Globalization in Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko, Africa Pages: 11 (2667 words) Published: February 15, 2013


It is factual that globalization began before the industrial revolution was existent in the colonial period and continues to be a major influence on how governments worldwide operate. When analyzing the effects of globalization, a common controversial debate is whether globalization has maimed the society or has brought significant benefit. The African society is used severally by anti-globalists to defend their views. This paper explores the negative dynamics of globalization in Sub-saharan Africa e.g. undermining of state sovereignty and hastening of environmental degradation of the continent. However, it does not suggest that globalization is entirely bad nor does it say that globalization is the only cause of Africa’s problems. It proposes some measures that can be considered when globalizing the African market so that this negative effects can be minimized.

The nations of the world have synchronized their trading goods and services, financial markets, Ideologies, innovations and cultures through globalization. The free flow market policy adopted by many countries has led to significantly positive outcomes in the broader African region for example, creating new job ventures and advancements in technology. However, globalization has also cast a dark shadow on some sectors of the African economy , an issue that this paper will put into perspective with a particular case study on the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some proposed consequences of globalization addressed here include increased conflicts in the area, erosion of state sovereignty, imbalance in the ecosystem and income inequality. Sub-Saharan Africa is a term used to refer to all of Africa except the Northern region. Most of their economies are agricultural based and are not as stable as those in the Western world. The average income in sub-Saharan Africa is below the poverty line level. Nevertheless, this region enjoys a large comparative advantage on raw resources in the extractive industries for example minerals and oil. The demand for these minerals can perhaps explain why immediately before the great recession in 2008,there was the 27% increase in FDI; the highest ever seen(Jaja:3).Foreign companies can obtain these minerals at a very low cost in some African countries and reap huge marginal benefits. Some of the avenues they use to get them are questionable as is the case with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Congo Zaire) is a central African nation that borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its neighbouring countries include Central African Republic Southern Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola and Tanzania (the two are separated by Lake Tanganyika).It is the second largest nation by area with over 65 million people. It was a Belgian colony and gained independence in June 1960. DRCongo has the most variety in biodiversity in Africa and enviable amounts of rare natural resources such as diamond, copper, gold, cobalt, timber and coltan. With its resources one would expect that such a country would be awash with prime economic developments, projects to exploit all agricultural potential and high standards of living. On the contrary, most of the civilians in DRC live in poverty and have not benefited from the rich well of resources they have. They are victims of years of civil war, propelled by power- hungry, conniving national leaders and part of the international community. A sneak peak into the colonial history of DRCongo reveals that the exploitation of the minerals for self-intrests is not a recent phenomena.

In the late 1800s, King Leopold of Belgium acquired full rights of ownership of the Congo territory at the Conference of Berlin. He governed it like private property and the area experienced some developments. However, this came at the expense of the local people because they were...
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