Rift Valley Province

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Rift Valley Province of Kenya, bordering Uganda, is one of Kenya's seven administrative provinces outside Nairobi. Rift Valley Province is the largest and one of the most economically important provinces in Kenya. It is dominated by the Great Rift Valley which passes through it and gives the province its name. According to the 1999 Census, the province covers an area of 173,854 square kilometres (42,960,000 acres; 67,125 sq mi) and has a population of 8,786,300 inhabitants (2007),[citation needed] making it the largest and most populous province in the country. The capital is the town of Nakuru.

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Geography

The Great Rift Valley runs south through Kenya from Lake Turkana in the north and has several unique geographical features, including the Elgeyo escarpment which is a popular tourist attraction.

Apart from the Rift Valley itself, the area has other important geographic features such as: the extinct volcanoes Mount Longonot and Mount Suswa and Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Magadi, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, the Suguta Valley, and Lake Turkana.

Economy

The highlands provide adequate rainfall for farming and agriculture which is the economic base of the residents of the Rift Valley. Tea from the highlands in the Kericho district enjoy a world wide reputation, but horticulture is an important part of the district's economy and cattle raising is also practised to a large extent.

The full economic potential of the Rift Valley region is, however, far from fully exploited and the current growth in population and improved education will hopefully change this in a near future. People in the province are still mostly rural, but urbanisation is gradually increasing; new cities and towns contain the rural-urban migration and, provided the right policies are instituted, the Rift Valley province will be able to emerge as a national economic and cultural hub.

Ethnicity

The people of the Rift Valley are a mesh work of different tribal identities, and the Kalenjin and the Maasai are two of the best known ethnic groups. Most of Kenya's top runners comes from the Kalenjin community. The Maasai people have the most recognizable cultural identity, both nationally and internationally, and serve as Kenya's international cultural symbol.

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