Futures of Technology in Africa

Seminar date: 
19 May 2011
15.30 - 17.00u
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Seminar room: 
3A06 (third floor)

Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing a period of rapid technological change. The mobile phone is the first infrastructure that has affordably and reliably reached all corners of the continent, and data and money transfer networks are piggy-backing on this development. But fundamental changes are also taking place in other technology-intensive sectors including energy, transport infrastructure and agriculture. These changes will fundamentally affect the activities of businesses, governments, academics and NGOs. Technology will be an enabler for more efficient markets, for spreading and collecting information, for trading and for accountability. However, not all the changes will be positive and the same technology is likely to have disruptive effects as well.

In this seminar, Jasper Grosskurth will present the findings of a three-year project on the ‘Futures of Technology in Africa’ and discuss their implications for other Africa-related research. His research project is based on visits to six African countries, interviews on location, a number of participatory workshops and a wide network of experts.

‘Futures of Technology in Africa’, Jasper Grosskurth, STT publishers (2010) available for free download at www.stt.nl/AfricanFutures