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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Globalisation and the poor in the Global South

According to Joseph Nye of Kennedy School of Government there are many components of globalization including social globalization (fast information), environmental globalization (global warming/climate change), military/security and finally economic globalization.

Joseph Nye notes that “What economic globalization does is it tends to create a good deal of inequality. Some people get ahead while others don't get ahead as quickly or at all.”

In the advanced countries those who don’t get ahead as quickly as possible  or those that don’t get ahead at all are protected by the state through programmes such as social security, unemployment benefits, health insurance, disability benefit, study stipends, fuel/energy allowance and other safety nets. These programmes help to reduce the negative and destructive impact of globalization on their lives. On the other hand such safety nets do not exist in the global south including Africa and therefore people are more exposed to the destructive impact of economic globalization.

This is what worries many anti-poverty activists. The demonstrations in North Africa and the Middle East and its impact on fuel prices show that the world cannot ignore the inequalities that come with economic globalisation especially its devastating impact on people in the global south. 

The question is: How do we protect those in the global south that do not benefit from the wealth that economic globalization creates so that they do not react negatively to offset the wheel of globalisation? How do we create opportunities and avenues for the poor to fully participate in the  game of globalisation? What role can governments, corporations and civil society play to ensure that the poor are not left behind?

By Lord Adusei 

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