Technology and Innovation in Africa

A picture of a man playing an electric guitar. The guitar’s body is made out of an old Castrol oil can, which has been painted with South African colors (black, green, and red).

After the introduction of oil cans by European settlers, South Africans began to incorporate them into their culture in various ways, such as for the body of an electric guitar. (Original photograph by Karen McAllister on flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2014



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Course Features

Course Description

What do technology and innovation mean from Africa? This is the central question of this course, which tackles a double absence: Of the meanings and role of technology in African history, on the one hand, and of Africa's place in the global history of technology, on the other. This course alternates between technologies from outside and technologies from within Africa and their itineraries in everyday life, and it is designed to provide students with grounded understandings of technology in Africa for intellectual and action-oriented purposes.

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga. STS.089 Technology and Innovation in Africa, Fall 2014. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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