One of my favourite hobby horses is to have a go at Africans who believe that all things perceived to be from the West <spit> are evil. I even wrote a blog entry called Defending Colonialism where I ridiculed this stance.
Off the top off my head, apart from the automatic pool cleaner, I cannot think of any other consumer product in general use that has been invented in Africa. This means that our Black Diamonds, bloated in their BEE importance, absolutely surround themselves with Western goods. Mercedes, Gucci, Nokia, IBM, Johnny Walker, Pierre Cardin, all Western. Our road system, rail system, airports, telecommunications network, cell phone network, dams, electoral system, judicial system, parliamentary system, all Western.
Or so I thought. Patting myself on my pale white shoulder, I recently undertook a business trip to darkest Africa, the former Transkei to be more precise. This is an area that has been neglected by generations of apartheid and colonial administrations, and it shows. But now with a new dispensation, darkest Africa is not so dark anymore. Even the smallest village has got electricity, and this has made the world of difference. Heaven only knows what effect broadband will have when it reaches these areas.
The effect has been that an Industrial Revolution (albeit 150 years late) is starting to take place in these backwaters of our country.
I predict that world class innovations will soon spring from these humble beginnings.
Here is a brilliant and inexpensive hot water geyser invented right here in South Africa, seen recently in Umtata (sorry I can’t spell or pronounce it’s new name).