Eldoret, Kenya

Sister City since 2000.

Liaison to Country: 

International Leadership Institute and Eldoret Town Council




Mayor/Governor: Jackson Mandago (Governor), William Rono (Mayor in 2018)

Miles/kms to Minneapolis: 

7992 mi/12,861kms




Amongst the popular tourist destinations in Kenya, Eldoret deserves special mention. The beautiful town of Eldoret is located in western Kenya and is also the administrative center of Uasin Gishu District of Rift Valley Province. Located south of the Cherangani Hills, Eldoret is now the fastest growing town in Kenya. It boasts to be the 5th largest city in Kenya today. The name Eldoret is derived from the Massai word 'eldore', which literally means stony river. The river bed of the Sosiani River is very stony, whence the town derives its name. Before the colonial era, the region was occupied by the Sirikwa, the Massai and the Nandi. The town came into being in the year 1910 with the construction of a post office on a site, which was known to the white settlers as Farm 64, 64 or Sisibo. The locals at that time referred to the town as Farm 64 or Sisibo because, the town of Eldoret was 64 miles away from the newly established Uganda Railway railhead, located at Kibigori. The farm was owned by Willy van Aardt. The Central Lounge in Eldoret is all that survives of Willy's farm. In the early 1900s, Eldoret saw a huge arrival of European and Asian inhabitants and traders. When the governor planned to build an administrative center, the Post Office was renamed from 64 to Eldoret, now the official name of the town (1912). Transforming into an administrative center led to advancements in trading activities within the city. A number of shops and banks were constructed. The extension of the Uganda Railway, from Kibigori toward Uganda, reached Eldoret in the year 1924, unleashing a period of prosperity and development. The year 1928 saw the introduction of the piped water supply from the Sosiani River. By the year 1933, Eldoret had a small airport of its own, which followed the construction of low-rental housing. The town, located in western Kenya on the Uasin Gishu Plateau west of the Great Rift Valley, is situated at an elevation of 6,857 feet (2,090 meters) above sea level with a healthy climate that attracts a variety of tourist from Europe. Eldoret is governed by a municipal council. The municipality is divided into thirteen wards. Six of them (Huruma, Kamukunji, Kapyemit, Kidiwa/Kapsuswa, and Stadium/Industrial, Market) are in Eldoret North Constituency, three (Hospital, Kapsoya and Kimumu/Sergoit) are in Eldoret East Constituency, and the remaining four (Kipkenyo, Langas, Pioneer/Elgon View and Race Course) are part of Eldoret South Constituency.


Eldoret serves an agricultural area; the chief crops are corn (maize), wheat, and pyrethum (a plant used in manufacturing insecticides). Cattle’s rising in the vicinity is important. Local industries include flour-milling and food-processing plants. Eldoret is a rail stop on the line running northwest into Uganda. It is the seat of a Roman Catholic bishopric and is home to Moi University (1984). The town is home to a large international floral and buyer/seller market, and Eldoret International Airport. It is also known for its cheese factory and major industries include textiles, wheat, pyrethrum and corn. The town has several factories.

Moi University has a student population of approximately 15,000. This institution serves as the primary training grounds for doctors and other medical professionals in Kenya.  The second medical school in Kenya, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), is also located in within the city limits of Eldoret Town. Eldoret Polytechnic, the third national polytechnic, is also located in the town as is the hometown of numerous legendary Kenyan runners; the most renowned is Kipchoge Keino. The high altitude is an ideal training ground for many middle and long distance athletes. As a hub for business, today Eldoret has the most banks and financial institutions in the region.  The city also boasts of more major telecommunication establishments than any other city in Kenya. Business opportunities abound in this region of Kenya.

Did you know?

*The name Eldoret comes from the Massai word 'eldare' meaning stony river. 

* The International Association of Athletics Federation founded a training center in Eldoret where Kenyan and other international athletes train in its unique high-altitude conditions.  These conditions turn out to be ideal for long distance runners.

* The Eldoret International airport is the 3rd largest in Kenya.  As of 2009, it facilitates flights by as many as ten separate national and international airlines transporting people as well as handling extensive commercial and cargo operations.

Why it is a Sister City?

Besides the Minneapolis area having a large number of Kenyans residing and working in America’s Midwest region, the two cities both have diverse industries and healthy climates for agricultural production, as well as educational opportunities for its citizens.

Sister City Event:

Fire Pumper Truck story from Star Tribune Newspaper.

Photo Gallery


Kenya, Nairobi US Embassy