Kenya is granted independence

Kenyan Flag

Thursday, 12 December 1963

Kenya gained its independence from Britain with Jomo Kenyatta as the country’s first Prime Minister. The Union Jack was replaced by the black, red and green flag of the new nation. This followed the first all inclusive elections on 27 May 1963. A year later Kenya was declared a Republic.

The campaign for independence in Kenya dates back to the 1940s before Kenyatta became the leader of the Kenya African Union (KAU) in 1947 and birth of the Mau Mau rebel movement. In 1952 in response to the Mau Mau rebellion, the government declared a state of emergency which lasted for eight years. During the state of emergency a number of Mau Mau operatives, including Kenyatta and Achieng Aneko were arrested. In 1953, Kenyatta was charged with leading the Mau Mau rebellion and sentenced to seven years in prison.

When Kenya became a Republic on 12 December 1964, Kenyatta was named Kenya's first president, with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga as his vice-president.

• The New York Times,"Kenya Gains Independence",From: The New York Times,Available [Accessed : 25 November 2013]

Last updated : 09-Dec-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 23-Nov-2011

Support South African History Online

Donate and Make African History Matter

South African History Online is a non profit organisation. We depend on public support to build our website into the most comprehensive educational resource and encyclopaedia on African history.

Your support will help us to build and maintain partnerships with educational institutions in order to strengthen teaching, research and free access to our content.