In today’s article, there are two important words – technology and economic development. What impact do phones, computers, microwaves, washing machines, cars, trucks, just to mention a few, have on the development of the economies of nations? You probably might feel nothing concerns the economy of the country with your dishwasher at home. I tell you, it is far significant than you think it is. A quick breakdown of what these words mean.
As human beings, we live in a world full of challenges. In meeting our basic needs such as feeding, clothing and shelter, we encounter so much hassles. For example, the primitive men, when providing for food, had to go through the stress of spending hours and days in the farm tilling, cutting, hoeing, planting and harvesting. How many people go through such stress today? Technology therefore is the application of scientific knowledge gained from research, tests and findings to solve human diverse problems. That is to say, hoes, cutlasses, knives, stoves, wristwatches, gas cookers, lamps, lanterns are all products of technology. Technology has evolved from the production of domestic implements to the production of big and massive implements we have presently, like cars, trucks, tractors, aeroplanes, drones etc. how impactful have these things been! Just imagine, how would you feel if the world goes back to primitiveness? Horrible right?
Why is Nigeria ranked as a developing country and America, a developed country? It is not as a result of the skin colour of her citizens, geographical location or climate but the level of the wellbeing of their citizens. Economic development is measured by an increase in the level of material wellbeing of citizens in a country. In other words, economic development implies an increase in the standard of living of citizens in a country. By standard of living, I mean the ability of citizens to provide for their basic needs conveniently and consistently. When the lowest paid citizens in a country can provide three square meals for their family, own comfortable houses, have adequate clothing and give their children quality education, the economy of such country is said to be highly developed.
What then is the relationship between technology and economic development?
Technologies are employed by man as a means of satisfying his needs, he buys car for easy movement, builds houses for comfort, uses glasses for efficiency etc. The number of devices a man can afford determines his standard of living, as those who use lots of modern equipments are said to have high standard of living. Not only has technology made our lives easier, it has provided us with yardsticks to known the categories we belong to in the society. We like classic rides and sophisticated gadgets. Guys want to ride SUV,use latest iPhone and travel on first class, but the question is, are these things easily affordable? Is it easy for an average citizen to possess these desired items?
The relationship between technology and economic development is like that of plant and adequate light. Without adequate light, no plant will grow. Availability, easy accessibility and affordability of modern technologies is what determines the development of an economy. So, to develop the economy of any country, the government which is the steering that drives the country should focus on how to qualitatively and qantitative impact on the productivity of the citzenry and their standard of Living.
- Aina Joseph Oluwagbogo.