Sustainable Development in Africa & Satellites - page 13

landscape in current new developments.
All theseaspects of past andmodern life can
be related to food and settlement patterns
as well as technological changes which are
evidently affected by the environment and
climatic conditions through time. Favorable
amongst communities pursuing different
but complementary subsistence strategies
made possible the sharing and exchange
of ideas and systems of knowledge that
once held sway within specific ethnic and
subsistence groups.
Access to resources
Forexample, thehunter-gathererwayof life
changed due to migration and settlement
in their domain of pastoralists and later
of agrarian communities, along with the
incorporation of knowledge from all the
groups. This created a vibrant community
that would elevate individuals and
personalities from the groups to leadership
combine to support this proposition:
material signatures that relate to shifting
settlement patterns, fortification, mortuary
practices, territoriality, and migration,
all of which combine to support warfare
and violence hypotheses. The ability to
control access to resources or trade routes
is an important element of emergent
complexity and political centralization.
Physical and military power, embedded
in this proposition, can restrict access to
wealth creating resources and production.
For instance, control over iron production
was quite important for rulers, and the
physical force needed to monopolize
access to iron resources that were beyond
the political control of the state capital was
probably a necessity. Once asymmetries
in power had been established, what
strategies do leaders use to stay in power
and accumulate more wealth, status, and
power? The pathways and mechanisms
through which power is centralized will
differ from case to case. In this case, elites
initially accumulated wealth in cattle and
later invested in gold and ivory trade with
the coast. To do so, they also invested
in local and regional infrastructures
considered as viable for communities living
and exploiting different but complementary
resources. Therefore, these communities
were willing to comply and be incorporated
into the regional political economy.
There are lessons to be learnt from these
past commitments andwhichcanbeutilized
in enhancing Africa’s economy today. For
example, systems which allow for sharing
and facilitating the movement of goods and
knowledge across borders are important in
realizing Africa’s economic growth.
Dr. Purity W. Kiura
Senior Scientist Archeology
National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi
The Merzouga dunes in the Tafilalet (Moroccan Sahara) are situated on the direct caravan route from the Niger to Tangier. Artist view.
© J.D. Dallet/Suds-Concepts
Construction of South Africa’s tracking telemetry and command facilities (today SANSA Space
Operation Center), at Hartebeesthoek (Gauteng) in 1963.
© J.D. Dallet/Suds-Concepts, All rights reserved
Identities - 11
1...,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,...130
Powered by FlippingBook