The rise of the Global South is attributed to increased trade and investment, accelerated regional integration and improved knowledge and technology exchange between the low and middle income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The most visible manifestation of this increasingly influential grouping of states is the framework for South-South cooperation to tackle political, economic, social, cultural and ecological problems facing the countries of the Global South.
As an Indian diplomat Hardeep S. Puri notes: “There has been a fundamental change in the world economy … The economic focus is shifting inexorably towards the developing South. The remarkable boom in cooperation between developing countries, known as South-South cooperation, must be understood as part of this larger story. ”
This claim is supported by figures such as the sharp increase in South-South trade volume from $ 2.6 trillion in 2007 to $ 4.5 trillion in 2017, representing a 19 percent increase in world trade 28 percent, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2018.
South-south foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have also increased and are expected to account for a third of global direct investment. This impressive growth in the global south’s contribution to the world economy has been realized against the backdrop of declining north-south trade and development aid.
The historical inequalities inherent in the North-South development paradigm, in which the rich nations dictate the conditions as a condition for aid, have given impetus to the pursuit of constructive engagement among developing countries.
Economists like Samir Amin and Arghiri Emmanuel alludes to a “hidden transfer of value” from the south, which drives high income and consumption levels in the north, and advocates more equitable global engagement between industrialized and developing countries. They estimate that the global north, for example, has sucked over $ 152 trillion in natural resources and raw materials from the south from 1960 to the present day.
Shaped by a feeling of shared history, culture and identity, the nations of the Global South have therefore intensified their technical support and the exchange of knowledge with one another in order to reverse the disparities resulting from this one-sided arrangement and at the same time to accelerate their economic and social development.
In part, this has resulted in the developing countries’ share of global GDP rising steadily from 15 percent in 1960 to 25 percent in 2010 and is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030. South-South integration is therefore seen as a catalyst for realigning the world economy and driving a new agenda around foreign trade, investment and aid. In this context, trade and technology exchange are indispensable in order to promote and deepen mutual aid.
Proponents of South-South cooperation, however, concede that the relationship with the developed North remains crucial for the achievement of the development goals of the emerging economies.
Hence the concerted action to promote triangular cooperation, with traditional donor countries and multilateral organizations providing funding, training and technical assistance under the South-South framework. In other words, taking the cause of the south forward does not necessarily mean dismantling the north-south model; rather, the two are complementary.
Kenya is an important champion of South-South cooperation. In 2009 the United Nations High-Level Conference on South-South Cooperation took place in Nairobi. The high-level meeting adopted the national outcome document – the roadmap for the previous multilateral South-South engagement.
Prior to hosting the 2009 conference, Kenya established the South-South Standing Technical Committee in 2007. More recently, South-South cooperation has been integrated into the Third Medium-Term Plan 2018-2022 and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework 2019-2022.
These policies coincided with Kenya’s heightened activism on the Global South’s agenda, particularly in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) League of Nations. AKP has become a strong leader in the South-South dialogue, and this is where Nairobi’s prominent role in South-South partnerships was most notable.
The fact that President Uhuru Kenyatta was elected President-in-Office of the Organization of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) underscores how Kenyan diplomacy is bearing fruit on issues relating to the Global South.
There is also the Forum of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), whose first meeting of Heads of State or Government with the African Union, which Kenya hosted virtually last September. Kenya now has an ambassador to CARICOM as the country positions itself as a bridge between Africa and the countries of the Caribbean Community.
The visit of the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor. in Kenya Motley, the two nations entered into partnerships to train health workers and promote tourism.
Another critical pillar of Kenya’s renewed efforts to develop the economic south-south restructuring are the 21.st Century Pan-African Agenda, the African Economic Community (AEC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Kenya has a long history of support for Pan-Africanism, dating back to the struggle against colonial rule. The Pan-African Agenda of the African Union fits naturally with Kenya’s political support for the emancipation and strengthening of Africa and the Caribbean.
As the leading economy in East Africa, Kenya also benefits from AfCFTA, a large market estimated at 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of over $ 3.5 trillion, taking advantage of growing regional and continental trade to boost its exports.
At the bilateral level, Kenya recently signed a series of pacts with South Africa to strengthen trade and investment between the two countries, currently amounting to US $ 580 million annually and Favoritism South Africa. The easing of the visa restrictions was also part of the deal. This is just one example of the positive achievements Kenya has achieved as a result of its redesigned South-South diplomacy.
The opening of a trade mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to promote bilateral trade and investment between the twoo Countries, is another example.
In summary, it can be said that a sustainable integration of South-South cooperation into Kenya’s international politics is essential for the restructuring of relations with the rest of the world. As a developing middle-income economy and economic hub in Africa, Kenya enjoys several advantages, including a well-educated and knowledgeable workforce. The use of knowledge exchange with other developing countries should be a central strategy for strengthening relations with countries in the Global South.
Mister. Choto is a legal and political analyst.
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