Geneva, 24 February 2023 (TDI): United Nations (UN) observed that on the completion of one year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the effects of war reached even in Africa. The observation was made by Africa Renewal, a magazine published by the UN.
The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has had dramatic, far-reaching consequences, including for many countries in Africa.
— United Nations (@UN) February 24, 2023
The conflict created a global food crisis and Africa is equally affected by it. The food basket around the globe is decreasing. African countries are facing more pressure due to it because these countries are already facing a food crisis, natural calamities, and manmade conflicts.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), African countries spend over $75 billion to import cereals. Most African countries could not grow the required food so they have to import it.
In 2020, 15 African countries imported over 50 percent of their wheat products from the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Six of these countries Eritrea, Egypt, Benin, Sudan, Djibouti, and Tanzania imported over 70 percent of their wheat from the region.
According to the World Economic Outlook, the energy supply situation is bleak. The strain is particularly affecting the African region that is already recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.
In mid of 2022, the global energy price soared to a three-decade high and the cost of electricity made from natural gas also increased to 300 Euros per megawatt-hour.
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Though in February 2023, the costs of natural gas were reduced to less than $100 per megawatt-hour, and the cause of this is warm winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere.
European governments provided subsidies to their citizens but African countries have no fiscal space to accommodate their people.
Additionally, fluctuations occurred in exchange rates and high inflation trends in commodities prices that deeply affected the African masses. For example, inflation reached around 40 percent.
Furthermore, seven African countries are in debt stress as of January 2023, and 14 more are at high risk of debt distress.
According to World Food Programme (WFP), the food crisis “is partly a consequence of the war in Ukraine, prices of food, fuel, and fertilizers had already reached record highs by the end of 2021.”
It is pertinent to note that the Black Sea Initiative taken by the United Nations and Turkiye in July 2022, mitigated some of the “fertilizer crunches”.