Science, technology and innovation has a significant role to accelerate economic growth and improve people’s everyday lives. Global technological advancements such as industrial revolutions present both opportunities and threats which need to be taken into consideration in preparation for such interferences, especially for developing countries. The CPLO hosted a roundtable discussion on Appropriate Technology and Sustainable Development.
During her presentation, Ms Tanaka Shumba from Sustainable Energy Africa spoke about the different partnerships that they have established with some of South Africa’s municipalities in order to explore technologies which are more affordable and easy to use in low-income communities. These technologies include the wonder-bag which is used for cooking and solar radiation for lighting.
Mr David Hees from the Sustainability Institute shared about the Ishack Project, which was initiated to provide renewable energy services for the low income communities in informal settlements. The Ishack project has widely been implemented in the Western Cape Province as a pilot project. He mentioned that they are hoping to escalate the programme to a larger scale, with the support from the National government in terms of subsidies and policy frameworks that enable public-private partnership.
Mr Mmboneni Muofhe from the Department of Science and Technology emphasised that technological innovation should take into consideration the needs and conditions of communities it aims to develop; including their ethics, culture and history.