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Xenophobia: Attacks threatens globalization in Africa

The slogan AFRICA for the Africans!” has been on the airwaves right from my childhood. This is the old catchy phrase breaking down “colonial frontiers” and uniting Africans in an unbroken chord of brotherhood especially on the pedestal of political independence. However, nowadays, my observation is this; Africans living in other countries other than their countries of origin are grimly accustomed to invectives and expletives as they are constantly targets of obnoxious citizens. Today, the phrase has seemingly being made nonsense of. Rather, the malady has mutated from mere verbal repugnance to pockets of violence and killings, viewed from “non-African lenses” as social cannibalism.

Across Africa, this ugly trend pervaded. In Ghana, in 1969/70 the government of K.A. Busia, initiated the infamous Aliens Compliance Order which oversaw the enforced expulsion of “aliens” mostly Nigerians and Burkinabes. The early 1980s saw Nigeria dish out reprisals to a horde of Ghanaians. Only recently, in Côte d’Ivoire, during the political tussle between Laurent Gbagbo and Alasan Watara, the Malians suffered the fate being meted out to “aliens.” The case is the same in Libya.

Globalizing world Today, it is the same story in the Republic of South Africa. The Rainbow Nation is home to people of and diverse nationalities, and is a cosmopolitan society of many languages and cultures in a globalizing world. The plague of the Apartheid era which ended in 1994 after a scorching 81 years, made the country claustrophobic, and detached from outside influence. The essence of globalization is to expand economic space for international human and capital investments penetration by removing all national and economic barriers against foreign investments.

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There is the presence of Chinese in America and vice versa. Many American, European and Canadian athletes making podium appearances at regional and global sporting events are African exports! Whereas foreigners in South Africa were nearly non-existent ab initio, the country is today wearing the tag of “Rainbow Nation” because of the plethora of multinationals present in the country. I believe by hosting the 2010 FIFA world Cup, South Africa has come of age as a multi-racial enclave. The foreigners (including Nigerians) in South Africa have a lower rate of unemployment because they venture into entrepreneurship and also accept jobs that aboriginal South Africans are reluctant to take. This has led to a constant increase of attacks in South Africa.


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