People around the world are more connected to each other than ever before. Information and money flow quicker than ever. Products produced in one part of a country are available to the rest of the world. It is much easier for people to travel, communicate and do business internationally. This whole phenomenon has been called globalization. Spurred on in the past by merchants, explorers, colonialists and internationalists, globalization has in more recent times been increasing rapidly due to improvements in communications, information and transport technology. It has also been encouraged by trade liberalisation and financial markets. Globalisation is one of the most debated issues of the day. Gregory Allyn Palast is a New York Times-bestselling author and a journalist for the British Broadcasting Corporation, he argues ‘that globalisation further impoverishes the poor, enriching the rich and devastating the environment, while few supporters see it as a fast way to universal peace and prosperity.’
Globalization offers a higher standard of living for people in rich countries and is the only realistic route out of poverty for the world’s poor?. Pro-globalization groups e.g. World Trade Organization and the World Economic Forum believe that globalization helps to reduce poverty and increase living standards as well as encourage a better cultural understanding. Also, due to globalization, there can be international co-operation to solve environmental and social problems.
Manenji is a famous author giving views on globalisation through the eyes of an African woman. She argues that ‘unregulated free trade, driven solely by market forces, in that while it has raised standards of living for many people, especially in developed countries, it has not done so for the poorest. After 20 years of trade liberalisation, poverty in many countries has not