Copyright © 2006 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Four Winter 2005-Spring 2006 Numbers 1-2.
GLOBALIZATION AND THE TWILIGHT OF NATIONAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF
Mae C. King
Department of Political Science
Washington, D.C. 20059
Published online: February 10, 2017
Globalization is a process that entails the elimination of economic borders and an unprecedented increase in exchanges and contacts among people across national borders. These exchanges occur within a context of vast asymmetrical power relations between West African states and the Group of Eight (G-8) powers. The "global" policies pursued by the G-8 with respect to aid, debt, free market, and the United States' led "war on terror" are inimical to national sustainable development. These policies regularize, institutionalize, and increase the inequities and injustices that characterize globalization and underdevelopment. Debt and free market policies stifled progressive efforts toward sustainable development that emerged in the early 1970's when West African states sought to promote national and collective self-reliance through regional integration. The Lagos Plan of Action (1980) charted a self-reliant path of development, and it remains the most progressive plan proposed by and for Africa. However, the West rejected the Lagos Plan and the African political leadership failed to unite and collectively pursue its implementation. The Lagos Plan was holistic in its approach with an economic anchor steeped in self-reliant production processes and an internally oriented and informed mass domestic constituency as chief stakeholder. The Lagos Plan, not the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), still provides the best pathway to national sustainable development and democratic government in West Africa.