Globalisation, Its Implications and Consequences for Africa

S.T. Akindele, Ph.D; T.O. Gidado, M.Sc; and O.R. Olaopo; Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University


© 2002 by S.T. Akindele, T.O. Gidado, and O.R. Olaopo. All Rights Reserved. This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the editors of Globalization. Akindele, S.T., T.O. Gidado, and O.R. Olaopo. "Globalisation, Its Implications and Consequences for Africa." Globalization. 2.1 (Winter 2002).


Given the historical relationship between Africa and the West it is ironic that the latter is today preaching the virtues of freedom to Africans. Former colonisers and ex-slave-owners have made a virtue of championing political and economic liberalisation. Yesterday’s oppressors appear to be today’s liberators, fighting for democracy, human rights and free market economies throughout the world (Obadina, 1998)

The concept of globalisation is global and dominant in the world today. But, it was not handed down from heaven, it was not decreed by the Pope, it did not emerge spontaneously. It was created by the dominant social forces in the world today to serve their specific interests. Simultaneously these social forces gave themselves a new ideological name the - “international community” - to go with the idea of globalisation (Madunagu 1999).

Globalisation...has largely been driven by the interests and needs of the developed world (Grieco and Holmes, 1999)

Globalisation has turned the world into the big village... This in turn has led to intense electronic corporate commercial war to get the attention and nod of the customer globally...This war for survival can only get more intense in the new millenium. Are we prepare(d) to face the realities of this global phenomenon, which has the potential of wiping out industrial enterprise in Nigeria (and Africa)? What can we (or do we) do? (Ohuabunwa, 1999).

It is needless to distractedly search for any premise other than the foregoing to commence the analytical examination of the holocaust effects of globalisation particularly as it concerns the African continent. It should be stated, however, that the extent of these effects as well as the coping ability/capacity of its victims are explainable within the context of human history, which, on its own has not been static, and which had continuously evolved with the society itself over the years. In the course of this evolution, various developments and changes had taken place. These changes or developments had, in most cases, affected the systemic existence of humankind per se regardless of the geo-political location within the universe.

One of such changes or developments that is currently affecting the physiology of human society today through its imposition of constraints on the policy-making autonomy or independence of member states vis-à-vis their capacities for the authoritative allocation of scarce and critical societal values or resources among other functions, is globalisation. As a result of its combination of “destructive leviathan” and improved material well-being of humankind (Ohiorhenuan 1998:6), globalisation has continued to attract increased scholarly and analytical attention across the globe. It is, thus, not fortuitous that globalisation has been at the epicentre of most developmental and intellectual discourses.

This is not unconnected with the fact that world developments have been increasingly characterised not by their growth dynamics but by their links to the process of globalisation. Hence, the overwhelming character of globalisation has made it compelling for some scholars to use various aspects of the global economy as units of analysis (Woods, 1988, Tussie, 1994, Cerry, 1994, Krugman and Venables 1995, Tebin and Estabrooks, 1995, Biersteker, 1998, De Vet, 1993, Kahler, 1993; Dunning, 1998; Obadina, 1998, Madungu 1999, Colle, 2000, Ohuabunwa, 1999, Otokhine, 2000).

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Last Modified: 12 April, 2002