Security Implications of Disruption of Africa’s Commodity Market by Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology, the science of minuscule molecule, is advancing with potentials that may radically alter the constructions of trendy commerce, trade and tradition. It guarantees to disrupt international markets and rework industries via low value, excessive effectivity and huge capability instruments, processes and merchandise.

A transformative know-how with capability to evolve a brand new industrial revolution presents many nationwide alternatives and threats. Nations with capabilities to create or undertake and consequently diffuse the know-how functions will amass wealth. These are innovators with knowledge-driven economies. Other nations, often poor, lack ingenious talents with economies anchored on minerals extraction and agriculture.

With lack of knowledge inventive abilities, they derive most of their export earnings from commodities, undifferentiated and broadly price-based traded uncooked supplies and agricultural merchandise. Ninety-five of the 141 growing international locations derive not less than 50 p.c of their export earnings from commodities. In most sub-Sahara African nations, non-fuel commodities account for greater than 65% of their international earnings.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates {that a} third of international inhabitants, about two billion individuals, is employed in commodity manufacturing.

For most commodity-dependent international locations, scientific innovation and adoption capabilities are missing. In different phrases, the poor state of their science and know-how abilities could hinder them to make the most of the developments from nanotechnology to enhance manufacturing effectivity, provide increased valued merchandise, engineer processes that require modest labor, capital, power, land and supplies.

Having persistently failed in successfully adopting new applied sciences, from steam engines to microelectronics, with perennial low scores on main improvement, know-how and innovation indices, nanotechnology adoption won’t be any simpler for growing economies. If nothing else, the quantum mechanical nanotechnology can be harder to acquire than many who got here earlier than it that depended primarily on the classical Newtonian physics with far lesser abilities and infrastructure necessities.

Potential success within the downstream sector of nanotechnology, advertising and distribution, can not come with out expert manpower that perceive the know-how and might contribute on the inventive upstream stage. At least within the short-term, many least developed nations could not take potential technological advantages of nanotechnology to advance commodities and differentiate them in worldwide market.

Notwithstanding the issues within the growing nations, superior economies will proceed to pursue innovation on nanotechnology. There are potentialities that new nanomaterials will grow to be good options for a lot of present commodities (eg, rubber, copper, cotton, platinum, and so on) and incrementally, the commodity markets and industries might be disrupted, and even demised.

The implication is huge commerce and unemployment dislocations that would pose severe safety implications in commodity-dependent nations. If nanotechnology delivers environment friendly means of making inexpensive, sturdy and high quality power sources like batteries, nations that rely on export of gasoline commodities like crude oil will undergo devastating financial impacts. A nation like Nigeria that earns greater than 85% of its international earnings from crude oil may see riots and banditries throughout its cities from displaced staff.

As nanotechnology disrupts the worldwide market constructions and displaces commodities, sub-Sahara Africa may witness main crises fueled by job losses and diminished incomes. Lack of functionality to transition to new industries or markets will make these crises extended with results that can have an effect on their political and financial stabilities. The world will probably see clusters of nano-conflicts throughout African cities and villages when mining and extraction provide little financial values, except Africa develops a knowledge technique and transforms itself to a knowledge-power.

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Source by Ndubuisi Ekekwe

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