Globalization, Poverty and Development in Africa
Poverty, hunger and disease have today remained widespread in Africa. The worldwide promotion of neo-liberal economic policies since the 1980s and 1990s by global governance institutions has the more been accompanied by increasing inequalities within and between states. Within the Third World countries, the adverse impact of globalization has been more acutely felt as countries has been forced to adopt free market policies as a precondition for debt rescheduling and in the hope of attracting new investment to spur development. By and large, it is only in recent time that development scholars became better placed to engage with the interrelated issues of poverty, development and hunger in this era of globalization. This extended to influence the diplomatic world, where interest in these issues is necessary; spurred on by fears of terrorist threats and recognition of the uneven impact of globalization. This paper examined the interconnection between poverty, hunger, development and globalization. Theoretically it was anchored on the Liberal approach to politics. Analyzing these issues as they affect African countries vis-à-vis the other developed countries of the world in this era of globalization, the paper argued that globalization has led to African people losing their job in the local production process or as a long run effect, these local producers abandoning their own production as a result of lack of patronage in favour of foreign products; the domestic products in African countries being disrupted and consumer preferences in the importing countries changed in line with the cheap imports; export markets for the developed industrial countries in Europe being created; stress on the cash crop production resulting in the divorce towards export oriented, large scale, intensively mechanized productions; the African countries not being able to match these needs thereby leading to their GDP continually worsening with people living below poverty line increasing in the face of their underdevelopment. Yet, these African countries still co-exist with the European countries with developed market economy in the globalized world. The paper therefore concludes that Africa is faced with awesome development challenges and globalization accounts for this as Africa is thrown into a competitive situation with the west as an underdog. Equally is that if sub-Saharan African countries continue on their current course, it will take them another one hundred and fifty years to reach the millennium development goal (MDG) target of halving poverty and their underdevelopment situation continues to worsen.