GLOBALIZATION: THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SIDE TO IT
Globalization fostered interaction amongst people on a worldwide scale due to advances in transportation and communication technology. The prevalence of this concept was reinforced in the 20th and 21st century by the discovery of the internet. With the internet interconnection amongst people from different part of the world became stronger and much more fun. It also increased trade amongst nations and exchange of ideas and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of integration that has social and cultural aspects, but conflicts are also large part of this concept.
While globalization has offered a global exchange of ideas, cultures and technology amongst countries and regions of the world, it has succeeded uplifting the value, belief and culture system of developed countries and society while trampling those of the developing countries. This factor has led so many people to consider globalization as a reoccurrence of colonization in an appealing form.
Africa as a continent has been greatly affected by globalization although the continent seemed to have highly benefited from it in the area of technological advancement. Africans have benefited from innovations and ideas transmitted from other part of the work. The internet has of today become an object of unification being a significant tool for bringing the world closer. Aside technological advancement, globalization presents the best chance for developing countries to grow and develop economically. Globalization creates conditions conducive for global capitalism and democracy, while fuelling economic grow. Such advantages include but not limited to:
Increased Employment and better living standards:
Globalization increases trade, which gives rise to increased financial flow that theoretically implies increased capital injection and redistribution. If such capitals are properly invested, it is bound to alleviate poverty by creating employment and instigating better living standards.
Improved Wages for Local Community:
Globalization promotes international trade through Multinational Enterprises (MNE). Such organizations, while leveraging lower labour costs tend to improve wages, which creates greater motivation for local work force when “a globally unified compensation system for employees” (Shenkar and Luo, 2007:9) is maintained.
Increased Financial Flow:
Globalization reduces control over local economies. In recognition of this effect, the global community assume greater responsibilities. For instance the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), and the World Bank are international organizations that streamline and facilitate financial, commodity, labour and information flow.
The IMF is known to have provided last resort loans to developing countries. In 1986, the IMF provided loans to Nigeria for industrial development. Such loans are usually accompanied by stringent structural Adjustment programs aimed at alleviating indebtedness and depression, by boosting the economy.
While globalization offers these benefits, its dangers generally draw from its advantages, since policies advantageous to one country may constitute setback to another. When we group developed and developing countries, a pattern emerges that offers more advantages to developed countries than developing ones, such as:
According to WTO, dumping involves selling products at unfairly low prices. Globalization tends to increase commodity dumping in developing countries where there may be inadequate infrastructure and/or limited Know-how to efficiently produce similar products by local industries.
For instance, China uses her abundant low cost labour and technological know-how to produce cheap goods such as toys and apparels with which markets in developing countries are flooded. This results in trade distortion. Shenkar and Luo (2007) notes that developing countries such as Nigeria become “digital dumps” for discarded and unserviceable computers and monitors, most of which are beyond repair.
Threat to Local Industries:
Globalization also constitute threat to local industries of developing countries. This is because most local industries in developing countries lack the knowledge, skills and resources to produce products that would compete with similar products produced in developed countries.
For instance, Nigeria is fraught with chronic, epileptic power supply. Thus factories are forced to rely on power generating set, which would have to be fuelled. Diesel and gasoline are not cheap, added to maintenance costs combine to reflect on commodity prices. Such disadvantages offset the advantage of low labour cost. This makes it extremely difficult for developing countries to compete with their foreign counterparts in a global market.
In Developed countries there are usually stringent regulations on environmental pollution. This is usually as a result of greater awareness and education. Globalization have made it easier for manufacturers to relocate manufacturing facilities to developing countries where there are highly relaxed environmental laws and monitoring standards. This results in degradation of local environment with attendant health issues for developing countries.
By adopting the western knowledge and technologies we’ve been exposed to their culture and values which have to great extent suppressed the indigenous values and culture transmitted to the younger generation in Africa. This scenario is evident in developing African countries like Nigeria where nearly all its youth population tend to live their lives as a replica of their western counterpart. The western fashion, slang, tradition and lifestyle has gradually replaced the indigenous ones amongst this age group.