SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN DEVELOPMENT
The concept of science and technology
The concept of development
The role of science and technology in development
Transfer of technology
Issues related to science and technology in Tanzania
What is science?
Science is a broad grouping of disciplines containing many different areas that are all linked together by a single concept, the scientific method.
The scientific method represents an investigative method based on observation, deduction, hypothesizing and experimentation that can be applied to all areas of life.
The term “science” can generally be defined as a branch of knowledge dealing with phenomena of the universe and their laws.
Science can also be defined as a systematic, objective search for understanding of the natural and human world. Science is a body of knowledge developed by cultures which provides methods or means to control the environment, extract resources, produce goods, as well as services and improve the quality of life.
Through scientific methods, science can broadly be categories into three groups, each contains numerous of disciplines
Formal science – Pure science
Natural science – Applied science
Social science – Life science
Represents those disciplines that deal with symbols and theoretical ideas and their applications in the real world. Its inclusion as a science as often been contested. Aspects of formal science are used in all scientific disciplines, it includes computer science, mathematics and statistics.
Is the science which uses the scientific method to understand nature and the physical world. Natural science and its disciplines are sometimes referred to as “HARD SCIENCE” by their proponents. Natural sciences include biology and zoology.
Is the science which studies societies and their interactions within themselves. It could be on individual basis or group basis. The social sciences include anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Social sciences are referred as “SOFT SCIENCE”.
Characteristics of Science
Science is logical (utilizing the appropriate form of logic) reasonable, and rational
Science makes well defined claims based upon the best available evidence
Science hypothesis must be falsifiable
Science experiments should be repeatable under similar circumstances.
Science enquires that claims be examined by qualified peers.
Science requires caution, both in performing experiments and in examining and evaluating evidences.
Science requires efforts at objectivity, both in control of variables and bases.
Science does not accept incidences or unlinked or unproven correlations as proofs.
Science does not accept nor accept undocumented anecdotal evidence as good proof by it self.
Science elements are extraordinarily good evidence for extra ordinary unconventional claims.
Science assumes that the laws of Nature are Universal, if relative
Science demands the use of the scientific method and truthful reports
The purpose of science is to find order in the chaos of natural phenomena. Science attempts to represent nature as simply and accurately as possible, with natural law description of how nature behaves
Science describes the “how” but does not attempt to explain, the ‘why’ of nature. It makes no attempt to establish the true and absolute “nature of things”. This later activity belongs to the province of Religion.
Science then, is a METHOD. It is a method for the organized investigation of nature.
What is Technology?
Technology is all around us. It is part of our daily lives. Technology is the way people use resources to meet their wants and needs. For instance, people have invented beds to meet their need, which is comfortable sleep.
They have invented refrigerators and stoves so as to meet their needs of storing and cooking food. They have invented cars, buses trains and aeroplanes to meet their need to move fast from one place to another.
(According to the Cambridge International Dictionary) ‘Technology is the study and knowledge of practical, (especially industrial) use of scientific discoveries.’
The functional meaning of technology however, means a body of tools, machines, materials, techniques and processes used to produce goods and services in order to satisfy human needs.
Technology can also be defined as application of scientific knowledge to solve practical problems and archive human goals. In other words technology is “know-how”, while science is “know-why”.
Science produces knowledge, while technology produces wealth / development by using knowledge produced by science.
Science generates ideas, while technology is its material embodiments.
The term “technology” comes from “techne” or ways and “logos” or knowledge. Thus technology literally, means the knowledge of how.
The Historical Background of Technology
The historical background of technology can be traced back since human existance in this world. Therefore the technological background goes hand in hand with human history and development.
The history of technology is the history of invention of tools and the techniques of using them, and is similar in many ways with the “history of humanity”. Background of knowledge has enabled people to create new things, and conversely, many scientific endeavors have become possible through technologies that assist humans to travel to far distant places, and probe the nature of the universe in more detail than our natural senses allow.
Technological artifacts are produces of an economy, a force for economic growth, and a part of every day life. Technological innovations affect and are affected by, a society’s cultural traditions. They also are a means to develop and measure our technological progress.
Many sociologists and anthropologists have created social theories dealing with Social and Cultural Revolution. Some like Levis H. Morgan, Leslie While, declare technological progress to be the primary factor driving human civilization. Technology advancement takes different phases,
Early technology – Created things like: agriculture, writing, fire making and manipulation used since the pale Eolithic.
A variety of stone tools
During the Stone Age, all humans had a life style which involved limited use of tools and few if any, permanent settlements
The first major technologies were ment for the survival of man, ie. hunting and fruits gathering from forests. Fire, stone tools and weapons and clothing, were technological developments of major importance during this period.
Involved the adoption of iron smelting technology. It generally replaced bronze, and made it possible to produce tools which were stronger and cheaper to make than bronze equipment.
It was the growth of ancient civilization which produced the greatest advancement in technology and engineering advance which stimulated other societies to adopt new ways of living and governance.
Medieval technology in European around middle ages.
Industrial revolution – This was the British Industrial Revolution which implies advancement of technology in areas of textile manufacturing, mining, and transport driven by the development of the steam engine.
19th Century Development The preserved Rocket
The 19th century saw astonishing advancement in transportation, constructions and communication technologies in Europe, especially in Britain. The steam engine of 18th century was applied in both steam boat and railway transportation. Then arised the Rocket locomotive of Robert Stephenson being the first localmotive used on the transportation line.
20th Century Developments
Water supply and distribution
Radio and television
Air conditioner and refrigerators
21st Century Developments
In this century, technology is being developed even more rapidly, especially electronics and biotechnology.
Components of Technology
Zeleny (1986) points out that technology consists of three interdependent, co-determining, and equally important components. These are:
Hardware: The physical structure and logical layout of the equipment or machinery that is to be used to carry out the required tasks
Software: Knowledge of how to use the hardware in order to carry out the required tasks
Know – how: The learned or acquired of a technological skill regarding how to do things well. Know – how may be a result of experience, transfer of knowledge, or hand on proactive. People acquire technical know how by receiving formal or informal education or training, or by working closely with an expert in a certain field.
Brain ware: Reasons for using technology in a particular way. This may also be referred to as “know why”
Classification of Technology
Technology can be classified in several ways. The following classifications are important in establishing a common vocabulary for the ensuing discussion in this book.
New Technology: A new technology is any newly introduced or implemented technology that has an explicit impact on the way a company produces products or provides services. One example is new computer software introduced to develop engineering drawings and thus replace manual drafting. Another example is an internet website designed to market the company’s products. The technology does not have to be new to the world, only to the company.
It could have been developed years ago and used by others, but it is classified as new whenever introduced for the first time in a new situation. New technology has a profound effect on improving productivity and maintaining a competitive business enterprise.
Emerging Technology: An emerging technology is any technology that is not yet fully commercialized but will become so within about five years. It may be currently in limited use but is expected to envolve significantly. Examples of emerging technology include genetic engineering, non technology, superconductivity, and the internet as a replacement for the personal computer.
Emerging technology creates new industries and may make existing ones obsolete. They have the potential of triggering large changes in institutions and society.
High Technology: The term high technology refers to advanced or sophisticated technologies. High technologies are utilized by a wide variety of industries having certain characteristics. A company is classified as high – technology if it fits the following descriptions (Larsen and Rodgers, 1998; Mohrman and Von Gin Low, 1990).
l It employs highly educated people. A large number of the employees are scientists and engineers.
l Its technology is changing at a fast rate than that of their industries.
l It completes with technological innovation
l It has high levels of research – and – development expenditure.
l It has the potential to use technology for rapid growth and its survival is threatened by the emergence of competing technology.
Some high technology companies may be working with technologies that are “Pushing the envelope”. These technologies are referred to as “Super – high technologies”.
Low Technology: The term low technology refers to technologies that have permeted large segments of human society. Low technologies are utilized by a wide variety of industries having the following characteristics:
l They employ people with relative low levels of education or skills.
l They use manual or semi-automatic operations.
l They have low levels of research expenditure (below industry average).
l The technology base used is stable with little change.
l The products produced are mostly of the type that satisfy basic human needs such as food, shelter, clothing and basic human services.
Medium Techology: As used in this text, the term medium technology comprises a wide set of techonogies that fall between high and low technologies. It usually refers to mature technologies that are more amenable than others to techology transfer. Examples of industries in these categories are consumer products and the automotive industry.
Appropriate Technology: The term appropriate technology is used to indicate a good match between the technology utilized and resources required for its optimal use. The technology could be of any level – low, medium or high. It goes not make sense, for example, to use high technology, when there is a lack of necessary infrastructure or skilled personnel.
This is a dilemma faced by many developing countries that want to transfer technology used in more industrialized countries. They may push for acquisition of high technology in cases where a medium – level technology would be more effective. Utilizing the appropriate level
of technology results in better use of labour resources and better production efficiency.
Relationship Between Science & Technology
Before explaining the relationship between science and technology, it is important to identify the differences.
It’s purpose is to explain the natural world through intellectual investigation.
It is a critical “realist ” stance, things in the world as they are (Lopez and Potter, 2001)
A Scientist, interrogates the real thing in order to explain it.
Science is “truths”, specific truth.
Its purposes is intervene in the world in order to produce something.
Technology is a process “ontology” so it challenges the critical realist notion of “ things ” exist as “ such! ”
Therefore, from the technological point of view, we are both creators of material world of technology in clear and tangible ways, and also symbolic creators of “ natural ” world.
Technological knowledge doesn’t attempt to make claims of truth in the same way as knowledge does, instead it has its refences to science.
It is a process of function.
What validates technological knowledge is therefore “success” and not “truth” However like science, the success of technological knowledge is determined within technological practice by experts within the domain of the technology. Technological practices are situation specific, and therefore the diverse and variation depends on the context and people involved in the endevour.
How they relate?
Scientific knowledge and the methodology applied provide a major source of input into the development of technological practices and outcomes. They are also key tools in the establishment of explanations of “why technological intervention, were or were not successful.”
In short, it can provide powerful explanations for the “why” and “why not” behind a technological intervention. However, interventions rely on more than an understanding of the natural world, they can only provide partial justification of technological practices and outcomes.
Technological practices, knowledge and outcomes can provide mechanism for science to gain a better view of it in defined world, and in fact it can provide serious challenges to defining the world. For example, the development of technological art crafts that extends the observation capabilities of humans (such as telescope and explain microscope) made visible and available new areas for science to interrogate.
Local technologies existed before the advancement of technologies in the production process in the industries, in agriculture, fishing and communication. In former days when production was low and products were of poor quality, it was difficult to compete in the world market. This necessitated adoption of the technological transfer.
Transfer of technology is the process of moving of technology physically (material thing) or mentally (technical know how) from one place to another.It can be across borders (international transfer), within a country (regional transfer), across firms (inter-firm transfer) and within a firm (intra-firm transfer).
It is a process of sharing skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing or applying techniques or facilities among people or institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications or services.
It is a subset of knowledge transfer related to terms are like “technology valorization” and “technological commercialization” Effective technology transfer results in commercialization of a new product or service or in the improvement of an existing product or process.
It requires the user to acquire new information and skills and change old habits and ways of doing things. It may also require changes in the technology being transferred to improve the caches of “fit” and optional performance in the new situation. Technology transfer may vary from country to country from industry to industry or from research laboratory to another, and from the existing business to a new one.
Advantages of technology transfer;
It promotes the indigenous technological base and technical capacity.
It increases the production of goods and services.
It improves the provision of social services like health services and education due to the introduction of better facilities.
It accelerates the construction of modern and better infrastructures like modern
It improves the communication system for example the introduction of high quality mobile phones,reliable internet services etc
Disadvantages of technology transfer;
It leads to technological dependency; most of the less developed countries depend much on the technology from industrialized nations.
It increases the rate of unemployment since the machines will replace human labour;
many activities which were done manually are now performed by machines.
It increases environmental pollution like air, water and soil pollution due to emisssions, chemicals and wastes from the industries respectively.
It leads to the destruction of the indigenous culture through television programmes,
ponorgraphy from the internet services.
It perpetuates the underdevelopment of the receivers due to high cost of purchasing the technology and sometimes they are forced to employ the expertriates to run those machines examples Tanzania has incurred billion of shillings to the radar from the United Kingdom.
Technology Transfer in Today’s Economy
The creation or absorption of new technology has become a vital component for companies to improve or maintain their competitive position in the market. Companies operating in sectors where competition takes place in basis of price alone, such as the extraction or commercialization of raw materials, may rely on new technologies to improve their efficiency in the extraction of raw materials by improving their productive processes or acquiring new machinery and equipments.
In other sectors, where the market involves new designs or products with new functions, companies are forced to innovate by acquiring or developing new technologies. Technological innovation is therefore a crucial element in the competitive strategy of any enterprise, whether big or small, high- tech or low- tech. The on going integration of domestic and international markets requires a high degree of competitiveness.
Channels of Technology Transfer
Technology is intangible; it flows easily across boundaries of countries, industries, departments or individuals, provided that flow channels are established. There are three types of channels that allow technology flow.
Technology transfer is done unintentionally and may proceed without continued involvement of the source. Information is made available in the public domain with limited or no restrictions on its use. This information is harnessed by users and applied to their purposes.
Channels of this type of transfer include education, training, publications, conferences, study missions, and exchange of visits.
Other channels in which the transfer occurs with no active contribution from the source include reverse engineering and emulation. Here, a host or a traditional receiver of technology is capable of breaking the code of technology and developing the capability to duplicate it in any fashion.
This is feasible provided that the host has the knowledge to do it and there is no legal violation of intellectual or product which is put on the market by company. It can be purchased by company or reserved, engineered, and introduced to the market as a competitor. This is a powerful method for technology transfer. Its limitation is its inability to transfer the developers’ tacit knowledge. Such knowledge is usually gained during the product development process.
Technology transfer is done intentionally, according to a planned process and with the consent of the technology owner. There are several types of agreements that are used to affect planned transfers. They permit access to, and use of technological know- how. These agreements include:
The receiver purchases the right to utilize someone else’s technology.
This may entail an outright purchase or a payment of an initial lump-sum amount, plus a percentage of sales.
This is a form of licensing. However, sources usually provide some type of continued support to the receiver. For example, by supplying materials, marketing support and training. This channel is commonly used in food chains and service supplier organizations.
Two or more entities combine their interests in a business enterprise in which they can share knowledge and resources to develop a technology, produce a product or use their respective know-how to complement one another. They also share the rewards from the venture. Recipients acquire technology and sources of technology to gain access to local markets, including distribution skills, frequently use international joint ventures.
A country buys a complete project from an outside source and the project is designed, implemented and delivered ready to operate. Special provisions for training or continued operational support may be included in an agreement between parties.
Engaging in a turnkey project is equivalent to buying or selling a machine, but on the scale of an entire plant. Most innovative firms would not sell a plant they intend to exploit themselves.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
A corporation, usually a multinational corporation, decides to produce its products or invest some of its resources overseas.
This permits technology transfer to another country, but the technology remains within boundaries of the firm (still controlled by the original firm).
This type of investment has advantages for both the investor and the host country. The investor gains access to labour force, natural resources, technology or markets. The host country receives technological know- how, employment opportunities for its people, training for the work force, and investment capital that adds to development of its infrastructure.
The host country will also get tax advantages, since most employees will be contributing to the local economy. The multinational corporation may also gain
a tax advantage by locating facilities off-shore in a country or territory that gives a tax break. Many USA pharmaceutical companies have located facilities in Puerto Rico because of tax advantage, they can get tax exemption by this arrangement. Some developing countries provide long-term tax relief to foreign companies located on their soils.
) Technical consortium and joint Research and Development (R and D) Project
Here, two or more entities collaborate in large venture because resources of one of them are inadequate to affect the technological change needed. Typically, this type of venture takes place between two countries or two large conglomerates. For example, a consortium was formed between France and England to develop a supersonic plane (the Concorde).
Both nations needed to combine their technical and financial resources to develop expensive technology, and also, to compete with their rivals in the United States of America. Several similar ventures as well as consortia exist under the auspices of the European Union (EU). European governments have established a number of projects to help national companies compete with USA and Japanese firms.
Programs that the EU supports include “Race,” a project to advance communication technology; “Espirt,” for information technology; and “Less,” to bolster semi-conductor research. The project “Eureka” is an independent research program involving 24 nations.
All these cooperative projects aim at advanced research, technology development, and knowledge transfer to participating member states.-
WHAT IS DEVELOPMENT?
In deed, Development is a complex term that takes in many ideas. But most simply, development, means reaching an acceptable standard of living for all people. It means that people have the duty to work for their living. Walter Rodney defines development in human society as many sided process. At individual level, it implies increased skills as well as capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material wellbeing.
Development also means incremental change, movement or advancement of a society, from a low standard to that of a high standard. For example, change from Stone Age to Iron Age. It signifies increase of knowledge, skills and production.
What is Sustainable Development?
According to the classical definition given by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1987)
Development is sustainable if it meets the needs of the people at present without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their needs. The terminology is used mostly by the politicians. It comprises many aspects, as the diagram below indicates.
Sustainable Development Economic Objectives
Growth Efficiency Stability
Social Health Environment for Human
Social cohesion – Rational use of renewable natural
Social mobility resources
Participation – Conversation of non renewable
Cultural identify natural resources
The United Nations Conference in Rio de Janeiro, discovered that the world natural resources are depleted at such rate that soon the earth will not be able to sustain the population of this world. Therefore, the following principles were un avoidable step to prevent this catastrophe.
Principles of Sustainable Development
Living within environmental limits.
Respecting the limits of the planet’s environment, resources and biodiversity to improve our environment and ensure that the natural resources needed for life are unimpaired and remain so for future generations.
Ensuring a strong healthy and just society
Meeting the diverse needs of all people existing and future communities, promoting personal wellbeing, social cohesion and inclusion, and creating equal opportunities.
Achieving sustainable economy
Building strong, stable and sustainable economy which provides prosperity and opportunities for all, and in which environmental and social costs fall on those who impose them (polluters pays), and efficient resource use is incentivized.
Using sound science responsibily
Ensuring relevant policy is developed and implemented on the basis of strong scientific evidence.
Whilst taking into account scientific uncertainty (through the precautionary principle) as well as public altitudes and values.
Promoting good governance
Actively promoting effective participative systems of governance at all levels of the society. Engaging people’s creativity, energy and diversity.
Those are principles of sustainable development that originate from UK’s framework for sustainable developments.
Sustainable development for the developing countries is a great challenge, due to many problems that prevail in these countries. These are poverty, over population, and strategies to address these challenges. The implementation can be easy if we understand clearly what should be addressed, and how.
Development is a multi-dimensional concept. Even if you concentrate on some aspect of it, for instance, on economic development, there are a number of other dimensions, that must be taken into account in order to get a comprehensive understanding of the concept of development. One has to deal with development in a wider sense, including economic, social, cultural and political aspects.
Science and technology are key factors in the development process. In the next section, we examine the linkage between science, technology and development.
Linkage between Science, Technology and Development
Technology, science and development are closely interlinked. Science produces knowledge to produce technology. Technology is the end product of science. Each depends on the other. Development is a result of science and technology and, in turn, development leads to improvement/development of science and technology.
Improvement in science and technology means development. For instance, about 10,000 years ago, people learned how to raise animals and grow crops. The development of farming led them to settle down in small groups.
Then, particularly because agriculture produced surplus food, population growth was realized. Later on, towns and cities developed.
Throughout the ages, technology has benefited people in four main ways:
It has increased their production of goods and services,
It has reduced the amount of labour needed to produce goods and services.
Technology has made labour easier.
It has given people higher living standards.
Science, on the other hand, has an enormous influence on technology and development. It provides the basis for much of modern technology – tools, materials, techniques, and sources of power that make our lives and work easier. Terms applied science, for example, are sometimes used to refer to scientific research that concentrates on development of technology.
Positive and Negative Impacts of the Technology
Technology is an instrument which is free and of value to human.
The advantages and disadvantages caused by technology development:
Field of information and communication
In the field of information and communication there has been very rapid progress. The positive effects include:
Accessing information very quickly by phones, emails and website.
We can communicate with friends, and family far away by a computer.
We can get bank services and pay bills very easily.
Besides the benefits we derive from technological advances, there are also for things that are negative. For example:
Utilization of communication services by the terrorist networks.
The use of information by way of internet or handphones to send deformative messages or threats.
Communication among criminals to effect crimes, like bank robbery and sabotage.
Economy and Industry
In the economic field the technology has advanced very rapidly. As a result, we are witnessing:
Rapid economic growth
Investment and reinvestment which is taking place on a large scale will further enhance the productivity of the world economy. In the future, the impact of technological developments in the industrialized world will be increasingly important. Signs have shown that the technology will enable businessmen or individual consumers to have direct contacts with the manufactures. More importantly, consumers do not have to go to the stores or shops to purchase goods.
On the negative side, we are seeing:
The existence of capitalism.
A widening gap between the poor and the rich
Competition for jobs forcing workers to always increase their skills and knowledge. Technological inclination and economic development, will have an impact on employment and labor qualifications required by the employers.
In the field of health
Beneficial effects include:
Increasingly sophisticated medical tools and machinery.
More and more new hospitals are built.
More and more new drugs are invented.
Many malignant diseases can be cured
Adverse impacts include:
Existence of misuse of power by malpractice.
The existence of the illegal drugs trade.
Hospital services costing too much.
Social and Cultural Field
As a result of technological advances we are witnessing increasing number of both men and women who are holding high positions as leaders, both in public and private sectors. Even changes in behavior and attitudes are increasingly prominent. Data man’s job is written in a book Megathmd for Women: From Liberation to Leadership, written by Patricia Aburdene & John Naisbitt (1993) shows that the leadership role of women is becoming conspicuous. More women are entering the political field, as members of parliament, senators, governors, ministers, and other high positions.
Increased confidence in the Asian countries gave birth to an interesting phenomenon. Development and economic progress has increased the confidence and resilience of the people. As a result the Western world now takes the Asian nations very seriously and respectively.
Pressure, sharp competition in various aspects of life as a consequence of globalization, will create disciplined, diligent and hardworking generations.
However technological advances will impact negatively on the cultural aspects:
Moral decay among community members, especially among teenagers and students. Heightened economic life has put too much emphasis on the effort to acquire material wealth, and has caused some citizens to be “rich in content, but poor in spirit”.
Delinquency and deviant acts among teenagers are weakening the authority of traditions in any society, such as mutual assistance and the centripetal forces that play an important role in creating social unity.
Pattern of interaction between people and families has changed due to electronic communication advancement. Computers connected to the phones have opened up opportunities for anyone to be connected with the outside world.
The availability of internet cafes has given an opportunity to many people who do not posses computers to communicate with others via the internet.
Technology has an important role in the education sector:
The emergence of mass media, especially electronic media has contributed to education advancement. They are regarded as a facilitator in teaching and a transmitter of knowledge.
The emergence of new learning methods allow students and teachers to perform much better. With technological advances they create new methods that make students able to understand the material abstract.
Learning systems have eliminated the needs to confine ourselves to face – to
– face medhod. Now the learning can be made through use of internet, tele- conferences, and postal service.
The negative impact:
Secrecy is increasingly threatened. Intelligence test programs can be accessed via compact disk. The implications of this is that there is a lot of information leakages. Electronics development corresponds to information leaks through the internet.
Misuse of knowledge to do criminal acts. For example, by using a computer science people are able to break through highly secured areas, like banks.
Beneficial effects include:
The emergence of new technological and economic growth, will encourage the emergence of middle class citizens. Their ability, skills, and lifestyle is not much different from the middle class people in the Western countries. Predictably, this new middle class will be the pioneer in demanding political freedom and freedom of expression.
Regeneration of new leadership. A transitional generation of leadership will affect the style and political substance applied, this will enhance freedom and equality.
In the field of international politics, there is also a tendency to grow regionalism. Advances in communication and transportation technology have produced regionalism consciousness and increased economic cooperation.
Adverse impacts include:
i. Increased corruption and illegal actions that are detrimental to the welfare of the society.
Creation of a high level security.
Acquisition of sophisticated weaponry
i. Wars that kill people and destroy properties
iii. Weaponry manufacturing for use by war mongers.
Fields of Energy and Natural Resources
Technology benefits include:
Detection of natural wealth, such as oil, gas and minerals.
Development of advanced power plants to generate electricity.
Disadvantages of technology:
Damage to earth’s natural position. Disrupting its normal rotation and balance.
The existence of radiation generated by power plants. Nuclear plants create health problems emanating from radiation.
Effect of radiation from nuclear
Technology has important role in facilitating human activities. Technological advancement has enabled people to master their environment and improve their lifestyle. However, we must be very careful not to be overwhelmed by modern technologies to the detriment of our moral values and the natural resources.
Although factory machines are safer today than in the past, many are dangerous if not operated with extreme care. Operating a machine constantly performing the same task again and again, can be tiring, as well as dangerous.
The harmful effects of some technological applications have led to question the value of scientific research. But science itself is neither good nor bad. It depends on how to use it and whether the result will help or harm the users.
Some people fear that advanced biological research will produce new diseases, or
bacteria and viruses that resist drugs.
People are also concerned that computerized information systems may destroy personal
Science and technology can destroy as well as build. For example, drug abuse, alcoholic
and over smoking are costing the government in terms of caring for the victims.
Water pollution is not only harmful to humans, but also destroy fish and other creatures
in our rivers, lakes and on the land.
Science and Technology Development in Tanzania
Like most former African colonies, Tanzanians inherited the export goods sector (both luxury and essential goods). During the pre – colonial period there existed “cottage” industries for weaving, blacksmithing, pottery, woodworks, and jaggery. During the colonial period there were little or no investment in technologies that would establish an industrial base and would involve the majority of the population. Most manufacturing establishments were concentrated in the urban areas, they were set up as turn-key projects.
The dictates of colonialism led to the development of technology in Africa, which was favorable to capitalism and not to the interests of African development. Tanzania like other African countries has since independence adopted a strategy of imported technology and expertise.
Adaptation of this strategy is one of the reasons for the slow move towards establishment of an indigenous technological capability. There is clear evidence that, in practice, import substitution has not: significantly alleviated the balance – of – payments constraint. It has led to a growing dependence on a largely imported, capital-intensive technology and has thus not created extensive employment opportunities or indigenous technological developments. The process has been heavily dependent on foreign capital and has emphasized on establishment of consumer goods industries at the expense of investment and capital goods industries.
Sice independe up to 1967 there was a visible growth of the manufacturing sector. For instance, the share of manufacturing sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) more than doubled from 3.6% in 1961 to 8% in 1967, and reached a historical peak of 10.1% in 1973.
However, growth of the industrial sector was not accompanied by development of a domestic technological capability, as most of the technology used in the industries was imported from foreign sources.
The industrialization process could thus not count on an existing local technological base with which it could become integrated in a process of mutually supportive growth.
Science and technological policy structures in Tanzania
Serious attempts to embark on science and technology in Tanzania go back to the 1960s, this was supported by various national and international agencies. A major conference organized in 1994 in Lagos, Nigeria by UNESCO, set in motion an agenda to formulate a national science and technology policy for individual African countries. At the national level, apart from gaining independence in 1961, there was the Arusha Declaration in 1967.
The Tanzania National Scientific Research Council (UTAFITI) was officially established in 1968 and came into force in 1972. The council was given the overall responsibility of formulating and implementation of the national science and technology policy, as well as the overall responsibility for the development of science and technology in the country.
UTAFITI was replaced by the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) in 1986. The main purpose of the commission was to establish a public organ, in form of a parastatal organization, which would effectively and efficiently, co-ordinate as well as promote scientific research and technology development in the country. The commission was also to act as the chief advisor to the government on science and technology policy, and on all matters pertaining to development of science, and their application to socio-economic development in the country.
The National Science and Technology Policy for Tanzania:
On 6th June 1985 the Government issued a comprehensive science and technology policy statement. The National Science Technology Policy for Tanzania represents an official diagnosis of science and technology problems in Tanzania, and it provides a view of development in science and technology over the next few years.
A close look at the National Science and Technology Policy indicates the following:
Local expertise has been encouraged, but only a few areas of expertise have been categorically specified as needing attention. These include design building, construction and production of raw materials. The document goes on to assert that “In awarding architectural, design, building and construction tenders, both public and private local firms shall be given preference.” Although the idea of protecting local firms is plausible, it is not clear why it is only these activists have been singled out as deserving preferential treatment.
Another important question that has been addressed by the policy document is “incentives.” It was in this context that in 1980 Tanzania established the Tanzania Award for Scientific and Technological Achievement (TASTA), which was governed by the Awards Committee operating under the Tanzania National Scientific Research Council (UTAFITI). The objective of the award is to encourage innovative activities by awarding individuals or institutions in appreciation of their outstanding scientific or technological activities. However, what is still lacking is a scheme encouraging activities by non-specialized or crafts persons who might also contribute
In regard to institutional setup, the policy has remained only at general level. Nowhere in the National Science and Technology Policy for Tanzania is it acknowledged the existing science and technology institutions. This is a necessary component in the rapidly changing feature of the present age. A science and technology policy can prove purposeful if it is dynamic and flexible enough to respond to requirements of the ever changing conditions. A close look at the National Science and Technology policy indicates that the policy does not meet the criterion of being dynamic and flexible.
The whole policy document remains at the general level. As a result, the immediacy of what is to be done at the practical level is not identified. For instance, there is a mention of the need to encourage innovative activities, but the approach to innovation is not clarified, such as initiating Research and Development (R & D) activities in industries and at a national level that would facilitate innovation at the manufacturing level.
Unless the software aspects of technology are developed to support the hardware technology, total effective transfer of technology will not be affected. For most African countries, only the hardware part of technology, that is, machines, equipment and so forth are being transferred. The dynamic elements of technology such as Research and Development (R & D), consultancy, engineering and managerial skills are not being
absorbed. They remain in the hands of owners of the technology, the multinational corporations and agencies.
Factors hindering development for Science and Technology in Tanzania:
Inadequate emphasis on teaching of science and technology in schools.
Inadequate motivations to Tanzanian scientists.
Lack of a clear national policy on promoting science and technology.
Excessive dependence on foreign technology in terms of imported goods and hired
Lack of encouragement of local technocrats who invent machines and tools that
contribute to our national development.
Inadequate funds/capital to finance scientific and technological research
What to do to improve science and technology in Tanzania?
Tanzania has to allocate enough resources to Scientific and Technological education.
Tanzania must device an attractive incentive package to Tanzanian scientists.
Tanzania ha to formulate clear workable policies aimed at promoting science and
technology in the country.
Tanzania has to encourage local technicians and scientists to undertake research, invest
and develop scientific and technological capacities.
Tanzania has to try to reduce excessive dependence on foreign technology by
encouraging local technologies.
Challenges and Prospects for Development of Science and Technology
As we advance in into the twenty-first century, Tanzania and other African countries are faced with stiff challenges to ensure that science and technology contribute to the country’s development. The on-going process of globalization offers both opportunities and challenges.
A clear understanding of Tanzania’s problems and needs in the midst of rapid socio- economic change is required as an essential first step in formulation and implementation of a dynamic science and technology policy. Both external and internal factors have to be understood how they affect/impact on Tanzania’s development. In other words, we
need to be clear of Tanzania’s development agenda for the twenty first century, and the role science and technology can play in implementation of this agenda.
At present, there appears to be confusion and uncertainty on Tanzania’s development goal. On one hand, the country’s official position is that of “Ujamaa na Kujitegemea” building a socialist self-reliant country, while the’ government has embraced the free market economy with vigor, in firm belief that it will hasten economic and social development.
In this context, the dual question of technology for what and for whom, remains unanswered.
In the context of globalization, how can Tanzania acquire and develop appropriate technologyfordevelopment? Thereisincreasingconcernthattheprocessofglobalization has meant the demise of efforts to establish a local/indigenous technological capability that would be able to adapt and assimilate imported technologies, as well as develop new and appropriate technologies for sustainable development.
With globalization, there is a situation emerging whereby science and technology are the sole domains of the developed Western countries, while developing countries – particularly those in Africa are becoming mere users of technology. We now speak of the world becoming a global village. This is, however, a divided village of unequal partners. One part of the village owning and controlling the technology, while the other part of the global village is composed of mere users of technology who are increasingly becoming incapable of selecting/influencing the choice of technology that they are using.
It is this context, the development of an indigenous/local/domestic capability is becoming more and more urgent. There is need to develop capabilities to scan, identify, asses, select, use, assimilate, adapt and improve technology. This capability includes establishment of local research and development (R & D) institutions and training of local skilled manpower
What do you understand by the flowing concepts?
Discuss the toxins and toxics of science and technology.
With examples from Tanzania, explain how science and technology can improve agricultural production.
Discus some factors that hinder development of science and technology in Tanzania
“Technology transfer is inevitable”. Discuss.
What are negative impacts of technology transfer?