Breaking the African Technological Code


Much like Mining, Civil, Construction, Family or Road Codes, the Technological Code can be conceived of as what regulates technologization processes. It reveals and orders reality as resources to be mobilized and optimized for development purposes. It is constituted of sedimentary layers of beliefs, values, morals, interests, prejudices, clichés, taboos, prohibitions and power relations.


The Technological Code (a new epistemic STI paradigm?) is co-constitutive of mindsets and worldviews that largely determine the conditions of possibilities and the rate or form of technological engagement with reality.


The overall effect of the African Technological Code is illustrated with the following slide.

The code varies from country to country and needs to be subjected to and irrigated by the destructive / constructive universalizing pressures of scientific knowledge – an overriding STI challenge.


Breaking the Code necessitates not only learning or acquiring new and effective knowledge but also, and more importantly and perhaps paradoxically, it necessitates ‘unlearning’ traditional ways of thinking and systems of beliefs. This is the most important challenge facing Africa in its difficult transition to modernity.


The code needs to be liberalized / unlocked, creating a clearing for rational / empirical / scientific ways of understanding, doing and being. It needs to be made transparent and evolve towards enabling more open attitudes to technology uptake and development.