International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss


One of the major features of international relations in the twentieth century was the increasing wave and process of globalization. This increase in the process and form of globalization which coincided with the unpolar world system operated by liberal capitalism and headed by the United States of America brings up a number of issues. One of such issues is the impact of globalization on the development and self-image of African states and people. This is because globalization is a broad process that permeates the whole world with far-reaching ramifications covering economic, political and cultural dimensions of contemporary life, and according to Jibrim Ibrahim, one of its most important characteristics is that it produces winners and losers. Thus, this paper argues that if there is any serious challenge confronting African state today, it is the threat of total marginalization from what is taking place in the global economy. This position is supported by the fact that in Africa, the dominant form of globalization means a historical loss in the economy of livelihoods and mode of existence; in politics, a loss in the degree of control exercised by territorial states such that the locus of power gradually shifts in varying proportions above and below the territorial state; and in culture, a devaluation of a people’s achievement or perceptions of them. This paper, therefore, examines the impact of globalization on Africa’s development and self – determination and how African states and people can assert relevance in a globalized world. The paper concludes by asserting that the threat of marginalization of Africa from the benefits of globalization imposes special responsibilities on African intellectuals and leadership to re-examine globalization and what it stands for, as well as define an alternative ideological and institutional framework within which Africa’s development and self-determination can be achieved.

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