Defined; globalization is “a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations; a process driven by international trade and investment and aided by information technology.” globalization101.com
In layman’s terms, it is the process by which people, companies and organizations from different countries come together for endeavors to open new grounds in terms of business, culture, learning and so on. In other words, globalization is exchanging of value across the world.
Evidence of this trend is all around us; things that didn’t exist two decades ago has now become mainstays of the economy. We have come to depend on them so much we almost cannot see ourselves without them. We wear foreign clothes and shop in international stores. We shout, scream ourselves hoarse and nearly die supporting international football clubs. We eat all kinds of international dishes including junk food and we know what is going on in the lives of international celebrities.
Who’s still Keeping Up With The Kardashians?
I remember a time when I just got into the university and I needed to have my credentials sent to me from Lagos. I went to a cybercafé (there were no cell phones at this point) to send a mail and I was charged fifty naira for a minute. Now? The cybercafé is all but obsolete. Co-working spaces have replaces them.
It’s a sign of the changing times; when we’re close to people living thousands of miles away from us – even closer in some cases than our next door neighbors. This opens up all sorts of possibilities- people get employed by international organizations via the internet. People date and even marry someone they met online. People get to do business and connect with partners worldwide – the possibilities are endless.
But it would seem; that the scales are tipped to one side.
Consider Shoprite; a South-African company.
Shoprite opened its first store in Nigeria in 2005 in Victoria Island, Lagos. Since then, it has grown with branches in Festac, Surulere, Ikeja, Mende/Maryland – and has expanded to Abuja, PH, Enugu, Ibadan for the moment.
How many Nigerian stores have such presence in South Africa?
I don’t particularly like football; yet I know Mourinho was fired as Chelsea manager in December 2015. I know who Ryan Giggs, Juan Mata and John Terry are. I get to watch movies almost as soon as – if not immediately they premiere in foreign cinemas. I know as much as the average American does about President Trump – or possibly even more than.
I don’t know these things because I am psychic or supremely intelligent. These are only a few of the dividends of globalization. The point I’m trying to make is; how much does my American counterpart know about Nigeria?
First, he has to be interested. Interested; because Nigerian way of life; dressings, culture, food, movies and other things are not shoved in his face day in day out. He has to go out of his way to find them. And then, even after his curiosity is pricked, where does he go for that information? The internet. Where we have little or nothing on life in Nigeria before the existence of millennials.
But whose fault is that? Why do we not have internationally thriving businesses? Could it be as a result of our nature as consumers and not creators (more on than later)? What happened to our local football clubs? What happened to GAP video club (mobile internet and torrent downloads probably killed them)?
So can we really say we have not benefitted from globalization, just because we’re yet to birth the next billion-naira business?
Maybe we need to change our approach and way of viewing things. Maybe we need to reconfigure ourselves; starting with our attitudes and behavior towards business. Maybe we need to start to think of actually creating value instead of merely living to eat.
Whatever we decide, whether we take advantage of globalization or not is up to us.
What are your thoughts on globalization? Do share in the comments!