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Digitalized Values in African Cultures



PREAMBLE

First of all, it is not an exaggeration to state that the true African value system has been digitalized owing to the fact that Western civilization has been birthed. In order words, as an African man how does this civilization affect our way of thinking, our belief practices? Does this digitization affect us positively or negatively. Does this digitization impose the Western religion and abolish the African traditional religion? Does it impose the western culture on African value system? These are some of the nagging questions that should stimulate the interest of an African man every moment of his life or could possibly make us to go back and appreciate our cultural values and neglect the western culture?

African culture consists of the various shared attitudinal inclinations, arts, morality, beliefs and practices which distinguishes an African man from others. Some of these practices are cumulative elements which can be transmitted from one generation to another either socially or materially. By cultural measures, there are some forms of behaviour and actions approved while some conducts are not allowed. Values are set from attitude, behavior and action adopted or evolved by a person, group or society as a standard to help and guide their behavior.

However, this write up explores the values of African culture and how digitalization has contributed in determining the fate of African value system. Hence, digitization is a continuation and expansion of Western imperialism. It is the colonization of African society which attempts to promote the western heritage at the detriment of the African values and heritage. It tends to diminish the value in African values and cultural practices. Africans have been forced to accept the uniform moral principles of what is right or wrong with the global culture.
 
DIGITALIZED VALUES IN AFRICAN CULTURES

As I elucidated by the above introduction, Every human society, whether developed or underdeveloped has its own approved way of standard human relation, in order words, such standards are based on their positive behaviors guided by traditions, values and cultures which also reflect in different manners of living, ways of dressing, speaking etc. These standards are norms meant for the Smooth running of the  Society. These sets of values that guide the behavior of every member of the society such as hospitality, honesty, respect for the aged, hard work and good character are meant to be passed from generation to generation.
 
THE IMPACT OF DIGITALIZATION IN AFRICAN VALUES 
Digitalization in the African value system is anchored on the fact that the digital age has contributed politically, socially and economically towards the individual nations and the world as a whole. However there are disagreements concerning the impacts of digitalization towards the African value system. Some believe that this digitalization has contributed positively to the growth of African values While some believe that this digitalization has contributed negatively. According to Ekwuru he agreed to the fact that "no man is an island to himself" as such no nation is an island too this is why there are interactions in culture and practices.

THE EFFECTS OF DIGITALIZATION ON THE AFRICAN VALUE SYSTEM 

Acholonu, In his research to ascertain in which ways the digital media can be used to  advance African culture instead of promoting foreign programs to debase African value system and culture, she figured out that the digital media promotes more of Western culture neglecting The African value system and culture. She went on advocating that the social media should adopt communication policies that would enhance and promote the African mass media and channel her development according to the African values system, this is demonstrated by the fact that the western culture imposes it’s values, belief, language through globalization and digitalization. But looking around we can observe notable changes in African value system and cultures because of the influence of globalization and digitalization which is evidenced in our present way of dressing, cultural valued slang languages,  inherent religious programs  because of globalization and digitalization, which suppresses and subjugate the African culture. This negative effects seem to be more on the youths who are the leaders of tomorrow. They have neglected the African culture and values of our forefathers and adopt the western culture.

WAY FORWARD 

It is not exaggeration to state that the social cohesion and most social order is characterized by traditional African culture and communism abound the very fact about the western civilization. The traditional African value system has been given way to multi ethnic and cultural interactions thereby making globalization another form of imperialist's subjugation. Also there need to be integration of the African culture to stem the facts that globalization has come to stay and we cannot change this facts. What we need proly, to do is to assess and synthesize these legacies left behind by our forefathers and explore them while conditioning our minds to simplify them into the modern use today. 

Obviously, it’s a well known fact that Africans are still backward in terms of advancement in science and technology but Africans need to harness these borrowed culture and civilized oriented goals to suit the needs of the Africans at large, since there are lots of benefits associated with the technological advancements. Africans should ensure that they do not erode the African value system as well while adopting those. Again, there are so many African cultures and heritage which can be seen in the international audience and space. If some of the values are properly harnessed with the help of our government they could become an international revenue generating some good energy. The African leaders should make efforts to revisit the basic principles underlying the traditional African economy and politics as well. Africans should imbibe positive values of teaching and neglect the negative ones. They should also develop interests in expanding the level of knowledge in African countries.

CONCLUSION 

Africans have all it takes to maintain their cultural practices in the face of western civilization. Digitalization has posed a lot of challenges to the African values system by imploring Africans to adopting development policies that are rooted in the African cultural practices. These challenges should prompt an African man to harness the values with their own culture and by doing so, poverty will be eradicated and this will eventually lead to development.                   


Rev. Emmanuel Ogu

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