When did Kenya become independent?

Kenya became an independent state on 12 December 1963. Kenya's legal status as an independent nation was provided for by section 1 of the Kenya Independence Act 1963, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. That Act provided, "On and after 12th December 1963 (in this Act referred to as 'the appointed day') Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom shall have no responsibility for the government of Kenya or any part thereof."


On independence, Kenya became a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II as head of state. All duties of the Queen were exercised by the Governor-General of Kenya. Though Kenyan citizens ceased to be citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, they remained British subjects by virtue of their citizenship in a country that was a member of the Commonwealth.



On 12 December 1964, major amendments to the Kenyan constitution came into force. The amendments provided for the governance of Kenya as a presidential republic. Elizabeth II ceased to be head of state and the position of Governor-General was abolished. The British Parliament enacted the Kenya Republic Act 1965 to provide that Kenya's status as a republic would not affect Kenyans' status as Commonwealth citizens and British subjects.