How technology is building a better Africa

Posted on September 11, 2015 12:00 am

Future technology must be a never-ending work-in-progress.And that has been well illustrated by evolution of mobile money based payments systems like M-PESA.My elementary school teacher taught us that we would never have seen the electric lamp if Edison had not been persistent enough to try until his 100th light bulb.I vividly recall the blonde teacher who was raised in Newcastle in Melbourne, Australia, was a daughter of a scientists who once gave a speech at our elementary school and emphasised to us that were it not persistence, the scientific world would never have discovered nuclear power if they had felt contented with hydroelectricity.It was keeping the discontent in their soul that gave birth to nuclear energy thanks to searching for new alternatives out of the jigsaw puzzle.It doesn’t mean that mankind isn’t allowed to relax for a while and enjoy their progress in science and technology, but mankind shouldn’t be satisfied with their progress now without moving another step forward.The true satisfaction of science means enjoying our dissatisfaction and disbelief towards science.There is a quote in scientific world that says “The real purpose of the scientific method is to make sure nature hasn’t misled you into thinking you know something you don’t actually know.”

Over the past half a century, science and technology has rapidly developed and had a great impact on human life. Everything in our life deals with science and technology. Human beings are the ones taking advantage of this phenomenon. However, there are some criteria that need improvement in order to realise a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world with science and technology.Me think we should make science and technology an actual problem solver. We encounter a problem, the problem forces us to think more, and finally we solve the problem with a tool called “science and technology”.Unfortunately, there are a number of divisions of science and technology that do not lend to practical solutions for mankind.Take the example of fuel driven automobiles.The investors like Henry Ford and others at the time thought that this was the best technology they’d ever come up with.Vehicles could easily take people wherever they wanted to go.But take a closer look at the sector few decades later the story was different.They solved problems by creating another problem.On the positive side, they helped humans travel long distances.

But on the negative side, they emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide, resulting in the greenhouse effect and global warming which endangers the earth and human life.This is not what future science and technology should be.They should not be “band-aid” solutions for regions like Africa that has immensely benefited from development of technology.Science and technology have to be the real problem solvers in Africa, which solve problems without creating new problems. Generally, as scientific from Pretoria South African recently told me, Science and technology is built by the culture of dissatisfaction and disbelief.All over the world, toddlers learn to walk, run, and talk because they want to improve themselves.As the Pretorian told me, it is expressing dissatisfaction by pushing hard to gain what they want.In Africa, me think science and technology should only be applied under the right conditions, and under the appropriate laws.Not more, nor less. As the old adage goes, medicine is good for those who are sick but it is a poison for those who are not sick. Science and technology should only be applied under the right conditions in order to be equitable.

In my own thinking, African governments shouldn’t force small-scale farmers to use expensive tools even though they are high technology ones.It means African countries must apply science and technology under the right conditions.They have to provide people with so-called “appropriate technology” which is more viable to them.Science and technology should also be regulated by laws. Otherwise, they will create chaos.Science and technology should be applied only when and where there is responsibility.Science and technology has made life easier, simpler, and more enjoyable in African countries and has made great contributions to millions of lives.However, there is still room for improvement if the continent is to realise a more equitable, prosperous and sustainable Africa in the future.African countries should be eager to lead science and technology to fulfil the requirements of being actual problem solvers of their own problems and not wait for copy and paste solution from other parts of the world, being a never-ending work-in-progress, and being applied under the right conditions and the appropriate laws.It is simpler terms, science and technology can improve life for Africa if Africans work to improve science and technology.

Contador Harrison