Westernization Is Not Globalization

When Facebook announced the launch of Libra a few weeks ago and stated that it would be able to "promote financial inclusion for the unbanked",it was heralded as one of the most important and innovative  inventions of the tech era.

If you were to tell an African that tale about Libra and how it was going to allow them to send and receive money even if they did not have a bank account,they would probably look at you and wonder what rock you have been living under.

Branchless banking has been common in Africa for over a decade now since the launch of M-Pesa,a mobile money service originating in Kenya. M-Pesa was the first of its kind to allow individuals to send and receive money without bank accounts. Launched in 2007,the service played a big role in helping rural populations be able to make transactions and also reduced crime significantly as people did not need to carry vast amounts of cash anymore.

The success of the service in Kenya lead to it and other mobile money services which followed its example spreading like wildfire through out sub-Saharan Africa.According to Forbes,presently,there are over 135 live mobile money services across Africa,so the "cornerstone of branchless banking" title that was placed on Libra after its launch would be surprising to most Africans,but given the perception of Africa and Africans by most Westeners, it should not be.

Necessity is the mother of innovation and Africans have a lot of needs they need to address. This necessity,coupled with the intellectual prowess that Africans possess contrary to the mindsets of most people from the West,allows them to be able to come up with such innovative solutions like M-Pesa.

But the mentality that prevails in the developed world is that,as one of my lecturers once nicely put it,"it is not considered an innovation until the white man does it". Africans do not get the credit they deserve for the life changing innovations that they occasionally come up with.

What rather happens is that the innovations are appropriated,tweaked to address the needs of the West world and then relaunched as "new inventions" which are all thanks solely to the mind of the white man. The same appropriators then turn around and preach the good that globalization is going to bring to humanity,the precondition being that this globalization is only relevant if it is the white man saving the world with his "innovative" ideas.

Mobile money is not the first instance where an African invention has been appropriated and misrepresented as a western innovation. Apart from civilization itself originating in Africa, there has also been a long list of other inventions that changed the world which have their roots in Africa, but one can never be taught about this in school.

Globalization is wonderful and all because finally,the earth can be one world for one people so innovations and concepts which aim to make this happen deserve all the acclaim. What is not wonderful however, is these innovations only mattering when they are from a particular side of the world.

It seems that Africa will only be credited with things which are deemed to be a regression of civilization like war and hunger but when it comes to those which uplift civilization,they are pushed to the background whilst being secretly studied so that they can be relaunched as a western "invention".

For globalization to truly be a reality,credit should be exalted where it is due to those who are helping make the world a better place,regardless of their skin color or geographical location. The world,especially the Western world,should understand that contrary to the words of former US president Ronald Regan,Africans are more than just "monkeys who are still uncomfortable wearing shoes". They are innovators and life changers and they should start being realized and treated as such.


  1. I think its upon media personnel like yourselves to continue shedding the light through globalization. People will remain in the dark if no one brings them to the light- exposing what we're cooking in Africa

    1. thank you mate...do drop a subscription if you want to see more content like this


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