Kenya Literature Bureau

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Kenya Literature Bureau
East African Literature Bureau
State owned corporation
IndustryPublishing house
Founded1947; 73 years ago (1947)
FounderBritish High Commission

The Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) is a publishing house and state corporation in Kenya founded in 1947. It is located in South-C off Popo Road in Nairobi.


KLB was initially established by the British High Commission in 1947 as the East African Literature Bureau, to publish books for the general public in Kiswahili, East African vernacular languages and English.[1] This regional status continued after independence with the establishment of the East African Community (EAC). In the early 1970s the Bureau published many pioneering anthologies of English-language poetry from East Africa:

It is significant of East African writers' indifference to political boundaries that such anthologies were all compiled, without a single exception, on an inter-territorial basis, with Kenya and Uganda supplying the greater part of the material. They [were] often multiracial as well, incorporating contributions by European and Asian writers.[2]

However, in 1977, the EAC collapsed and the reins of the bureau were transferred to the Kenyan Ministry of Education thereby making it a department under that ministry. In 1980, the KLB Act was passed by the Kenyan Parliament making it a state corporation—a status it holds to this day.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The Kenya Literature Bureau Bill, 13th May 1980". Kenya National Assembly Official Record (Hansard). LII. Republic of Kenya. 1980. pp. 811–14. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  2. ^ Albert S. Gérard (1986). European-language Writing in Sub-Saharan Africa. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 913. ISBN 978-963-05-3834-3. Retrieved 18 November 2012.

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