This paper emanates from the authors’ interests in the value of globalisation and human rights and interrogates and explores the theme of economic globalisation in Africa. In exploring globalisation and its impacts the issues are how to tackle the challenges of globalisation and international trade, and how we can ensure domestic growth and development in South Africa and the continent. The focus of analysis is the literature that was reviewed. It demonstrates that while globalisation facilitates growth and prosperity for developed nations, it prejudices Africa’s poor. There is an increasing belief that economic globalisation increases inequality as well as poverty in the world. The clear pauperisation of many nations, especially African nations, continues, and it appears as if there are no alternatives, even when indigenous governments are considered to be in full control of their national affairs and NEPAD is involved. The effect of the role of NEPAD in African development is questionable. A human rights approach is non-negotiable and the challenges posed by international trade, including the positive and negative, cannot be ignored if Africa is to rise from its poor past. One of the main issues is how to tackle the challenges of globalisation and international trade, and how we can ensure domestic growth and development in South Africa, for example. Economic globalisation has resulted in a “race to the bottom” in terms of workers’ rights, wages, environmental standards, and child labour. The findings indicate that, ultimately, the nations of Africa that will be successful will be those which are willing to make and take informed decisions concerning their own affairs that are grounded on their own unique realities and strategic objectives for growth, and not those of external players.
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