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Kenya mulls first underwater museum in sub Saharan Africa

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Kenya is planning to build first underwater museum in the Coast region a move its says will be a major boost in the country’s economy and in line with the blue economy’s vision.

Dr Caesar Bita, Head of archeology at the National Museum Kenya says the project will help boost tourist numbers in the area.

The museum, which is set to be built at the site of a shipwreck at Ngomeni, a historical fishing village in the North Coast, will be Africa’s educational centre for underwater archaeology.

“We are trying to develop projects that relate to blue economy, and that are cultural. Cultural heritage is one of the biggest attractions in Kenya. We have many tourist attraction sites near and under the sea,” said Dr Bita.

He added, “underwater heritage is unexploited, and the museum will provide an opportunity for both local and international tourists to enjoy the discoveries.”

Underwater museums are becoming major tourist attractions and Kenya now wants to tap into the industry. In eastern Africa, only Madagascar has ratified the Unesco 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

Last year March 11, Unesco and the Kenyan Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, together with the NMk raised awareness on the ‘Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Tourism Development in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands.

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