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Turkana University College joins prehistoric archeological project

The Turkana University College has officially joined the project “Consolidating the Future through Mastering the Deep Past” (CONFMAP).

The project funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, aims to improve access to palaeosciences for marginalized populations while raising awareness among the Kenyan public on the value of the prehistoric archaeological heritage of Turkana County.

Led by Archaeologist, Sonia Harmand, the project was launched on April 27 with all partners of the project namely the National Museums of Kenya, the Turkana Basin Institute, French Institute for Research in Africa and the French Embassy in Nairobi.

Ten years ago, Sonia Harmand and her team discovered in the Western region of Lake Turkana the oldest tools in the history of mankind dating back to 3.3 million years.

This discovery constitutes an exceptional breakthrough and places these archaeological sites among the most important sites of the humanity heritage.

In 2019, Cyril Gerardon, Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs at the French Embassy visited the Turkana University College in Lodwar (Turkana) with Dr. Isaiah Nengo (Turkana Basin Institute) on the invitation of Sonia Harmand.

Following this visit, an idea emerged to set up a project, funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, to improve access to palaeosciences for marginalized populations while raising awareness among the Kenyan public on the value of the prehistoric archaeological heritage of Turkana County.

Over the next two years, various activities will be implemented including Kenyan students, especially women and Turkana benefitting from consolidated and adapted training in archaeology and cultural tourism.

The “Master of Science in Evolutionary Biology” of the Turkana University College will be strengthened.

A new certificate to train local guides in archaeology will be set up. Awareness programmes on archaeology will be implemented with the prehistoric clubs of the primary and secondary schools and a traveling photographic exhibition will be set up.

ConFMap is a great opportunity to increase access to quality knowledge in palaeosciences and the Turkana University College is looking forward to the successful realization of this promising project.

By Peter Gitonga

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