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globalisation and cultural imperialism

globalisation and cultural imperialism

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Published by ifezema321

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Published by: ifezema321 on Apr 08, 2009
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06/02/2013

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GLOBALISTATION, INFORMATION REVOLUTION AND
CULTURAL IMPERIALISM IN AFRICA: IMPLICATIONS FOR LIBRARY AND INFORMATION PROFESSIONALSBY IFEANYI J. EZEMA.Abstract.
Globalisation has brought a lot of changes which are impacting dramatically on the entire world. Political, cultural and socio-economicintegrations are becoming much easier and faster than before. This paper argues that the digital divide existing between developing and developed countries places Africa in disadvantaged position in the globalisation process: leading to cultural imperialism. It challenges library and information professionals to try and bridge this digital divide throughdigitalization of local contents, re-tooling, re-training, promotion of Africanlanguages, indexing of local contents and establishment of communityradios and televisions.
1. INTRODUCTION
The end of cold war and the collapse of Berlin wall towards the later  part of 20
th
century paved way for aggressive global integration in the recentyears. This integration driven by information and communication technologyhas brought about changes that cannot be ignored (Omekwu, 2001Emeagwali, 2004; Ya’u, 2004). Omekwu has rightly observed that historyhas always replicated changes. Man has transited from agrarian throughindustrial to the present information revolution. What is globalisation? Whatis the status of Africa in the present information revolution – the propeller of 
 
globalisation? How has globalisation contributed in cultural imperialism inAfrica? Finally how would Nigeria library and information professionals re-strategize to place Africa properly in the globalisation process? These arecritical issues which this paper seeks to address.Economic Commission for Africa (2000) remarked that globalisationrefers to changes occurring at global level, which in several ways have not been in the control of individual nation states and their government. In linewith this, Ya’u (2004) points out that it is all about greater interaction amongcountries and people. He however fears that this integration is dangerous because of inequalities existing between developed and developingcountries.Generally, two contrasting paradigms ignite the debate onglobalisation: as a form of integration and as form imperialism. Scholarswho see globalisation as a healthy development that intends to improve thelives of people in every society look at it as global integration of peoplegoods and services where all barriers are collapsed. The proponents of thisview are western scholars. On the other side of the divide are those who seeglobalisation as a metaphor for imperialism. They argue that globalisation isa mere brand name for economic and cultural imperialism, (Chang 2008). 
 
3. AFRICA AND THE NEW INFORMATION REVOLUTION
Globalisation has opened the door for information economy – information and knowledge have become very critical factors of production.This development posses a lot of challenges to Africa as Cogburn and Adeya(1999) have identified. These challenges include the development of information and communication infrastructures, human resourcedevelopment and employment creation; a reversal of African’s current position in the world economy; and sufficient legal and regulatoryframework and government strategy. Emeagwali (2004) and Ya’u (2004) inseparate works have cautioned that for any society to benefit from this borderless information environment, the critical infrastructures foinformation and communication technology must be in place – computer andinternet connectivity, sustainable power supply, human capacitydevelopment, and the political will by the government to sustain theseinfrastructures.
Internet Connectivity in Africa:
Emeagwali (1997) has argued that for Africa to catch up with in Europe and America in the new information age,Africa has to take two steps for every one step of Europe and America.Several studies have shown that Africa has the lowest internet andtelecommunication connections in the world.
World Development Indicator 

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