The role of fort Jesus museum in socio-economic development of the people of Mombasa, Kenya
Mazibuko, Lovemore C J
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the role played by the Fort Jesus Museum (FJM) in the socio-economic development of the local community. Specifically, the study aimed at identifying the financial spillovers of the museum as a centre of tourist attraction to the local communities and singled out six major business activities that the local communities are . involved in to earn a living from tourism. It examined how economic activities around FJM have helped to create employment for the local community, hence contributing to their socioeconomic development and those of their families. It also looked at the efforts being pursued by management of FJM that are aimed at helping the local businesses maximize the benefits they derive from the museum through tourism. Data for the research were collected using questionnaires which were administered to the target population. Stratified random sampling was used to select respondents. Purposive sampling was used to select respondents from the museum professionals. Focus group discussions involving the local community and museum staff were also conducted. Data were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively. In order to capture the research objectives, the study was guided by the assumption that the problem of elite capture, where the richest and most skilled people are able to cash better than others, thus bringing imbalance in the distribution of benefits, does not exist. The findings have revealed that the museum mostly contributes indirectly to the socio-economic development of the people. The major contribution from the museum is that it is a centre of tourists' attraction, which, in turn provide market for business activities run near Fort Jesus. In certain cases, these businesses have also created employment for scores of the people from the community, hence contributing to their socio-economic development. On recommendation, the author proposes that similar studies be conducted to find out to what extent other museums and heritage sites such as Jumba La Mtwana and Gede contribute to the people's livelihood in the surrounding areas. These studies, if well conducted and documented, may form a basis for requesting the Government of Kenya to consider increasing financial allocations to NMK in view of the institution's contribution to the socio-economic development of the people and poverty reduction in general.