Adaptive re-use of historic building and community development: the case of Mikindani Old Boma - Tanzania

Kigadye, Fabian S. (2012) Adaptive re-use of historic building and community development: the case of Mikindani Old Boma - Tanzania. In: ICOMOS 17th General Assembly, 2011-11-27 / 2011-12-02, Paris, France. [Conference or Workshop Item]


Download (544kB)

Abstract (in English)

Mikindani is a fascinating old town in Southern part of Tanzania with winding streets and an interesting blend of thatched mud houses and coral stones influenced by foreign architecture. Mikindani was an important trading centre as far back as the 15th century and the famous explorer David Livingstone quoted it in his diaries as being "the finest port on the coast". Since then its fortunes have fluctuated but it still reflects its multicultural Arabic, African and European history. The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, entered in an agreement with the British Non Government Organization “Trade Aid” on leasing of a historic building famously known as “Old Boma”* to be used for community development projects. In the year 1996, the building was a derelict ruin and within the collaboration of the Government and Trade Aid, the building has been restored into a comfortable hotel with modern facilities, while retaining its original features and charm. This hotel has created full time jobs and is an important training ground for a wide variety of jobs associated with the hotel industry, tour guide and community developments and has provided income for local fishermen, farmers and other traders. Moreover, it has attracted stream of visitors to the town and investments related to tourism industry in the town. Its restoration has accelerated the rehabilitation of other historic building and hence the town has rejuvenated. The built heritage of this historic town has been a catalyst for its development.

Mikindani est une ville historique du sud de la Tanzanie fascinante, avec ses rues tortueuses et son intéressante combinaison de chaumières en terre et pierre de corail, résultat de l’influence des différentes architectures étrangères. Mikindani était au XVème siècle un important pôle commercial. Le fameux explorateur Livingstone l’a même décrit dans son journal comme « le plus beau port de la côte ». Depuis cette époque, la ville a connu diverses fortunes mais elle reflète toujours une histoire multiculturelle mêlée d’influences arabes, africaines et européennes. Le gouvernement de la République unie de Tanzanie a passé un accord avec l’organisation non-gouvernementale britannique Trade Aid pour l’affermage d’un bâtiment historique célèbre, l’Old Boma, visant à le réutiliser pour des projets développement local. En 1996, le bâtiment n’était plus qu’une ruine, mais grâce à la collaboration entre le gouvernement et Trade Aid, il a pu faire l’objet d’une restauration et a ainsi été transformé en agréable hôtel moderne, tout en conservant ses caractéristiques et son charme originels. La reconversion en hôtel a permis la création d’emplois à temps plein, et le site constitue un terrain de formation adéquat pour toute une palette de métiers liés à l’industrie hôtelière, aux visites guidées ou au développement local, et a ainsi induit des revenus pour les pêcheurs, agriculteurs et autres commerçants de la région. Il a permis d’attirer des flots de visiteurs dans le centre historique, ainsi que des investissements pour les infrastructures touristiques de la ville. Sa restauration a permis d’accélérer les processus de réhabilitation d’autres bâtiments historiques, contribuant ainsi au rajeunissement la ville. Le patrimoine bâti de Mikindani a ainsi servi de véritable vecteur de développement.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Kigadye, Fabian S.
Languages: English
Keywords: Buildings; Restaoration; Historic landscapes; Towns; Traditional architecture; Preservation ; Cultural heritage; Old town; Stones; Streets; Houses; Architecture; Development; Projects; Built heritage; Mikindani; Tanzania
Subjects: A. THEORETICAL AND GENERAL ASPECTS > 07. History of conservation
C.ARCHITECTURE > 03. Styles of architecture
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 12. Historic towns and villages
J.HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Old Bama building, Mikindani, Tanzania
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2011, 17th
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2012 12:46
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2012 12:46
References: 1. ArchiAfrika Newsletter “Conservation Special Edition” of May 2009

2. Besha R. 2009. The Impacts of Policies and Practices on the Protection of Old Building in Urban Historic

Centres. The Case of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Unpublished Masters Dissertation Ardhi University. Tanzania

3. Birabi, K., International Urban Conservation Charters: Catalytic or Passive Tools of Urban Conservation Practices

Among Developing Countries. Makerere University, Kampala, 2007.

4. Bixter A. 2001, Journal of Architectural Conservation No. 2. July 2001

5. CRATerre-ENSAG/Convention. Cultural Heritage and Local Development, France-UNESCO-2006

6. English Heritage, 2008. Conservation Principles Policies and Guidance. The sustainable Management of the

Historic Environment. London UK

7. Fielden, B, Conservation of Historic Buildings, Butterworth and Co. (Publishers) Ltd, London, 1982

8. Holliday, J, City Centre Redevelopment, Charles Knight and Company Ltd, London, 1973.

9. ICCROM Conservation Studies No.5. Legal Frameworks for the Protection of Immovable Cultural Heritage in

Africa. ICCROM Rome Italy.

10. Kamamba, D, Conservation of Dar es Salaam, Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of

York, Great Britain, 1990.

11. Kigadye F.S. “The Impacts of Architectural Conservation Practice In Tanzania: The Case of Dar es Salaam

Architectural Conservation Area” Ardhi University. Dar es Salaam Tanzania

12. Kyessi, A, Community Participation in Urban Infrastructure Provision, Spring Centre, Dortmund, 2002.

13. MLHSD, Government Notices, Orders, Technical Instructions and Circulars Commonly Referred to in Pursuance

of Human Settlements Development, Human Settlements Division, Dar es Salaam, 1999.

14. Rodwell, D. Conservation and Development in a Historic City, Donhead Publishing, UK, 2004.

15. Tamla, S, Conservation of Historical Towns along East African Coast (Tanzania), Unpublished PGD Dissertation,

UCLAS, Dar es Salaam, 1997

16. Tiesdell, S, Oc, T and Heath, T. Revitalizing Historic Urban Quarters, MPG Books, Great Britain, 1996

17. United Republic of Tanzania. Antiquities Legislation of 1964 with its amendment of 1979 No.10.

18. United Republic of Tanzania, National Human Development Policy, Government Printer, Dar es Salaam,

Tanzania, 2000

19. UNESCO 2007: Challenges for the Millennium World Heritage, WHC- Paris France

20. US ICOMOS 2001, Managing Change: Sustainable Approaches to the Conservation of the Built Environment.


21. Warren J. Worthngton. J & Tylor S.1998. Context: New Building in Historic Settings. University Press of York


Actions (login required)

View Item View Item



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics