Monday, April 10, 2006

Innovative Technology in Africa

White African blog writes: "there are three main areas of web technology innovation in Africa, three regions that define it...These three countries are Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. They represent the power nexus of Africas technological future."

This excerpt is from his post- "African Technology Powerhouses", where he discusses the "recognized technology leaders in their region".

Not that I have any objections to his post; however, I think Rwanda probably deserves a mention, not only because of their innovative, ground breaking, and award winning venture into cheap energy- biogas, Rwanda achieved this feat just a couple of years after going through one of the most horrific genocidal calamity in African history.

"The award winning Kigali institute of Technology [KIST]is a prime driver of Biogas techonology, their 'Centre for Innovations and Technology transfer'... has designed and built a 150m3 fixed dome digester in Cyangugu prison that is fed with human waste generated by 1,500 prisoners...has also solved the sewerage and hygiene problem at Lysee de Kigali School by providing a 25m3-Fixed Dome digester connected to 6 bio-latrines. The methane gas produced is used to cook for 400 students and for operating bunsen burners in the school science laboratories..."-- Timbuktu Chronicles: KIST Rwanda, Biogas.

I believe Africa's technological breakthrough lies more in the innovation and emergence of sustainable and/or cheap technology that can be replicated continent-wide with very minimal friction and easier adaptation. The biogas venture in Kigali prison and school is just one of them. The ability to create value from what seem worthless, and even repulsive, is nothing but sheer bliss and worthy of replication by other African nations.