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  3. : Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits

UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

: Utilising Marine Cultural Heritage in East Africa to help develop sustainable social, economic and cultural benefits

Disclaimer: The data for this page has been produced from IATI data published by UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Please contact them (Show Email Address) if you have any questions about their data.

Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020

IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--GCRF-AH_R005443_1


The Rising from the Depths network will identify how the tangible submerged and coastal Marine Cultural Heritage (MCH) of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar, and its associated intangible aspects, can stimulate, ethical, inclusive and sustainable growth in the region. The multidisciplinary project team (experienced in challenge-led research and KE in ODA environments) will determine ways in which MCH can directly benefit East African communities and local economies, building identity, stimulating alternative sources of income (reducing poverty), and enhancing the value and impact of overseas aid in the maritime sector. East Africa is undergoing a period of profound change as the economy of the region gains momentum, driven by changing internal dynamics and by external interests. The region's maritime zone is central to these developments with offshore exploration for oil and gas deposits driving investment, coupled with major financing of new and established ports to facilitate trade with the Gulf countries. In addition to aid and investment from both the UK and other western governments, China and Saudi Arabia are funding major infrastructural and development projects across the region. While these developments have the potential to realise short-term economic, developmental and employment benefits, there has been little consideration of the impact of this work on the region's submerged and coastal heritage. Nascent maritime research in East Africa is just beginning to reveal the extent of maritime cultures and traditions across the region as well as the evidence for wider maritime activity that connected this coast to the broader Indian Ocean region. The sea in East Africa is a connector, a facilitator of communications, a supplier of resources that sustains life and an environment that is rooted in the belief systems of coastal peoples. For millennia this coast has been embedded within broader political and socio-economic domains, and witness to multiple migrations, invasions and trade activity. Its port towns and cities were intrinsically connected to a wider mercantile maritime world, ensuring it became one of the most culturally dynamic and diverse regions throughout history. It was, and continues to be, a region of continuous transformation and subject to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers of change. Development agreements very rarely take account of cultural heritage even though access to it is considered a fundamental human right. East African counties currently have little capacity to protect or explore their rich maritime heritage and, as a result, the socio-economic potential of MCH has yet to be realised. Worse, while the submerged resource is being impacted by marine exploitation, commercial salvage and offshore industry, the coastal resource is being threatened by building and development work as well as climatic and environmental change and even some green-energy projects. MCH is a fragile and finite resource, which once destroyed can never be recovered. This project will establish and maintain a transboundary and cross-sector network of arts and humanities-led researchers, government officers, scientists, policy makers, UN officials, NGOs, ICT professionals and specialists working in heritage, infrastructure and the offshore industry, to consider in what ways MCH can create long-lasting social, economic and cultural benefits in the region. The project will identify new opportunities and methodologies for arts and humanities research in an aid context and add value to coastal infrastructure and offshore development projects. Key mechanisms of engagement will be through the co-production of a Research and KE Framework, Innovation Projects and KE activities. The nations of coastal East Africa have aspirations to transform themselves into a thriving maritime gateway of trade and investment. The past has an active role in not only informing this development but in helping drive it.


The Rising from the Depths Network aims to identify how the tangible submerged and coastal Marine Cultural Heritage (MCH) of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar, and its associated intangible aspects can stimulate ethical, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region, of benefit not only to building social cohesion and reducing poverty in individual states, but also in enhancing the value and impact of overseas aid in the maritime sector. To achieve these aims we will meet the following 9 inter-linked objectives: 1. Create an inclusive network of arts and humanities researchers, community groups, heritage professionals, NGOs, scientists, UN officials, government policy practitioners, coastal developers, offshore companies, overseas aid specialists, ICT specialists and artists drawn from the diverse components of MCH. It is intended that this network will exist beyond the funded project 2. Co-create an East African MCH Research and KE Framework, through consultation and collaboration with local communities, project partners and stakeholders, leading to the commissioning of a series of challenge-led co-produced Innovation Projects with clear pathways to produce sustainable stakeholder benefits 3. Empower researchers with mechanisms of engagement that enable an exchange of ideas, an acknowledgement of challenges and sharing of best practice with community groups, industry (national and international) and policy makers (national and international) 4. Provide a detailed analytical and qualitative overview of the MCH of East Africa, high-lighting sustainable socio-economic opportunities and exemplar activity as well as identifying the threats and pressures facing the resource 5. Deliver an open-source online Useable Past platform for East African MCH (hosted by UNESCO and created in collaboration with 3deep Media) which can be used by stakeholders in East Africa and beyond to access and utilise their MCH heritage. Outputs and content will be co-curated in partnership with museums in the region, through our British Museum Africa Programme collaboration, to integrate MCH and the resources of the platform into their activities and displays. The platform will also provide a focal point for wider research collaborations dealing with heritage in development contexts 6. Build capacity to protect, utilise and enhance the potential of MCH. This will be done by empowering coastal groups and local organisations through workshops, skills-training, funded Innovation Projects and open-source access to educational resources on the Useable Past platform to engage in creative sustainable economic activities based around MCH 7. Generate a step-change in the ambition and academic profile of Marine Cultural Heritage, establishing it as an interdisciplinary field of research with major social, economic and cultural significance. The creation of the next generation of early career researchers, through the inclusion of 3 PDRAs and 10 CDA-style PhD students within the management and execution of the project, is key to this objective and will ensure that impact continues beyond the current funding phase. (9 of the PhDs are international, all are funded by participating HEIs) 8. Demonstrate the under-appreciated role MCH could play in development aid success (and the success of private instruments for development) particularly in relation to coastal infrastructure and offshore extraction projects 9. Establish 'best practice' methodologies in harnessing the potential of the submerged and coastal MCH in developing countries to stimulate and promote ethical, inclusive and sustainable growth. This will be done by reviewing the project using 'theory of change' and human rights-based approaches throughout the project with a specific focus on understanding how specific social groups fail to benefit from development activity.

Status - Implementation More information about project status
Project Spend More information about project funding
Participating Organisation(s) More information about implementing organisation(s)

Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.


A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.

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