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The negative and positive impact of globalisation on Africa


In the mid- 1990s globalization has become an important trend in the world economy as it spread throughout the world. The world market has open opportunity for countries to trade among themselves and potential for growth and also opportunity for the developing countries like Africa to raise the living standard of their people. Africa as a continent has changed a lot since the surface of globalization whereby Africa were able to travel across the globe, trade with other nation, share ideas regarding the development of it continent and boasting it economy but the question is, did globalization has positively or negative effect on Africa. It is clear that globalization has more positive effect on Africa than negative effect.

What is Globalization? There are many ways of defining globalization, according to Ouattara (1997) defined globalization as the most basic terms, says globalization of the world economy is the integration of economies throughout the world through trade, financial flows, the exchange of technology and information, and the movement of people. The extent of the trend toward integration is clearly reflected in the rising importance of world trade and capital flows in the world economy. I would be writing both negative and positive impact of globalization on Africa. The questions I would be looking at are  Has globalization improved Africa’s culture and norms or destroyed it  Has it economically improved and lower Africa women?  Has globalization improved economics in Africa or not? I would be looking at the both side of the argument, those against and for the globalization in Africa.

(Cons)Against Globalization in Africa  It has destroyed Africa culture and norms: Every country, and tribe or ethnic group has its own unique culture. It can range from the way the people greet, eat, dance, and cloths and so on. It is clear now that due to globalization Africa people were mostly influence by the western and adopting their way of living. According to Fridah (1998) stated that the effect of globalization has had on culture is immense and diverse. It has affected people’s cultural behaviors in different ways. People have had to change their living ways. The loud echoing advertisement rhythms of the famous Coca-Cola drinks can be heard across boundaries in towns, cities and townships and even in remote rural areas where drinking water is a problem to get. Taking Coca Cola as an example, people in Africa abandon the local drinks instead of them rebrand it or modernizing it so that it can be consume both domestic and international. The local drinks are gradually vanishing on Africa soil. Example in Ghana when I was growing up we have a lot local drinks but now is hard to find them.  Globalization negative effect on Africa women:

In Africa, women have mostly been involved in farming, in employment as civil servants, and in industry. They have also been involved in small-scale entrepreneurships. No doubt, these sectors have been severely affected by the introduction of trade liberalization. Women on this continent contribute the most critical factor in agricultural production and agriculture. Yet liberalization has failed to ensure the availability of credit, agricultural inputs such as fertilizers and insecticides at affordable prices. The marketing of their produce has been thrown in the hands of businessmen whose sole objective is profit maximization. The result – food security in Africa is highly threatened. Women constitute 60% percent of the communal farmers in Zimbabwe. In rural areas the impact has been so serious that rural urban migration has increased to unfortunate proportions. This in turn has led to the increase of squatters in urban areas and crime which affects mostly women and children. (Fridah ,M., 1998).

Measure was not taking to protect the women in farming and small scale business. The women trying to ensure good business to their product needs to travel to other town or country to sell their product which most of time result in neglecting of children.  Globalizations negatively affect Africa economics: Critics, like the British charity Action Aid, argue that trade liberalization has harmed Africa. It says that the freer trade, especially in agricultural produce, has worked to “threaten or destroy the livelihoods of millions of farmers” and to keep people poor (Somerville,K., 2002) Selpha Maende Okweno is an 87-year-old grandmother living in Kenya’s Busia district. For decades her family has grown sugar cane and made a good living from it. But now it is threatened by trade policies which enable foreign sugar exporters to sell sugar more cheaply in Kenya than local producers (Somerville,K., 2002) It is really killing farmers in Africa which makes them to sell their farms goods cheaply due to the free trade which makes other people to import the same goods into the country. The farmers in Africa are really poor despite the hard work they do in their farm.

(Pros)For Globalization in Africa  Globalization improves Africa culture and norms: Globalization has made countries and ethnic group to rich their culture in other to attract people from other world to study about their culture and visit their community. Internet plays a key role in allowing other ethnic group or country to access information about different ethnic groups or country. Globalization has also made it easy to adopt some good culture of country or ethnic group by movement across the globe.

According to Nwegbo,M,U., Eze, C,C., and Asongwa, B (2011) state that globalization has Integration on Nigerian Culture: The impact here is that globalization has integrate Nigeria culture and allow each cultural community to view the other’s culture in the internet. As a sport (football) which is a western culture unites Nigeria more than any other activities at the international arena, so would cultural globalization to Nigeria’s cultural diversity. With the name “Nigeria Cultural Heritage” on the internet, so the world is viewing Nigeria as a more united cultural nation. A proponent of this view Lechner (2002) outlined thus (1) that interaction across boundaries leads to the mixing of cultures in particular places and practices (i.e. pluralisation). (2) That cultural flows occur differently in different spheres and many originate in many places (i.e. differentiation), and (3) that integration and spread of ideas and images provoke reaction and resistance/competition (i.e. contestation).

Speedy Access: Once globalized, Nigerian cultures can be accessed online. Cultural access through the internet can be localized. By localization we mean a process by which foreign cultures viewed in the satellite TV system or the internet can be practiced in Nigerian environment or and vice versa. This information can be accessed online simultaneously without distorting the contents. Digitization: Digital scanners and cameras can be used to capture digital images (of cultural artefacts) for importation into computer systems. Conway (2000) highlighted some of the benefits of digitization to include: (a) digital images offer unique advantages because information and contents may be delivered directly to end users; (b) the data can be easily formatted, edited, and printed; (c) the digital collections are accessible to a large number of users simultaneously.

All the fact stated by Nwegbo above is really correct, that’s some of positive impact of globalization on culture and norms. The internet has helped a lot in access of information about a country’s culture or ethnic group.  Globalization has economically improved Africa women:

Initially in Africa women are not allow to go to school saying women will get married and be a house wife to her husband so there is no need for the them to have education. Some of the Islamic community women are allow to having only Islamic education. Africa women only engage in farming and small scale trading but the surfaced of globalization has change a lot of things in Africa whereby women are now into education than men, own business and also hold political position.

According to Boko (2009) globalization has improved gender inequality, empowerment of women in the terms of education, in the labor force, and on demographic trends (relating to the aging of the population). She also recommend special education and skills training focused on women, on legal change to facilitate women’s access to land and other property, and on the promotion of political leadership positions for women which will all enhance women’s capacity to participate more significantly in the economies of African countries. Globalization has improved women dramatically in terms of education and economic in Africa which makes the women to involves both politics and nation building.

 Globalization improved economics in Africa: Globalization has improved Africa economics in many ways and some of the ways is production of raw material, export minerals resources, improvement in the agriculture sector and the access to international trade which give the countries huge income.

Zambia, for example, is paid in U.S. dollars for the copper it exports. Zambia can use dollars earned through export to either invest in new projects at home or to pay for goods and services it needs to import. If Zambia could have used money earned from copper exports just for investment in its own economy, it would most likely have experienced stronger economic growth. Zambia, like other African countries, has other obligations that have to be paid for with the money earned through the export of copper. First, international debt repayments have to be made in an international currency. Zambia needs to use nearly thirty percent of the money earned on exports to make payments on its debt. (Exploring Africa, 2012)

Africa trading with foreign currencies like dollar, pound, Yen and franc which are being accepted worldwide help in boast Africa economic. Like the above statement which Zambia earns in dollar through the selling copper.

Conclusion In a brief , the concept of globalization has it positive and negative impact in general but looking at Africa before the introduction of globalization Africa is really behind in terms of development, relationship with other nation, fully access to information and women empowerment and so on. Globalization has brought Africa more closely to other nations, being assisted by other nation to develop the continent and to eradicate poverty and hunger. Considering the negative impact, Globalization has washed away the beautiful culture of Africa, giving out it richly natural resources in a cheap price in other to gain relation with west countries. Moreover, it has a lot positive and negative impact but it positive impact is more than the negative impact is up to Africa leaders to find a way to deal with the negative impact that is associated with globalization.

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