This paper seeks to define what is globalization and the effects it has on the Caribbean and African nations. Globalization can be defined as a process which is hinged on international integration strategies arising from the interchange Of world views and which aims to expand business operations on a worldwide level. This has been hastened by the advancement of global communications, transportation infrastructure and changes in the political and socioeconomic scenery.
Globalization has had both positive and negative effects on Caribbean and African countries, it has been seen by some as constructive and strategic to the world’s economic development in the future but it is not limited to economics because it also affects the cultural, social and political landscapes f these nations. The supporters say it is unchangeable and unavoidable for developing and developed countries alike. As with everything else, there are also detractors who see globalization as a way of increasing the inequality that already exists within these nations and a way of stunting the social growth.
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Some positive effects which globalization has brought are as follows: Increased standards of living These developing nations within the regions now have much more access to foreign lending from organizations such and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMAM so the funds aimed from these loans are used to upgrade infrastructure such as highway networks, health care, education, and social services, the standard of living in the county increases because the population now has easier access to these facilities and a wider range of products and services to choose from.
Access to more trade avenues – Countries now have a freer way of trading between themselves which is maybe one of the greatest benefits of globalization to developing nations as most smaller countries now have access to much larger international markets and this in turn enables them to develop new cosmologies, products and services from knowledge and expertise gained by the exposure to these new markets.
An example of this is the foreign used car industry, Japan is a major trader of foreign used cars to the European, American, Caribbean and African markets and these cars present a cheaper alternative to purchasing a new vehicle and it also creates a lot of jobs in this particular industry within these various countries. Increased employment levels ?? Because international companies are now investing in developing countries, this has created vast employment opportunities for nationals of those countries.
For an international company, it is cheaper to set up a production or manufacturing unit in a developing country since labor costs tend to be cheaper and this in turn creates employment for both skilled and lesser skilled workers. Educational enhancement – Another powerful effect of globalization is a higher educated population. The greater advances in communication and technology are at the fingertips of these developing nations as well as the ease of transportation so the peoples of the various nations can now access the best educational institutions with the click of a mouse or direct enrolment in a foreign university.
A person living in Trinidad and Tobago can now go to a university in Singapore and learn that country’s financial sector’s modus operandi and in turn return to Trinidad and Tobago and apply that knowledge and experience to our financial sector as well as impart his/her knowledge to others which would now provide more educational opportunities to those who may be less fortunate and cannot make it directly to Singapore.
Cultural Diversification ?? With the movement of people from all different regions, whether it is from Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, China to Trinidad and Tobago or India to the ASSAI, that movement rough along with it a clash of different cultures. Cuisine, languages, fashion, entertainment and even religious beliefs have been spread throughout the world. Asian cuisine seems to have enveloped the people of Trinidad and Tobago as there are many many Chinese restaurants located on the islands.
Trinidad and Tobago carnival has been exported to the USA and Europe which showcases our culture and leads to an increase for our tourism sector as the number of visitors for carnival celebrations increases and greater revenue streams are thus created. The US culture of fashion and their music eave been major influences on the cultures of both developed and developing nations. Fast food and restaurant franchises from the USA are in most countries around the world. Islam is supposedly the fastest growing religion in the world and continues to spread to more and more countries.
Just as was said before, there are also negative effects of globalization and some are as follows:- Economic problems ?? Globalization essentially ties one country to another so when one country starts to feel the force of a financial depression, the next country experiences the same problem. For instance Trinidad and Tobago has floated it dollar and tied it to the US dollar so our dollar fluctuates whenever the US dollar does, sometimes making things really expensive because of the high price of the US dollar.
Another instance where globalization has affected economies was the global financial crisis of 2008 which affected most if not all developing and developed countries and threatened to totally collapse major financial institutions if it had not been for aid provided by national governments. We in Trinidad and Tobago had first- hand knowledge with the collapse and bailout to the tunes of billions of Lars by government Of insurance giant CLICK.
Occurrences such as this have caused many people to lose their jobs in both developed and developing countries as many companies were forced to cut spending in certain areas in order to stay afloat. Some companies within developed nations start outsourcing work to developing nations because the cost of labor is cheaper and the companies of developed nations can now increase their profits thus creating employment problems for the workers in the developed nations.
Dependency syndrome – Due to the fact that connections between developed ND developing nations are so easily made, goods and services from other nations are cheap and easy to obtain so some countries believe that they no longer have the need to produce their owns goods. This now creates a deficiency in one country’s manufacturing and service sectors while those sectors of the other county flourishes. These nations who get caught up in this scenario tend to have a very high import bill and economies which are somewhat stagnant or show very little growth.
Drain of the natural resources – Some Caribbean and African countries alike have been blessed with natural sources such and oil, gas and precious metals, these resources which are finite are now coveted by the developed countries because the demand is high as use in the developed countries and as well as use by the developing countries increases and this is leading to a depletion of those resources. Social problems – Some African countries are rich in oil and/or precious metals such as gold and diamonds.
Through globalization, oil and gold prices are very high and the commodities are in high demand so there are serious conflicts within these developing countries because different individuals or organizations are vying for control of these resources and these conflicts often lead to bloodshed. An example of this is conflict diamonds which are mined and then sold by warlords to fund civil wars in places such as Sierra Leone. Another negative effect of globalization on the societies of developing nations is crime; criminals are expanding their operations just as the lawful companies are doing.
With greater technology, these criminals are attacking the somewhat lesser technologically inclined developing countries with all types of fraudulent activities such as credit card and ATM scams, entertaining, money laundering and drug trafficking. All these criminal activities tend to break down the social fabric of both developed and developing nations but developing nations more so because they most likely lack the means to properly stem the flow of these crimes. Another negative effect which some experts believe that was created by the advent of globalization is the spread of communicable diseases.
This can be traced back to the times of the indigenous peoples when the Spanish came and brought with them such diseases as influenza and small pox which decimated the indigenous populations because they had no immunity to these diseases brought over from Europe. The same could be said for HIVE/Aids which has been spread across numerous borders because of the influx of different peoples into different territories. Today the threat of Bola to the world is imminent although it supposedly started in Africa; the disease has now showed its head in Europe and America.
Conclusion Globalization has brought a lot of profitability to some countries and a lot less to others. Caribbean countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Cuba and countries in Africa such as Nigeria, Gabon, Libya, Egypt, Sudan and Congo ho are all considered as being developing countries and who produce oil and gas have benefited immensely because there have been a lot of foreign investments and this in turn has greatly increased their foreign reserves As for non-profitability, some countries have lost entire sectors due to globalization for example the banana and sugar industries.