Towards the Creation of Technological African: The Imperative of A “New Philosophy”
Cultural pluralism leads to diverse forms of technology and scientific models; and certain cultural forces can either impede or enhance the development of science and technology in any given society. Africa seems not to consider seriously these cultural elements in her bid for scientific and technological development. Our special issue therefore, aims at showing that the effort of Nigeria, and indeed Africa, towards the creation of technological African society vis-à-vis technological and scientific development reveals that Africa is still dormant. This is because, given the meaning of technological development, as scientific knowledge applied to practical (especially industrial) purposes, contemporary African is increasingly unable to cope with his or her social, political and economic problems. Yet, a social, political and economic evolution is underway. This threatens the African’s identity and might make the continent unmanageable and literally uninhabitable. The contemporary and traditional Africa is incapable of coping with this evolution judging by the level of his or her technological development. That is to say, the technological Africa will not be a new ruling class equipped to perform a new role based on new sources of power, namely, western science. On this, we summits that, science and technology confer power, but ruling classes perform political roles, not scientific or technological roles as such. The technological Africa will not be a new ruling class neither will it bear new personality type: hyper-rational, objective, and manipulative. He has to retain his Africanness; the technological Africa must be Africa if he is to be really technological. He will not and cannot be imagined to be trading his own personality for a different one. It must not become the rationalistic, instrumental, hard-nosed human beings of the West, or the economic man of the classical economist” or even the emotional African of the Negritudeans. Indeed, man must emerge naturally from his context. So he needs not be a new biologically type artificially created. Such a development would mean that the technological Africa had not emerged naturally from his context and African civilization would consequently fall prey to its own creation. To make for an authentic technological Africa, it is submitted that it must be an African who will be in control of his own development within the context of a meaningful philosophy of the role of technology in human evolution. He will be a new cultural type, so to speak, that will leaven all the leadership echelons of society. That is to say, the technological Africa will not only be man at home with science and technology; he will also dominate them rather than be dominated by them. The question now becomes; how can one possibly lay down a future African philosophy of technology for general acceptance? This question becomes more pertinent when one recalls that such dominant world views as traditional Christianity, orthodox Marxism, and classical liberalism have clearly failed to provide a rationale for dealing with the existential identity evolution of the contemporary western world. Can a new African philosophy achieve this?