African Economics in the Global System: A Case Study of Nigeria

Beaufort, Allison
Contemporary economic interactions around the globe are defined by capitalism and competition in its transactions and trade flows. The purpose of this study is to unearth cultural underpinnings preventing developing countries from entering the global market because of the clash between traditional economic systems and Western economic concepts. While there are many historical and external factors to be accounted for in the economic analysis of developing countries, the underlying cultural definitions of success and wealth play an important role in economic integration. Focusing on Nigerian economics and two ethnic groups native to Nigeria, the analysis of the African worldview within this context extracts the issues with fitting a cultural construct based on community and trust into a system of individualism and competition. This type of examination was performed through research on the African worldview, Western economic concepts, Nigerian economic status, and comparison of both Yoruba and Igbo traditional systems and attitudes. This study results in a thought-provoking debate about what it means to be wealthy and whether the development of a new economic structure that incorporates these cultural components may actually be a more realistic resolution for countries struggling to emerge as competitive entities in the global market.
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