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At the close of 2022, between September to December, food prices soared around the world and with no signs of this abating in 2023, countries in Africa will have to move with speed to mitigate a looming food crisis.
Food inflation is particularly pronounced and severe in low-income and middle-income countries. According to most recent sector reports, up to 94.1% of low-income countries around the world suffer food inflation.
With increasing food prices, the cost of living is increasing, and it is no better in lower-middle-income countries of which 92.9% are contending with food inflation.
Even the upper-middle-income countries are also facing food inflation with 89% reporting unprecedented double-digit inflation.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), maize prices in December 2022 went up by 27% while wheat shot up 13% higher compared to the same period in 2021.
- The Russia-Ukraine war has impacted Africa’s economic growth by increasing food shortage
- Africa is facing impending food crisis that will see over 140 million go hungry in 2023
- Economists remain optimistic Africa can recover against all odds
Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was projected to contract from 4.1% in 2021 to 3.3% in 2022, a regression caused by a general global economic slowdown.
Africa’s dependency on long supply chains left it vulnerable to adverse economic conditions in the global market and the global supply end. Covid-19 dealt the world a blow but Africa sailed through the storm, barely.
However, the Russia-Ukraine war disrupted grain and oil supply dumping Africa’s growth prospects notwithstanding that a number of African states are on the brink of a debt crisis.
Things were made worse with the ongoing catastrophic effects of global …
- Elon Musk Starlink satellite internet in Tanzania expected as early as first quarter of 2023
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Elon Musk in Tanzania: Did you know, there are over 3250 satellites hovering in the Lower Earth Orbit over you? The number is not shocking, what is impressive is the entire satellite constellation is owned by a single company, Elon Musk’s Starlink.
In his ambitious effort to offer faster internet coverage globally, the world’s richest man actually plans to have as many as 42,000 satellites in the Lower Earth Orbit (LEO).
As we enter the New Year 2023, Tanzania is set to become the fourth African country to allow internet service provision from Starlink’s LEO satellites.
Even though Tanzania has already laid down some 7,910Km of fibre optic cable that …
What is the relationship with food security in Africa?
Food security in Africa has always been the centre stage of all major global meetings. Photos of starving naked children have been paraded so much that hunger and Africa have become synonymous.
However, after years of talks, recommendations, solutions, funding, monitoring, evaluation, more talks, more recommendations, more funding…and then more years of new talks, new recommendations, new solutions, new funding… it’s exhausting; Africa is still hungry!
The cool acronyms, the endless list of organizations, the countless projects and initiatives, the billions upon trillions issued every year, its all mind-boggling.
Global Development Goals (GDG), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), World Food Organisation (WFP), International Monetary Fund (IFM), World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB), Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)…it goes on and on.
The above example of organizations and their acronyms is random, it is not representative of …
In a bid to combat inflation, central banks must evaluate the advantages against the possible adverse effects on their transparency and credibility, particularly in situations where monetary and fiscal policy frameworks are not firmly established.
- Monetary and fiscal policy are two powerful tools that governments use to steer economies.
- Public debt ratios have peaked at their highest levels in more than two decades, and several low-income African nations are in or near economic shutdown.
- Experts have projected that total inflation in sub-Saharan Africa will reach 12.2 per cent in 2022.
Understanding monetary and fiscal policy
Monetary and fiscal policy are two powerful tools that governments use to steer economies. When applied correctly, these tools can similarly stimulate an economy and slow it down when it heats up.
Fiscal policy is when a government uses its spending and taxing powers to impact the economy. Monetary policy relates to the techniques a …
The ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine - the two top wheat-producing and exporting countries - and now China and the US, has brought global wheat production under threat.
Africa has felt the blow the most, as it still relies mainly on wheat imports to bridge its production shortfalls. In particular, Nigeria, the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, has been hit hardest as its 200 million population heavily relies on wheat products in their diet.
The United Nations Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) in a recent report, stressed the need for Sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for a mere 1.4 per cent of the total wheat produced in the world, to ramp up its food production levels to stave off hunger and recession arising from food shortages and price hike occasioned by the ongoing supply chain disruption.
And Africa’s leading…
Every African region has felt the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with West Africa also bearing the burden of a war miles away in Europe.
- At a period when West Africa has been facing a severe food crisis since 2011, the Ukraine conflict has complicated matters further.
- For most West African nations, the expenses of regulating rising prices are already too high.
- The West African economic crisis and the Russia-Ukraine scenario highlight the perilous linkages between diplomatic sanctions, commerce, and food security.
Africa's post-Covid recovery hampered
The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has hampered Africa's potential recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by raising food and fuel costs, interrupting the trade of services and goods, constricting fiscal space, limiting green transitions, and slowing the flow of development funding across the continent.
The crisis has jeopardized homes, communities, and nations across Africa. Before 2020, African countries were among the world's fastest-growing. The COVID-19 pandemic…
Food price inflation threatens to leave many individuals in a deteriorating food insecure position since over half of the foods consumed by Nigerian families come from purchases.
- Wheat is the third most consumed grain in Nigeria, with local production making up barely 1% of the 5 to 6 million metric tons of wheat used yearly
- Nigeria’s opportune investments in the fertilizer business set it as a credible alternative and regional fertilizer powerhouse
- Europe’s search for alternative energy markets and a reduction in its reliance on Russian oil and gas creates an opportunity for Nigeria
Recent global shocks and rising commodity prices
The recent spike in global market prices for essential food commodities is almost identical to the 2008 food crisis, posing a global danger to food security. The situation is exceedingly terrible in Africa, where the COVID-19 epidemic and, more recently, the Russia-Ukraine conflict have shown the susceptibility of …
- The IMF projected Tanzania’s real GDP at 4.8 per cent but stands at 4.7 per cent
- The US$1.04 billion loan goes after boosting the nation’s economic recovery
- The Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war spillovers have contributed to shaking Tanzania’s economy
Tanzania’s economy is slated to bounce back strong as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) furnishes the East African nation with about US$1.46 billion to cover three years (40-month).
According to IMF, the handsome financial package under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) will assist the economic recovery and address the spillovers from the Russia-Ukraine war, preserve macroeconomic stability and support structural reforms toward sustainable and inclusive growth.
This loan comes at an essential time for the nation of more than 60 million, striving to shrug off economic shocks. Hence, Tanzania has been utilizing every resource at its disposal.
The current administration draws massive financial …
The loss of biodiversity, particularly plant genetic variety, has decreased dramatically posing a risk to farmers and threatening food security.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 75 per cent of plant genetic variety has been lost since the 1900s. As a result of this loss, humans have less variety in the foods they can eat today and if nothing is done to stop the decline, we can only expect worse in the years to come.
Kenya, East Africa’s investment hub is our country of focus since everything that could go wrong in food security is already a snowball gathering pace now. Worsened by the situation between Russia and Ukraine, Kenya is feeling the heat as staples are becoming a luxury for many. There is not enough maize or wheat in the country and cooking oil is becoming rare.
But this is just a tip of the iceberg