The Impact of Globalization on Africa's Social and Economic Conditions

1607 words 7 pages
The Impact of Globalization on Africa's Social and Economic Conditions
In the twentieth century, the phenomenon of globalization rapidly swept across the world forcefully and powerfully. The very concept of globalization is difficult to exactly define, as it has vast meanings to a vast number of people. Globalization is a relatively new term used to describe a very old process. It is a historical course of action that began with our human ancestors moving out of Africa to spread all over the globe. In the millennia that have followed, the issue of distance has become obsolete and human-made barriers decreased or removed to facilitate the exchange of goods and ideas. Propelled by the desire to improve one's life and helped along by
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The RDP did retain some redistributive elements, but these were rapidly abandoned in favor of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) program in 1996, due to the growing influence of the neo-liberals in the ANC. Not surprisingly, GEAR was drawn up almost solely by 15 economists picked from the World Bank, neo-liberal think tanks, and various African development banks. The GEAR program emphasized commercializing and then privatizing all of South Africa's public companies and services. It drastically cut government spending and secondary taxes on corporate profits. It meant substantially and prematurely reducing tariffs designed to protect South Africa's key infant economic sectors, including textiles and value-added manufactured agricultural goods (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_South_Africa#GEAR_Economic_Policy, retrieved April 30, 2006)
The approach had its successes, but these were outweighed by the overwhelming disappointments the program yielded. On the positive side, it produced greater financial discipline and macroeconomic stability. However, formal employment continued to decline, and despite the ongoing efforts of black empowerment and signs of a young black middle class and social mobility, the country's wealth remained unevenly distributed along racial lines (Chua, 99). The desperately needed foreign investments also failed to materialize,

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