Embu town is a major trading centre in Eastern Kenya. For a long time, it was the main economic center for the Aembu and the Ambeere people, as well as other groups of people in central Kenya. The Ambeere split from the Aembu in the 1990s and formed Mbeere District with its headquarters in Siakago, a dusty town about 25 Kilometers East of Embu town. It was founded in 1906 by the British settlers. It is now the provincial headquarters of the Eastern province, hosting major public provincial offices including Embu Provincial General Hospital.
The town of Embu, is known for its Jacaranda trees, that literally turn the municipality into a purple shower when in flower. The Jacaranda trees lose their green leaves and become solid purple when they bloom, usually in October-November each year, depending on the rainfall.
Embu Scout centre was constructed with the help of the Norwegian Scouts and Guides Associations. The centre that is located in the up market leafy environment of the town can host up to 200 Scouts camping on its ground. It also has a cafeteria that serves the open market. The accommodation rooms are free for hire; the conference hall and the boardroom also are free for hire. Modern trainers cubicles are also available.