GLOBALISATION: INTERCONNECTEDNESS AND THE DIGITAL MEDIA REVOLUTION
By Mensah Charles
Globalisation in my view has to do with the way the advent of technology has reshaped the world in smaller way.
Some school of thought posits that, globalisation has impacted Africans and other countries negatively because the concept and philosophies of free trade rather cripple the capacity of the middle income countries. Others also say the inequality in the global economy falls when developing countries enter the global markets. These and many other views and opinions from experts and professionals goes on to explain why this ubiquitous term is of essence to the development of the developing countries and the whole world.
Globalisation is the ‘inter-connectedness of the minds and philosophies across the continent”. This means globalisation goes beyond exchange of tangible products to abstract products although the former forms a vital part of the latter. For instance an application software created by a Ghanaian developer and used by people in Germany or USA is a perfect example of globalisation. It creates a hub of minds to connect and share ideas on the way forward as global citizens.
The greater view in globalisation which is sometimes seen as the partnership between the regional unions like the ECOWAS, EU, or BRICS in a way is activated and reactivated by the flow of mindset through the digital media in this 21st century. An integrated world through social innovation is speeds up the whole process of globalisation in my view. Among the agents of globalisation, which includes computers or technology and transportation, technology stands out and have had more impact in globalisation than any other agent across the continent. In terms of technology and digital innovation, challenges on health, education, and economy are to a larger extent curbed through mobile and computer software applications.
The mPedigree’s network of using text messaging to detect counterfeit drugs is also an example of how globalisation through the concept of technology has made life easier and comfortable to live in without fear of worsening health situations through consuming fake drugs. The introduction of m-Pesa (a mobile-money platform) in Kenya which has now been introduced to Afghanistan, Indian, South Africa and Eastern Europe makes economic activities easier across the continent. PayPal, in America and used by thousands of business and corporate bodies worldwide gives credence to the fact that globalisation has rather simplified living through the advent of technology. The willingness to make life better precedes the creation of these apps and softwares for daily use.
The use of social media for advocacy is also a way globalisation has influenced and reshaped the world in my view. Social media platforms like Facebook and twitter have great influence on the way and manner people communicate and exchange ideas. Movements and global issues presented on these social networks have a way of going beyond its boundaries to achieve its target of making waves on the internet in the quest to achieve the primary objective. Notably among them was the #BringBackOurGirls campaign on twitter which made way into the global scene as every corner of the world supported such an initiative. Social media campaigns, when strategized well, could go beyond boundaries and live to achieve the purpose for which it was intended for. My opinionated globalization views are that of the way technology has bridged the gap between distant communications (although other globalization thoughts and views are essential and are adhered to the general concept of globalisation).
Globalisation cuts across all facets of the human life and new forms of collaboration must emerge if this concept can be actualised for development of the new world.
Economically, there has been several reforms to strengthen lowly communities and countries for that matter by institutions and countries. As stated early on, the partnerships between sub-regional countries are important elements in globalisation. Economic reforms through partnerships by these countries and institutions are thus vital in the concept of globalisation. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was launched exactly fifteen (15) years ago has been instrumental in the economic growth of the third world and developing countries. Significant improvements have been seen although not all objectives have been realised per the declaration. This means other types of reforms by other global institutions can also uplift somewhat developing and third world countries. This is impact as far as globalisation is concerned.
Several challenges are always arising in Africa in security, health, economy, education among others but a global partnership can possibly alleviate the conditions. After various futile attempts by the Nigerian security force to halt the actions of the obstinate Boko Haram, it has now sought the help of the US army to help in ripping off the militant group. Loans and aids from these institutions are also there to bring development and infrastructure to least developed nations. There may be strings attached but the positive effects obviously outweighs the perceived negativities that the country suffers.
Ghana recently contracted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to come to her aid amidst its economic challenges including depreciation of the currency, high inflation rates and huge wage bill among others. There may be certainly be conditions that will be unfavourable for some Ghanaians as there is an adverse effect on public sector employment. The welfare of some Ghanaians to a larger extent is compromised for the deal. But in the period of the process, these pertinent issues are going to be solved and the institution’s intervention will be of a great help to the overall macroeconomic development of the country. This is where globalisation is very essential.
Although there has been the school of thought advocating against globalisation and how they have had some negative effects on the sub-Saharan economy, some great amount of credits should be given to how it has come to the aid of the afore-mentioned economies when there is the dire need of it. Nonetheless, there are still challenges that bedevil the African continent but a connection of institutions for partnership can alleviate these plight and cause a global change.