Volume 10, Issue 3, September/December 2021
Reginald M.J. Oduor
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
Inclusiveness, Affordability, Cultural Identity, and Ethical Orientation
Discussions on the impact and future directions of technology often proceed from an empirical point of view that seems to presume that the ebb and flow of technological developments is beyond the control of humankind, so that all that humanity can do is adjust to it. However, such an approach easily neglects several crucial normative considerations that could enhance the standing of individual human beings and whole communities as rational users of technology rather than its slaves. Besides, more often than not, technological products are designed in ways that neglect the needs of persons with disabilities, thereby perpetuating their exclusion from society. Consequently, this article proposes four normative considerations to guide the initiatives of African societies in their deployment of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, namely, inclusiveness to meet the needs of all human beings, affordability to bridge the digital divide, respect for cultural identity to guard against cultural imperialism, and an ethical orientation as the overarching guide to building a truly human society.