The Role of Multinational Corporations in Sierra Leone Conflict Name: Institution: Abstract Conflicts based on resources have become more rampant with the expansion of globalization. The need of profit maximization through low production costs has pushed international trade into the brink of corporations and companies finding raw materials by all means…
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The role of MNC’s and FDI in both developing and developed countries cannot be disputed; however, they have a participatory and perpetuating role in the conflicts within mineral rich regions of the world, such as Sierra Leone. The Role of Multinational Corporations in the Sierra Leone Conflict Introduction Natural resources have been a very critical source of national wealth and pride since the beginning of regionalization and the pre-colonization era. Nations and civilizations alike have gone to war – both internally and externally – for the sole occupation over and exploitation of natural resources. Under the modern globalized trading environment, countries endowed with natural resources ranging from minerals, oil, wildlife, gas and so forth have been able to accrue revenues from exploration and trade of said minerals with other countries of the world. Foreign exchange earned from the legitimate trade in the resources has been a critical drive for economic development providing employment and revenues to governments for the provision of essential public services including education, infrastructure and national security. Another significant impact of the globalization of trade and production, as well as the relative ease of mobility of capital compared to labor, is the emergence of business entities that are operated across borders, regions and continents but have a central office in the homeland from where all its global management is conducted. Such entities are often referred to as multinational or transnational corporations or enterprises (Garry & Litan, 1998). A more direct definition of multinational corporations (MNCs) would perhaps best be obtained by linking the business organization to the type of trade that it is involved in. Therefore, this being the case, a multinational corporation is a firm that has created a global presence by participating in direct foreign investments, in specific or several industries. Such global – often private – firms and international institutions are presently observed to be primary actors and vital agents for the transformation of the state, region and international political, social and economic environment. The question, therefore, is: How do MNCs develop ties with government, if such ties even exist? In an ever increasing competitive landscape, countries of all levels of development –particularly through their governments – are emphasizing policies and channeling resources into new ways of attracting foreign direct investments into their countries. This is in line with the high prioritization of both micro and macroeconomic goals including sustained high levels of economic growth, stability of inflation and foreign exchange, increased employment and improved standards of living for the total population. Multinational corporations play a significant role in the efficiency and growth of the economy by contributing to the availability of capital resources for global investment purposes (Held & McGrew, 2007). Sierra Leone is located at the south-western part of West Africa between the seventh and tenth latitudinal parallels north of the Equator. It has a land mass measuring approximately 71,740 square kilometers and a total coastline of 402 kilometers (www.nationsencyclopedia.com, 2012). It is most difficult to measure the exact population in Sierra Leone due to the long and deadly civil war that mushroomed since 1991, stretching to the early
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It has a population of 5.7 million, according to the 2009 United Nations figure, and grows at an annual rate of 2.2%. Its people are comprised of some 20 African ethnic groups, and a few Europeans, Lebanese, Pakistani and Indians (US Department of State, 2011).
This research problem is based on the theory that natural resources are linked to conflicts within countries. In effect, this theory sets forth that conflicts within and outside a country is often caused by competition for resources.
This war, in effect, was like any other civil war, save one thing- the brutalities inflicted by the rebel army known as the Revolutionary United Front was of a massive scale and of unprecedented devilishness. "The first major crack within the RUF was connected with the indiscriminate violence and terror against civilians in areas under their control” (Abdullah, 33).
Culture, rituals and religions have shaped social, economic and political development of various nations across the globe. This is attributed to the role that such cultural practices or religious affiliation are imparting knowledge and passing societal norms from one generation to the other.
The cold war witnessed ideological and geo-territorial struggles between the United States and the Soviet Union, which contributed to stability and peace in Africa because of their political and economic presence in the continent. The absence of ideological and geo-territorial struggles between major powers in the African continent brought to fore major socioeconomic and political problems, which have sparked many civil conflicts2.
According to the report the civil war drove thousands from their homes to establish slave labor in the mines while others were coerced into joining the rebels. This resulted in enormous migration away from the rich agricultural countryside towards the capital, which was considered as haven for most internal refugees.
The discipline of science has argued that climate change creates a huge risk to the ecosystem and many species that inhibit in it. In this respect, it is important to note that the problem of global warming has had a tremendous impact on water sources across the world.
Increasingly, the children began to serve as combatants, spies, sentries, bodyguards, porters, and informants (Williams 75). This was especially so in Sierra Leone where many children were part of organized military units complete with uniforms
The economic development in Sierra Leone has always been hampered and hindered by the country’s overdependence on exploitation of minerals. Sequential regimes as well as the inhabitants as a whole have continuously believed that gold and
Diamond trade is considered to be a very shady business considering that this business has financed and ‘funded wars, massive death, and refugee crisis in Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Cote d’Ivoire’ (Bieri, 1).
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