What Is Meant by Appropriate Technology, and Why Is It Important for the Less Developed Countries to Adopt It?

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Science and technology is a critical and greatly improving area in most countries if not all. However, as it requires large amounts of man power and materials, a great deal of money is required. Governments provide a substantial amount of this money, and therefore they often make decisions regarding the direction and quantity of the money that should be placed into certain technologies. It is also the government’s role to decide which technologies will be used, and how (Bridgstock 1998:12).

During recent times the science and technology field has dramatically changed. For example, stunning developments are being made by the Third World and science and technology has become more focussed on the government’s short-term economic goals. These developments by the Third World are due to the technology transfer from more advanced, industrialized countries. The Third world is only able to use appropriate technologies, which makes their choices limited, but offers many benefits and opportunities (Bridgstock 1998:12).

Appropriate technology was created as a way of enhancing national independence by encouraging people to use local substitutes rather than imported resources, and is aimed at improving technologies that already exist in the Third World. By making small adjustments to existing technologies the Third World only has to create variations of technologies they are familiar with. This ensures that Third World countries work within their capabilities (Bridgstock 1998:223).

Appropriate technology is the idea that lower level technologies, using local resources are more appropriate than higher level technologies that require imported resources. This idea has been used unsuccessfully by England, where inventors tried to sell their new product, based on the Third World’s local resources they were selling to. An example of this was an Englishman who tried selling his new cooking stove in Kenya. The cooking stove was more wood economical than others at the time...
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