This proverb “He who knows swimming, dies not in the water” from the Wolof tongue in Senegal has a possible connotation with Africa’s development, especially if we look at it from a science and technology perspective. Indeed, science and technology related fields must be valued more in the educational system of most, if not all African countries.
Swimming is a skill that enables someone to float in water. Floating meaning that you do not rely on anybody else for your survival. Unfortunately, Africa is in a survival mode because Africans rely too much on foreign aid for her so called development. If we want a dam, it must be built by a foreign conglomerate; if we want to build a road, the skills must also be imported from China or the West. If we want to mechanize our agriculture, equipment must be imported and so on.
In other words, relying on the outside has proven that no African country can actually develop. This is the reason why there is an urgent need to develop our own skills in science and technology related fields. Said differently, African scientists and inventors or innovators are one the main keys to Africa’s true independence, industrialization and development. Either Africa acquires the technology which has been developed in developed countries or she also develops her own technology aimed at solving African problems because no one else but an African really knows and understands what his problems are. This is why Africans are the ones who can advise the best remedies or solutions, too.