Posted to the Ethnos Project by on October 10th, 2013

Abstract It is surprising that many Pygmy hunter-gatherers in the Congo Basin, though unable to read the numbers on banknotes or write their own names, have begun to use handheld computers attached to global positioning systems (GPS). In describing this remarkable case of technological leap-frogging I will summarise the historical context that led to this situation, followed by a survey of the different uses that Pygmies are putting the GPS to in Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. What are the reasons for this sudden technological engagement and what has it made possible?

Key Words GPS; Mapping; Logging; Conservation; Technology.

Lewis, Jerome. “Technological Leap-Frogging in the Congo Basin, Pygmies and Global Positioning Systems in Central Africa: What Has Happened and Where is it Going?” African Study Monographs, Suppl. 43: 15−44, March 2012.


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