Senegalese President Macky Sall, who also presides over the African Union, told European Union leaders that Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s ports is paving the way for a “catastrophic scenario” of widespread shortages and price hikes across the African continent.
It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian seaports was preventing Kyiv from exporting 22 million tonnes of grain and accused the country of deliberately creating this problem to cause suffering elsewhere.
In an address to leaders gathered in Brussels Tuesday for a summit focused on helping Ukraine, Sall said that a halt to grain and fertilizer exports via the Black Sea is very worrying about a continent hosting 282 million undernourished people.
He said that the price of fertilizer across Africa has already tripled compared to 2021, and as a result of the scarcity, estimates reveal that cereal yields in Africa will fall by 20 to 50 percent this year.
African countries imported 44 percent of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, according to UN figures. The African Development Bank is already reporting a 45 percent increase in wheat prices on the continent.