Impact of Globalization in Africa

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GLOBALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT.
TITLE: SHORTCOMINGS OF GLOBALIZATION. PREPARED FOR: DR. ETIENNE DE BELDER. PREPARED BY: REBECCAH ONWONG’A. COURSE: MASTER OF BIOLOGY SPECIALIZATION HUMAN ECOLOGY. DATE: 29TH DECEMBER 2011.


 

  GLOBALIZATION. Globalization is the global interconnectedness of economic activities. It is characterized by new technologies, new structures, new economies and new cultures. All these are structured around global financial flows that are based of computer simulations and speculations. The resulting global economy is very turbulent due to non-linear feedbacks and it is easily influenced by political events and influential analysts’ projections. These is seen when there is instability in the stock markets in certain countries like the United States of America. The instability affects all other stock markets in the world. But is globalization global? The global economy sees some areas as invaluable and politically irrelevant and often such areas are excluded from this global economy. The idea of globalization was conceived by leading capitalist countries, global financial institutions (World Bank, International Monetary fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO)) and transnational co-operations. The minds behind this idea of globalization thought that this was one way of improving the livelihoods everybody in the globe but as we shall see later on, the models used to come up with globalization had major loop holes. Global information communications and new technologies have played a big role facilitating globalization. This is through the computers, Internet and mobile phones. This has made business transactions easy such that by the click of a button, a lot of money circulates around the globe. New innovations have resulted in increased productivity and competition. These technological advances have lowered the costs of transport and communication. Computers have made it possible to handle large amounts of data in a short time and information storage and retrieval has been made very easy. On a positive note, the new technologies have in one way or another helped in growth of economics

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through sharing of ideas. On the other hand, these advances in technology have led to homogenization of cultures. Globalization has increased the profits and productivity of multinational corporations. With free trade rules, some few people, the global elite has become richer and others who are the majority have become poorer. The free trade rules has enabled multinational companies invest their money in emerging economies and removing their money once they speculate that that economy is not doing well. This has wrecked the economies of many countries. Another issue is that this big multinationals have swallowed the small companies leading to losses of jobs. Capra, 2002, in his book ‘hidden connections’ says that most of these multi national companies always try to evade taxes and benefit from subsidies. As a result, their products are cheap and this outcompetes the local companies, which can result in more job losses. But on the other hand, globalization can become a scapegoat for failed national policies. Embezzlement and mismanagement of public resources and corruption deeply rooted in some countries should not be blamed on globalization. In any case, a government should be able to provide the needs of its people. According to the 2002 report on the international forum on globalization, the free trade rules set by the World trade organization consolidate power to a small corporate elite. Globalization has erased political and economic boundaries such that power has shifted from the people and communities to financial speculators, global corporations and leading capitalist countries. As a result, currency markets have made governments unable to control their economic policies because it is this markets that determine the values of national currency. According to Capra 2002, large economies are...
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