Segments in this Video

Digital Development in Africa (02:56)


African media professionals discuss the role of communication technology in a wealthy continent plagued by poverty and disease. Many see it as a way to modernize—and overcome a collective inferiority complex resulting from neocolonialism.

Developing a Digital Mindset (02:57)

Rising prices of coltan, a mineral used in digital devices, have contributed to the war in Congo. African IT experts discuss the relationship between computers and humans. We learn about the Ishango Bone, an ancient African calculating tool.

Two Africas (01:18)

Filmmaker Ola Balogun discusses the economic and technological gap between elite and poor communities.

Africa's Cellular Revolution (03:44)

Mobile networks have improved communication in African countries. We hear from a spiritual leader and a businessman whose work has been made easier with cell phones.

Communication and Economic Development in Africa (01:41)

Mobile phones have improved African business prospects by boosting access to information and reducing distances and time needed to make contracts.

Demand for Internet Access in Africa (02:30)

Computer engineer Saliou Ndiaye discusses the internet centers he has implemented for university students. Fashion designer Oumou Sy is involved in a mobile program teaching computer literacy in remote villages.

Making Use of Technology in Africa (02:26)

Digital tools enable "real time" communication and reduce operational costs for businesses. A fashion designer describes her growing online business. She uses bank transfers; credit cards are not yet widely available.

Internet: Brain of the Global Community (02:29)

Some find online content morally questionable. African experts identify symmetries between digital technology and human thought processes—information access allows us to make informed decisions. (Graphic Content)

Digital Technology Building Bridges in Africa (01:57)

We witness a video conference addressing peace and development with participants from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin and the Republic of the Congo. Speakers appreciate being able to "travel" without moving.

Distance Learning in Africa (01:04)

Jacques Edjrokinto discusses his online university degree program based in Benin. But not all African students can access the courses—countries with established digital networks such as Senegal have an advantage.

Digital Music Technology in Africa (03:38)

Musicians enhance traditional musical forms using software programs. One man describes the similarity between electronic looping and rhythm techniques; sound engineering concepts are indigenous to many African cultures.

African Cinematography (02:40)

Digital technology has allowed filmmakers to produce work with little funding or infrastructure. Filmmakers discuss the creative doors that have been opened.

Creating Africa's Voice (03:15)

Digital recording technology enables filmmakers to broadcast their work over a wide media audience—contributing to an "African" identity in which unique countries and cultures are represented.

Digital Film: Empowerment Through Knowledge (03:29)

We hear African music and see visual works. Important information and daily life can now be uploaded and shared over a wide audience. A man films his visit to Robben Island in South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Africa's Ancient Contribution to Modern Technology (05:04)

The Ishango bone, a 20,000 year old calculator discovered in the Congo region, sat unknown in a Brussels museum for fifty years until African filmmaker Georges Kamanayo brought it to international attention.

Leapfrogging to the 21st Century (02:15)

Africa's digital revolution is ushering in modernization. Satellites bring isolated areas information and programs from all over the world—without filters or national controls.

Africa's Need for Political Communication (01:20)

An African musician calls for government transparency and functional democracy. Digital technology can empower communities to overcome socioeconomic injustice through education and access to information.

Rejecting a Colonial Legacy (02:00)

Africa's absolute poverty despite its wealth of resources is puzzling to many. A filmmaker believes the younger generation should be taught to value their roots. We see footage of Christian and Muslim services in Africa.

Leveling the Global Playing Field for Africa (03:52)

A filmmaker sees digital technology as providing a platform to invent a new African cultural identity—free from its colonial legacy. Internet access to worldwide information empowers Africans to demand social and economic justice.

Credits: Afro@Digital (01:37)

Credits: Afro@Digital

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This program looks at the impact of digital technology across a broad swath of contemporary African life, examining the ways in which it affects traditional culture and considering how it can best be used to overcome poverty without falling into the trap of neocolonialism. The film also raises the intriguing possibility that computing technology is indigenous to Africa due to the discovery of the Ishango Bone, which may be the oldest calculating tool in the world; and filmmaker John Akomfrah encourages viewers to look at digital technology not just as a tool but as a mindset. Portions with English subtitles. (52 minutes)

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL49744

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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