AFRICA AND THE WEST IN GLOBALISATION

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Hodonou Germain

by Germain Hodonou

2014-12-31
 

Globalisation means the worldwide integration of economic, trade and financial activities. No country in the world can escape the resulting dizzying acceleration of exchanges, particularly via Internet. Consequently, the whole world is affected: the 34 countries of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)[1], the 18 countries[2] of the eurozone, often also members of the OECD, the emerging Asian States and the African countries. Although this huge economic change is of benefit to many, it constitutes a handicap to those without the resources to deal with competition.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the framework for globalisation, which emerged strongly at the beginning of the 1990s with the acceleration of trade liberalisation in industry, agriculture and services and cultural property. During these years, according to the anthropologist and essayist Emmanuel Todd, “globalisation is experienced passively: it is supposedly inevitable, a natural outcome of the new digital or financial technology. It is something that happens, everywhere and nowhere, independently of the wishes of the States”.

The period (1945-1973) of the “thirty glorious” years of post-war expansion when growth reached 5% in France and when the developed nations prospered without interruption is very distant now... Another period began: the emerging countries asserted their competitiveness, financial crises broke out, the stability of the energy market became precarious and free movement of capital, like the liberalisation of international exchanges (goods, merchandise and services), resulted in a profound change in behaviour.

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