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Imperialism and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2020

Cultural Imperialism

The cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa were greatly influenced by the presence of Europeans such as Germans, British, Italians, and French. Certainly, the societies of Sub-Saharan Africa were exposed to other non-Sub-Saharan communities before the Europeans came to Africa and mainly exposed through trade, but exchange of culture among them also took place. Some societies in these regions converted to Islam after coming into contact with Arabic settlers and traders. However, the level and speed of change of culture in Sub-Saharan societies increased massively after development of imperialism and settlement of Europeans in Sub-Saharan regions. Huge population from various cultures occupied some regions in Africa which led to introduction of some new ideas and technologies (Louw, 2001, p.85). Missionaries brought changes in religion and new settlers introduced new labor and land activities. All these different changes brought about the modern societies which exist in modern Sub-Saharan Africa.

The colonialists introduced new technology, changed permanently the labor practices and traditional settlement, and introduced new religion in the region. The Europeans as well were accompanied by other settlers from their other colonial controls and Indians were the most evidently group which accompanied Europeans. Even though Indian merchants had visited Sub-Saharan regions in the past, no noticeable settlement had taken place in the region. The Europeans introduced and spread Christianity which, even though it had been introduced in the region earlier, had never been widely spread in Africa. Other than spreading Christianity, these missionaries from Europe also manipulated and altered Sub-Saharan culture in different ways. They introduced and taught European methods in churches, hospitals, schools, and in other fields which would have a continuous influence on the Sub-Saharan Africa.

Even after being set free from European management, Sub-Saharan people found it hard to go back to their pre-colonial practices and cultures. For better or worse, Sub-Saharan regions have been changed permanently by their past events and influences. While the arrival of new ideas, technologies, people, and religions to Sub-Saharan regions could be seen as an important way to improve the lifestyles in African societies (Onwudiwe, 2003, p. 45). However, there were influences caused by European imperialism that were conclusively awful. Among these awful alterations were the changes in practices related to land usage and labor management. However, after some strict policies and punishments were taken away, Sub-Saharan people maintained these policies of labor and land usage. Labor and land practices have been permanently altered and these practices have improved when compared to their pre-colonial activities.


Sub-Saharan and other regions in Africa have benefited from new and improved technology since it helps in improving lives of the people and should not be undervalued. Most people in these regions are able to purchase commodities online and send massages to sponsors for support. They can also send emails all over the world and receive messages instantly as a cheapest and quickest means of communication (Mutula, 2004).

Progressively, technology has been used currently in Africa for production and importation of significantly required information. Information has a great influence on the economic, cultural, and political development and it has been approximated that around 80 percent of information on Sub-Saharan Africa exists in databases. African economies have improved due to emergence of new technologies since they are used to access markets (Asunka, 2008). They have used it to access and obtain useful information and this is only attainable through information technology systems.

The ability of Sub-Saharan Africa to get involved dynamically in the new international economy and to respond to several political and social issues, which it experiences, relies greatly on the intellectual ability and knowledge of its personnel, mainly in business and science technologies. Hence, there is intense need in these regions to have experienced and skilled professionals who can handle and apply new technologies to improve their daily practices.

The emergence of technologies in Sub-Saharan regions has positively affected the management systems of governments. Most people have utilized online systems to spread information and this freedom has affected the way governments in Sub-Saharan countries are addressing some issues. Some social network sites have contributed to power revolution in some countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. Political campaigns have taken different angle where people are using media, bill boards and other means to influence people to vote for them.

The lifestyles of people in many societies have changed through introduction of new technologies in schools, hospitals, and other areas mostly accessed by the people. Several traditional practices have been removed and substituted by these quickest and reliable technologies (Jain, 2009, p. 15). Luckily, the appearance of some powerful institutional influences such as the democratization and information revolution of ideas is altering the international economy through influencing the association of trade, competition, commodities, and markets.

The emerging economies in Sub-Saharan countries have an opportunity to leapfrog over particular weighty development stages and challenges to accelerate the growth process. The education systems, which provide technological development with the essential abilities, should be addressed or serviced. Sub-Saharan Africa has connected with other regions in the world to offer internet to their people (Asunka, 2008). Computer literacy and other issues, related to computer technology, are requirements in application of internet technology.


Asunka, S. (2008). Online Learning in Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghanaian University students’ experiences and perceptions. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(3): 12-18.

Jain, T. (2009). Impact of New Technology in Africa. New Delhi: FK Publications.

Louw, E. (2001). The Media and Cultural Production. London: Sage.

Mutula, S. (2004). IT diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications For Developing and Managing Digital Libraries. New Library World, 105: 281-289.

Onwudiwe, E. (2003). Afro-Optimism: Perspectives on Africa’s Advances. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

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