The Republic of Kazakhstan is situated at the heart of Eurasia and is the worlds 9th largest country. When Kazakhstan became independent in the unstable days of December 1991, few people thought the country would achieve as much as it did in its first 20 years. Instead of disintegrating, Kazakhstan’s economy became one of the fastest growing in the world, and the country has built a robust political system of presidential and parliamentary democracy with its media and NGOs enjoying a growing voice and role in shaping the society.
Kazakhstan is located in the centre of the Eurasian continent and it’s the biggest landlocked country in the world. The Republic of Kazakhstan is a unitary state with a presidential form of government, which gained independence on December 16, 1991.
As an independent state, Kazakhstan inherited both positive and negative legacies from the former Soviet Union. On the upside, Kazakhstan was a relatively industrialized economy with developed infrastructure, high levels of literacy, skilled and educated labour force.
The downside factors included a lack of traditions in democratic governance, no experience in living under a market economy, significant risks of domestic confrontations along ethnic, religious or ideological lines, terrible environmental problems brought about by the Soviet military programmes and careless management of natural resources.
Kazakhstan is home to many different nationalities and faiths, all united by a common history. This variety of tradition, heritage and language is treasured by the people of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who believe there is much truth in the Japanese saying: “You can survive without your relatives; you cannot survive without your neighbours.”
The people of Kazakhstan are proud of their diversity. Century after century, generation after generation, Kazakhstan has always sought to encourage friendship and tolerance among its people.
Currently around 130 nationalities populate Kazakhstan. Around 66% are Kazakhs, 21% are Russians and the remaining 13% constitutes Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Germans and Tartars. The predominant religions are Islam and Christianity.