February 2011, Congo, Rwanda, Somalia etc.
  2. Border disputes: – The colonial powers created boundaries without any regard to ethnic composition of different states. Members of one ethnic community were placed in two different countries e.g. Somalia of Kenya and Somalia, Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, Teso of Kenya and Uganda. This has strained relations.
  3. Coups d’etat:- Military take overs became the order of the day in the 1960s in African states creating political instability, e.g. Nigeria, Zaire, Somalia etc. The rise of military dictatorship affected democracy, human rights and rule of law.
  4. Terrorism: -Africa has been targeted by international terrorist organization on suspicion that some countries have taken sides with the enemy e.g. 1998 bombing of the USA Embassy in Nairobi.
  5. Ideological differences: – After independence, African witnessed ideological differences among its pioneer leaders. Some wanted their countries to adopt socialist ideologies while others wanted capitalist ideologies. Such differences exploded into civil strife in some countries e.g. Angola. In some countries, some leaders wanted federal system of government while others wanted centralized system of government. This created disunity and it led to assassination of some leaders.
  6. Cold War: – during this period, the African leaders supported either the western or eastern bloc. This left many African nations divided.
  7. Conflicting interests: – Many African governments have found themselves torn between serving their territorial interests and adhering to the interests of continental and global organizations like AU and UNO. Kenya has been struggling to pull out of ICC to protect the 6 suspects named by Ocampo in December 2010 as having caused crimes against humanity in the 2007 disputed election.
  8. Neo-colonialism: – Independent African states still continue to rely heavily on their former colonial masters. Most countries retained the colonial structures of government and democracy. Some still practice divide and rule policies. This has contributed to anarchy.
  9. Mal-administration: – Many leaders in African independent states were ill prepared and inexperienced in administration. This contributed to political instability.
  10. The global wind of change: – in the 19902 there was a wind of change towards multipartyism. The donors put pressure on African states to adopt multipartyism, because the single party systems adopted by independent African governments had turned out to be dictatorial and unpopular.




The money the government raises through various services is referred to as Government revenue, which is used to pay for the goods supplied and services rendered.

The government then puts in a clear policy of how it spends the money that it receives.

However the government can neither spend nor receive any money without approval by the parliament.


National budget

The budgeting is done by the ministries of finance, planning and national development.

A national budget is a comprehensive statement that gives an estimate of government revenue, expenditure and financial plans of a given year.

It is usually read in June because the fiscal year begins on 1st July and ends on 30th June of the following year.

The day is set up by the minister for finance after consulting with the necessary government organs and the president.


Reasons for the preparation of a national budget in Kenya

  1. It enables the government to prioritize its needs, giving prominence to the most urgent ones.
  2. Enables the government to identify services of government revenue, i.e. domestic or external services.
  3. The government identifies the development projects to finance in the financial year.
  4. Enables the government to balance its revenue and expenditure needs.
  5. It gives the MPs a chance to monitor how public resources are utilized.
  6. It enables the government to explain to the public the tax structure
  7. It leads to a balanced and equitable development in that each ministry is allocated funds depending on its priorities.
  8. It enables the government through the supplementary expenditure to plan for certain needs that come up in the course of the year.
  9. It provides useful information to organization or individuals who may want to keep track of government expenditure.
  10. It promotes the identification of government departments and their needs in order to allocate funds to each government department.
  11. Through it the government communicates its plans and policies to its local and foreign development partners.


Sources of government revenue

Revenue services are broadly grouped into domestic and external sources. All taxes in Kenya are collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority (K.R.A)

Domestic Revenue Sources

They include taxes which are levied on the citizen’s private and public organization, foreign investors and other businesses.

They make up a big percentage of government revenue every financial year. Taxes are grouped into Direct and indirect taxes.

Direct taxes are derived from people’s salaries, all employed citizens pay salaries, all employed citizens pay income tax except for those who earn a salary of less than 10,000 a month. Those with a high income salary, the tax on their income is known as pay as You Earn (PAYE)

The government requires all citizens to declare their income every year so that it can monitor the tax collection.

It has put in place a mechanism to determine the income earned through self-employment. It is the duty of every citizen to pay tax so as to facilitate provision of basic public services by the government.

Indirect taxes are taxes levied on goods and services but with parliament’s approval. They include

  1. Indirect taxes – taxes levied on goods and services but with parliament’s approval. They include
  2. Customs duty. The tax is imposed on imported goods such as vehicles, machinery, fertilizers, sugar, wheat, maize, electronics, luxuries etc.
  3. Excise duty – charged on goods that are locally produced and sold within the country and also goods produced for export such as textiles, coffee, tea, Soda Ash and Pyrethrum.
  4. VAT It is a tax paid on specific goods such as sugar, bread, petroleum products, cloth, electrical equipment and vehicles. The prices of goods and services increases depending on the % of Vat e.g. by 2004-2005. It stood at 19%. It is also levied on imported vehicles, mitumba clothes. It is also charged on entertainment, premium bonds and on goods bought and receipts are issued.
  5. Traffic revenue Tax. It is levied on drivers and road licenses, road maintenance levy, Air passengers pay airport tax while aviation tax is levied on air, navigation and calibration of navigation aids.
  6. Investment Revenue. It is levied from parastatal bodies and other profit making institutions
  7. Trading licences. They are paid by hotels, restaurants operators, livestock traders, liquor dealers, electricians, technicians, banks etc.
  8. Loan investment Receipts. The government collects tax from several organizations particularly parastatals that remit interest on money it gives them. These includeAgricultural Finance Cooperation, Kenya Tea Development Authority, Telkom Kenya, Kenya pipeline, National Cereals and Produce Board, Kenya power and Lighting Company, Ken Gen, Kenya Commercial Bank and Central Bank of Kenya.
  9. Land Rates. Acquired from levies on land, rent from companies, premiums on plots, stamp duty interest on agricultural land, Case fees etc
  10. House rates. The government also gets rent from government buildings e.g. The Webuye Housing Scheme
  11. Fees includes timber levies, fuel levies, wood, gas and soda ash etc
  12. Court fines. Fines slapped on persons found guilty
  13. Tourism fees. From the national parks, e.g. local and foreign tourists at National Parks and Game parks.
  14. Domestic Borrowing. Attained through the sale of treasury bills and post office bonds.


External Revenue Sources

These are the external friends and well wishers who are turned to for supplementary funding. They include friendly nations, private organizations and global institutions which give loans and grants.

Loans are repaid with interest while grants are usually interest free while some are never repaid.

Two main sources of external assistance are: –

  1. Bilateral aid i.e. two friendly nations assist each other e.g. Kenya got financial and technical aid from Japan.
  2. Multilateral aid involves many countries that have informed trading blocs to help poor nations e.g. IMF, World Bank, European Union, Commonwealth etc.


Challenges facing the Government in its effort to raise revenue

  1. Many individuals, companies and organization evade paying tax.
  2. People give wrong information on the wealth declaration forms, reducing the amount of taxation.
  3. Government officers who gather tax collude with unscrupulous citizens to cheat about their incomes
  4. Many rich individuals keep their money in foreign accounts than investing in Kenya
  5. People lack information on how they can invest within the government through treasury bills, post office bonds, or shares at Nairobi stock exchange.

On external aid, the government also faces the following

  1. Donors conditions must be fulfilled e.g. receiving countries are to privatize, liberalise their economies, go multi-party or devolve their currency. Many at times receiving countries have resisted and assistance has been withdrawn.
  2. Loans are issued at high interest rates which makes servicing them a burden to the economy
  3. The tendency to rely on foreign aid to meet the country’s budgeting deficit increases the government debt and non-payment lead to debt crisis.
  4. Donor nations compel recipients to import goods from them, therefore lending aims at helping create international markets, therefore denying the country the choice of trading partners.


How the Government spends its revenue

  1. Capital expenditure

This is the money set aside in the national budget for development projects.

Through proper annual planning the government allocates money for infrastructural development such as roads, airports, bridges, railways, seaports and harbours.

It also identifies essential facilities to be set up such as schools, colleges, universities, dams, irrigation schemes etc.

It is also used to provide social services such as health and education.

  1. Recurrent expenditure

It refers to money used by the government to sustain and maintain the existing facilities and services. The category includes:

  1. i) Wages and salaries. It is done through regular payment of salaries and wages of civil servants, teachers, armed forces etc.
  2. ii) General repair and maintenance. The government has the duty of maintaining public property throughout the country by allocating necessary funds, roads, airports, colleges and bridges need constant repairs.

The free education programme of 2003 is on e.g. of howgovernmentallocated money on a regular basis.

It is also used to buy books, chalk, pens etc

iii) Debt Servicing. The government borrows money as grants, loans and pays it with interest. This is done by the IMF, World Bank, Commonwealth, African Union and European Union. It is then repaid after the agreed period.

  1. iv) Contributions to International Organizations. It is remitted to regional and international organizations such as COMESA, AU, UN and Commonwealth. The Secretariat of each of these organizations is financed by contributions from member states.
  2. v) Grants and Bursaries. The government also gives grants to local authorities, parastatals, commercial banks as well as bursaries to schools and colleges.
  3. vi) Embassies. Money is allocated on recurrent basis to maintain Kenyan embassies abroad.

NB it is vital for the government to keep money in its consolidated fund to meet its supplementary requirements in the course of the financial year.

Supplementary expenditure arises when certain ministries and government departments require more money than what was allocated to them in the budget, therefore calling for additional funding to close the gap in the budget.

Any appeal on additional funding is supported by tangible evidence that what was allocated in the budget has been well utilized.


Control of public finance

Failure to put in place a mechanism that monitors government revenue and expenditure may ground government operations before the end of a financial year.

In Kenya a mechanism has been devised to closely monitor the use of public resources as per the annual budget. However public funds are controlled in the following ways

  1. The Parliament is responsible for the control of public revenue therefore any expenditure by the ministries and departments is approved by members of parliament.
  2. In parliament there are parliamentary committee responsible for all the reports from ministries and departments allocated funds

PAC (Public accounts Committee) made up of members of parliament drawn from major political parties, the government and the opposition are represented to ensure that there’s no manipulation of the reports during the scrutiny.


Roles of the Committee

  1. Receives reports from the controller and Auditor General on behalf of Parliament.
  2. Scrutinizing the reports and presenting their contents to parliament
  3. Summoning government officials to explain their expenditure and give clarification.
  4. Closely monitor the ruling party and it officials in public service delivery and highlights the weakness e.g. Individuals mentioned in the Anglo-Leasing and Finance Ltd saga in 2004 were summoned to answer questions.
  5. Ensure money was used for what it was budgeted


Public Investment Committee (PIC)

It is made up of Mps from both sides of Parliament. It does the following

  1. Ensures that public finance is spent for the intended projects or purposes.
  2. Ensures that the investment targets are worthy and geared towards improving the welfare of the citizens.
  3. Monitorsproject implementation and reports its finding to the august house. The auditor general for State Corporation works hand in hand with PIC.
  4. Raises irregularities in tendering or pricing and can even cancel tenders.

Committee of supply. It verifies estimates forwarded by various government ministries and departments. It is made up of a selected number of Mps.

Committee of Ways and Means

  1. Is similar to the parliamentary committee and its main responsibility is to verify all budget proposals.
  2. It also addresses taxation matters and advises parliament accordingly
  3. The controller and auditor general audits ministries and government departments and reports findings to parliament. This is then followed by the PAC. To secure independence of the office of controller and auditor general, parliament has given security of tenure.
  4. Permanent secretaries in the Ministries are the chief accounting officers, they answer all questions for any money allocated to the ministries, and they report directly to the respective ministries who in turn report to parliament
  5. All government tenders are advertised, and those who qualify are publicly announced e.g. the Anglo-leasing finance saga led to the sacking of senior government officers.
  6. The government set up the Kenya Anti-corruption commission in 2004 to investigate corruption cases in a non-partisan manner. The director enjoys independence and ensures that justice is meted out on corrupt officers.
  7. Some individuals have been empowered by the government to spent on its behalf and they are to be transparent and accountable e.g. in the free primary school education where Headmasters are to be demoted, imprisoned or interdicted if they misused the money.
  8. All supplementary expenditure by the government gets the approval of parliament i.e one must account for the previous spending before being allocated funds.
  9. Use of mechanism to curb revenue evasion e.g. the use of x-ray scanners to verify cargo arrival at the Mombasa seaport.









Electoral process refers to a series of steps taken by people to elect their leaders.

In democratic countries, they practice electoral process which involves secret ballot and universal suffrage (all adult males are eligible to vote) e.g. India, USA and Britain.


Features of political systems in Britain and USA

  1. Holding regular general elections
  2. Multi-party democracy – freedom to form political parties that compete for power
  3. Creating check and balances to ensure that those elected to positions of power don’t abuse their authorities


Functions of these governments

  1. Protecting citizens from each other and from outsiders
  2. Providing public services
  3. Protecting individuals rights and liberties


United States of America

Origin of American federations

In 1787 the constitution of USA was drafted by 13 American states in Philadelphia Convention under George Washington who became the first US president. The 13 states had declared independence from Britain in 1776. They formed a common army to fight the British

In 1788 they formed a representative government to reconcile freedom with authority, regulate taxation, commerce, currency and form armed force.

Some of the articles in the Philadelphia constitution drawn in 1787 were:

  1. It was federal and was written
  2. It was the supreme law of the land
  3. It was the bill of rights
  4. Supreme court was created to interpret the law
  5. The legislature was bicameral
  6. There was separation of power between Legislature, executive and judiciary.

All states were bound by the constitution and no state could secede

By 1860, the number of states reached 30, and 45 by 1900. Alaska and Hawaii joined in 1959. Today the union has 50 states that form USA. It has a system of government known as representative democracy. This is a system of government in which officials are elected by the citizens to manage the affairs of the government.


Electoral Process in USA

America was the first country in the world to establish a government based on universal suffrage. The electoral process result in the formation of government

Elections are done through voting. There are three types of elections in USA

  1. Presidential elections

They are held every four years

Political parties hold open meetings of party members (presidential caucuses/conventions) every four years to nominate their presidential and vice-presidential candidate. They also select delegates to national conventions and make party policies and rules.Once nominated, the president becomes the leader of the party.

Some states holdprimary electionsto select party delegates. We have closed primaries whereby only party members vote, and open primaries where members from either party can vote. They then nominate their presidential candidate who will pick on a running mate with the approval of the party. This is done between March and May. After these party conventions, campaign period starts.

Presidential elections are held on 2nd November of the election year.Americans both at home and abroad vote before or on that day. The running mate normally becomes the vice-president.

Elections are both direct and indirect: –

  1. Direct – through the popular vote of one man one vote.
  2. Indirect – electors meet in the Electoral College after elections to confirm the president by voting.

The Electoral Collegewas created in 1787 and is made up of Senators and Representatives from all states. For one to be elected the president of USA he must win both popular vote and Electoral College vote. California, the largest state with 30 million people has 52 representatives and 2 senators. Wyoming, the smallest state has 1 representative and 2 senators.

The independent election monitoring officers announces the winner after all votes are counted.

In case of dispute, the Supreme Court is invited to solve it.

The winner of the presidential polls takes office in January the following year.The president forms the government.He operates from the white house in Washington D.C.


Qualifications one must fulfill to be US president

  1. Be at least 35 years old
  2. Be an American citizen by birth
  3. Must have been a resident of the country for 14 years.


  1. Elections of senate and house of representative

These elections are held after every two years.


Each state is entitled to elect two senators to represent it in the senate

A third of the senators are elected after every 2 years. This is because the states joined the union at different times. Senators serve for a period of 6 years and can be re-elected as many times as possible.

House of representative

The members serve for a period of 2 years.Every member must belong to a political party

The two houses form the congress or parliament. The two houses meet at the same place, same time in different venues.


  1. Election of state governors and their legislative bodies

Elections are held every four years. The people elected must fulfill the same conditions as those of other elective offices. They manage the affairs of the state.



Qualification of a voter in USA

  • One must be 18 years and above
  • One must be a citizen of USA
  • One must be a resident of the state for a specified period.

Factors that can disqualify one to be registered as a voter in USA

  • Mental illness
  • Those who are very sick
  • Those convicted of serious crimes
  • Those who have moved to a new state must meet the new states residency requirements.


Political parties in USA

There are two political parties

  1. Republican party

It draws support from the north among the business and industrialists.

They believe in Liaises-fair approach to governance. They are more conservative.

They want the government to leave the businessmen alone to run industry and economy with as little interference from the government as possible

They believe in maintaining high tariffs (Import duties) to safe guard American industry from foreign imports


  1. Democratic party

It has support in the south. These are immigrants in large cities.

They are more progressive.They advocate for a more active government role in dealing with social-economic issue


Functions of Political parties

  1. They are agencies of political education
  2. They make electoral politics coherent by acting as agents to each candidate. They nominate candidates for elections to various political offices
  3. Parties provide accountability. When party policies fail, the voters can hold its candidates accountable at election time
  4. Parties help to put the desire of the people on the government policy agenda
  5. Parties provide outlet for citizens to express their sentiments about nominees
  6. Different parties have different policies. This helps the voters to sort through the candidates.


The functions of the government

USA has a federal system of government. In a federal government there is division of power between the federal and state government

In a federal system of government, separate political communities enter into an agreement of adopting joint policies and decisions

The powers and responsibilities are divided between the two centres of power, i.e.


  1. State or Republican/Regional government

Each state in USA functions as a republic. It is headed by a governor. All states are equal in the federal system of government. Each state is similar in structure to the federal government

Responsibilities by the state governments

  1. Each has its own constitution for internal affairs. It has law courts that cater for its internal affairs. Their laws don’t conflict with federal laws.
  2. Each has a legislature made up of two houses which pass law for individual states
  3. The states are empowered to run their own affairs e.g. providing health, education etc.
  4. There exists state police to cater for the maintenance of law and order.
  5. Every state generates revenue necessary for discharging its responsibilities.
  6. Every state is led by a Governor who is the executive. His work involves spearheading development in the state

In order to ensure good relationship between the federal and state governments, the constitution prohibits states from doing certain things e.g.

  • Making their own currency
  • Not to levy duty on imports or exports
  • Not to maintain armed forces
  • Not to enter into any agreement with foreign powers or engage in war
  • Not to enter into any treaty with other states or countries.


Duties of federal governments

  1. The federal government must respect the territorial integrity of the states e.g. No new state can be created within the area of the old state
  2. Protect the states against external invasion
  3. To guarantee every state a republican form of government


  1. Federal/Central/Nation government

Functions of the federal government (headed by the President)

  1. Looking into the general welfare of the USA and providing a common defense
  2. Levying and collecting taxes and paying the government debt
  3. Declaring war, raising and supporting the armed forces
  4. Regulating commerce with foreign nations and its federal states
  5. Handling foreign affairs
  6. Making and regulating the value of the USA currency
  7. Resolving disputes involving different states
  8. Admitting new states into the union
  9. Enacting and passing federal laws
  10. Establishing federal courts


The federal government is divided into three arms of the government

  1. Legislature

It is also known as the congress. It is made up of two houses, the Senate (upper house) and the House of Representatives.

Both houses have equal power over legislation. Bills can be introduced in either houses.

Congress also amends the constitution with the approval of individual states.


The Senate(upper House)

There are about 100 senators who serve for a six year term. Each state elects two senators

For one to be a senator, he must fulfill the following requirements

  1. One must be at least 30 years old
  2. One must have been an American citizen for at least 9 years
  3. One must be a member of a certain political party

Some of the exclusive duties of the senate are:

It approves presidential appointments e.g. Secretaries and federal judges

It has power to ratify foreign treaties


The House of Representative (Lower House)

Representatives are elected to represent constituencies for a period of 2 years and can be re-elected. There are about 436 representatives

The minimal qualification for the house of representative is

  1. One must be at least 25 years old
  2. One must have been a citizen of the USA for not less than 7 years
  3. Must be a citizen of the state they represent
  4. One must be nominated by a political party

The exclusive duties of the house of representative are

  1. It has special power, as well as all taxation and financial measures must come from this house
  2. It has power to draw articles of impeachment against the president. President Richard Nixon was impeached over the Watergate scandal and Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.


Comparison between senate and house of representative

  • Representative has a large number of members, 436 while senate has 100 members
  • Representative has a short period of office of 2 years while senate has 6 years.
  • Representatives are elected by the constituencies while senators are elected by states.
  • Representative qualifications are easier while senate qualifications are strict.
  • In representative, rules are more rigid while in senate, they are less rigid.
  • Senate is more prestigious compared to house of representatives


Functions of the Congress

  1. It acts as a check on the executive arm of the government by examining the administrative work of the government
  2. It approves taxation measures an makes sure that the government expenditure is properly used and accounted for
  3. The two houses participate in making laws after which the bills is sent to the president for assent
  4. It has power to amend laws but only after all states have approved.
  5. The senate approves treaties with foreign countries
  6. It can appoint a commission of inquiry to investigate any problem that is of national importance
  7. Senior civil servants are appointed by the president with the approval of the senate
  8. Congress is a representative body elected by people and it reflects the aspiration and interest of the American people
  9. Congress closely monitors the conduct of the president, vice president and other senior public officials.
  10. The Executive

It comprises of the president, the vice, cabinet and civil service

Duties and powers of the president

  1. He is the head of state. He represent the state abroad and welcomes foreign dignitaries
  2. Chief executive. He executes laws and policies passed to congress
  3. Chief diplomat. The president keeps the congress informed of international development
  4. Chief legislature.He initiates bills and persuades legislatures to support him. He can also use veto powers to pass bills.
  5. Commander in chief of the armed forces. Foreign policy becomes more meaningful when backed by effective use of armed forces.
  6. Head of the ruling party
  7. He appoints with approval of Senate top officials, cabinet secretaries and agency directors in government
  8. The president is the national voice of the people and protector of peace e.g. during race riots.

Limitations of presidential powers

  1. Congress controls the powers of the president e.g. the people the president appoints to the executive must be approved by the senate
  2. Congress can refuse to approve funds for foreign policy with which it disagree e.g. war.
  3. Congress can impeach a president if his conduct while in office is not good
  4. The Supreme Court may declare a president to have acted unconstitutionally and negate whatever decision he may have authorized. This will change his image.
  5. The constitution limits any president to two four year terms.
  6. The mass media monitors closely every action or speech by the president.
  7. The pressure groups also help to check presidential powers. Where such groups disapprove something, the president will be morally obliged to reconsider his decision.
  8. Public opinion. Opinion polls in the USA reflect the wishes and feelings of the American people.
  9. Elections – since elections for the house of representative are held every two years and a third of the senate are elected every two years, a president party must be careful lest it loses its majority in Congress.


The Vice-president qualification

  • Must be at least 35 years old
  • Be an American citizen by birth
  • Must have been a resident of the country for 14 years

During the presidential elections, the presidential candidates nominate a vice–president.


Functions of the vice-president

  1. He is the principal assistant to the president
  2. To succeed the president in the event of death, resignation or removal from office by impeachment. The vice president takes over and completes the term remaining until the next elections
  3. He chairs meeting of the senate
  4. He votes in the event of a tie in the senate over an issue.


The cabinet

It is appointed by the president with approval of the senate

The ministers(secretaries) are selected on the basis of their experience and administrative ability


Role of the cabinet

  1. The cabinet is a subordinate advisory body to the president
  2. The cabinet executes government policies
  3. They are in charge of 10 main departments e.g. state (foreign affairs), treasury, justice etc.

The civil service – functions

  1. It implements government policies
  2. It explains and interprets government policies to politicians
  3. Maintains government records
  4. It helps in the collection of government revenue
  5. It advices politicians on matters of policy
  6. Draws up development plans and government budget
  7. Provides continuity between one government and the next after general elections.


  1. Judiciary

This is the country’s legal system. The judiciary system of the USA is divided into two distinct courts:

  1. State courts

They are found in individual states of USA. Their structure is similar to that of federation courts

Judges of the states courts are elected by the people for short terms

The power of the judges is restricted to the constitution of individual states

Duties of state courts include interpreting the constitution and judging all cases according to the constitution


  1. Federal courts

Federal courts are composed of the Supreme Court, Circuit court, Court of Appeal, District courts, Court of claims and lastly Court of customs in the hierarchy.

Judges of the federal courts are appointed by the president with the consent of the senate. There are nineSupreme Court judges including the Chief justice.

All judges are appointed for life. But they can be impeached incase of bad behavior, corruption or incompetence.Judges cast votes to conclude a case through a majority consensus.


Duties of federal courts

  1. Handling all cases that arise under national constitution
  2. They deal with cases between USA and other foreign states
  3. It settles disputes between the president and congress.
  4. They solve disputes between federal and state governments and also between the states themselves.
  5. Helping to interpret the constitution
  6. They deal with cases that affect ambassadors and public ministers



The Doctrine of separation of powers

This means that none of the three arms of the USA government is too powerful to interfere with the functioning of the other.

Checks and balances of power

  1. The president and his cabinet are not members of parliament
  2. Elections to congress are held after every two years. Consequently the president’s party can lose its majority in both houses after only two years.
  3. Although the president can veto laws, congress can overturn his veto if it manages to raise a ⅔ majority in both houses. The president cannot dissolve the congress
  4. Congress cannot remove a president unless it proves that a serious crime has been committed e.g. treason.
  5. The success of a president is determined by his skills in persuading congress to approve his programmes
  6. The Supreme Court keenly monitors both the president and congress. The court can declare the law unconstitutional. This means that such law becomes illegal and must be reversed.


Advantages/merits of federal system of Government

  1. It enables different states to live together, but at the same time retain their distinct identity
  2. The federation enables the states to form a large market together. It also eases trade by eliminating custom duties and use of common currency
  3. States are able to tackle their common problems together e.g. pollution, terrorism, diseases etc.
  4. The existence of a joint defense force ensures security for small states
  5. It ensures that the interests of small stateand minority groups are better protected
  6. It enables member states to benefit from the federal pool of resources
  7. There is freedom of movement within USA across the states.


Disadvantages of federal government

  1. Where some states are endowed with more economic resources than others there is always a temptation to secede (break away)
  2. Leaders need to be more tolerant due to diverse backgrounds and interests of various states. Leaders need to be flexible in order to accommodate varying ideas from different states
  3. Inequitable utilization and allocation of resources may lead to disparities in states development.



British system of government is known as constitutional monarch.

This is a monarch that must adhere to the rules of the constitution.

The monarch is not elected but the office is hereditary and is reserved for members of the royal family.

The idea of parliamentary system of government originated in Britain.. Parliament is the supreme governing organ in Britain. The term parliament was derived from a French word, parle which means to speak. Parliament is a place where people could speak or discuss the affairs of the state.

The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty also came from Britain. This means that parliament is not limited by the head of state.

Parliament is a law making organ. It controls government revenue and expenditure. It has power to dictate war or peace. It can force a government to resign.


For a long time, kings in Britain considered their positions god given hence ruled without consulting citizens.

Changes began in 1215 when King John of England signed the Magna Carta (Great Charter) which declared that

  • No mans property would be taken without consent
  • No person would be imprisoned without a fair and legal trial.

During the reign of King Edward III, the two houses emerged. County representatives met as House of Commons while Bishops and Nobles met as House of Lords.

In 17th Century, parliament passed the Bill of Rights establishing a constitutional monarchy.

Under constitutional monarchy, the powers of the monarch are controlled by the parliament e.g.

  1. The monarchy could not levy taxes without agreement of parliament
  2. The monarch could not interfere with the elections in order to ensure there was a majority of members who support him
  3. The monarch could not suspend laws passed by parliament
  4. Elections to parliament are held after 5 years.
  5. Act of settlement empowered parliament to decide succession to the throne.


Electoral process in Britain

The electoral process in Britain affects members of the House of Commons. Elections are held every 5 years. They are based on the principle of ‘one person one vote’

The British government is based on the party systems. The two main parties are:-

  1. Conservative party:- It is supported by the monarch and nobles
  2. Labour party:- It is made of socialists and workers

Other smaller parties include the liberal party made of commons who are opposed to monarchy.


Types of Elections

  1. General elections. They occur at least once every five years. The prime Minister determines when the elections are to take place
  2. By-elections. They are held in individual constituency upon death or resignation of a member of parliament
  3. Party elections. These are elections of the party leaders which are held in accordance with party calendar.


Voter Registration

Registration of voters is done by the local authority.

An annual register of those eligible to vote in each constituency is issued every February.

There are 650 constituencies in Britain.

The constituency boundary is determined by the population and geographical size.

A postal vote is possible for citizens who are away from their constituencies during voting period. Electoral process is based on universal suffrage where all citizens aged18 years and above are eligible to vote.


Qualification of voters

  • Must be 18 years and above
  • Must be a British citizen
  • Must be registered in that constituency


What can disqualify a voter?

  • Mental sickness
  • Those who are very ill
  • Those convicted of serious crimes


Qualification of candidates – House of Common

  • Must be 21 years and above
  • Must be a British citizen
  • Must be a member of a political party
  • Must be registered in their constituency

Each candidate must deposit 500 Sterling pounds with registrar which is returned in the event that the candidate garners over 5% of the total votes in the constituency

Election is by plurality whereby the person with the highest number of votes becomes the winner.


What can disqualify one from contesting for a constituency seat?

– Clergymen of the churches of England, Scotland and Roman Catholic Church

– Holders of certain offices e.g. judges, civil servants, army and various public offices

– Members of the House of Lords

– Foreigner or aliens



Election campaigns are short.

The prime minister announces the date of election usually about a month before the polling day

The polling day is used as a secret weapon by the government so as to catch the rest of the parties unprepared. As a result, the ruling party easily wins the elections

Each candidate is required to appoint an official election agent to promote the interest of the candidate and to regulate all expenditure during campaign, so that the total sum used does not exceed 6000 Sterling pounds per candidate.

Candidates are expected to make numerous personal appearances during campaign at local level. This is to ensure many party members turn out to vote.

At the national level, each party is allocated a few free broadcasts on the Television station, especially in the morning. There is no direct confrontation between party leaders on Television.

The party that secures most parliamentary seats is declared the election winner. The winning party is invited by the Queen of King to form the government.

The leader of the winning party becomes the prime minister.


Functions of the British Government

  1. The Executive

It includes the monarch          The Prime Minister      The cabinet      The Civil Service


The Monarch is the head of state in Britain. He has little political power or influence. Real political power is vested on the Prime Minister


The Prime Minister

He is the chief executive of the country

Legally, he is supposed to be chosen by the monarch. He serves for a five-year term.

During elections, people vote in members of parliament from different political parties. They don’t directly vote in the prime minister

After elections leader of the party with the highest number of MPs in the House of Commons becomes the Prime Minister and forms the government. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman prime minster in 1979.


Functions of the Prime Minister

  1. He appoints and dismisses cabinet ministers, but with the consent of the monarchy
  2. He recommends to the monarchy the appointment of senior judicial officers and list of those to be conferred with civil honours and distinctions.
  3. He presides over cabinet meetings
  4. He settles disputes between various departments
  5. He controls the cabinet secretariat and oversees the execution of cabinet decisions by various departments
  6. He is the leader of the house of commons
  7. Since the Prime minister has the backing of majority inparliament, he can change laws or impose taxation
  8. He is the leader of the party that nominated him


The Cabinet

It is the executive arm of the legislature

Members are appointed by the Prime Minister from the Legislature. They are nominated from the party with a majority seats in the House of Commons with approval of the monarch.

The main role of the cabinet is initiating legislation by introducing most of the bills in parliament.

The cabinet has a higher chance of influencing the house as they are given more time than other members during debates in parliament.


Conventions/political understanding that guides the cabinet

  1. A government that is defeated on a major issue or on a vote of no confidence is expected to resign. A government whose party has been defeated at a general election is obliged to resign immediately
  2. The cabinet is drawn from the house of commons
  3. The entire cabinet comes from the same political party except during a political crisis e.g. war.
  4. The advice offered by the cabinet must be accepted by the monarch failure to which a crisis can occur.
  5. All members of the cabinet take the oath of the privy. Councilors and are bound to secrecy.
  6. Members of the cabinet are collectively responsible for all decisions and actions taken by the government.


Importance of the cabinet

  1. It is concerned with the initiation, control and implementation of political policy
  2. It is the most important decision-making body
  3. It initiates most legislation and controls the legislative process
  4. It is responsible for the coordination of government activities. Ministers must implement cabinet decisions in their departments.


The Civil Service

The civil service in Britain is based on Northcote-Trevelyan Report which recommend

  1. Civil service to be a single organization rather than separate department
  2. Entry into civil services was to be based on merit
  3. A civil servant could be transferred from one department to another
  4. All civil service examinations are conducted by civil service commission

Britain had over 6 million civil servants by 2003.


Traditional principles or rules that characterize the British Civil Service

  1. Traditional anonymity. The Minister alone is responsible for the work of her department and gets credit for all that goes well and is criticized for the failures
  2. Civil Service impartiality. Civil servants are expected to serve whichever minister is in office without partiality
  3. Ministers make policies and civil servants execute the policies
  4. Assumption:- It is not the task of the civil service to initiate change or plan for the future lines of social and economic development.


Functions of the civil service

  1. Advising ministers on formulating policy and decision making
  2. Implementing government policy
  3. Keeping records
  4. Providing continuity in the government


The Legislature

The British parliament is made up of the Monarchy, The House of Lords and the House of Commons.

One can become a member of parliament in Britain through

  • Elections
  • Nominations
  • Inheritance
  • By virtue of office e.g. house of Lords


The Monarchy/Sovereign/crown

It is represented by the queen or king. He or she is the ceremonial head of state.

The monarch takes coronation oath to the effect that one is a faithful protestant. The sovereign is not answerable to any court of law and cannot be arrested.

They get yearly allowance from the public fund for personal expenses. The throne is passed from father to son or daughter.

The monarch serves a symbolic and ceremonial role in parliament


Functions of the monarch

  1. Enhancing national laws. Every law requires the approval of the crown
  2. The monarch appoints and dismisses administrative workers
  3. They manage the country’s foreign policy including enactment of treaties.
  4. Summoning proroguing or dissolving parliament
  5. Appointment of judges
  6. They can pardon people who have been accused of various crimes
  7. The monarch appoints bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Church. The monarch is the head of the Anglican church
  8. Conferringhonours to the people who have provided distinguished services to the state
  9. Inviting the leader of the winning party to form thegovernment
  10. Commander in chief of the armed forces
  11. The monarch is the legal head of state and a symbol of national unity.


Significance of the monarchy

  1. The monarchy gives some continuity to the executive policy
  2. It inspires the actual heads of government with a sense of responsibility and dignity
  3. The monarch acts as counselor to the real political head of state the Prime minister
  4. The monarch is the symbol of commonwealth unity
  5. The monarch sets standards for social life e.g. their presence at inauguration of scientific, artistic, industrial and charitable works of national importance ensures nation-wide interest and support.
  6. The monarch visits other countries ensuring better understanding between Britain and other nations and hence promoting unity


The House of Lords

It consists of 1200 members from the nobles and the clergy. They do not get a salary, but a sitting allowance.

One can become a member of the House of Lords through

  1. Heredity e.g. 9 out of 10 members of the Lords are hereditary peers.
  2. Virtue of their position in the society e.g. distinguished jurists in the archbishops and Bishops of the Anglican Church.
  3. By being appointed by the Monarchy.


Functions of the House of Lords

  1. Initiates routine and non-controversial bills which the lower house has no time to address
  2. It also amends, accepts or rejects bills in collaboration with the lower house.
  3. Holding Bills from the lower house long enough to seek public approval
  4. Questioning ministers about the activities of the government and debating on general issues of national policy. It checks the powers of the executive.
  5. Sitting as a court of appeal for criminal cases. The cases are presided over by the speaker of the house (Lord Chancellor)


The House of Commons

It consists of 650 members who are elected by the people (using secret ballot) for a period of five years.

The leader of this house aids the Prime Minister by virtue of his party having majority seats.

The Chief Officer is the speaker who is elected at the beginning of parliamentary sessions.

The term of the House of Commons can be shortened if the monarch dissolves the house.


Functions of the House of Commons

  1. It is the main legislative arm of the government. It makes and amends laws. The monarch and the House of Lords have powers to veto such laws.
  2. Controls finances. They determine the source of national revenue and how to spend it.
  3. Controls the executive. It can force the cabinet including the Prime Minister to resign by passing a vote of no confidence in the government.
  4. It calls attention to abuses in society and also demands the settlement of public grievances.
  5. It is a training ground for future leaders.


Doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy (Sovereignty)

  1. Parliamentary is the only institution that makes, amend and abolish laws without being vetoed by courts of law.
  2. Other institutions derive their power from parliament
  3. Parliament approves the government budget.
  4. Decisions made by parliament are binding for all and cannot be overruled or nullified by a court of law
  5. Parliament has power to remove an unpopular government from office.


Factors that limit parliamentary supremacy in Britain

  1. Whatever decision is taken by members of the House of Commons, they must consider the moral values of the British society.
  2. Public opinion – parliamentarians are sensitive to public opinion. An unpopular government may not be re-elected.
  3. Local authorities are empowered to make some by-laws without consulting parliament.
  4. The interests of the institutions are always taken into account before laws are passed in parliament e.g. church, university etc.
  5. A legislation passed by one parliament can be changed by a future one.
  6. International law is also taken into account when laws are made.


Advantages of Parliamentary government

  1. It prevents autocratic ruler coming to power
  2. It provides a public forum for the discussion of proposed laws
  3. It brings to light cases of mismanagement of funds and grievances
  4. It makes it possible for the electorate to judge the performance of their MPs and vote them out if they are not satisfied.
  5. Parliament controls government finances, forcing the government to publicly account for its expenditure


The Judiciary

It is an independent arm of parliament. Judges are not political appointees.

This helps the judiciary to check the powers of the executive and legislature.

The function of British judges is to apply the law before their courts. It also interprets laws made by parliament


How the independence of the Judiciary is ensured in Britain

  1. The salaries of judges are not open to discussion by parliament
  2. Judges are appointed on good behavior until retirement
  3. The retirement age is 75 years
  4. Judges can only be dismissed by a resolution from both houses.



India was a British colony up to 1947 when it gained independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi of the Indian Congress Party. He was India’s first Prime Minister.

India’s constitution was influenced by the British parliamentary system, but it is also federal which divides power between the central and state governments.

India is referred to as the largest democracy in the present world because of her large population.

The constitution of India allows for the formation of coalition government when there is no clear winner in the elections. Constitution was promulgated in November 1949 and took effect on 26th January 1950 (Republic Day).

New Delhi is the capital city of India.


Electoral process in India

There is an independent body that organizes and monitors the elections in India as the Electoral Commission of India (ECI). They use the secret ballot system.

Candidates are required to file nomination papers. They pay a deposit which is refunded if a candidate garners over 1/6 of the votes in the constituency.


Types of elections in India

  1. Presidential elections
  2. Parliamentary elections
  3. Regional governments

Presidential and parliamentary elections are held after every five years.


Political parties in India

  • The Congress Party which was the first party after independence. Jawaharlal Nehru was a prime Minster from this party.
  • The BharatiyaJanata Party
  • The Communist Parties of India (CPI(M) and CPI(M-L)
  • Regional Parties e.g. DravidaMunnetra


Functions of Indian government

India has a federal system of government and power is shared between the union and state governments which are in-charge of union territories.


  1. State Governments

They are headed by a governor who is appointed by the president

Each state has its own legislative assembly

The union government has total control over the state governments.

The executive power of every state is not allowed to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive power of the union


Responsibilities of state government

  1. Enacting laws of the state which should not contradict union laws
  2. Construction and maintenance of transport and communication network within the state
  3. Maintenance of security within the states
  4. Supervision of education within the states
  5. Regulation of commerce within the states


  1. Union Government

In India the government is a representative democracy comprising three organs namely:-



Parliament of the union is bi-cameral. It consists of two houses namely


Upper house/Council of states/ RaiyaSabha

The upper house consists of 250 members. The president nominates 12 members to the upper house. They represent special interests such as the arts.

The rest of the members to the upper house are elected by state legislature to represent each state in the council.

They serve a six year term. However their terms are staggered like in the USA senate so that ⅓ of the members stand for election every two years.

Any bill with the exception of a money bill can be introduced in either house.All bills must pass through both houses.

Upper house serves as a link between state government and the union government.


Lower house/House of people/LokSabha

Lower house has 545 members who are elected in the constituencies in the states.

There are 20 members to represent the union territories.

The speaker is elected from among the members.

The house must meet twice a year.

This house is more powerful than the upper house. It has several standing committees that supervise government operations including the budget.

The official languages of this house are Hindu and English.


Qualification required for one to be a Member of Parliament in India

  • Must be a citizen of India
  • For a seat in the upper house one must be 25 years and above
  • One must possess other qualification as prescribed under any law made by parliament


Functions of Parliament

  1. It is the supreme law making body
  2. It amends the constitution
  3. Prefer charges for impeachment against president in case he violates the constitution
  4. Has power to declare war and make peace with neighbouring states
  5. Approves the national budget
  6. Has power to declare highways and waterways to be national highways and waterways.


The executive

The executive power is vested on the president who is elected for a five year term.

The president is elected by an electoral college consisting of Mps and state legislative assemblies.

The vice president is elected for a five year term by both houses in a joint session

The vice president presides over the upper house of parliament.

The vice president takes over the presidency in the event of death, incapacitation, resignation or removal of the president through impeachment

In such an event, presidential elections must take place in six months time.


Conditions one must fulfill to be elected president

  1. One must be a citizen of India
  2. One must be 35 years and above
  3. Must be qualified for elections as a member of the house of the people
  4. Should not hold any office of profit under the government of India


Functions and powers of the president

  1. Power to dissolve parliament
  2. Power to declare an emergency in a state and rule that state by decree
  3. Power to assent or veto a bill. Veto can be overcome if both houses repass the bill.
  4. He is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces
  5. Power to appoint state governors and supreme court judges
  6. President is the symbol of national unity
  7. He has power to make regulations for certain union territories
  8. Appoints the Prime Minister who must be the leader of the majority party in the Lower House. He also appoints the lieutenant governor of Delhi
  9. He establishes special councils to arbitrate on inter-state disputes
  10. Nominates the twelve members of the council of states
  11. He is a member of the legislature
  12. He calls upon the leader of the winning party after elections to form the government.


The Prime Minister – Cabinet

The Prime minister swears and takes oath of office in the presidential palace.

After the oath the prime minster appoints a cabinet from the party or parties that forms the government

The ministers are then officially appointed by the president

Ministers in India must be members of parliament. The ministers form the Council of Ministers which is headed by the prime minister.

The council of ministers is answerable to parliament. Its main function is to advice the president. The cabinet meets once a week.


Functions of the cabinet

  1. Formulation and the coordination of all government policies
  2. To approve all proposals for the legislative enactment of government policies
  3. To recommend all major appointments
  4. To settle interdepartmental disputes
  5. To coordinate the various activities of government and oversee execution of its policies.


Functions of Prime Minister

  1. Heads the council of ministers and government
  2. Advises the president
  3. Represents India in international fora
  4. Communicates to the president all decisions of the council ministers.


The Civil Service

The civil service is under the prime minister. After independence the Indian government replaced the colonial civil service and named it the Indian administrative service (IAS)

The IAS is composed of people of proven talent and intelligence who are then provided with special training.


Functions of Civil Service

  1. Preparing agendas
  2. Keeping records
  3. Recovering decisions – going into the records to establish earlier decisions made by the government regarding a particular policy.
  4. Making follow-up on implementation
  5. Coordinating the various special committees of the cabinet.



There are union and state courts. All courts are manned by department of justice.

The highest court in India is the Supreme Court. The court is made up of a chief justice and 17 judges who are appointed by the president. The Supreme Court solves disputes between the union government and the state government.

The Supreme Court is the interpreter and guardian of the constitution. The court hears appeal cases that involve substantial interpretation.