HIT Motto


School Hosts Public Lecture, Discusses Topical Globalization, Market & International Trade Issues

The Harare Institute of Technology's School of Business and Management Sciences in collaboration with the British Council successfully held a Public Lecture addressed by Professor Peter Ndege from Moi University of Kenya.

The topic of the Public Lecture was Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century and was held on Campus and at the Meikles Hotel to accommodate the entire HIT stakeholders, industry and commerce.

Professor Ndege's presentation touched on how globalisation has affected the market and Africa's trade by evaluating Africa's position in international commodity trade.

He argued that globalisation's promises have largely not been achieved in Africa and this situation is likely to persist for a long time to come mostly because the institutions that are concerned with globalisation, trade and the economic fortunes of the world such as the World trade Organisation (WTO), International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Multinational Corporations are simply engaged in the furtherance of their own economic interests.

"And indeed in the interests of the world's richest and powerful persons. These institutions ensure that the global market and trade operates in an asymmetrical bias based on unequal exchange, meaning African countries cannot trade on an equal footing. Economic relationships in the concept of globalisation are asymmetrical", he argued.

Professor Ndege also observed that of late many African countries have now turned their focus on trading with the East, increasing their trade with China and this has only heralded 'mixed fortunes'.

Professor Peter Ndege, Moi University (Kenya)Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century Professor Peter Ndege, Moi University (Kenya)

According to Professor Ndege, Globalisation is not just a process but a unique project by developed countries to intensify the integration of the developing countries like the rest of Africa into a more exploitative capitalist international system that has led to Africa's marginalisation. That integration has marginalised Africa more and more and this has manifested in the decline in western investment volumes of trade, high levels of economic aid and technological assistance to the region, capital flights and brain drain from the continent.

Nevertheless, Professor Ndege also argues that globalization also embodies for Africa many opportunities because Africa can now relate easily with the rest of the world more than before. "Africa should take full advantage of the opportunities offered by Globalisation and minimize the threats", he said.

He added that there is need to reform the states, both African states and the developed Western states to be transformed by developing and nurturing strong democratic ethos formulating national democratic agenda, establishing and nurturing democratic institutions, electing visionary and committed leaders and enhancing institutional, technical and managerial abilities.

African countries need to strengthen their civil societies, transform their economies and establish indigenous African development agenda. African countries' National policies should aim at increasing every person's income and economically empowering African people as well as strengthening their domestic markets making their economies eco-dynamic having an impact on production and employment.

African countries also need to put more emphasis on agriculture as well as developing competitive manufacturing sector that is export oriented. Regional and continental cooperation must be strengthened, as is happening in the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Africa should also broaden its membership to the World Bank because currently Africa is not represented and must also improve the deliberations and legal capacities of African representatives there.

There must be a limit on the influence of multinational corporations' involvement in the World Trade Organisation matters as well emphasising the principles of equity, fairness and justice in the practices of the WTO. The World trade Organisation must respect trade related aspects of Intellectual Property (IP) as a lot of IPs are being stolen in the very eyes of the WTO, he noted.

African countries need to convince multinational corporations to take a more proactive approach on issues of social and economic responsibility and use part of the profits they earn to help African countries improve their environments and building schools and hospitals.

"There is also need to engage with the WB and IMF to make them more responsive to Africa's concerns by allowing African countries to engage in greater participation within the WB and the IMF. African countries should also occupy permanent positions in the institutions", he said.

Africa should demand debt forgiveness or 'reparations'. The IMF and the World Bank must also improve their responses to crisis to avoid badly designed assistance and poorly implemented economic structural adjustment programmes in African countries.

The African business community has a big role to play in creating a better Africa by transforming the situation through engaging in a transition from 'market driven' operations. Instead of being influenced by the market, the businesses must themselves influence the market to 'market driving' by being more visionary, educating customers about their products, using the vast marketing channels to reach out to their clients, creating broad attachment and loyalty with the existing products and being sensitive to customers through value added products.

Africa also needs to adopt specific strategies and flexibility, risk taking and innovation, competitiveness, creating new businesses as well as experimenting with innovative ideas. There is also need to be tolerant to mistakes and learn from the mistakes.

African employees must also be empowered and there should be a generation of 'market driving' strategies.

"We cannot quit globalization it's a reality and we should not create an economic isolation as we should take the advantages and opportunities' availed to us by globalization. Africa should also influence the trends and nature of our relations with the rest of the world. Lets not sit back and let the Western world, IMF, WTO, G8, EU and, WB determine the nature and terms of our relations. We should not be subsidiaries but also establish the terms of our economic relations with them.

"In short, we are involved in a more concerted war, that is my idea of the second Chimurenga. It is an economic Chimurenga!" he concluded.

Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century Globalisation, The Transformation of the Market and Africa's International Trade in the 21st Century Professor Peter Ndege, Moi University (Kenya)