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Kiribati

The Republic of Kiribati is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. The country's 33 islands are scattered over 3800 km around the equator. Its name is pronounced /kiribas/ and is a Micronesian transliteration of the former English name for the main group of islands, the Gilbert Islands.

Republic of Kiribati
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: 'Maaka te atua, karinea te uea; mataku i te atua, fakamamalu ki te tupu (I-Kiribati[?]: Fear the God, respect the king)
Official language English
Capital Tarawa
PresidentTeburoro Tito[?]
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 172nd
717 kmē
0%
Population
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 195th
94,149
131/kmē
IndependenceJuly 12, 1979
Currency Australian dollar
Time zone UTC + 12
National anthem Teirake Kaini Kiribati[?]
Internet TLD.KI
Calling Code686

Table of contents

History Main article: History of Kiribati

Since 1892, the Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate together with the Ellice Islands[?]. They became a colony in 1916 and autonomous in 1971.

In 1978, the Ellice Islands became independent as Tuvalu, followed by Kiribati in 1979. Following independence, the United States relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island which became part of Kiribati territory.

Politics Main article: Politics of Kiribati

The parliament of Kiribati, called Maneaba ni Maungatabu is elected every four years, and consists of 36 representatives. The president is both head of state and head of government, and is called Beretitenti.

Each of the 21 inhabited islands has a local councils which takes care of the daily affairs.

Districts Main article: Districts of Kiribati[?]

Kiribati is divided into 6 districts:

Geography Main article: Geography of Kiribati

Kiribati consists of three archipelagos; the Gilbert Islands (16 islands), some 1500 km north of Fiji, the Phoenix Islands[?] (8 islands), some 1800 km southeast of the Gilberts and the Line Islands (9 islands), about 3300 km east of the Gilberts. The Line Islands also include Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll, but these are administered by the United States.

The islands are:

Most of the islands are atolls that hardly rise above sea level. The thin soil means little vegetation is present and agriculture is difficult.

Economy Main article: Economy of Kiribati

Kiribati has few natural resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports.

The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets.

Tourism provides more than one-fifth of GDP. Foreign financial aid, largely from the United Kingdom and Japan, is a critical supplement to GDP, equal to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years.

Demographics Main article: Demographics of Kiribati

While English is the official language, I-Kiribati[?], a Micronesian language, is widely spoken. Christianity is the major relgion in the country, although mixed with many practices of the indigenous religions.

Miscellaneous topics

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