Globalization and lifelong education: reflection on some challenges for Africa
The global phenomenon called globalization frequently offers justifications for socio-economic and political actions aimed at bringing rapidly into fruition the 'Global Village' which Marshall McLuhan had anticipated decades ago. Both the 1972 UNESCO sponsored Commission Report chaired by Edgar Faure and that of 1996 chaired by Jacques Delors produced important documents which, as at other times, reviewed issues and priorities in education worldwide, in spite of the obvious extreme diversity in socio-economic, political and educational situations, conceptions and structures. As always, UNESCO had been concerned about the numerous and vibrant challenges the future holds in store for everyone. In doing so, lifelong education has been identified as one of the indispensable assets available to us in the pursuits which regularly bring into the fore the concern for equality, equity and, indeed, human reasonableness. As the world pursues the ideals and objectives of globalization, the need arises for a timely reassessment of positions especially in the context of consequences and challenges that are inherent. This paper seeks to examine globalization in the context of some of the major challenges it poses for Africa. In particular, it proposes how lifelong education might be structured to assist Africans in comprehending, evaluating and possibly, participating comparatively effectively in the relations implied in globalization rather than standing aloof and becoming hapless objects.