Have you ever heard the phrases: “The world is now a global village” or maybe something like, “The world has shrunk” or even better still, “The world is much smaller than it used to be”.
All these phrases have rightfully been coined in an attempt to express the unprecedented connectedness of the world that we live in today.
Take a simple look around your environment. When you wake up in the morning, you possibly use a toothbrush made in South Africa, drink coffee or tea grown in Kenya, using a Chinese-made porcelain cup. Coupled with that, you jump into a Japanese car as you dash off to work. In your office, the large mahogany desk is an import from Italy with the plush office chair that is your pride designed in Spain.
That notwithstanding, as an individual you are adorned with clothing that bears the personal insignia of fashion gurus such as Giorgio Armani, Renee Lacoste and Paul Smith.
One is literally interacting with the whole world wherever they turn to without leaving their city or country.
Need I say more?
The effects of globalisation are far more real than we have come to realise. Everything and everyone in today’s world is connected, regardless of what field or endeavor one is involved in. The election of the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, last year drew world attention sending billions into a frenzy as they watched the first-ever election of a black president. The supporters are far from being American citizens, coming from Accra in Ghana to Kuching in Malaysia support is for a man who is not their own kindred!!
Music is another field that has an uncanny ability to draw the whole world to the dance floor, regardless of religion, race and location. Young people who are the target market for today’s aspiring artist dance relentlessly at the hit tunes of Shakira’s, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’. Some Middle East countries, such as Iran and Syria that have strict laws on importing “western” influence, are known to be having a tough time handling their youth who try to emulate what they see as the negative American lifestyle. Just last month alone, the United Arab Emirates banned the expression of affection in public in a bid to stop immoral behavior.
However, probably the question that begs an answer is the current global economic recession that we are experiencing. Why is it called global? When in my little home-town the small grocer store that we run is making super-profits.
That is exactly the point; life has ceased being about me, me and more of me. As industries reel under the pressure of the global recession it translates to less production of goods and less trade among countries. Consequently sales will dwindle and the grocer store will fall into its little recession. This might not be a comprehensive economic explanation but it does illustrate that what happens in one part of the world has an effect elsewhere.
However, economists with their MBAs and degrees from business schools are still trying to figure out why greedy capitalist practices on Wall Street in America are affecting ordinary people in Jwaneng and Kimberley.
It is simple, we are all connected and nothing has changed in the saying that, “when Uncle Sam sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold”.
Look at the black sheep in the SADC region, Zimbabwe. Her problems are affecting the whole region as countries have to spend taxpayers’ money on taking care of immigrants fleeing the economic hardships in that country. Madagascar, in the not too distant future, just might scoop the title from Zimbabwe as the problems there are bound to see our leaders convening emergency meeting one after the other.
Globalisation at its best!