History of Districts, Regions, Provinces and Counties of Kenya







A District is nothing more than a unit of administration. Therefore, Districts have existed since ancient civilisations.

Districts before Independence

Colonial rule in Kenya introduced the District as an administrative unit covering an area inhabited by a single language group for the most part. Districts were grouped together into larger units known as Regions.

Districts after independence

The colonial District system has remained in place in the last forty nine years with the unit being subdivided as populations expanded and urbanisation grew around the country. The system has largely been used and developed in the name of facilitating decentralisation of government services.

Counties under the New Constitution

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 has provided for an enhanced form of decentralisation known as devolution, dividing the country into 47 semi-autonomous units known as Counties.




1. Oduor, R (2011). "Ethnic Minorities in Kenya's Emerging Democracy: Philosophical Foundations of their Liberties and Limits", a thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Nairobi.


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