Africa (Re)invented:Africa's Innovative Past

From (Re)Brand Africa Sat Dec 29 2012, 18:01:00

Maker Faire Africa: African Invenmtion fair in Ghana 2009 (Photo credit: whiteafrican)

I can't recall the number of times I have heard people say 'nothing' was invented in Africa or that Africa never contributed anything to modern civilization. Naturally, this statement is far from the truth but is still a popular lingering stereotype about Africa. Although 'western' centered (Eurocentric) history has taught us that Africa was a dark continent that was underdeveloped until the European man 'civilized' it, this is not the case.

Africans had a different way of living that was not understood or valued during the period of renewed foreign contact with Africa. Africans were just as creative and innovative as any other civilization. Assessing the continent's history provides insight as to why there is little knowledge of Africa's innovative past, why there have been periods in Africa's history where few inventions occurred, and why their hasn't been much recognition for African inventions where they did occur. The idea that Africa was a place where no innovation occurred though needs to be debunked and reassessed.

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