So far my generation more than any other has reaped the benefits of globalisation, probably even more so than those younger than us. We have been able to travel, study and work in other countries, settle with partners from other cultures and keep friends, relatives and loved ones close to us no matter where we are in the world, thanks to new developments, the internet, Skype, Facebook and of course, blogging.
And yet now, I think for the first time we are seeing the side effects of living in a global village. The credit crunch is causing the economies all across the world to collapse like a house of cards. I doubt we ever imagined that we’d be this interlinked. When America first mentioned its economic crisis it was quite reasonable to imagine the UK would also be affected. Iceland’s fall was based on maladministration more than anything, but when the rest of Europe went into recession, the strength of the links between the nations’ economies was made clear. And yet it still comes as a surprise that China’s economy is also struggling. Wasn’t China meant to come up as the giant nation taking on the U.S.?
Somehow, with all its confidence as a new superpower I think China may have forgotten who buys its products. If the consumer in the US or Europe has no money and no credit to shop for, of course its production will diminish. And that is the problem we’re suffering from now. The banks are too cautious to give us credit, so you and I don’t dare/can’t afford to shop. As a result, sales and revenue decreases, leading to people being laid off, which in turn leads to more people having too little to spend. Vicious circle or what?!
Could it be that China’s and other economies’ only saviour for now is the African market? Although we in Ghana are also part of the global village, and very much so, due to the lack of a credit economy, we’ve so far managed to stay above water in these days of recession. But before we breathe a sigh of relief, let’s not forget that we still have a lot of money coming in from Ghanaians living abroad, coming to buy land, moving back to Ghana for good, investing in businesses or simply assisting relatives in Ghana with their expenses. I already know a few people who’ve cancelled their trips to Ghana due to lack of funds this year and it’ll be interesting to see if there will be a significant reduction in Christmas tourists and ‘returnees’ and if so, whether this will have any effect on our economy.
At least it’ll give us something to worry about after the elections are over…