The term globalization describes the integration of economies of different nations on a global scale through international trade
The term globalization describes the integration of economies of different nations on a global scale through international trade, flow of capital, exchange and sharing of information and technology, as well as movement of people across the globe.
This global phenomenon has been a result of events that take place in one part of the world that may influence others indirectly, diminishing of distance and time constraints using technology to bring about interaction between people across borders and removal of geographic barriers to socio-economic activities.
Africa is one of the continents where the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund imposed their ideas of neo-liberal globalization upon the people with the justification of helping the African continent recover from its economic crisis of the 1980s, which had threatened the livelihood and standards of living of the African community with a great increase in poverty and malnutrition levels, through programs that would bring stabilization to the African economies.
The main three dimensions of globalization:
• Material aspect;
• Spatio-temporal aspect;
• Cognitive aspect.
The material aspect of globalization and how it manifests itself in Africa:
This dimension of globalization accounts for the flux of trade, capital and people across the world which has been facilitated by physical, normative and symbolic infrastructure such as the governance around exchange of goods and services with regards to the terms and regulations of trade, transportation, buildings and how communication is brought about between people of different origins.
Africa reflects dominance in trade with the EU and USA, trading its primary commodities for importation of manufactured goods.
Globalization has also allowed for movement of people and money within the continent and out of the continent. African people are free to move around the world and reside in foreign countries for the purposes of work, education and leisure.
International investments have also made their way into the continent, there’s flow of capital between the continent and other continents. One of the major investments being metropolitan-based multinational corporations.
The spatio-temporal aspect of globalization and how it manifests itself in Africa:
Spatio-temporal globalization refers to the intensifying of global flows that connect and intertwine the world’s different communities into one big global network system of interaction, whereby the events of one country may affect others despite the geographical and physical distance between them. This focuses on the time and space convergence that has led to the world becoming a unified space.
The process of globalization is steered by the diffusion of information and communication technologies that have managed to break down the social distance between countries that are far apart, making the physical distance insignificant and creating social closeness.
The concept of democracy was introduced by the Greek and it spread across the world, leading to the development of democratic nations. Under the coercion of international donor communities, Africa also embarked upon democratization and rewrote its constitution to reflect democratic politics. As an outcome of globalization, this event that took place in the land of the Greek affected African nations. Africa achieved democracy and clauses on rights that reflect this impact of globalization on the continent were added to the constitutions and countries like Ghana, Cameron and Kenya which were ruled by dictators became democratic.
The African continent has formed part of the global society and has become connected with the rest of the world through social media.
The cognitive aspect of globalization and how it manifests itself in Africa:
The cognitive aspect of globalization alludes to the establishment and growth of global awareness, how the world has responded to the deflating time and physical space over the years and how information has been spread across the globe to make sure people are cognizant and informed about what is going on around them.
Uniformity and growth of common culture have emerged a world market of popular consumer goods such as music, film, fashion and entertainment media, and has made the society’s perception stronger.
Homologous to all other continents, African has adopted the Western ways of living and integrated the ideas and value of western countries that are social power forces into its own. The people of Africa have conformed to culture based on American suzerainty.
Through media Africa has kept up with what is happening outside of its borders and is aware of its surroundings and issues that may pose any threat to the continent’s wellbeing.
Impacts of globalization on Africa:
Looking at globalization from a material perspective, it has impacted Africa, in both positive, dynamic and innovative, as well as negative, disruptive and marginalizing.
• Technology has made communication and interaction between Africa and other continents easier.
Kenya has given birth to amazing, innovative ideas that have revolutionized the country, such as mobile banking and money transfer, and the country has become more digitized, with more of its people with access to the internet in comparison to other Eastern and Central African countries.
• International trade facilitated the attraction of foreign investments to the continent, which has resulted in economic growth in most African countries.
• Education in Africa is one of the major positive impacts of globalization.
• Globalization has made it hard for African countries to compete on an equal footing with other continents because of their lack of capacity to use high quality technology equipment in production.
• Globalization has led to division in the world and created a social hierarchy, separating African countries from those that possess more power in the global society and leaving these countries to fend for themselves in an unequal society.
This led to the USA, with the support of Japan and the EU, to decrease the power of the Uruguayan state to control foreign investment and regulate foreign capital.
• It has also reduced the human capacity of African countries through brain drain because of the mobility of labour across the world.
The situation has become consequential for countries like Gambia, Seychelles, Somalia and Cape Verde, with more than 50% of the skilled labour going to work in wealthier countries.