The Kenya’s Capital Nairobi : The largest and capital city of Kenya is Nairobi. The term Enkare Nairobi, which means “place of cool waters” in Maasai and refers to the Nairobi River that runs through the city, is the source of the name. The nickname for the city is The Green City in the Sun. As a rail depot on the Uganda-Kenya Railway, Nairobi was established in 1899 by the colonial powers in British East Africa. The town expanded swiftly, and in 1907 it succeeded Mombasa as the nation’s capital. Nairobi became the nation’s capital following Kenya’s independence in 1963.The city developed as a hub for Kenya’s sisal, coffee, and tea industries during the colonial era. At an elevation of 1,795 metres (5,889 feet), the city is located in Kenya’s south central region.
The Kenyan Parliament Buildings are located in Nairobi, which is also home to tens of thousands of Kenyan firms as well as more than a thousand significant international businesses and institutions, including the United Nations Environment 7000Programme (UN Environment) and the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON). Nairobi is a well-known centre for commerce and culture. The second-oldest exchange on the continent and one of the biggest in Africa is the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). With a capacity of 10 million trades per day, it is the fourth-largest exchange in Africa in terms of trading volume. Additionally, it includes Nairobi National Park. In 2010, Nairobi became a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities.
The History of Nairobi
Nairobi’s current location was formerly a wetland that was uninhabited. The Maasai term for “cool waters” is where the name Nairobi itself originates, and it refers to the nearby cold water stream. Sir George Whitehouse chose the location for a store depot, shunting area, and camping area for the Indian labourers building the Uganda Railway when it first arrived. The site was recommended by Whitehouse, the railway’s chief engineer, as a prime resting location because of its high height, temperate climate, ample water supply, and location before the difficult ascent of the Limuru escarpments. His decision, however, was challenged by Protectorate government officials who thought the location was excessively flat, poorly drained, and largely barren.
Nairobi had 24,000 residents in 1921, 12,000 of them were African natives. Native African groups in Nairobi expanded throughout the ensuing ten years, and they for the first time started to make up the majority. The “Nairobi Problem” was a result of this expansion, according to Thorntorn White and his planning staff. Eric Dutton, a colonial officer, travelled through Nairobi on his way to Mount Kenya in February 1926.
After independence, Nairobi remained the country’s capital, and the city’s fast growth put strain on its infrastructure, leading to frequent power outages and water shortages.
The Kenyatta International Conference Centre, or KICC, opened to the public on September 11, 1973. The 28-story structure was created at the time by Kenyan David Mutiso and Norwegian architect Karl Henrik Nøstvik. It is the only publically accessible building in the city with a helipad. The KICC was the most environmentally friendly and conscientious building constructed in the 1970s. Its main frame was made of locally accessible gravel, sand, cement and wood, and it had spacious interiors that encouraged natural ventilation and lighting.
A few years earlier, in 1972, the World Bank approved funds for additional expansion of the then-Nairobi Airport (now Jomo Kenyatta International Airport), which included a new international and domestic passenger terminal building, the airport’s first dedicated cargo and freight terminal, new taxiways, associated aprons, internal roads, car parks, police and fire stations, a State Pavilion, airfield and roadway lighting, fire hydrant system, water, electrical, telecommunications and sate infra On the outskirts of Nairobi’s southwest, The Giraffe Centre is an animal refuge. It continues to breed the Rothschild’s giraffe, an endangered species.
The majority of lower-middle and upper middle class neighbourhoods can be found in the north central regions around the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including Highridge, Parklands, Ngara, and Pangani. The most notable ones include, among others, Avenue Park, Fedha, Pipeline, Donholm, Greenfields, Nyayo, Taasia, Baraka, Nairobi West, Madaraka, Siwaka, South B, South C, Mugoya, Riverbank, Hazina, Buru Buru
, Uhuru, Harambee Civil Servants’, Akiba, Kimathi, Pioneer, and Koma Rock to the center-east area.
The low-income neighbourhoods are mostly found in Nairobi’s far east. Umoja, Kariokor, Dandora, Kariobangi, Kayole, Ruai, Kamulu, Embakasi, and Huruma are a few of these. Though farther southeast, Kitengela suburb, farther southwest Ongata Rongai and Kiserian, and far west Ngong/Embulbul suburbs, also known as “Diaspora,” are all included in the Greater Nairobi Metropolitan region. Within the Nairobi Metropolitan region, both the formal and informal industries employ more than 90% of the city’s people. Eastleigh, dubbed “Little Mogadishu,” has also attracted a significant number of Somali immigrants.
Parks and Gardens within the City
Nairobi has a lot of green space and parks all across the city. There are lots of green spaces and dense tree cover throughout much of the city. Uhuru Park is Nairobi’s most well-known park. Both the Upper Hill suburb and the core business centre are bordered by the park. A gathering place for outdoor speeches, events, and rallies is Uhuru (Freedom in Swahili) Park. Former President Daniel arap Moi planned to demolish the park to make room for the 62-story headquarters of his party, the Kenya African National Union. But because to a campaign led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, the park was preserved.
The first president of Kenya’s memorial, located in Central Park, is next to Uhuru Park. The Moi Monument, which was erected in 1988 to honour the second president’s first ten years in office, is also located here. Jeevanjee Gardens, City Park, 7 August Memorial Park, and Nairobi Arboretum are a few further noteworthy public areas. When it comes to making judgements on urban planning, the colonial 1948 Master Plan for Nairobi continues to serve as the guiding principle. 28% of Nairobi’s land was designated for public space in the Master Plan of the time, which was created for 250,000 people. However, due to the city’s rapid population expansion, the vitality of many of its public spaces is now in danger.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), one of Africa’s biggest stock markets, is located in Nairobi. In 1953, the London Stock Exchange formally accepted the NSE as an international stock exchange. The exchange ranks fifth in terms of Market Capitalization as a percentage of GDP and fourth in terms of trading volumes in Africa. A number of multinational corporations and groups have their regional headquarters in Nairobi. The city was the new home of the African headquarters of General Electric, Young & Rubicam, Google, Coca-Cola, IBM Services, and Cisco Systems in 2007.Headquarters for UN Environment and UN-Habitat can be found at the United Nations Office in Nairobi.
Nairobi serves as the home base for a number of the biggest businesses in Africa. Nairobi is home to both KenGen, the largest African stock outside of South Africa, and Safaricom, the largest firm in Kenya by assets and profitability. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi serves as the hub for Kenya Airways, the fourth-largest airline in Africa.
The FinTech wave that has swept the globe has not ignored Nairobi. A few tech companies that have been at the forefront of innovation, cloud computing, and technology include Craft Silicon, Kangai Technologies, Lensoft, Jambo Pay, and Hostraha Limited. Their goods are widely used and hold a substantial market share both inside and outside of Kenya.
Nairobi offers a lot of open spaces for recreation. The Nairobi National Park, which situated on the city’s southern edge, is the biggest. Uhuru Park, Central Park, John Michuki Park, Nairobi Arboretum, City Park, Uhuru Gardens, Jeevanjee Gardens, Karura Forest, Ngong Forest, and Ololua Forest are a few additional recreational areas and protected wood.