top of page

Fifty Years After: The 'New International Economic Order' and the Global South

Fifty years ago, the establishment of a new international economic order became imperative due to persisting exploitative relationships between former colonial powers and their dependencies. This prompted a reevaluation of global trade.

The core principles of this new order included adding value to exportable raw materials, promoting local industrialization, retaining capital in developing nations, and managing resources more effectively. The goal was to shift from an unequal trade system to an equitable, rules-based one.

Industrialization was recognized as essential for developing countries, aligning with their right to control their productive forces. This concept echoes the economic doctrine found in the Nigerian Constitution's Chapter Two and aligns with the Lagos Plan of Action for Africa's economic development (1980-2000).

The NIEO also addressed monetary issues, raw material development, investment expansion, and other frameworks for sustainable economic growth in the global south. To achieve these goals, it was crucial to frame the NIEO within international and national legal boundaries, involving United Nations resolutions and national legislative ratification.

However, the UN and its bodies could only make recommendations; true implementation depended on member states' cooperation. This limitation, among others, prevented the NIEO's concrete realization over the past fifty years.

With the recent momentum from groups like BRICS-plus and the determination of the G20, there is hope for a new economic order benefiting the global south without another lengthy delay.

In the meantime, resource-rich countries like Nigeria should enact appropriate legislation and policies to capture larger shares of global markets, whether in raw materials or finished products. Embracing emerging technologies and innovative management approaches can expedite industrialization and economic development, aligning with the Fourth Industrial Revolution's opportunities.

bottom of page