Is Technology Eroding African Culture?

The world continues to marvel at the simplicity that technology has brought into our lives. We cannot deny the fact that life moves smoother and quicker due to sophisticated tools and machines that surround us. Technology is one of the most significant advancements in globalisation. Through globalisation western norms and practices have spread across the globe making them the dominant manner in which we behave.

Globalisation has generated a high level of criticism with regards to the impact it has had on culture. Digital developments in Africa have happened at a remarkable pace. In the past 10 years with the declining cost of hand sets, the amount of people who own a mobile phone has increased. From developments such as mobile banking and social networking, Africa has undergone a revolution with regards to the manner in which information is shared.

Africa is rich when it comes to its indigenous knowledge, cultural teachings, norms and values. In the absence of modern science and technology Africans did numerous things such as a distilling alcohol, preserving corpses, astronomical observation, and healing of diseases through herbs and roots.  Some are therefore of the opinion that western technology has reduced the value of African cultural knowledge and teachings. Young people are viewed as being particularly vulnerable to the growing importance of technology. Africans are for example traditionally conservative when it comes to issues such as sex. Through technological devices, young people can now easily access pornographic material, electronic games, films and literature that are explicit or violent. (Lumun, 2013). For some this has led to moral decay.

Through the growing importance of technology, Africans have opened themselves up to other cultures and their ideas and values. Technology has also generally made it easier for people in the continent to communicate and interact. On the negative side the increased relevance of technology has led to the introduction of values that clash with existing indigenous African values.


Featured image — Old technology | crabchick | flickr

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Best of Africa.

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1 thought on “Is Technology Eroding African Culture?

  1. I would say yes, to some extent, technology is eroding our African culture. I feel our youngsters growing up in the technology era are missing out on interactions with people, especially elders, who enlightened us on cultural and moral expectations. These discussions and life lessons were normally happening in the evening, usually after dinner. Today, instead of human interaction, individuals would rather engage with their phones, television, and other technological devices and platforms. I am not diminishing the fact that they may learn something from these technological interactions, but one thing for sure is that these lessons will not be cultural specific.

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