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Getty East Africa
In order for museums in East Africa to fulfil their civic responsibility to preserve cultural heritage and to engage audiences, staff need to feel confident in their professional skills, secure in their employment and motivated to achieve excellence.
In November 2009, the Getty Foundation awarded the British Museum a grant to undertake a scoping study to provide a detailed survey and evaluation of current training provision in the region.
The Africa Programme team visited more than 40 east African museums and associated heritage organisations. Key areas identified for future training included permanent exhibitions and temporary displays; the care of collections and preventive conservation, and visitor engagement and public programming.
- Margaret Trowell School of Art, Makerere University, Uganda
- National Museums of Kenya
- National Museums of Tanzania
- National Museum of Uganda
- Zanzibar Museums
Map of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania showing the locations of key partner organisations
Mohammed Hassan Ali (Lamu Museum) showing Juma Ondeng (National Museum Kenya) around Takwa Ruins, Manda Island, Kenya August 2011
The Getty East Africa Programme
In June 2011 the British Museum’s Africa Programme received a major grant from the Getty Foundation to develop and deliver a training programme in East Africa. A series of workshops in core museum skills will be offered to key staff in the national museums of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda over a three-year period.
The main objective of this programme will be to create a network of dedicated museum professionals in both national and regional museums with the requisite skills to preserve, maintain and present their collections for future generations. The training will be delivered from regional museum training hubs in Mombasa and Kisumu in Kenya by a joint team of British Museum staff and East African colleagues.
It is hoped that the programme will help build capacity in the region’s museums and encourage long-term commitment to the heritage profession.
The Uganda workshop team at the National Museum of Uganda, April 2011
Building community partnerships in Kampala
As part of the East Africa scoping study a pilot workshop entitled Museum Connections: Visitor Engagement and Reaching Out took place at the Uganda National Museum in Kampala at the end of April 2011.
The workshop was attended by staff from institutions included in the scoping survey who had expressed an interest in participating in the project: the Uganda National Museum, the Bank of Uganda Museum and Makerere University. The team comprised Africa Programme and British Museum staff and a colleague from the National Museums of Kenya.
The workshop tested potential training techniques and workshop structures as well as offering practical support to colleagues in developing links with local communities. Participants explored methods of engaging people with objects, identifying stakeholders, creating networks and developing effective publicity materials.