Africa’s failure to develop is down to the actions of western powers; mostly, their exploitation of labour, and of resources. Large Corporations have used unstable African governments and unorganised workforces, in order to make millions, at great human cost. In other words, Globalisation has left millions of people desolate in Africa, for wealth.
Take for example, the globalisation of agriculture. It has failed to tackle world hunger. Instead, it further deepens the problem. In the last twenty years, the amount of food produced in the world has increased dramatically. So has hunger. Globalisation of farming pushes small, self-reliant farmers off their land and replaces there techniques of farming with chemical heavy and machine-intensive methods, largely owned by corporations; that make no effort to feed local communities. But instead, these farms export almost one-hundred percent of their produce. Often, after two or three years of intensive farming, the soil is left desolate. And again, local farmers are unable to feed their families.
We in Britain, buy ‘fairtrade’ products, and often donate money to aid appeals, which go to African nations. But: do these efforts, really benefit the African populace? In some respects, I think they do, although, no wholly. Take for example, Malaria. Every year, malaria causes around six-hundred-and-sixty-thousand deaths, mostly children in Africa. Malaria is easily prevented, by nets or medicines. However, more than eighty-five percent of Africans earn less than two dollars a day. Considering that a malaria net and vaccine will cost you around twenty dollars, in Africa; the equivalent to ten days of poverty wages. Wages, that barely feed a family. Wages paid largely, by one of the ten US corporations, who own almost everything including, the patents of Malaria curing drugs, and the manufacture of nets, which they will often sell for large profits.
In Zimbabwe, diamonds are mined, in order, to finance civil wars. These diamonds are often sold to a company, which will sell them in European, East Asian, and North American shops. These companies buy blood diamonds, because they are significantly cheaper than, compared with when diamonds are mined with human rights in mind. If they can buy them cheaper then -obviously- they can sell them cheaper. Despite the human cost.
We should me asking ourselves; why the African governments, or indeed western governments, have done little to tackle the aforementioned issues. The answer to this is rather complicated. Among other factors, many African governments have been left powerless, as a result of civil wars, or other types of conflict, alternatively, they have had little or no control over their economy, and no way to implement policies made; in other words, companies have been more powerful than they have. Almost all ‘Western’ governments have done nothing to help African nations develop or end exploitation. I believe this to be down to one key factor: it has been necessary for the same indivauls who run/own the corporations that are responsible for the exploitation of Africa, to appropriate the state; to achieve what they aim to achieve.
Globalisation has a negative effect on the environment. Developed areas of the world – Europe, Japan, North America and Australia- have neglected the earth. They pollute the air, rivers, lakes and oceans. In Mexico, the US tobacco industry used pesticides that leaked into local streams, which lead to genetically muted babies (they were born without genitals). This is not an isolated issue, the climate is changing. And it is Africa that will experience the most extreme weather conditions. Scientists say, that it is poorer countries in Africa, that most of the damage caused by climate change will occur. These countries are the ones that will be worst equipped for dealing with flooding and tropical storms, because they do not have the capital to rebuild. It is also thought, that tens of millions will lose their homes, due again to, tropical storms and flooding.
Furthermore, aid and charity have done little to further the standard of living conditions, for the vast majority of the African populace, as the proverb goes: ‘Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.’ What needs to be achieved is change. Fundamentally, Africa’s economy and political system needs to change, so that general population can take control of their farms, factories and mines. So that they can be run to benefit the people, not the profiteers. The economies of African nations must be allowed to developed, in the same way that every other develop nation has; through protectionism.
Starving Children search for insects to eat, Sudan.