• Anastasia Kisten (South Africa)

The impact of foreign policy and globalization strategies on socio-economic development in Africa

Foreign policy and globalization can be used as a tool for local socio-economic development in emerging countries. The concept of foreign policy and globalization strategies endeavors to harmonize the objectives of economic growth, environmental protection, and social justice. It recognizes the need for fairness between local persons and groups as well as between hosts and guests. If foreign policy and globalization strategies are put into action, it is projected to contribute to the sustainability of the environment, social and cultural resources as well as general socio-economic growth.

The increasing acceptance of the concept derives from the widely held opinion that there is a need to change current forms of consumption that observe existing resources as being infinite. Attention has been drawn to the economic and ecological aspects of sustainable development, particularly at the national levels, but little has been given to the examination of the inferences of sustainable tourism on specific local communities and on the industry’s impact on the quality of life and on socio-ecological facets of communities that are directly affected by the tourism industry, particularly in African countries.

The triple helix system in developing countries, through the investigation of the university-industry connection and its suggestions for national and regional innovation systems, is used as an analytical construct for socio-economic development. To set in perspective, the role of universities in capacity building in African countries, comprehensive case studies using system theories such as the national and regional systems of innovation, national innovative capacity, and the triple helix system are carried out. They employ useful lessons of policy import for university managers and higher education policy-makers, local government officials, and regional industry associations. They further underline the significance of policy initiatives for networking and collaboration between industry, university, and government agencies as well as the key aspects that would need to be factored in by policy-makers and university authorities to ensure ongoing, effective, working relationships with industry.

There is further a growing interest in the role and influence of national information infrastructure on the quality of governance and the socio-economic development of nation-states. Publicly accessible archival data had been used to explore the relationships between national information infrastructure, governance, and socio-economic development in developing countries, and the results corroborate a substantial relationship between national information infrastructure and governance, and national information infrastructure and socio-economic development. The findings propose that national information infrastructure can contribute to the country's development, both directly through bearings on socio-economic development as well as indirectly through its bearings on governance, which also impacts socio-economic development.

Unpersuasive debates on the natural resource ‘curse’ phenomenon known as oil have resulted in studies that have explored the causes and repercussions of natural resource endowments ‘curse’ within oil-rich developing countries. Results have found that exploitation, transparency, accountability, weak institutions, and poor management are causes of developing countries' natural resource ‘curse’. Further, more recent studies identify a strong link between oil and gas multinational corporations (MNCs) as agents of globalization and the resource curse. International dimensions of this association and how MNCs have an influence on the resources of oil-rich developing countries as well as the nexus between the impact of MNCs and their natural resources to extend debates on strategic organizational practices are considered.

Globalization creates the stage for the natural resource ‘curse’ phenomenon. Ethical practices of MNCs could prevent the ‘curse’ or permit oil-rich developing countries to experience the rewards of their natural resource wealth. The present and prospective impact of the Internet on four‐fifths of the world’s population dwelling in developing countries, two‐thirds of them being poor needs to be addressed in terms of social-economic development. The role of information in today’s swift advances in information and communication technology is vital for developing countries to advance globally. There must be a collaboration between the Internet and significant dimensions of local development policies. Finally, vital policy implications of Internet dispersion and usage that governments of developing nations need to address include a growing role for intermediary institutions in the formation and dissemination of pertinent knowledge on the Internet so that the technology is used in a way that is compatible with local development goals.