Globalization became a common phenomenon in the late twentieth century. It is the period when the world became more interconnected and shared more aspects in economic and cultural fields. There was a growing interdependence among countries. Contemporary globalization may be referred to as the last phase of globalization. It is the period during which countries make significant steps in technology, culture, and political integration. It has led to economic growth of many states. It has also led to innovation in the technologies. However, it has also had its demerits. As the industrial capacity increased, the environment was negatively affected. The climate conditions are no longer stable as they used to be. The growing population limited the resources and increased the need to scramble for them, which led to wars. There has been occurring the global warming and the exhaustion of natural resources just to name a few implications. However, while everyone is aware of the globalization process, none has attempted to determine its extent. This paper weighs up the contemporary globalization and specifically focuses on Kenya trying to measure and discuss the measure, to which this country is globalized.
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Africa was colonized by the western countries including Great Britain, France, and Italy. Before colonization, Kenya experienced a period of both progressive and retrogressive cultural practices (Parenti, 2011). They included the herding cattle and equal inter-community sharing of resources. Colonization and eventual globalization introduced a great deal of disturbance to these mechanisms. The tribes had to go to war in order to redeem their lands and resources taken by the whites. The Tropic of Chaos demonstrates a picture of pre and post-globalization eras in the east Africa region (Beck, 2000).
In the recent decades, international connectivity has been growing (Beck, 2000). There has been increased flow of people, information and trading patterns have changed. These have led to the rise in the economic indexes and development of economies. For example, Kenya has experienced an increase in tourism industry (Beck, 2000). In the contemporary globalization era, it encountered a large number of people from all over the world coming into the country to enjoy the beautiful nature and wildlife (Mutua, Muthumbi, Ntiba, & Vanreusel, 2013). This has brought in more revenue and, in turn, the economy of the state has grown. Tourism has become the second largest source of foreign exchange (Christian, 2016). This is a positive change and the country has adopted modern revenue earning activities contrary to the traditional methods such as herding. This has also led to the diversification of cultures and introduced civilization. In the past, Kenyan communities used to fight from time to time (Mutua et al, 2013). Their differences were resolved using the old mechanisms. For example, when Ekaru man was attacked he was trying to defend the few heads of cattle he owned as this was his only source of livelihood (Parenti, 2011). Through contemporary globalization, however, Kenyans have adopted zero grazing. The country has become a milk exporter to states all over the world. New technologies have ensured better breeds of cattle as opposed to the old traditional ones that Ekaru were herding.
Contemporary globalization introduced newer technologies in warfare. Bullets, grenades, and firearms are just but a few to name. This made communities more lethal and increased the warfare between them. Cattle rustlers in Kenya are now more sophisticated and use firearms to steal from their victims. Ekaru was killed by a bullet (Parenti, 2011). This was a raid on his cattle. It is hence clear that the introduction of the new technology has made communities’ fighting more lethal and hence has increased the number of casualties from these raids. Parenti (2011) questions the presence of firearms in a small country such as Kenya where they were unknown. Intertribal wars for cattle in Kenya have become more ferocious and killing has become widespread (Parenti, 2011). There are people who have adopted the smuggling of firearms as an economic activity. This has effectively turned rustlers into killing machines (Moghadam, 2008).
Globalization also led to the creation of political boundaries between countries (Rai, 2013). After Africa was colonized, the colonial masters set political boundaries between states. They actually drew a map to separate the countries (Parenti, 2011). In the contemporary globalization era, communities and states have been at war for the lands and the possible distribution of resources (Rai, 2013). In Kenya, the Pokot of Kenya has constantly been at war for the grazing lands and cattle with communities from Tanzania and Uganda. Parenti (2011) questions the reason behind the creation of the borders and the interest they serve. In the precolonial period, the countries existed in harmony. The border creation led to a rise in the wars.
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Climate change is a new concept that has come about in the contemporary globalization era (Fotopoulos, 2014). This has been brought about by the growth of industries and population. As industries increase, the level of pollution rises significantly (Keskitalo, 2012). The population growth has also led to an increase in the use of natural resources and their consequent destruction in the process. In the period of contemporary globalization, technological advances have been employed (Keskitalo, 2012). There has been a growth of industries due to the outsourcing of ideas and resources. The population density in Kenya has favored the growth of companies that require a pool of workforce (Keskitalo, 2012). This country is also a great hub of natural resources such as minerals. This has led to the excessive exhaustion of the earth. It has caused a great loss to the biodiversity and the circulation of nitrogen compounds (Keskitalo, 2012). The human induced climate changes that have reached critical levels. Kenya has endured global warming that has increased the temperatures and reduced the level of rainfall as well. This is explained by the destruction of the ozone layer through the emission of greenhouse gasses. In addition to this, the country experiences the reduction of agricultural productivity (Keskitalo, 2012). Kenya relies heavily on agriculture and this has a huge negative impact on the large population of the state. In Turkana, water sources that were previously used by people have dried up and this has increased the intertribal violence fighting for the few resources (Parenti, 2011).
Globalization gave rise to new concepts in economies. There was the capitalism that was perpetuated by the United States and the communism that was spearheaded by the USSR (Baiman, Boushey, & Saunders 2001). This has led to the Cold War between the two countries and, consequently, capitalism was adopted by a greater number of nations. A capitalist economy is a system where states’ trade and industry are controlled by private owners instead the government (Baiman, Boushey, & Saunders, 2001). Kenya adopted this system and integrated it into its economy. This, however, has led to the unsustainable development in the contemporary globalization era. The capitalist economy has also further led to the exhaustion of resources (Baiman, Boushey, & Saunders, 2001). Parenti (2011) argues that a capitalist economy may not be able to sustain the economy and is incapable of accommodating itself to the limits of the natural world. There has to be an advocate for ecological preservation across all states (Parenti, 2011). Capitalism has led to negative effects on living standards in Kenya. Communities are continuously fighting for land. Land grabbing and corruption are the vices that have been introduced in the country (Parenti, 2011). There are widespread disparities in the distribution of resources in the whole state. and widespread unemployment.
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Contemporary globalization has clearly brought many merits to nations. However, it is important that deliberate steps are taken to combat the negative aspects that have coupled the process. Nations, especially in Africa, need to find a solution to the climate changes that have made the continent less productive. Policies that would deliberately aim at making the continent less vulnerable to the negative effects of globalization need to be adopted. Kenya is globalized to a great extent as it enjoys numerous advantages of globalization as well as fights the many demerits of the same. The countries like Kenya need to check on such effects as the smuggling of illegal weapons, and the destruction of the environment (Fotopoulos, 2014). These will ensure that the state makes the most out of the contemporary globalization.