Attitudes towards the Environment and Technology in Africa


It can be argued that the attitudes of a population, a people or a community towards the environment are not the same everywhere and this has consequences for science and technology development.  Some communities, such as many animist African communities, tend to see themselves as part of the environment, living with and close to nature, and in total dependence to its whims.  For these communities the environment is something to be respected and veneered not something to be exploited as inanimate material objects. 


Other communities, on the contrary, particularly those of Judeo-Greco-Christian origin, tend to see themselves as above nature, created in the image of God and thus supernatural in some ways or at least not part of nature but separate from it.  Mental programs and mind-sets arising from the former attitudes may minimize material needs and may be far less prone to exploit the environment through science and technology to satisfy these needs than the latter. 


The fundamental interactions between the attitudes of populations towards the environment and technological development may partly explain, among many other important causes, why many Africans still live pretty much as their ancestors were living thousands of years ago and why science and technology has not been developed and utilized to foster their socioeconomic development.