Africa

Meanwhile, Africa is looking to take pre-emptive action to avert the inevitable food crisis.

The United States has pledged support to help the continent grow and distribute more food. The aid will come through the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Bank is looking to fund a significant increase in food production in an effort to ward off the food crisis wrought by the Russia-Ukraine war.

In May this year, the AfDB set up a US$1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility. It was established with the aim of supporting some 20 million smallholder farmers produce more food and to do so more sustainably.

The connection bypass road launched by the five presidents of the East African Community (EAC) has set precedence in the importance of neighbouring countries undertaking joint projects to improve transport infrastructure between and amongst themselves.

This point is underlined in the World Bank report; “Patterns of shipping, transshipping, and distribution mean that trade depends not only on the quality of infrastructure in the two trading countries but also of that in key third party countries on the trading network.”

The point is that while two countries can come together to improve transport infrastructure, it is not enough because trade, in many cases, goes much further than the border between two countries.

The Kenyan economy’s leading indices of economic activity show ongoing solid growth in the second quarter of 2022, according to CBK, with strong activity in storage and transport, retail and wholesale trade, construction, information and communication, and lodging and food services.

“Despite decreased agricultural performance and sluggish global growth, the economy is anticipated to remain resilient throughout the balance of 2022,” CBK added.

Goods exports have been strong, increasing by 11.0 per cent in the year to August 2022 compared to the same time in 2021.

The continent comes in last in terms of funding and green development mechanisms in the global carbon market, which increased by 164% to a record $851 billion last year.

The largest market for trading carbon credits is in Africa, but what are the responsibilities of the sellers and buyers? Munyazikwiye questioned.

According to Mohamed Adow, the founder of the climate think tank Power Shift Africa, “Rich countries do not want to decarbonize their economies. It’s a sky trap. Rather than cutting emissions, they pay poor countries to run projects that lower emissions and take credit for that. Africa doesn’t have emissions to cut, but emissions to avoid.”

Adow urged all African leaders to take the helm of climate talks in their nations because “you need to choose the appropriate climate path if you’re the least developed and confront the highest climate vulnerabilities.”

Ghana’s case specifically plays out with the dramatic effect consistent with a Shakespearean tragedy. The west African nation ironically is a darling of the West in terms of foreign direct investment. Yet, its debt levels have breached what multilateral institutions consider to be sustainable. A painful irony in the case of Ghana is that it was offered the opportunity to renegotiate the terms of its debts through the World Bank’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative. However, Ghana did not elect to participate.

A second painful irony is that Ghana, this time around, does not owe most of its debts to multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. It owes the bulk of its debt to private lenders like the world’s largest asset manager Black Rock, and its has expressed that it has no interest in renegotiating the terms of Ghana’s sovereign debt.

If Ghana had borrowed from the multilateral institutions mentioned formerly, it would have the scope to renegotiate its loans as these institutions tend to be more conciliatory and concessionary in their dealings with borrowers, unlike the private lenders who are driven by the profit motive and the need to create value for shareholders.