AO: This quote outlines three reasons why Kenya embarked upon retrieving its archives, which were held overseas.
Perhaps among all African countries, Kenya is the only country which embarked upon and executed a migrated archives retrieval programme successfully. The need to locate and retrieve Kenyan records held overseas stems from several factors. First, until the eve of independence, the country lacked a strong archival institution. During the colonial period, the collection and preservation of public records were accorded very low priority and thus many would-be public archives were lost. Second, in 1939, the then colonial secretariat in Nairobi was gutted by fire, destroying virtually all the records held by the government. Third, Kenya was among the few African countries which gained independence after a long armed struggle involving a group commonly referred to as the Mau Mau. On the eve of independence the imperial government opted to remove certain records from the country, arguing that it was not common practice for one government to hand over its records to a new government. Obviously, this was a direct attempt to hide the atrocities committed by the imperial government to a newly independent state." (2003, page 97)