Strategic Impact And Scope For Growth And Development


Sub-Saharan Africa countries are newly internationalizing and liberalizing their trade with the aim of achieving economic development. The following paper represents a research proposal focusing on the impact of globalization and liberalization of trade in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA). Large gains are expected from the opening up of trade to forces of international economy; however, this has had significant consequences as well. Premature Liberalization of trade has further contributed to the undermining of economic development prospects of SSA.

Keywords: Development, International Trade, Globalization, Liberalization, Economic Growth, Economic development


The growth performance of Africa since the attainment of independence in the 1960s has not been very satisfactory. This is despite the fact that in the first decade after gaining independence, Africa was among the regions that were growing faster compared to other parts of the world undergoing development. However, in the late 1970s, there was a dramatic setback in the continent that resulted in the lack of progress as well as deterioration through the following decades (Sundaram, Schwank & Arnim 2011). The role of African nations in the global market and economy is the chief cause of this, expressed mainly in the inadequate mobilization of resources and insufficient capital formation, and the lopsided international trade relations of the continent`s countries. As such, the primary objective of the proposed research will be to review the impact of globalization and liberalization of trade in Sub-Sahara Africa in order to identify the existing gaps and hence provide a solution to the particular problems. In fact according to World Bank, through World Integrated Trade Solution, Sub-Saharan Africa had a negative trade balance of -15,669,759.04 in thousands of US dollars.


Studies have shown that the African countries can have large gains as a result of participating in international trade; however, the proposed research will put the issue to perspective, using the case of Sub-Saharan countries, while demonstrating that the positives of globalization and liberalization are, in fact, limited (Alhaji 2013). To investigate this hypothesis, I will describe the consequences that the emerging economic, globalization and liberalization of trade in Sub-Sahara Africa has in the individual countries. The research will play a fundamental role in revealing the critical weaknesses of SSA economies when it comes to globalization and liberalization of trade. This will be crucial to identifying the factors that undermine the growth prospects of these countries. Besides, there are a number of problems that the research will try to solve. Some of these problems include the need to reverse the region's export of capital, SSA`s present overreliance on the export of its primary commodity, and the need to have sufficient diversification of the regions` export base. Other problems that will be highlighted in the research include the insufficient linkage of the region to the international trade, labour-intensive manufactures, low-skill, poverty as well as local infrastructure underinvestment. The primary problem that has occurred as a result of liberalization is the weakening of the region`s manufacturing sector in contrast to parts of the world, such as East Asia, where industrialization has been the basis of growth (Alhaji 2013).

In an effort to solve the problem stated above, the research will have a clear outline of recommendations that can be made to fix the trade issues that come with globalization and liberalization of trade in SSA. For instance, to solve the poverty issue facing SSA, the research will recommend resource mobilization to finance development and growth in the region. Essentially, the mobilization of resources should begin at individual home countries and later extend to the SSA as a region. A review of the area`s resources for financing development will be essential in the formulation of recommendations and solutions to the problems. Some of the key areas that the research will review include the region`s investment and saving`s rates in relation to the international standards, mobilization of public resources, and tax collection rates. To realize the full benefits of globalization and liberalization of trade in SSA, the research will propose various ways through which the African nations can diversify their economies and manage trade globalization while fostering enough global for their citizens` benefit. Some of these ways will be establishing a currency that is appropriately valued, enhancing social and political stability, and lowered wages. To curb the low-skill problem in the SSA, the research will propose appropriate ways such as providing excellent education and training to the countries` citizens. Further, the study will also recommend investment in domestic infrastructure to fill the present structure gaps in trade (Ishaku, 2014).

The research is important to me as I find it interesting to work on the project to establish why, despite the positives that come with globalization, the African economies have not yet realized these advantages. My interest in this research was also drawn by my desire to affirm whether Africa's lack of economic growth is as a result of marginalization, weak technological capabilities, and overdependence on their primary commodities; as concluded by many studies done before. My research will significantly contribute and add value to African economic growth by identifying the existing problems in relation to globalization and liberalization of trade, then offering practical solutions to these problems. The recommendations that will be provided at the end of the research will be essential to solving some of the critical issues facing the SSA countries. Additionally, the research is also important as it will serve as a means to further understand various issues related to globalization and liberalization.

The completion of my research will require a number of things. For the successful completion of my research, I will ensure that I remain organized throughout the study period in order to achieve my goals and objectives. Also, I will strategize my time management to make sure that my project takes the likely time while my positive attitude towards research will help me stay motivated. My ability to use resources efficiently and analytical skills will also be crucial in making the project a success.

Background knowledge

Globalization involves the deepening and broadening national economies linkages into a global market for goods, especially capital. Consequently, it has both advantages and disadvantages to the economy of a country. Liberalization includes the reduction or elimination of tariff obstacles such as surcharges and duties and the nontariff obstacles which include quotas and licensing rules (Matthew & Adegboye, 2013). Similarly, this will have various impacts on the particular economies.

Literature review

According to Barry (2010: 4), “globalization is a term that has been used to describe international interaction and interdependency”. Globalization of trade is considered as a form of economic globalization as well as an economic integration measure or indicator. Similarly, globalization as explained by Sundaram and Arnim (2008) is an evolution that systematically restructures interactive phases among states by eliminating barriers in areas of commerce, communication, and culture as well as other endeavour fields. As stated by Ncube (2007), globalization pushes for the removal of national barriers to ensure free movement of goods and international capital. Ncube (2007) adds that the globalization process is facilitated and accelerated by the present transformations in information technology.

Mkandawire (2003) argues that globalization is concerned with trade expansion over the airspace and oceans. Numerous studies have been done on globalization in which scholars have used several global economy aspects as the analysis units (Matthew & Adegboye, 2013). However, according to Sundaram and Arnim (2008) despite the fact that globalization is essential to improving the well-being of a country`s citizens, by helping in the creation of better economic environments, its impact and consequences on economic, political, and social nerves of the developing countries are enormous. In support of this Keen and Mansour (2010) consider globalization as nothing but a new form of marginalization of the African continent. A lot of controversies exists over the benefits that trade globalization has to the African developing nations while the issue is critical considering the sub-Saharan Africa history (Matthew & Adegboye, 2013).

On the other hand, trade liberalization refers to the reduction or removal of trade barriers or restrictions on the exchange of goods between nations (Mansour & Keen, 2009). The eradication or easing of these barriers is commonly referred to as "free trade" promotion. According to Yartey and Adjasi (2007), liberalization of trade leads to the promotion of free trade market which makes it possible for goods to easily cross international lines without regulatory barriers or the associated costs. Consequently, business becomes more cost effective when either importing or exporting goods to other countries. Nonetheless, McMillan and Rodrik (2011) add that the liberalization of trade poses a grave threat to the economy of developing nations as they are disadvantaged when it comes to competition with countries or economies that are already developed. Thus, the local industrial diversity of such countries is lowered which may lead to the collapsing of industries that have newly developed within a given economy.

Yartey and Adjasi (2007) also state the adverse effects that liberalization of trade has on the economy of a nation. They name increased competition as the main disadvantage, which mainly results from foreign producers. Further, Yartey and Adjasi (2007) argue that liberalization could make certain industries experience lower local support while there could also be an environmental risk if the gathering of goods or raw materials is done in a country where there are no strict environmental standards. Thus, as demonstrated herein, most of these works done by others connect with my research with regard to the impacts of globalization and liberalization of trade.


In the course of my research, I will use panel data, on globalization and liberalization factors, for a number of SSA countries covering a period of at least a decade. I will use the classical regression model in my research while making use of GDP as it is a vital variable in the study of economic growth. I will also utilize Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) expressed as a percentage of GDP and represents the net foreign enterprise inflow operating in a given country other than the investor`s state. FDI will be essential in capturing the outside capital source effects on the economic growth of the developing economies. Another variable that will be fundamental in determining whether an economy is open to the worldwide market will be "trade"; usually measured as import plus export divided by the GDP (Sandarac, Schwan & Armin 2011). To determine their impact on economic growth, I will consider export and import separately.

In my research, I also plan to use existing theories, new methods, and approaches to make the project a success. To achieve this, I will employ the deductive research approach which will allow me to test my hypothesis stated earlier while using the quantitative data available in the analysis of economies and making recommendations. Further, I will use the existing theories to put my case in perspective and develop a new approach to globalization and liberalization of trade globally, based on my research findings.

To derive the best possible results of my research, I plan to have a proper design of my project. Having a good design will also enable me to use the evidence that I will obtain to address the problems logically and successfully. The design of my research will have two sections. The first section will cover the research question, feasibility, qualitative research as well as mixed methods. In the other section, I will do my quantitative analysis to obtain measurements and outcomes that will lead me to get statistical significance. At the qualitative research stage of my design, I will provide the goal of the project as well as the clarification of any issues I may find valuable. Additionally, to get the best results of my research, I will talk to key people such as my mentors and review the available literature for inspiration, creativity, gaps, and limitations among others. Other essential factors to achieving the best in this project include having a clear timeline, assured access to all the subjects that I will need, being aware of geographical barriers and ethical concerns, and be considering rapport with all participants.

Project stages

This research project will involve some stages. The first step will involve carrying out reviews of the pertinent literature. This will provide me with knowledge about what others have done in the field of globalization and liberation of trade and making me more familiar with the particular area. The other stage will involve defining my objectives and hypotheses. I will aim at testing my hypotheses. In the next stage, I will specify the area and population on which the research will be conducted, in this case, it will be in sub-Saharan countries. I will then evaluate the feasibility of testing my hypothesis. Here, I will ensure that my project will adequately test the hypothesis using the resources that are available. In the next stage, I will select the research procedure to adopt. Some of the essential components of this phase will include selecting data treatment design, selecting measurements to be taken, selection of measurements units, and preparing an outline of the statistical analysis that I will perform. In the next stage, I will engage in data collection and then complete the data analysis stage. After all the above is done, I will prepare a full and correct report of my project. During the first year of my research, I will have achieved breaking the research problem after which I will try to fix in my second year then obtain the results that will be helpful in solving the globalization and liberalization of trade issues facing SSA nations. During the first year also, I will identify my advisor whom we are going to discuss research ideas with. I will have also done reviews of various literature works done in my research field.


However, I anticipate some problems and challenges in completing my project. The first issue is time. This is because, as a researcher, I will have to spend a lot of my time collecting relevant information from different sources. Another problem that I anticipate is the difficulty of accessing published data promptly. This is because, during my research project, I will require information and data from various governments and agencies which may not be very easy. The libraries may also not be in a position to get me copies of both old and new reports and other government publications in time.

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  • Alhaji, A.I., (2013). Impact of Globalization in Africa. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. 3(15) pp. 85-93.
  • Barry, H., (2010). Globalization and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Gettysburg Economic Review, 4(1), p.4.
  • Ishaku B.L., (2014). Globalization and Development. The Impact on Africa;A political Economy Approach. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development. 7(9) pp. 154-162
  • Keen, M. and Mansour, M., (2010). Revenue Mobilisation in Sub‐Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalisation I–Trade Reform. Development Policy Review, 28(5), pp.553-571.
  • Mansour, M. and Keen, M., (2009). Revenue mobilization in sub-saharan Africa: challenges from Globalization. IMF Working Papers, pp.1-47.
  • Matthew, O. and Adegboye, F.B., (2013). Africa's Economic Growth in a Globalized World: Restructuring Nigeria's Trade and Industrial Policy for Nigerian Growth. Journal of Emerging Issues in Economics, Finance and Banking (JEIEFB), 2(3), pp.766-786.
  • Mkandawire, P.T., (2003). African voices on structural adjustment. Africa World Press. Ncube, M., 2007. Financial services and economic development in africa1. Journal of African Economies, 16(suppl 1), pp.13-57.
  • McMillan, M.S. and Rodrik, D., (2011). Globalization, structural change and productivity growth (No. w17143). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Rashid, S., Winter-Nelson, A., & Garcia, P. (2010). Purpose and potential for commodity exchanges in African economies. Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute Discussion Paper, 1035.
  • Sundaram, J.K., Schwank, O. and Von Arnim, R., (2011). Globalization and development in sub-Saharan Africa (No. 102).
  • Sundaram, J.K. and Von Arnim, R., (2008). Economic liberalization and constraints to development in sub-Saharan Africa. United Nations, DESA, Working Paper, 67.
  • Yartey, C.A. and Adjasi, C.K., (2007). Stock market development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Critical issues and challenges (No. 7-209). International Monetary Fund.

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