Student: Alina Gabriela Rus Instructor: Robin Petrovic Class: English 161

Africa in an Age of Globalization

In recent years, interactions among people have become more connected and interdependent on each other. This phenomenon which is aptly known as globalization, describes the increased mobility of goods, services, labour, technology, and capital throughout the world. New opportunities, faster economic growth, and higher standards of living are among the many benefits of globalization. Edoho Moses Felix, in his book Globalization and the New World Order, considers globalization not only a large part of the economy, but he also believes that it is a complex form of internationalization. For some countries, and even continents, the process of internationalization and globalization is possible only because other states have found that prosperity is easier achieved when two or more regions join their powers to help one another prosper economically. Among the regions that need financial and technical support, for better development, is the continent of Africa. In 1975, the regional GNP per capita of Sub-Saharan Africa stood at 17.6 per cent of ‘world’ per capita GNP; by 1999 it had dropped to 10.5 per cent. African infant-mortality rates were 107 per 1,000 live births in 1999, compared to 69 for South Asia and 32 for Latin America.( Human Development Report 2001 144). The discrepancy between Africa and the rest of the world grows larger every year, but with enough help from countries like United States, the economy and the life style in Africa

can undergo positive transformations; these transformations are powered by technological change. In general, because African countries lack technology, which is indispensable if engaging in this global production system, they can only participate as bystanders in this challenging process of modernization. This is one of the few things that needs change in this part of the world. New information and technology can serve as development factors, which are used to speed up the economic development of Africa and its poor communities. Several factors have kept Africa a few steps behind today’s modernism. One of the most important ones is the Cold War which had significant consequences for Africa during 1960’s and 1970’s, when it has caused the emergence of authoritarian regimes in most African countries (Newsome 63). By the end of The Cold War, support was withdrawn by the major powers from many African countries which were considered no longer of strategic importance (Edoho 89). Another factor is the debt trap in which this continent is caught. Paying back interest on these debts becomes another drain on foreign exchange. Pressure grows to increase exports in order to meet debt repayments. When this fails, more borrowing follows, and so the debt spiral takes another upward turn (New Internationalist 139). If people are taught how to use new equipment in agriculture, for example, more goods are produced; this leads to increased exports, so borrowing is not necessary any more. Technology can increase the number and the diversity of jobs in Africa’s countries. By exploiting the natural resources Africa has and by improving the quality of service offered on this continent, more jobs are formed, more people contribute to

society’s best interest, and the economy develops better. Most of the jobs that are performed on the African continent cannot be performed in The United States, or other countries. One of the reasons would be the natural resources that only Africa owns. Not only does investing in creating jobs on the African continent help African economy, but it helps the economy of the investing country, as well. For example, products imported from other countries are less expensive for The United States, which is better for both the consumers, more money left to invest in proprieties, and producers, the guarantee that they will have a job, since the demanding is high. In Africa’s case, it will help with paying its debts and creating a better lifestyle. When people have a reliable budget every month, the style of life will increase and there will be less people getting sick because of a poor immune systems or malnutrition. A better level of communication is one of the key improvements technology can bring to the African continent. In Africa, better levels of communication will save time. People will not have to walk long distances, just to communicate news. It will also help develop better relationships among families by keeping them in touch with all family members that are away, or in hospitals. Through this, the emotional health of the communities will also be improved. Unfortunately, not only the emotional health is unstable, but so is the physical one. The average life expectancy is only forty nine that imposing laws, for example, to make Nile cleaner may affect some of Egypt’s traditions. One of these traditions involves a marriage custom in which the animals that the couple receive as gifts years (New Internationalist 139). This is because off of the diseases that can not be cured in time, since transportation is not available to common people. Some may argue from their

families have to be thrown in the Nile River and left to sink to the bottom. This symbolizes the beginning of a new life that the humans and animals alike are going to have. This might hold true, but it is far more important to have a clean and healthy nation than a traditional, sick one. By using technology, there will be less manual work, so the quality of certain tasks, like doing laundry, will increase. With fewer germs around the house and cleaner maternities, the rate of mortality in infants (120/1000) will also be positively affected. When there are more children, the motivation to offer a better level of education increases. Researches have proposed a different method of education: without teachers, but through big monitors in each classroom (James 113). The reason why this is a good idea is because there are not enough teachers able and willing to teach children the basics. At present, the demand for teachers is higher than the actual number of teachers available. When using monitors in each classroom, few people able to work with technological equipment are needed for a whole school. By getting a better education, children get the chance to form their own opinions about the world and its problems. They also get access to more accurate information and events that can help develop broader life views. The adults of the community can benefit from technology by improving the methods used in agriculture. Even though they will have to be trained how to use certain machines and some money might be spent only on mistakes and the training process, after users are trained, they develop technical and organizational skills which can be used in the organizations and institutions to which they belong. At present, agriculture is the

main source of income for most of the people in Africa. With the proper amount of technological help, it could become the main factor of improvement in Africa’s economy. It is argued that the financial implications of the process meant to help Africa develop are too costly and not well worth it. However, this would mean that people born there are condemned to a life of misery and bad culture. This contradicts human rights that sustain that everyone is born with an equal chance of survivor. It is important that nations do something to change the living conditions in Africa. These recent crises in Africa demonstrate the illusion and the impossibility of a nation to develop by itself. These crises can only be overcome with help from outside, from the already globalized nations. China’s current action of developing a strategic partnership with African countries should come as an example for the whole world. From the angle of economics, China-Africa co-operation will bring each other’s advantages into full play (China Daily 4).

Bibliography:

Wenping, H. “Africa’s prosperity bears the fruits of world peace.” China Daily 6 Nov. 2006 <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2006-11/06/content.html.>

Fischer, S. “The Challenge of Globalization in Africa” 19 Jan. 2001 < http://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2001/011901.html>

James, Tina. Information and Communication Technologies for Development in Africa. 3 vols. International Development Research Centre, Canada, 2003

Edoho, Moses Felix. Globalization and the New World Order. Connecticut : Praeger Publishers,1997