Central Province (Kenya)

Kenya's Central Province covers the area around Nyeri to southwest of Mt. Kenya (see maps). It is the ancestral home of, among others, the g.e.m.a communities . According to the 1999 Census the province had a total population of 3,724,159 inhabitants for an area of 13,191 km².


The climate of Central Province is generally cooler than that of the rest of Kenya due to the region's relatively higher altitude. Rainfall is fairly reliable, falling in two seasons, one from early March to May and a second during October and November.

General information

Central Province is a key producer of coffee, one of Kenya's key exports. Much of Kenya's dairy industry is also based in this province. The province's headquarters are in Nyeri. Central Province was divided into seven districts (wilaya'at) until 2007 :
District Population Capital
Nyandarua   479,902 Ol Kalou*
Nyeri 661,156 Nyeri
Kirinyaga 457,105 Kerugoya
Maragua 387,969 Maragua
Murang'a 348,304 Murang'a
Thika 645,713 Thika
Kiambu 744,010 Kiambu

Districts after 2007

Several new district were created in 2007 in Kenya, including four in Central Province.

District Capital
Gatundu Ol Kalou
Kiambu East Kiambu
Kiambu West Limuru
Kirinyaga Kerugoya
Maragua Maragua
Murang'a North Murang'a
Murang'a South Kenol Trading Centre
Nyandarua North Nyahururu
Nyandarua South Engineer Trading Centre
Nyeri North Chaka
Nyeri South Nyeri
Thika Thika


The majority of the communities that now inhabit Central Province are of Eastern Bantu heritage and are believed to have migrated into the region in the 17th century. These communities chiefly consist of the Agikuyu, Aembu and Meru.

During Kenya's colonisation by the British, much of the province was regarded as part of the 'White Highlands' for the exclusive use of the settler community. Thus it was prone to a lot of political activity from the local communities who felt that they had an ancestral right to the land. This culminated in the 1950s with the Mau Mau rebellion that saw the region placed under a state of emergency and the arrest of many prominent political leaders.

See also


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