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  • Adem Aman

African Civilization's Enduring Contribution to Humanity

Africa has been the cradle of civilization for millennia and is home to an intricate tapestry of civilizations. Despite enduring challenges, African civilizations have contributed significantly to humanity associated with World civilization with a wide range of fields, from science and technology to art and philosophy. These contributions not only light up Africa's rich history, but also highlight the continent's pursuit of influence on global affairs in particular. By its contextual and context civilization has a vast meaning and expression depending on various sources. Oxford Dictionary defines ‘civilization as a “state of human society that is very developed and organized” and “a society with its culture and its way of life during a particular period of time or in a particular part of the World” in terms of ancient lifestyle as well as today the technology of contemporary periods.

Even though the reality is different, some studies also revealed that African civilization has been very underrated, hidden, ignored, and more importantly even denied by vast Western intellect as well as literature archives due to the reason of less inventiveness of its societies. In contrast, the early Western scholars who visited Africa have been credited for the existence of the African-immersed civilization at different times. For instance, Portuguese Worldclass traveler Vasco de Gama mentioned that ‘the city is quite large which is build from Stones and mortar with terraces’ for Swahili societies civilization in 1502. Even those vast travelers and scholars give credit to African civilization in terms of African cities' innovation and inventions in the early 16th and 17th centuries things were radically changed during the 18th and 19th centuries associated with Wester leading emerging of the science and technology fields started to play a crucial role as a yardstick tools to measure civilization.


Ancient Civilizations: Africa has a rich history of ancient civilizations that have made a significant impact on human civilization. Among these, the ancient Egyptian's well-known contributions to the world are unmatched, from the impressive pyramids of Giza to advancements in architecture, engineering, and medicine. The Egyptians pioneered writing systems, with hieroglyphics also one of the earliest recorded communication system development. They also had a sophisticated understanding of mathematics and astronomy, which laid the foundation from the past to present for future scientific discoveries at large scale. Furthermore, several other ancient African civilizations thrived, such as the great Zimbabwe medieval city which is a hub for trade, and the Kingdom of Kush, which was located in present-day Sudan and Ethiopia is engaging in trade and diplomacy vastly like good governance, morality and ethical values based lifestyle for human being as well as for living things at large, and also leadership mentality that is contributing to the cultural exchange of notions. African civilization's historical legacy includes astonishing architectural achievements like the pyramids of Egypt, Meroe, and Kush kingdoms, which are advancements in ironworking, which transformed warfare and socio-economic-political development in the region. Consequently, other civilizations such as Nubian, Great Zimbabwe, Ubuntu in South Africa, and the Mali Timbuktu Kingdom are some of the early black African nation's contributions.


Cultural and Artistic Legacy: Africa has boasts a vast and diverse culture associated with artistic heritage including a wide range of traditions, languages, and artistic expressions on the ground of the contribution to the world civilization it is not exaggerated if it said an artistic expression and legendary phenomenon as well. As a result, for centuries, artistic craftsmanship has long been central to African societies, from the intricate woodcarvings of West Africa to the vibrant beadwork of East Africa. Besides, music and dance hold a special place in African culture and the heart of African societies. It also serves as a vehicle for storytelling, community bonding, and spiritual expression. So further, African music is very rich and plays a pivotal role in its fabulous rhythms and melody from West to East and North to Southern Africa’s nations, which reflect the diversity of musical traditions across the continent. In addition, African literature and oral traditions have preserved the collective wisdom and history of its people for generations. Moreover, African literature and oral traditions have mostly focused on the collective wisdom and history of its nations for generations. Griots, storytellers, and poets have passed down tales of heroism, love, and triumph, enriching the cultural tapestry of the Black African Communities. On the other hand, some African intellects also defined that Africans contributed vast civilization to the entire globe for all humanity from the early ancient human being development up-to-date.


Science and Technology: The other areas of African civilizations that have made significant contributions are science and technology throughout history. One notable example is the development of iron smelting techniques, which revolutionized toolmaking and agricultural practices. Ironworking spread across the continent, leading to advancements in weaponry, farming implements, and infrastructure. In addition to metallurgy, African societies made strides in health sectors in medicine and pharmacology in particular. Traditional healing practices, passed down through generations, encompass a wealth of knowledge about the medicinal properties of indigenous plants not only in the past but also at present as well. In contemporary, modern medicine continues to draw upon this traditional wisdom, with scientists studying plant compounds for their potential therapeutic uses.

Furthermore, Africa's contributions to mathematics and astronomy have often been overlooked. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Nubians possessed advanced mathematical knowledge, essential for tasks such as surveying land and constructing monumental structures. Similarly, African astronomers made significant discoveries, including tracking celestial phenomena and developing calendars to aid agricultural activities.


Challenges and Resilience: Africa has made significant contributions to humanity with its rich history. However, it has also faced various challenges such as colonization, exploitation, and political instability over the centuries as well as for enormous years until today in different perspectives. These challenges have had a profound impact on the continent's development, and have hindered efforts to fully realize its potential. Despite these obstacles, African resilience and ingenuity endures. With all these challenges there is also hope and promising efforts from African people and nations across the continent are working tirelessly to address the fight against issues such as poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. Grassroots initiatives, technological innovations, and cultural revitalization efforts are transforming communities and shaping a brighter future for Africa and the world. 


In Conclusion, even thought the most conservative European scholars denied black African contribution to human civilization in their studies and literature, the civilization of Africa is a true reflection of the resourcefulness, innovation, and perseverance of its people and World civilization heritage which off many of its are recorded on the UNESCO right now. Throughout history, African societies have contributed significantly to humanity in fields like science, technology, art, and culture. By acknowledging and celebrating Africa's rich heritage, we not only honor its past achievements but also recognize its ongoing influence on the world stage. It's important that we continue to value and promote Africa's contributions so that its legacy inspires future generations. Some academicians like Hugh Trover-Roper claimed “There is only the history of Europeans in Africa. The rest is darkness.” eventually, the Western conceptualization of history regarding the contribution of World civilization described that black Africa contribution in a very narrow way, and it privileged Euro-American over other nations.




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