Africa has the world’s oldest record of human technological achievement: the oldest stone tools in the world have been found in eastern Africa, and later evidence for tool production by our hominin ancestors has been found across Sub-Saharan Africa. The history of science and technology in Africa since then has, however, received relatively little attention compared to other regions of the world, despite notable African developments in mathematics, metallurgy, architecture, and other fields.
Yet today after centuries of manmade disasters and an extended period of over 4000 years of a slave trade holocaust, she is struggling to keep pace with other parts of the world.however according to a recent Guardian newspaper online publication, “Africa is in the throes of a technological revolution, leapfrogging computers in favour of internet connections through mobile phones. A fifth of the continent now have access to a broadband connection, a figure predicted to triple in the next five years.
But how are phones and the internet changing the lives of ordinary Africans? And what barriers do people still come up against when trying to connect?”
a survey of statistics on the continent’s mobile and other technologies growth over the last two decades presents a clear picture of the impact of these recent technologies on almost every aspect of the growth and development of the continent. From the mobile money banking an transfer system in East Africa the Mpesa,a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, launched in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom to digital learning in Rwanda ,digital Farm data access provided in many countries jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s country assistance programs and even the use of high tech mining and geodesy surveys ; the continent is fast catching up with recent trends in technology with Most of it is in economic development initiatives.
The Use of Technology in Mining Sector
according to “The Deloitte report of 2015 pointed out that mining companies could make, and to a certain extent are making, use of technologies that cut across sectors, and by so doing secure the future of mining. These technologies have the potential to change the face of mining, although the initial crossover gains may be difficult to achieve.They include:
► Networks. Mines share their operational data with suppliers through sensors and onboard computers on mining equipment, with the possibility of eliminating all unplanned maintenance
► Machine learning. As autonomous machines and automation takes off, the machines will be capable of improving their performance / learning. Ultimately, mines could be fully autonomous, and controlled from a central hub in which staff are located
► 3D printing of critical parts on mine sites
► Modular equipment which can be constructed closer to site
► Genomics. Advances in this field have the potential to lead to successful bio-extraction and bio-remediation technologies
► Wearables. Personal protective equipment (PPE) with embedded sensors has the potential to track fatigue, alert people to the presence of machines, and direct mine services such as water and ventilation to specific parts of a mine
► Hybrid airships. This innovation, pioneered by Lockheed Martin (Mining.com, n.d.) and companies
outside of mining such as Solarship, is aimed at overcoming the problems associated with inhospitable terrain and remote sites. It could open up new ways of transporting mining equipment > Energy alternatives and energy-aligned work cycles to both reduce costs and increase flexibility.”Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metalology