In October, 2017, a new research project will commence: “A Global History of Technology, 1850-2000”. Project leader is Professor Mikael Hård at Darmstadt University of Technology (TU Darmstadt). The five-year undertaking is funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Its main task is to investigate the fate of technology in the Global South—Africa included.
The research project intends to brush global history the wrong way, as it were. Globalization is not a universal process that automatically goes hand in hand with growing homogenization of human life forms. Technologies did not simply diffuse from Europe to Africa, Asia, or Latin America, but often emerged as a result of information exchange between countries in the Global South. The outcome was hybrid solutions that illustrate the creativity of the people living on these continents.