Globalisation is increasingly seen as a reorganisation of the world’s economic space, with increasing interaction and (primarily economic) exchanges between human societies yet also proven risks of social and political upheaval. The stress placed on economic matters leads to the exclusion of entire groups of people in both Northern and Southern countries from the well-being and security that are their natural right. In Africa, this situation leads to repeated humanitarian, social, political, economic and environmental catastrophes. It also contributes to precariousness in the North, and widens the gap between Northern and Southern countries, between those capable of seizing opportunities offered by globalisation and those who have no place in it. Such an unequal conception of globalisation, with the imbalances it engenders in international relations and within countries, is likely to perpetuate the dependency of Southern countries, strengthen inequalities, exacerbate contradictions between different perceptions and beliefs, feed conflict in international relations, and impact negatively on the environment and sustainable development.
The terrible consequences of new forms of economic and political domination, growth in the role of speculative capital, multinational companies’ hegemony in the new world order: all these developments have made it necessary to give new meaning to globalisation and interaction between human societies. Now, with Africa increasingly seen as ‘the future of the world’, the continent must move from its current position as a passive subject in globalisation to that of a full actor - capable of weighing on the world’s progress and having its interests taken into account - and help define the meaning to be given to globalisation. Given Africa’s long exclusion and resulting frustration, the notion of sharing has a special meaning. A shared vision of globalisation that fully includes Africa—in the same measure as other continents—represents a sort of justice finally rendered to the continent, and recognition of the important role in globalisation Africa can play thanks to its enormous potential.
To what world view should Africa adhere? Undoubtedly the view that allows its populations—and humanity as a whole—to protect themselves from the excesses of the globalisation of capital yet also allows them to take advantage of the opportunities it offers. So how will Africa participate in the construction of a shared vision of globalisation, a vision focused on humanity and respectful of diversity as well as the international exchanges that bring true development?