Economic dependence of Africa
Despite the clever accounting presentations of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Africa is the only continent whose economic indicators of health and social services are deteriorating steadily. The emphasis on trade liberalization and the priority given to exports over the past decade, have led to unprecedented growth of world trade in goods, whose pace has continued to exceed that of production.
In addition, the share of trade in gross domestic product (GDP) of Africa (excluding South Africa and Nigeria) has also seen some increase from 45% to 50.4% between 1980 - 1981 and 2000-2001. Yet, overall, the share of Africa in world exports fell from about 6% in 1980 to 2% in 2002, and its share in world imports from 4.6% to 2.1% in the same period. However, there is a paradox on the African continent. A victim of globalization, it plays an important role, especially as a store of raw materials.
Africa has 99% of the world's chromium, 85% of palatinate, 68% cobalt and 54% of the gold, to name a few of its resources. It also has substantial resources of oil and gas. Nigeria and Libya are part of the club of oil producing countries. Moreover, Africa is rich in diamonds, timber and bauxite. However it is partly this wealth which is the weakness of the African continent. The free trade that governs the structure of world trade can indeed lead to official looting with the imposition of the opening of economies.
Africa is not a part of the globalization of the world: It cannot afford to act as a true player on the world stage and in facing the full brunt of capitalism cannot control it. The continent passively participates in the global economy for the benefit of powers, particularly the Western ones. The logic of extroversion, passive economies, and societies for the benefit of the colonial past, continues in new forms without the nature of the process changes.
Marginalization of Africa in world trade flows: its economic dependence. Dependence implies a relationship of subordination and submission. Being dependent on someone or something deprives us of our freedom of action. While at the time of colonization of Africa, the relationship of subordination was clear, it is now more hidden and ambiguous but very present.
Making an inventory of the economic situation of Africa in the early twenty-first century means to question the reasons for the marginalization or exclusion on the continent vis-a-vis the rest of the world.
While classical and neo-classical theories saw the growth of trade as a factor in the development and enrichment that would benefit all countries through specialization, the current position of Africa challenges the vision of globalization that would benefit the greatest number.
While globalization has allowed some geographical areas to develop,such as South Asia and East Africa appears to remain on the sidelines of this phenomenon. The figures clearly demonstrate this. The continent has 11% of the world's population but carries out only 1% of global GDP and 2% of international trade.
Investigating the causes of this marginalization and economic dependence of Africa vis-a-vis the West needs to take into account the unique history of Africa and has maintained relations with the continent outside . The structuring of African economies and societies has historically performed well in relation to the outside.
Tags: Economic dependance of Africa; trade liberalization; economic situation of Africa