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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