The Scramble for Africa

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The trend toward globalization has produced a new "Scramble for Africa" in which multinational companies have been seeking to capitalize on the natural resources and investment potential of the world's poorest continent. Similar to the undertaking of Europe's great colonial powers to carve up Africa into colonies in a bid to exploit its resources, corporations have been jockeying to strike deals with corrupt regimes to exploit those resources in the name of profit, often to the detriment of the local populations.


The impact of globalization on Africa has illustrated its dangers. Just as capitalism needed to be regulated in the United States and other market economies in the industrial age to protect people from the abuse of companies in the name of profit, a worldwide effort arguably needs to be made to protect the most vulnerable people in the world from corporate abuse when their own governments will not do so. According to Simon Taylor, director of Global Witness, a globalization watchdog, G8 countries need to take the lead in preventing this kind of abuse, as their companies are the most likely to be benefiting from it. He asserts, "Western companies and banks have colluded in stripping Africa's resources. We need to track revenues from oil, mining and logging into national budgets to make sure that the money isn't siphoned off by corrupt officials" (par. 4).
The potential for Africa to produce huge profits for foreign investors is undeniable. The continent is shaping up to be the highest potential investment area in the world. "Sub-Saharan Africa may be the poorest region in the world but it is also its most profitable investment destination. ...
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