Self-Build A Brighter Future

March 24, 2010

We’ve just come across a fantastic WordPress blog which ties in nicely with what we wrote about William Kamkwamba.

African Science Heroes (ASH) is in a similar vein to Afrigadget. Monday’s post featured another remarkable Malawian inventor, peasant farmer,  Mr. Frederick Msiska, of Nchenachena in the Henga Valley…

Frederick has accomplished so much with so little; just think what practically minded anarchists and libertarian thinkers  in developed countries could create if they could forget the usual political/ideological infighting and focus on real-world solutions to social, ecological and economic problems within their communities.

As the ASH article says…

In a contest on creativity and innovation, pitting the urban populace vs. the rural inhabitants in Africa, my experience so far suggests that the rural population would win hands down…by a long mile… And a majority of the African scientists that I interviewed echoed similar statements, that a rural and or a less privileged environment compels people to be more resourceful.  In town, if you need something, you save up and then buy it, out there in the countryside when you need something you make it yourself. Now if only we could support and harness this creative resourcefulness, steadfast determination, and imaginative innovation in a meaningful way that can make the lives of even just a few more people in Africa that much better. And by this I don’t mean a massive large scale project but something that will encourage, sustain and support such innovation to benefit communities.

Regardless of who we are or where we’re from, we massively dis-empower ourselves if we leave technology in the hands of ‘experts’ and ‘professionals’. If we truly desire a freer society we have to take responsibility for as much of our own lives as possible. Taking responsibility for their own technology can help individuals take back some power whilst simultaneously helping them to empower their local community.

You don’t even have to be a genius like Frederick to make a difference; in the UK the information and resources (usually in the form of other people’s junk) exist for anyone with access to the internet (and a dump) to begin projects with the potential to make an immediate difference to the local community – just take a peek at the Greywater Guerillas to see what can be done with some very low-tech tinkering.

Forget the election. It’s time for some practical politics 😉

*Make sure you check out the full article at African Science Heroes, it mentions Gabriel Kondesi, a Malawi boy who built his own pirate radio station!!!

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2 Responses to “Self-Build A Brighter Future”

  1. Are The working class are becoming The untermensch? http://wp.me/p5Xdy-Lh

  2. […] ties in nicely with what we said here, here, and here.  The media project is simply the first step to creating the world which we desire. The greater […]

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