Researchers to expose Tanzania’s technology, material culture in history

A TEAM of history researchers from different continents are in the country to discuss technology and material culture in African history with the view of promoting them globally.

The conference was organised by the University of Dar e s Salaam (UDSM) College of Humanities, Department of History upon realising that the history of Africa is not well known in other continents.

Member of the Organising Committee from the UDSM, Emmanuel Mchome, who is also a lecturer from the College of Humanities, said they have discussed how to push African technology forward so that its history is well known across other continents as well.

“In our research we have found that other continents did many researches that are known worldwide but things that are used every day by Africans are not known. Whenever you do research, you come across the history of our colleagues in other continents,” Mr Mchome said.

When opening the three-day conference recently, UDSM Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research and Knowledge Exchange, Prof Nelson Boniface, said he was impressed by the diversity of themes in the conference that constitute the bedrock of the intellectual fabric of the conference.

“I am also impressed by the focus on policies and practices used to rethink the historiographic role played by material artifacts and systems,” said Prof Boniface, adding that a critical area of scholarly inquiry since Africa’s contribution in the global histories of technology have not been at the centre of research and teaching.

On his part the Jordan University College Principal, Prof Bertram Mapunda urged researchers to write a new history of cultural objects to preserve them after finding out that they do not exist.

Prof Mapunda said that to write the history should be straightforward, showing its real products and culture which must involve researchers from Africa and other continents in the world.

On his part the UDSM Head of the Department of History, who is also a Senior Lecturer, Dr Hezron Kangalawe, said the academics have discussed various cultural devices that exist in different technologies and showed what they mean in Africa.

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