No Winners

Russia-Ukraine transport, food inflation pressures mean heavy bill for Africa

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on March 4, 2022 11:06

Russia Africa
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, poses for a photo with leaders of African countries at the Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (Sergei Chirikov, Pool Photo via AP)

Hopes that African oil-producing countries will be net winners from the surge in prices prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are wide of the mark.

The inflationary impact of the war will damage African economies along with those in Europe. Surging energy prices will mean higher African transport and food costs, according to Yvonne Mhango, head of Africa research at Renaissance Capital in Johannesburg.

Countries where transport and food make up a large share of the consumer price index will be the most affected by rising commodity prices, she writes in a research note on 3 March. Food and transport account for around 57% of the consumer price index in Nigeria, 54% in Ghana, 39% in Egypt and a third in Kenya.

  • High fuel prices are likely to delay the removal of Kenyan government fuel subsidies, so crowding out spending in areas like education, healthcare and infrastructure, Mhango argues.
  • That has already happened in Nigeria, where plans to withdraw subsidies in July have been postponed.
  • Kenya will also face more pressure on its

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