n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Integrating indigenous knowledge into appropriate technology development and implementation

Volume 7, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Appropriate Technology (AT) implementation should foster community empowerment and sustainability. Successful implementation requires community engagement throughout - technology conceptualization, development, implementation, assessment and impact evaluation. Development professionals should be sensitive to socio-cultural context and respect local knowledge, part of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). IKS developed prior to modern scientific knowledge systems (MSKS), which followed colonization and "western" education. IKS are diverse, spanning ancient India, China, and the African continent. IKS encompass agriculture, food processing and preservation, water, health, and other aspects of life. IKS, context-specific intellectual resources, must be integrated into AT identification and evaluation, and directly engage the community. We examine selected IKS for agriculture, food processing and water, with examples from Sudan and India, where IKS has contributed to sustainable development. For the most part, MSKS have not exploited IKS for rural development. However, many ATs have roots in IKS, the incorporation of which has resulted in implementation success. IKS remain a largely untapped intellectual resource. Exploitation of IKS can provide some needed "innovation" for AT. To enhance sustainability of AT, existing IKS must be validated and integrated into AT. This will validate local community practices, provide context-specific development intervention loci, and result in greater probability of AT success.

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