As part of its regular Price Watch Dialogue series, the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) hosted, on 21 July, a policy dialogue on the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict on commodity and food prices in Africa.
In his welcoming remarks, Oliver Chinganya, ACS Director, stated “Africa, in the last two years, has been hit by exogenous shocks that undermine its dreams of prosperity. Interest rate hikes, increased borrowing costs, weakened currencies and tightening global financing conditions have had dire implications on the fiscal space of low and middle-income countries.”
Rising consumer prices, particularly rising food prices, are increasing inflationary pressures. Critical items like oils, fats and vegetables are up near 10% in Morocco, whilst the price of staple foods like cooking oil and wheat have risen by almost 50% in Kenya. Thus, to cope with market turbulence, nations have sought to pass on costs to consumers and seek external help. Increased food costs put vulnerable populations at increased risk of food insecurity.