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Alba Iulia
Monday, June 27, 2022

Surging food and energy prices may lead to “social unrest” in Africa, IMF warns

Economy Surging food and energy prices may lead to "social unrest" in Africa,...

The the International Monetary Fund warned that surging food and energy prices stoked by the war in Ukraine may lead to “social unrest” in Africa.

The Fund says most countries south of the Sahara are already seeing a slowdown in economic growth from last year, and the impact will be amplified by the rising cost of cereals and fuel.

“The war in Ukraine has triggered a sharp increase in energy and food prices that could undermine food security in the region, raise poverty rates, worsen income inequality, and possibly lead to social unrest,” the Fund said in its annual Regional Outlook for Africa.

“The war compounds some of the region’s most pressing policy challenges, including the social and economic scarring effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, security risks in several countries, and the challenges posed by climate change.”

GDP growth in African countries in 2021 was 4.5 percent, an upward revision from the earlier estimation of 3.7 percent, but this is expected to slow to 3.8 percent over 2022, the IMF said.

The head of the IMF’s African department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, told AFP he was “very worried” by the twin impact of food and higher fuel costs — something that was particularly felt in the great majority of African countries that are not oil or gas exporters.

“This is a shock that hits in a laser light, directed at the poorest,” he said.

“Fuel price increases feed into transportation costs, and people providing goods and services will raise their prices because they are now facing higher input costs,” he said.

Food prices monitored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) surged 12.6 percent between February and March, reaching their highest levels since the index was launched in 1990, the UN’s agency said on April 8. The previous record high was set in 2011.

The IMF report placed the spotlight on the price of wheat.

Africa is dependent on imports for 85 percent of its wheat consumption, and this dependence is especially high in Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Mozambique.

In Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius and Cape Verde, imported wheat, rice and corn, also called maize, account for more than 40 percent of calorie intake, the IMF said.

Food insecurity, it noted, is already high in the conflict-hit states of the Sahel, in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

So-called food riots broke out in Africa, notably in Senegal, as well as in parts of Asia and the Caribbean in March 2008 when the last major food crisis erupted.

FAO chief Qu Dongyu, presenting his agency’s latest report, said there were parallels between then and now, with sharp rises in food, fuel, fertiliser and transport.

But he also underlined the aggravating effect today of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war.

Selassie sounded the alarm over the financial state of African countries in 2022 compared with the 2008 crisis.

“In sub-Saharan Africa in 2008-2009, there were many more governments that were in a better position fiscally to be able to absorb the shock,” he warned.

“Governments had flexibility to be able to make more intervention. This time with public debt as elevated as it is in many countries, that room for manoeuvre is much more diminished.

“The international community needs to step up to support countries as aggressively as possible,” he said.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Irrelevant article, apart from one thing: inflation is sky-rocketing. It’s unfortunate that our president is clearly ignoring the tell tale signs, and just says that inflation is improving. It’s NOT.

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  2. WE AFRICANS MUST BE EDUCATED THAT WE ARE DEPENDANT AND PRONE TO OUTSIDE FORCES
    FROM THE REST OF THE FREE WORLD
    ENERGY PRICES HAVE GONE UP CONSIDERABLY WHICH AFFECTS NEARLY ALL COMMODITIES

  3. @3
    Don’t worry HH is a super genius…he is Mr Know it all…..blah blah blah blah self praise and yet he doesn’t know whether he is coming or going

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  4. Don’t wish war on us so that you and your hh can further stealour resources blindly while we fight each other. The cost of living is affecting mostly western countries especially the UK. We will soon send aid to you f00Is there in uk like spaka and the rest

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  5. What is the heading of this article? Surging food and energy prices may lead to “social unrest” in Africa, IMF warns
    Who wrote this article? The International Monetary Fund
    What is IMF warning Africa? Food and energy prices stoked by the war in Ukraine may lead to “social unrest” in Africa.
    What is Arica learning from this article? To become self-reliant in a sustainable manner.
    Who are the role players in ensuring that Africa become self-reliant sustainably? Visionary government leaders & it cabinet, business communities, local communities. In other words, all Africans.
    Among, many questions, you should ask are, what role am I playing to contribute towards the development of my country as an African son or daughter on this beautiful continent.

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  6. Lets leverage on such articles by finding solutions to the problems and challenges that we are facing in Zambia-Africa as a continent, as opposed to name calling. You are greater and bigger than that. Zambia has a visionary leader. This is time to work with him and drive the economy forward to the benefit of all Zambians. The journey will not be addressed in a month or year, it is an on-going process. Stay focused African son or daughter and work together. Perhaps we are all missing out the real point here.

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  7. We need to produce more food and exploit this deficit and earn FOREX. Edify Hamukale was right when he said the ukraine war is an opportunity for Agricultural GDP growth in SADC. Wes seem to cherish handouts from the west and specialize so much in wrong priority choices.

  8. One Chilufya Tayali and the PF said Ukraine has nothing to do with the surging prices of commodities.
    They blamed HH instead.
    Well the IMF statement has clarified things for you.
    We know the truth now.

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  9. IM-Fools should tell biden who keeps funding billions of dollars to urococaine a country whose miltary is full of nazis.. America has caused all this and the EU is just following blindly

  10. These criminals called IMF who deceived FTJ to sale all public companies…Today they are back for phase 2…

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