From Ethiopia to Uzbekistan - the Federal Foreign Office's cultural preservation programme is safeguarding cultural heritage across the globe:
Cultural Preservation in Kenya
Since 1984 the German Embassy in Nairobi has been providing funds of over 185,000 EUR for several cultural preservation projects, i. e.
- the restauration of the former German post office in Lamu
- the setting up of a museum for local history in Malindi
- the promotion of the Trust for African Rockart TARA
- the restauration of the Krapf Memorial in Mombasa (see below)
- the support of the Swahili Heritage's publication of a Lamu book (see right)
- the renovation of one of the roofs of the National Museum in Nairobi
Opening of the Krapf Memorial Heritage Park in Mombasa
The Krapf Memorial Heritage Park in Mombasa, originally constructed shortly after 1844, has been renovated in the last two years by the National Museums of Kenya with funds donated by the German Embassy.
The park commemorates the life and activities of the German pioneer missionary, explorer and linguist, Dr Johannes Ludwig Krapf, the first "German Ambassador" in East Africa.
Krapf's main contribution, which has shaped the life of many East Africans in general, is threefold:
First, there is Krapf's contribution as an explorer, discoverer and aventurer. He was one of the few Europeans who managed to travel through the hinterland of East Africa. On one of these adventurous trips he became the first European to see Mount Kenya.
Second, there is his work as a linguist: seeking to build a bridge of communication between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe he not only wrote the first grammar of Swahili but also adapted the Roman script to write Swahili, which had up till then been written in the Arabic alphabet. Hence Krapf might be considered as the father of Swahili linguistics. It is instructive that his Swahili dictionary was the first comprehensive Swahili dictionary ever to be written.
Last but not least, all these activities were grounded in his missionary work: his efforts to introduce and spread christianity in East Africa.
The graves opposite the pillar across the road are those of his wife Rosine Dietrich Krapf, their infant daughter and two other Christians who died in Mombasa.
Here is Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette's speech at the opening of the Krapf Memorial on October 18, 2009:
Opening speech: Inauguration of the Krapf Memorial in Mombasa - 18.10.2009